The Kinect is the latest hip addition to the popular Xbox 360 console by Microsoft. As it hit the shelves on November 4 in North America, this device is rapidly developing into a critically acclaimed product. But does this new addition to the video game industry have what it takes to fulfill the fantasy of finally being able to play video games through hands-free interaction successfully? The answer is yes, as the Kinect lucratively uses advanced webcam and infrared laser technology to conveniently deliver the perfect family-based experience.
So what is this brand-new product? Simply put, the Kinect is an anticipated add-on to the Xbox 360 game console that was recently released globally. It currently sells at around $150 as a separate add-on. Claiming to deliver a video game experience using hands-free interaction-no remotes, controllers, or gadgets, so to speak-the Kinect aroused skepticism from video game enthusiasts around the world. Would it live up to its ambitious promises of creating a successful family experience with advanced technology, or would it become yet another blatant replication of the Wii with better graphics? Admittedly, I was part of the sarcastic demography of the population-believing that Microsoft would end up releasing a product that would be overshadowed by the creator of interactive game-playing-the Wii. Even the Playstation Move seemed a better choice at that point. Luckily, I was one of the few chosen to receive the Kinect as a beta tester in the product’s pre-production stage of development. What I experienced permanently changed my view of the Kinect.
Upon opening the Kinect package, I smiled with scorn upon seeing the sensor. Upon closer examination, however, I began to notice the enhanced microphones, infrared laser technology and webcam, as a result of some pre-research. Installing the Kinect was a breeze, and soon, I was deeply concentrated with the game, exploring the basics before trying anything else.
The Kinect is truly an interesting piece of technology. To activate it, one must wave his/her hand at the sensor. A screen will then pop up, displaying the menu. Testing only the beta version, I was limited to only a few games at first, but was impressed by the quality offered. One of the prominent aspects that will jump out the moment one installs the Kinect is the family compatibility. Many of the games provided are multiplayer and can be enjoyed by a large age group. Different categories such as racing games, dance simulations, and more blend competition and fun perfectly in a family-appropriate manner. To all hard-core video game enthusiasts, however, the Kinect must not be taken lightly, for it is still a source of intense fun even for people who go a long way with the Xbox.
The Kinect is not to be underestimated as another replication of the Wii, simply because it takes the next step, so to speak. Apart from interactive playing, its enhanced technology does not go in vain. The advanced infrared lasers, along with the sensitive webcam and microphones provide an improved interaction with the system. Take the Ping Pong game, for instance. In contrast to the rather simple game offered by Wii Play that only controls hands, the Kinect takes the game to the next level by giving freedom of the entire body. Aiming the hand to hit the ball becomes significantly harder and more realistic, and actually provides a challenge, practice-and exercise.
Of course, the Kinect does have some limitations. When I had more people in the room I was playing in, the display of the movement on the screen did glitch a small bit when many people were moving at the same time. In addition, people playing in smaller rooms may also have trouble moving.
All in all, the Kinect-a creation not to be taken lightly. It’s definitely worth the $150 as a product that will satisfy your entertainment needs for hours.