Can Kinect Make You Swim Like Michael Phelps?

505 Games has teamed up with Olympic superstar Michael Phelps to create Michael Phelps – Push the Limit, "one of the most realistic and intense sports simulation video games ever." Is it time to flood your living room?

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The Kinect is a magical device full of hope and wonder, but I'm having trouble envisioning how Microsoft's infrared camera body tracking device is going to deliver the most realistic swimming experience ever created without making players lay down on the floor or, as Crecente suggests, laying on your belly in a chair.

The trailer for the game is certainly no help at all. The special effects are nice, and I'm sure watching Phelp's toned body rippling in slow-motion will make someone's day, but there's no real indication of what we'll be doing in, as the press release accompanying the video calls it, "one of the most realistic and intense sports simulations ever created."

The release states the game will feature an entirely new gameplay mechanic that will allow players to master the strokes used by Olympic swimmers. Surely they don't mean simply waving your arms about, right? Swimming requires the entire body working in unison.

Either way, Phelps seems pleased with this one-of-a-kind swimming experience, due out in June of this year, and even if we do end up balanced on a chair with our arms a legs flailing about I'm sure it will be the best competitive swimming game on the Xbox 360.

DISCUSSION

Please, game developers and marketing people: stop with that "realism hype" stupidity.

No, this Michael Phelps game won't make you a professional swimmer. Gran Turismo 5 won't suddenly turn you into a Michael Schumacher, nor will Rock Band 3 teach you to play a guitar like Eddie Van Halen, pro mode or not.

It's stupid. The point of games is to pretend we're doing something, not to emulate it. If you want to emulate it, then do it in real life.

If I play Guitar Hero or Rock Band, it won't be because I want to learn to play guitar or drums, it will be because I want to pretend I'm a guitarist or a drummer, without actually being one.

So, stop that stupidity. If I want to be a swimmer, I'll go swim in a real pool, not try to learn wih a Michael Phelps game. Urgh.