This is mostly a duplicate review from my Xbox360+Kinect Bundle review...
I only found out about Kinect a couple of weeks ago. After reading some of the preliminary reviews, I was intrigued enough that I pre-ordered it almost immediately. Since first finding out about it, I have read as many reviews as I have had time to read. Unfortunately, the more I read the more leery I got about my pre-order. Most of the reviews complained about lag, or the space requirement, or that the games were nothing more than regurgitated Wii games, and how every game title ever developed wasn't re-developed for Kinect on launch day. WTF?
Setting up Kinect was a breeze. Plug and play. A few setup items and you're ready to go.
We moved the coffee table out of the way and moved the couch back a couple of feet to get the 6-8 foot distance recommeded in the documentation. But I don't think you need that much space, honestly. For some of the games, we were as close as 3-4 feet from the Kinect and it worked just fine. I think the space "problem" is a non-issue.
We played Kinect Adventures first, the game that comes in the box. Wii-like? Yes. Fun? Soooooo much more fun than any Wii game I've played. That Kinect can track your every move -- your hands, head, arms, feet, hips, EVERYTHING -- is just amazing. No controller can detect whether you're moving side-to-side, or backwards and forwards, or squatting or jumping while at the same time moving your arms and feet. It's just brilliant how well Kinect works.
One game in particular really shows the potential of this thing. You're in an underwater tank and crazy fish keep poking holes in the glass. You have to plug these holes to keep the water from coming in. In some cases I had to use both hands, both feet, and my head to plug all of the holes...yes, all at the same time. The girlfriend and I had a blast with it. The other games were just as fun.
I think Your Shape best highlighted what Kinect is capable of. You are an infrared replication of yourself on the screen. The shape of my body was precise (unfortunately) and it even picked up the logo on the t-shirt I was wearing. There are numerous exercises you can do and you follow along with an instructor. You have to stay in sync with the intructor to earn points and advance to higher levels and the Kinect does an amazing job of following your every movement and comparing it to the instructor. Not spreading your feet far enough apart? It'll tell you. Not keeping the right rhythm? It'll tell you. It is so much more immersive than anything I've played on the Wii and I can now actually see myself doing Your Shape instead of going to the gym. It's really fantastic.
A lot of the reviews complained about lag, meaning it takes a bit for the Kinect to detect your movements and get them on the screen. Is there lag? Yes, as measured in fractions of a second. Is it noticeable? Only if you're specifically focusing on it. But it's not noticeable during actual game play because you're focusing on the game. And just like with the Wii, you quickly learn to compensate for that fraction of a second difference. It's an absolute non-issue!!!!!
All-in-all, having played three titles (Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports, and Your Shape) over a span of a couple of hours, the girlfriend and I were exhausted, exhillarated, and amazed at the experience. My girlfriend, being a typical girl, whose life isn't defined by gadgets, even posted on FB that the Kinect really is AMAZING! It more than exceeded our expectations and I couldn't be happier with the purchase. And I am absolutely ecstatic about what Kinect means for the future of gaming. Fully immersive Call of Duty? Yeah, it's coming!
Great job Microsoft! You should be proud of yourselves!
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