Kinect: First Impressions

Posted: December 30, 2010 by Fitz in General, Review
Tags: , , , ,

I woke up early on Christmas morning and rushed into the lounge, like an excited child hearing the chimes from an ice cream van. I had the joy of finding Microsoft Kinect under my tree.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your opinion)  I don’t have any unboxing videos for you, but there are plenty on YouTube.

Initial Impression

After I prised open the glossy white, green and purple box to reveal the Kinect in all it’s glory, I moved the TV unit and quickly set it up ready for play.

Kinect sensor and Kinect Adventures.

Installation was a breeze, simply connect the USB and plug in the power supply. If you have a new Xbox 360, the USB and power supply detach revealing a proprietary connection. This new connection supplies more power than the normal USB and eliminates the need for the extra power supply.

I booted up the 360 and followed a few simple steps to set up Kinect. Once this is complete you’re pretty much good to go.

Let’s Kinect

You’d better get used to waving, as this is how you initialise Kinect. *waves*.

The dashboard, Kinect hub, is controllable via your hands or by voice commands.

It’s surreal how accurately Kinect maps your movements, and although it is initially quite strange being the controller and with nothing to hold, it soon becomes second nature.

To prevent accidentally selecting menu items, you have to hover over your selection for 2 seconds. This seems to be the norm for most Kinect games I’ve played so far, and it is effective.

The voice commands work well, however they are limited in their use. To activate voice commands, saying “Xbox”, followed by the selection name, for example “Achievements” will show you the standard achievement listing. As soon as you enter the next menu, voice commands cannot be used anymore. The only way back is to select the back icon with your hands. Voice commands at present are lacking substance, but I hope it is fleshed out in later firmware updates as I feel it has potential.

So, to get playing the inserted disc, speak or hover over the game icon, and you’re ready to play! In my case that is Kinect Adventures, which came with Kinect as a bundle.

Kinect Adventures

Try and smash the balls back, and not your friends.

The only way to play Kinect is to literally jump into it kicking and screaming. The beauty of it is there are no buttons, and as clichéd as it sounds, “you are the controller” is spot on. Within minutes I’m smashing up boxes with bouncy balls and jumping around the room looking like an idiot (more so than usual). Regardless of this, it’s extremely enjoyable!

The game is well designed and engaging, making it easy for all types of gamers to start playing and having fun.

Overall I was very impressed with Kinect Adventures. I don’t think there are enough modes to keep you hooked for too long, but it’s a great way to show off the amazing potential the Kinect sensor has.

Closing Comments

I’m not going to lie. I love Kinect for the fun factor it will provide for you and the passive gamers watching you. It’s so easy to use that you can coax anyone to join in, even if they don’t like/play games.

A negative point is the space you need to play it comfortably. If you are going to get Kinect you need a reasonable amount of space, ideally 6-8 feet away from your TV. I just about have enough space, however I sometimes end up kicking the sofa (or my poor fiancée!).

Unlike the Wii or PlayStation Move, I cannot imagine any complex games for Kinect because of the lack of controller.I’d love to be proven wrong, but I see Kinect being a device for simple and fun games. I would like to see how future games could integrate the Kinect features without relying on them.

If you have enough space and can afford the price, I would recommend purchasing Kinect. Grab a few friends and family and everyone will be entertained! At this time of year it could be the perfect gift.

I hope I have Kinected (I’m sorry!) with you and enjoy Anti Hero Gaming.

P.S. The glossy black surface of Kinect seems to love all the dust created by you flinging yourself around the room. Enjoy the dusting 🙂

  1. Benjamin says:

    Wow, I want the Kinect! I do have the Move though, and I favor my PS3 over my 360.. But the Kinect looks amazing. Id love to have both, but I may postpone getting it until more advanced games are available for it. I am resisting, but it is getting harder.

    • CptToffer says:

      Hay Benjamin,

      It is awesome. Really alot of fun. Im hopefully gonna be getting one soon aswell


    • Fitz says:

      Hi Ben,

      I’ve not had the chance to use the Move yet, is it any good? It seems too similar to the Wii.

      I read a press release from Microsoft saying watch out in 2011 for some cool games coming out for Kinect this year that will lean towards complex games. Check out Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor for one such example.

      • Benjamin says:

        I would say it blows the Wii out of the water, I have a Wii also and i MUCH prefer the Move because of the camera and it is way more sensitive. The reaction time is amazing on the Move and the games are beautiful.

      • CptToffer says:

        Interesting. I’ve also not had a chance to play on the Move. Im very impressed by Kinect and would be suprised if that was going to be better. The Wii although having very positive sales at the start of its life cycle, will likely see a decrease as the other two have released the tech that made it so unique.

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