My Impressions Of Kinect

“Finally an excuse to jump around and go nuts!”

Alright we all know about this new piece of technology by now, and some people would obviously own a Kinect because it’s the newest thing for the Xbox 360. Others, however, may be more like me and a bit more cautious with their money, liking to know more about what they’re paying for.  Now I am not trying to convince you to buy Kinect – I don’t own one myself right now and I think this is good because I can give you my personal opinions without showering it with false glory because I don’t own one. But my interest is definitely peaked, so I have done some research…

“I hope my shoes are tied”

Obviously, since Microsoft first announced this revolutional piece of technology, I’ve had a couple of reservations. The main reason was that I just suspected this to be a gimmick. Over the years there has been many gimmicks that have ripped us gamers off, people making promises that they never kept and I thought that this may potentially be no different. I even managed to attend an exclusive press conference to see the Kinect firsthand back when it was still being called Project Natal. I am very careful when it comes to buying games especially when it’s a gaming enhancement product such as Kinect.

“How many games can i get for $10?”

Another reason why I didn’t scramble to purchase Kinect at launch was the selection of games. If you haven’t noticed there isn’t a whole lot of variety in the games for Kinect. Sure there is more than 15 which would be considered a few to keep you busy but there are all using the same sorts of elements – sport games, whuch are fun and all but I don’t want to constantly play indoors. But I have been noticing though that most of the popular Kinect games do not follow this generic route, they have their own elements. Take, for example, Kinectimals. It is a simple yet fun looking game, taking care of your animal, feeding it, cleaning it, training it and even playing some fun games with it too. Another Kinect game I find interesting is Dance Revolution. It’s pretty much a dancing game but what impressed me was that it’s not like others at the arcade or on other consoles – you’re not just using your hands or your feet, but your entire body!! Not only that but you can have your friends dance along with you. Some people might daunted by the fact that they’re dancing in front of their mates (potentially like idiots, depending on skill), but from what I’ve seen the people I know who own this game have no regret buying it and always get a good laugh out of it.

“There just…so…cute!”

However what is the point in game selection if Kinect won’t work properly? What I mean by that is Microsoft have very nicely laid out what Kinect needs to function properly. If you cannot meet these standards then you may want to reconsider buying Kinect. The obvious one is that you need to have space – personally I have my Xbox 360 in my room which makes it very difficult. You need at least around 6-7 feet of space, the reason being is so Kinect can track your whole body properly. Even if you just barely reach this minimum I would make sure you have room to stretch your arms, jump around and move your body because the last thing you want is to swing your hand against something leaving a nasty mark (or an injured limb!!). For obvious reasons, moving furniture around your, say, your lounge room may be the best bet. Maybe it’s time to take out the plastic bags and start spring cleaning early, hey?

“Now I can run a marathon in my own house!”

Now I also want to lay out the cold truth to some gamers out there. I am almost 100% sure that there will never be games like Gears Of War or Call Of Duty style on Kinect. The reason is that, well, these games are not built to be used on the Kinect – they’re for the gamers who just like to sit down, not have to use  much energy and unwind. Kinect, in my eyes, is the thing you would get all your non-gaming buddies to play. It’s something that can be enjoyed by not just gamers but people who want to be active and have fun with their mates. If you are a hardcore gamer and don’t think jumping around and getting active is your thing then you should probably just stick to the controller as nothing beats the classics.

Kinect can play games but that’s not all it can do. It is a camera so you can obviously take pictures with it and also use it to video chat with your friends – pretty much do the same things as the Vision Camera and more (plus this one doesn’t look like a webcam…).

Okay I have talked a lot about Kinect now, so why I don’t own one? Well let me put it like this, everything I said about it being a gimmick is wrong. I have seen this thing in action and I know that the players were having a great time with it. I was blown away when I went to my local gaming store and asked a couple guys “Hey guys I’m thinking about getting Kinect, what do you guys think about it?” they all had good comments about it. Not one of them had anything bad to say about it – sure there probably are bad things but I believe my friends when they say something is good. This shows a lot of promise, and some people like me may say that Kinect hasn’t reached that point yet where it has a wide variety of awesome games, but I’m certain that if they keep at it Kinect will be in your home in no time. I would seriously recommend you try this out for yourself, as I personally see enough potential to probably get one fairly soon. If you are unsure about how you are going to fit it in your room or if you would be into this sort of gaming I recommend think about it first before buying it straight up. Kinect surprised me and from what I have seen and heard I think this is the first real step towards next-gen gaming.

Xbox 360 KINECT

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Author: Mathew Farrugia View all posts by

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  1. avatar
    Mark February 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm -

    Nice feature Mathew. Although I hope you are wrong with GEARS OF WAR KINECT. I would love to see something like that in the future. You never know what developers can come up with these days.

  2. avatar
    David February 22, 2011 at 10:31 am -

    You know, I’m still not convinced. I think the real power of Kinect won’t be the games, it will be the impact it will have on the interface world in general.