Friday, May 27, 2011

XBOX Kinect review

So, i did get a kinect around the middle of december and have liked it overall. It's really quite good for a first generation motion capture video game controller. Most of the positive feedback can be read in other reviews. I wanted to make sure i got my gripes on here, so here i go:
  1. It may be my HDMI cable, but i've had problems with the xbox turning on. If my tv is not all the way switched to the correct input when i turn on the xbox, it doesn't seem to enable the hdmi port on the xbox. Not really a problem with the kinect, but it didn't start happening until after i hooked up the kinect.
  2. I have the kinect on the same table the tv, so it's below the tv and out from the wall by about 2 feet. The 'optimal' range from the sensor is about 6 feet. I have a fairly spacious den, but i still find myself backing into the couch to get the best experience.
  3. Not all kinect games are created equal. I have three games: kinect adventures, kinect sports, and biggest loser. It's easy to tell which games were tested with normal people and which weren't. When using kinect, navigating is as easy as controlling a mouse cursor with your hand. Since there's no button to click on, you have to hold your hand over a button to click on it. When a game requires a bunch of option selections to start the game, it gets tiresome waiting for the xbox to register clicks. Biggest loser is the worst game i've played so far. The menu consists of only icons, you have to mouse over in order to get a description of what each icon does. The problem is that the hover over click time has been reduced (supposedly to speed up menu selection). By the time i've hovered over a button long enough to read half of the 5 word description (in small font btw) the game has registered a click and opened that menu. The other problem with that game is that it doesn't do a good job of recognizing the exercises you're doing. They put a trainer up on the screen and a 3d representation of you as well. You're supposed to follow the trainer. If you're not exactly in sync with the trainer, it frequently stops the game saying you need to decrease the difficulty because you clearly can't keep up. And it isn't just me; i've had two other people go through the 'pre-test' and fail out completely at the same exercise, the game stating that clearly this exercise is too much for us.
  4. Having nothing really to do with Kinect: you can't do much online with xbox unless you've paid for a gold xbox live membership. This is a clear loseout to the wii where you can play online with anybody as long as you have their information.
That's pretty much it. It's been fun playing with the kinect. I usually have to shower after playing since i usually work up a sweat. In fact, given some wrist weights, i've been able to shed a few pounds while duking it out in the boxing arena. Volleyball is really lifelike. I find myself jumping as high as i can to get those spikes.