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Xbox Live's player avatars are going to get a realistic makeover because people are having trouble using them with Kinect. Turns out the big-headed, stumpy-torsoed virtual people are screwing up regular-shaped people's hand/eye co-ordination. 'No problem', said Rare according to an interview with OXM - 'we'll create more realistically-shaped avatars, then everything will be fine'. Well, it would be, but avatars were cuteified for a reason. I much prefer the cartoony, exaggerated version of myself than the dull, realistic (now deleted) version in PlayStation Home. Besides, look at what happens when you realify an Xbox Avatar...
My online Avatar is a close as I could get it to looking like my real self. I'm actually quite fond of him. Mini-me plays a virtual guitar, wears ear-rings and gothy T-shirts, and has been known to sport a Left 4 Dead 2 health pack because we succeeded at that game. Here we are, side by side. I wasn't sure you'd be able to tell which was which, so I've captioned them for you:
Just to demonstrate how 'super-deformed' current avatars are, I've changed my real proportions to look like my avatar. This is why people can't relate to their on-screen self - they're having to imagine their body looks like this:
It's a little strange-looking, I'm sure you'll agree. So, as Rare said, the answer is to change the avatars' proportions to closer resemble real people's limbs. Are you ready for this? Don't say I didn't warn you - it's scary as hell.
Don't worry, he only waits under your bed and watches you sleep. Bear in mind, this is only an artist's impression of what Xbox avatars 2.0 might look like, but you can see why they didn't take this route the first time. Ugh. Just look at it. I know what you're thinking - that's one heck of a long neck. Well, maybe I was standing up straight for the photo, but as you can see, that's only like the real me. And you know what they say - long neck...
20 Aug, 2010