Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Review

By on November 10, 2010

Get off the couch and into your game.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

I remember when playing a video game was a ridiculously simple thing. When I fired up Frogger on my ancient Atari back in the late 80s, all you had to do was push the joystick in one of four directions to get to the other side and win the level. When I got a Pegasus and played Contra, I had one button for jumping and one for shooting. After that, things got a little bit out of hand, with today’s controllers having at least 10 buttons and a whole host of combinations depending on what game you are playing. As games became more and more complicated so did the control schemes, so you now spend more time memorizing button presses than actually playing games.

To change this, Microsoft unveiled at E3 2009 what they called “Project Natal”. The system would do away with traditional controllers and use a player’s entire body to interact with the game. They also showed off quite an impressive concept trailer which clearly showed what Natal looked like and how it would work.

Fast forward to E3 2010, and Microsoft unveils that Project Natal will officially be known as “Kinect” when it hits retail. Feature face and voice recognition, fully body tracking and a genuine controller-free gaming experience, Kinect certainly made a lot of buzz leading up to its retail launch this week. Having had the chance to try out the Kinect at E3 2010 as well as in the months leading up to its official launch, I can say that I was certainly intrigued at just how well this device would integrate into my gaming lifestyle. So in true gamer fashion, I headed down nice and early to a nearby shopping mall and picked up a Kinect sensor for review.

Setup and unboxing
The Kinect sensor comes in a sleek rectangular box, and includes a setup guide, detailed instructions, a Wi-fi extension adapter (if you have the Xbox Wi-fi kit connected) and a copy of Kinect Adventures.

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The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
8
The bundled Kinect Adventures is a good two-player game, but look out for more interesting party games in the coming months.
GRAPHICS
7
In-game photo feature produces some hilarious shots.
SOUND
7
Voice and facial recognition is great and needs hardly any training.
VALUE
7
Hard to fully determine until more games have come out.
FUN FACTOR
9
Gaming takes a turn for the better with natural gestures and seamless drop-in/drop-out multiplayer.
OVERALL
8.7
Kinect is a bold initiative from Microsoft that might not necessarily change the way we play games today, but it certainly will challenge it.

About

A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys hurling fireballs and tinkering with the latest gadgets. Follow him on Twitter as @theregos

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Comments
  • twd

    Thanks for the write up, If possible can you pls tell me how much space was required for 'good' and 'best' ?
    I wish you had just given your impressions or 'review' without the numbers as it doesn't make sense to do so.
    Thanks !

  • http://www.megamers.com Nick Rego

    heya – I needed about 6ft of space for Good, and 8ft for Best, as mentioned on the box.

    Unfortunately our CMS doesn't allow us to post without putting in numbers, so we had to put in something ;)

  • ambi

    Great to see some of the overwhelming negativity amongst the core gamers waning away for Kinect and its being seen for what it is. Firstly a breath of fresh air in the world of me2 FPS – some of which have been milked to their bone..COD/Halo. And whether you fancy it or not – the reality is that Kinect will be a major hit; so whether we like it or not for the first time we will need to learn to share the same console platform with fellow gamers who have very little in common with us – this makes us feel uneasy as like a no logner solitary child we are jealous and uneasy of this new goofy sibling who might steal all the attention. And finally we are a tad uncomfortable to actually let our hair down and enjoy some frivolus fun on a Dance Central, cause gaming is supposed to be intense, serious fun isn't it. And finally but most unfortunately there are those childish PS fanboys who…well let me not elaborate – you know exactly what I mean. Played a game of Table Tennis on Live with this chap yesterday – Epic! The highlight was the taunting throughout the match with our Avatar's body language and antics LOL..

  • moh'd

    does it only work on the xbox 360 live only. if not what other xbox 360 does the kinect work on

  • ambi

    Hi Moh'd Kinect has no inherent Live dependency and works with all Xbox 360 consoles. The online multiplayer and Kinect Video Chat are features that obviously work only with Live.

  • thomas

    thanks man

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