Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect
Review Every Christmas it seems a must-have toy or gadget splits people into the haves and have-nots.
Only this year things are slightly different. Little Johnny might be overjoyed to find Santa has left a shiny new Xbox 360 Kinect under the tree, but imagine his heartache when he realises his living room isn't large enough for his parents to play along.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect: game changer
That's Kinect in a nutshell. You either have enough space to play Microsoft's motion controller or you don't. Not such a problem in the grand sitting rooms of America, but a distinct one in more modestly sized European or Japanese households.
More Kinect on
Take my humble abode, for example. An average Victorian terrace, the living room is roughly 4m by 4m. With a sofa and - admittedly clunky - TV stand reducing available floor length, I managed just 2m between the Kinect sensor and the front of my sofa. Despite an advertised minimum distance of 1.8m, however, several times during testing my calves were firmly pressed up against the bottom of the settee, as games forced me into Kinect's optimum play space, which for adults is between 2.4 and 3m.
For all you Pythagoreans out there, you'll be pleased to know that placing the sensor on top of my 37in TV rather than level with its stand brought the optimal play space forward by around 23cm, improving Kinect's overall responsiveness. But a claustrophobic feeling remained, as my arms and legs flailed worryingly close to the sofa. Of course, that same theorem also means that taller adults need to step back even farther into that optimal zone.
Santa, can I have a bigger house, please? I have been a very good boy...
Width also comes into question, but only when playing two-player games. Players standing side-by-side are going to need at least 61cm of clear lateral space on either side – approximately 2.4m of floor width. And while I personally didn't experience any issues with width, it's a measurement to be considered in other households.
Next page: Space, the final frontier
RE: re: I have to say.
I think the blinkers might be elsewhere if you can't see any limitations to Kinect.
"What you have left is a games console that will play a stack of good controller-based games"
So people should buy Kinect because when they are bored of waving their arms about, they can always go back to using a controler?
The things that gets me about Kinect is that it doesn't do fingers, it lacks the necessary resolution. You can't pick stuff up, let it go, pull a trigger, grab things, turn something around in your hands or even select things with a "click". Look at the videos on youtube and you'll see that selecting something is done by hovering your hand over an icon for a period of time, there is no click.
Clench your fists and think about what games you could play and how easily you could intereact with a virtual enviroment with no buttons to press.
This is refelcted in the current games, River rapids enables you to go left right and jump. Joy ride enables you to go left right, jump and boost. There is also a sonic game where you go left, right, jump. None of those games require Kinect, they can all be done on a controler with three buttons.
If you really don't see any limitiations to Kinect other than "your house might be too small" then I would honestly question the motives behind the review.
Why do I care? I don't know. I think it's something to do with having a dislike for people being encouraged to make a purchase based on the output of a multi million dollar hype machine rather than the actual capabilities of a product.
Already there are videos across the Interwebs
demonstrating how Kinect gaming in confined spaces rapidly leads to people being smacked in the face, kicked, knocked over and otherwise pwned outside of the virtual arena. Expect more.
Confused by your score
You score Kinect 90%, the same as Move was scored back in September. The Move review was glowing and positive throughout, and yet the tone of this review is markedly different including this phrase in the concluding paragraphs;
"But there's no ignoring Kinect's severe limitation. "
You talked of lag in control and other aspects that were not good about Kinect, and yet it rates a 90%? Sorry, maybe I'm just confused, but that score seems a bit generous for a product about which you use the phrase "But there's no ignoring Kinect's severe limitation. "
Could it be a small amount iof inherent bias? Advertiser pressure? Really, I think we need to know because I've never seen a review that marks something 9/10 and yet is critical of it to the point of talking about a "severe limitation" within the product.