Product Type: Microsoft game controllers
Newest Review: ... up but takes time. They do provide you with a smiley face on a card to help calibrate your Kinect but this doesn't help the fact that it m... more
The best motion sensing accesory out there!
Member Name: Jenraux
Advantages: Great motion sensing, great fun on 2 player games, lots of features
Disadvantages: Price is quite hefty, if someone is in the background and not playing, it will sometimes read them.
At first i was very skeptical about this technology, i had my doubts. The Wii's motion sensing was revolutionary when it came out, but when the Playstation Move came out, it quickly overshadowed the Wii's motion sensing, offering far more accurate control over the game.
Kinect however disposes with controllers and instead tracks your body directly, and it does a damn fine job at it too.
So far i have only played Kinect Adventures, Joyride Demo, Dance Central Demo and Your Shape Fitness Evolved Demo. All of these games were impressive in my opinion.
The sensor tracks your feet, arms, head, body, and it tracks different joints along those. It also detects how close you are to the camera and how high you are. (Used for games which require you to jump ect.)
When you boot it up, most games will run a calibration, to align the sensor to detect 1 or 2 players accurately. This process usually takes about 10 seconds, and is required everytime you boot up the game, can be annoying but i guess its required.
Space requirements were criticised greatly by the critics. I admit you need a fairly large room to play, obviously designed for a living room rather than a bedroom, pretty much any living room will be big enough to play 1 player, most will be able to play 2 player games. It recommends you stand 1.6 to 3.0 metres from the camera. One problem which you probably wont encounter too often, is that if your playing on your own, but someone is there in the background, sometimes it will pick them up and put them as player 2. So its best to have your friends sitting at the edge of the sensor, so it won't put them in the game.
The tracking is very accurate, moving each body part slightly will show in-game. And not all games will show your Avatar, in some cases (such as the Your Shape game) your actual person will be shown in game, similar to the eyeplay game on the PS2 (but a bit more advanced) and you will be able to play the game as if you were actually there.
The selection of games out at the moment isnt spectacular, Kinect Adventures comes bundled for free with the Kinect sensor, and is a worthy game, a good choice of game to bundle with it. Dance Central, Kinect Sports and Kinectimals have also received positive reviews.
Kinect can also be used on the Kinect Hub, basically the Kinect version of the Xbox Dashboard. From the Hub you can do pretty much anything you can do on the dashboard, except look at the marketplaces. Voice commands only work in the Kinect Hub, they also work on the dashboard in order to get to the Kinect Hub. Waving your hand when on the dashboard will open the Kinect Hub.
The facial recognition system was another feature i was dubious about, thinking it would have trouble distinguishing between different people, especially those of the same family who look alike. At first only one of us had a Kinect ID (When creating an ID, Kinect scans your face and will auto signin if it finds you.) and that meant that when i walked in front of Kinect it did at first sign me in as my brother (the only ID we had), but once i had created my own ID, it could distinguish us perfectly from one another.
Lighting conditions were also a worry, the room we play in is usually very dark or very light, ideal for testing Kinect out. In very light conditions its recommend you limit sunlight, as glare can interfere with the sensor, but we didn't have any problems, the sensor is in a shaded corner of the room, so you possibly will experience problems if the sunlight is directly on the sensor. In the dark the Kinect sensor is very good at reading you, if the curtains are closed and the door is also closed, with the light off so you can just see, the Kinect sensor can still read you, as the sensor itself reads in Black & White, meaning you appear white and your surroundings are black.
Kinect can be used as a microphone also, meaning if you had 2 Kinect sensors, you could have family chats, 4 of you in one house and 4 in the other, the microphone has ambience noise reduction, so you shouldnt hear anything but the persons voice. I suppose its similar to WiiSpeak on the Wii. It can also be used for Video Chat, using the camera as a webcam, pretty much making the Xbox LIVE Vision Camera obsolete.
I've pretty much covered every aspect of the sensor, apart from one, the price. Its a hefty price at £130, but when you think about it, its a decent price compared to Playstation Move, which charges around £30 per player, so its £120 for 4 players, if you play a game that only requires the main controller. And Kinect can also only read 2 players, whereas PS Move can read up to 4 players. PS Move can only have 4 player games if the game does not require the sub controller however, if a subcontroller is required, then PS Move games are 2 player only, however 2 controllers and 2 sub controllers will probably cost just under £100.
So really, Kinect may cost a lot, but new technologies will, especially ones as advanced as PS Move and Kinect. Many people said PS Move is built for games, and Kinect is built for its fun features and involving play, we'll just have to wait and see, won't we? Either way, these controllers are the future of gaming.
Remember, if you have an original Xbox 360 (not the S model) you will need to plug it into the mains as well as the USB slot on the *BACK* of your Xbox 360, it will NOT work on the front ports. Those of you with the S model, will not need the power supply, and it can be plugged directly into the AUX port on the back of your S console. A power supply is supplied with it, so there are no extra purchases no matter what console you own.
Summary: An incredible advance in technology, definitely one to buy.