A man has done the unthinkable and hacked his Kinect to play Super Mario Bros.
YouTube's "Yankeyan" is back with another Kinect hack that's even better than his last. While he previously showed off that Kinect could be used to wield artificial lightsabers, now he's crossed first-party barriers and made the Microsoft motion gaming device into a working controller for Super Mario Bros.
As you can see, stepping into the shoes of Mario isn't as fun as we all thought it would be. It's apparently much more enjoyable to control him from afar, but that doesn't make Yankeyan's hack any less cool.
Mario is controlled in the classic NES game through various movements. To make him run, you must run. To make him jump, you must jump. To go down pipes, you must duck. These aren't complicated concepts here. The challenging part appears to be in controlling Mario's running speed and in making him change directions, which looks to require moving to the left or right. The precision needed for a game like Super Mario Bros. just isn't quite there.
Yankeyan later goes on to prove that his hack also works in Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3, awesomely enough, and it would technically operate in any other NES game too. It works by translating his motions into the virtual button presses of an NES emulator. He admits: "Mario isn't designed to be played like this, so this is really really hard."
He might be able to get through the early stages of Mario's NES titles, but once enemies like Bullet Bill start showing up, I doubt Kinect would keep him alive. This just goes to show you that the controller will always have its place in the videogame world, no matter how cool the idea of completely losing it might seem. While I would love to try Yankeyan's Kinect hack, I wouldn't want it to be the only control method available.