Bethesda brings Kinect support to Skyrim hinting at a promising voice command future

bethesda brings kinect support to skyrim hinting at a promising future

You’ve got to hand it to Kinect: It’s nice to finally know that yelling at the television while playing games is finally good for something.

Microsoft’s peculiar little array of cameras and microphones that allows for hands-free play has had a contentious relationship with traditional action games, but voice commands have proven themselves to be an effective hook. Mass Effect 3 utilized them for simple conversation and battle commands to decent effect. The functionality worked but it didn’t exactly make you feel like the badass Commander Shepard you might have been. Bethesda is ready to try its own method of using Kinect to inspire badness. As promised, Kinect voice commands came to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Monday.

The company announced on Monday via its official blog that it has patched Kinect support into the Xbox 360 version of Skyrim and the number of voice commands available in the game is surprising. Shouts are a natural focus, with both English and dragon language versions of commands, so you can terrify your family or roommates by yelling either “FUS RO DAH!” or “Unrelenting force!” Of course we all know which of these is awesomer.

Shouts are just the tip of the iceberg though, with every branch of Skyrim’s complex menu system represented by voice commands. Favorite weapons and armor can be accessed with new hotkey commands. Just say “sword” and your favorited sword will be equipped, provided you access the favorites menu in the game first. The same goes for bartering options with merchants, commanding companions, or organizing containers like chests and bookshelves. A complete list can be viewed online here.

That you need to access the menus for each of these tasks and inventories first is a necessary evil of the way Skyrim was constructed. Needing to say “Quick Items” to bring up the item menu before speaking the name of the item you want to use is clunky, but necessary, at least at this point. Skyrim was a game built for a controller, not a microphone.

Bethesda’s deep Kinect implementation is encouraging though. Elder Scrolls’ creators have already figured out how to adapt their old modes of play to a microphone, which means they’re deep in the process of experimenting with how to use voice in a more natural, convincing way. Just imagine: The Elder Scrolls VI for Xbox 720/Durango where you don’t need to access menus at all, the game is just built to intelligently know what item, weapon, or command you’re asking for. That was the promise of Kinect when the technology debuted in 2009, and Bethesda’s work is an early march toward that promise.

Gaming

Once the dust settles, 'Fallout 76' will be a nuclear wasteland worth exploring

The launch of Fallout 76 has been nothing short of apocalyptic, but that doesn’t mean the game is dead on arrival. Bethesda has a path forward, paved by The Elder Scrolls Online, another game that suffered a rocky start.
Gaming

The most common Xbox One X problems, and how to fix them

The Xbox One X is a brilliant console, but it's not without its issues, ranging from simple annoyances to severe hardware problems. Here are common Xbox One X problems and how to fix them.
Gaming

Get caught up on all things 'Fallout 76,' including recent controversies

Bethesda's Fallout 76 takes the open world series in a new direction. With an emphasis on co-op, survival, and rebuilding a broken world, Fallout 76 is a far different game than its predecessors.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for December 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles, as well as bundles that feature games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

Get some bang for your buck with these Nintendo Switch console deals at Walmart

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the past, but you can still get some bang for your buck on game consoles before the holiday season is done. Walmart has various Nintendo Switch bundles on sale right now.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

‘Just Cause 4’ is mindless fun that leaves little room for much else

Just Cause 4 revels in explosions and over-the-top action, but its world feels empty and hollow. With few new ideas and a stale open world, it's a fun but shallow piece of escapism.
Gaming

‘CS:GO’ goes free-to-play and players are not happy about it

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), has gone free-to-play this week in a controversial move. Players are angry that the problem of cheating will get much worse now that anyone can make a disposable account to play.
Gaming

How to delete and reinstall games on your Xbox One

Removing and reinstalling games on the Xbox One's hard drive isn't difficult, but it's a process that not everyone is familiar with. Thankfully, our guide will run you through each step so you'll know precisely what to do.
Gaming

‘Street Fighter V’ players will get bonuses if they allow in-game ads

Capcom will show in-game advertisements on Street Fighter V starting December 11. Players may choose to deactivate the ads, but they will miss out on some bonuses and content if they do so.
Gaming

‘The Walking Dead: The Final Season’ returns with Episode 3 next month

Skybound Games revealed the release date for Episode 3: Broken Toys of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead: The Final Season. Clementine's story will be getting the ending that it deserves after all.
Gaming

Take-Two Interactive takes down another ‘GTA Online’ modder, seeks $150K

Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games have filed a lawsuit against the GTA Online modder behind the software named Elusive. The publisher is continuing its crackdown against GTA Online mods.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ streamer reportedly arrested after abusing wife while on Twitch

An Australian Fortnite streamer who goes by the name MrDeathMoth abused his pregnant wife while he was live on Twitch. An anonymous cybersecurity expert took matters into his own hands, resulting in the arrest of the streamer.
Deals

Miss Black Friday but still need an Xbox? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.