Today I was very lucky to have an preview and play with the Xbox Kinect – A unique, controller free, full body gaming revolution. Released this coming Thursday the 18th of November, along with 15 game titles, this truly was such a great experience.
The Kinect is a “Webcam based, add-on peripheral” to the Xbox 360 which does away with all controllers and literally watches every one of your movements to put you in the gaming experience. Even if you don’t have the new-ish slimline Xbox, cables are provided so you are not left out if you have the previous models.
Firstly, I was shown the unboxing, here is one from Gamespot. As it always is at Microsoft, very smooth and sharply designed products were inside. Turning on the Xbox, he/she told me what distance to stand at, and then using the camera/sensors of the Kinect, A scan was done of my height and my arms. The Kinect literally moves with its built in motor. I was then asked to produce a supplied “Eye Card” to hold up to the camera (at varying lengths) for more calibration. I was ready to jump into the game!
I started by playing a rafting game as part of Kinect Adventures, which placed me inside a huge raft moving ever so quickly down some awesome (graphics) rapids. Stepping side to side steered the raft whilst physically jumping as I made my way up ramps to score more coin. Faultless movement representation between myself and the system.
I then moved onto Kinect Sports, which I thought was going to be simple in all respects like the Wii, but……It was awesome! Again, the graphics were terrific and the game play was fast and sharp. I attempted the table tennis as well as the bowling, without a controller! Freedom!! I was impressed with the bowling game play as when I let the ball go, the camera followed the ball down to the pins which has lacked in other similar games.
Insert odd/funny Kinect fail here!
On a quick search today, I found the Kinect at EB games selling for $198 on its own (JB Hi Fi to be $4 cheaper), $449 for the 4gb bundle and $549 ($468 at Harvey Norman!) for the 250gb bundle. Many offers will come out with free this and free that….shop around.
Overall I had a awesome time checking it out the revolutionary device. I wonder where it will all go on years to come….Good to see the small kids and the big kids getting out of the couch and moving about!
Grab a Xbox Kinect…..if you have the energy. (Oh and move the furniture well out of the way)