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Kinect - The Gamer's Thumb was just replaced by Living Room Turf Toe

  • Dec 7, 2010

Since the 2009 E3 Conference, I had been telling myself over and over again, "You don't need the Kinect... That's not your type of game... You don't need the Kinect..."  Fortunately for me, @trailblazer wasn't in my head, and she very generously purchased one for me as a gift.

Setup was simple enough.  Depending on your Xbox, either plug the proprietary USB-looking end directly into your Xbox, or plug that cable into the included power adapter which then connects one end to a USB port on the Xbox and the other to a standard power outlet.  Once you're connected, the Xbox walks you through the rest of setup to make sure the Kinect device is positioned appropriately aligned with your TV and that you have enough space to move around.. more on that later.  The Kinect will also try to calibrate the sound settings for the built-in microphone, but I was too impatient for that.

I immediately jumped into the games.  The Kinect comes with Kinect Adventures, but I also received a copy of Kinect Sports to start off my motion gaming library.  Kinect Sports was in the console.  To get you warmed up, they have a number of mini games including among others bowling, table tennis, soccer, and track and field.  Bowling seemed the most accessible and it had a very similar feel to Wii Bowling.  However, without having to hold a controller, I thought the bowling motion was much more natural.  From the early tests, bowling was very accessible for everyone, but it was a little frustrating trying to figure out what motions would cause "spin" on the ball.  My favorite of the initial batch was playing soccer goalie.  Remember when I mentioned making sure you had enough space to move around?  I have a feeling that Kinect is going to cause a flood of new YouTube videos of over active players taking out all manner of furniture and sliding-glass doors.  As goalie, the screen shows you where the ball is being kicked to and you have to move your body in position to block the shot.  While the initial shots required only moderate movement, after a while, I found myself nearly diving left and right to get to the corner shots.  Might not want to set up the Kinect in the same room as the china cabinet.

Rather than describe the different games and challenges in Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports, it probably makes more sense to discuss the overall pros and cons.

  • No controller
  • Movement in both arms and legs are tracked and can be used in most games giving a greater sense of immersion
  • One controller can be used to track two players (in some games)

  • Initial launch library is thin
  • There is some lag between your motions and the motions appearing on screen.
  • 3D tracking doesn't seem as precise as PS3 Move's offering
There's plenty to like about Kinect as well as plenty of untapped potential.  Playing alone, the current crop of games don't offer much for an in-depth gaming experience.  But once you have other people to play with, it's really hard to NOT have fun with the Kinect.  If you occasionally host an impromptu game-night, the Kinect would be a worthwhile purchase.

Kinect - The Gamer's Thumb was just replaced by Living Room Turf Toe Kinect - The Gamer's Thumb was just replaced by Living Room Turf Toe Kinect - The Gamer's Thumb was just replaced by Living Room Turf Toe Kinect - The Gamer's Thumb was just replaced by Living Room Turf Toe Kinect - The Gamer's Thumb was just replaced by Living Room Turf Toe

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December 09, 2010
Hahaha, that video is so cute and this sounds really friggin' cool! Thanks for sharing, Andrew!
December 09, 2010
thank you for this review! I was scoping this product out as a Christmas gift for someone. :)
December 07, 2010
I updated my review with video showing even a two-year-old can enjoy the Kinect action.
December 07, 2010
I have yet to try the Move or the Kinect so I can't say which is better, but it seems like hardcore gamers and industry folks like the Move better. I've never been much of a fan of the Xbox franchise, but maybe the Kinect will change my opinion. Nice review!
More Kinect reviews
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review by . December 15, 2010
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Quick Tip by . December 10, 2010
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Played a little bit of this in the office and can see that it's going to be a great hit with the kids!
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About the reviewer
Andrew ()
I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more
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Coming this holiday 2010, Kinect will turn YOU into the controller for games and entertainment, and it will work with every Xbox 360. Unlike 2-D cameras and controllers, Kinect tracks your full body movement in 3-D, while responding to commands, directions, even a difference of emotion in your voice.
  • You are the controller. Kinect provides a whole new way to play. It uses a sensor to track your body movement and recognize your face, even listen to your voice. If you know how to move your hands, shake your hips, or speak, you and your friends will be able to jump instantly into any Kinect experience.
  • Full-body play. Kinect provides a new way to play where you use all parts of your body — head, hands, feet and torso. When you're the controller, you don't just control the superhero, you are the superhero. Full-body tracking allows the Kinect sensor to capture your movement, from head to toe, to give players a full-body gaming experience.
  • Personalized play. Kinect provides an in-game experience in which the player’s face and voice are recognized. Greet and speak to characters in the game, or simply step into view of the sensor to log into Xbox LIVE and connect with friends. Kinect is smart enough to remember voices and faces. Fun has never been so personalized.
  • Off-the-couch play. Kinect provides gameplay that gets you off the couch, on your feet and in the fun. Each Kinect experience is designed to get players moving, laughing, cheering and playing ...
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Brand: Microsoft Xbox
Category: Motion-sensing console

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