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Works as advertised and looking forward to its potential

  • Dec 23, 2010
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When Project Natal was announced in last year's E3, I was intrigued by its technology but was skeptical on whether Microsoft can pull it off, fast forward to this year, Project Natal is now officially named Kinect, and after spending a few days playing it, even though it didn't fulfill all of its promises, it did live up to the lofty expectation.

Kinect is easy to setup, basically you plug it into the XBox 360's USB port and plug in the power (if you have the newer "S" model, you won't even need the power), and once it's set up, it's ready to go, I was surprised on how simple the setup was, it's basically plug-and-play, and it recognize me right away and I can navigate the menu with Kinect without any problem (and yes, it does work sitting down, although all the games I tested are programmed for playing standing up). The only thing that takes a while to set up is KinectID, basically you can set up auto-login based on facial recognition, and that involves making different poses in different position, which my 3 year old son has a hell of a time doing (he just can't stand still to hold the position for Kinect to recognize him), but for us adult, it works pretty well.

I was pleasantly surprised on how accurate Kinect is, and it seems to be able to pick up who is playing even with multiple people in the background.  As you can see from the tracking image, Kinect is able to map out and track your whole body with its built in infra-red cameras.

As for the games, I mainly played a lot of Kinect sport, and it's a pretty fun game, and since Kinect can read your whole body, you can't "cheat" your way through the games like you can with the Wii, and it's a lot more accurate then I imagined, when I played Bowling, you can motion your arm across your body to indicate spin move, and your position and arm motion will determine the path of the ball, it's pretty impressive, and after playing through some sports (Bowling, Ping-Pong, Beach Volleyball, Soccer, and Track and Field), I was actually pretty sore the next day, so you can actually get a fairly decent workout from this.

As of right now, what the Kinect offers is good, but not great, but I think the technology can do so much more, some examples are what some people are doing with Kinect connected to PCs, it's pretty amazing what it can do, and I am looking forward to the next wave of games that taps into the potential of the device more.

Kinect "Minority Report" control on PC (with the open-source driver)

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July 11, 2011
This sounds like a good purchase.
January 01, 2011
Thanks for this one! Me and my friends have been debating whether we should get one of these or not. Thanks!
December 23, 2010
This sounds so cool, James! Thanks for sharing!
More Kinect reviews
review by . December 07, 2010
Kinect - The Gamer's Thumb was just replaced by Living Room Turf Toe
   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 …
review by . February 19, 2011
I was recently cruising the internet and reading the video game forums.  For those who don't know me, I enjoy reading the threads but I never participate.  Not until gamers can go beyond saying, "You suck because you don't like what I like," and go beyond swearing and cursing out anyone who disagrees.  Gamers are a finnicky lot.  The good ones never speak up and the bad ones have somehow defined us.  Recently I found a thread discussing the Kinect.  …
review by . December 15, 2010
Shake Your Booty
With all the baked treats at work, holiday meals and parties, and traveling, your healthy diet may take a backseat the next few weeks (or more)! Don’t wait until New Years to make your get-fit resolutions. Start now, by watching your portions of desserts and treats and getting some fun exercise in. Fun exercise? I know that sounds like a oxymoron but it’s actually a reality. Dance off the pounds with the new Xbox Kinect Dance Central game or Zumba Fitness. This amazing …
review by . November 06, 2010
Microsoft Kinect - 10 Things You Should Know
The long awaited Kinect for the Microsoft Xbox console was finally released to much fanfare today. It will probably be the biggest selling video game accessory this holiday season. The Microsoft Kinect will probably be the biggest selling product this holiday season. What is so great about it. Are there any problems with the Kinect?      In a nutshell, this is what you should know about the Microsoft Xbox Kinect:      1. The Kinect plugs into the Microsoft …
Quick Tip by . December 10, 2010
This thing is pretty epic! I'm getting one for sure!
Quick Tip by . December 16, 2010
posted in Destructoid
Played a little bit of this in the office and can see that it's going to be a great hit with the kids!
Quick Tip by . August 14, 2010
Still waiting to see what the Kinect will have to offer for the hardcore gaming crowd. As of now, not enough to make me want to pre-order. Although, when I called the Microsoft Store recently, they were pushing it very aggressively.
About the reviewer
James Liu ()
Ranked #141
I was originally from Taipei, Taiwan, and I moved to the united states when I was 16 years old. I lived in Champaign, Illinois for 6 years before moving to California and have been here since.   … more
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About this product


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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