95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2010
As My title says, this is a review on the Kinect itself, rather than what games I have for it.
The camera looks pretty smart and comes with plenty of cable for power and usb connection. You also get provided a USB extender so you can still plug in your wireless adapter if you have one.
The Camera has a motor which adjusts itself to get the best angle to see you. You can manually over ride this for finer tuning if you like.
My 4 year old daughter tried one of the games on Kinect Adventures which involved flapping your arms to fly around a space station, which she loved and needed very little guidance.
I tried river rapids and was pleasantly surprised at how well it interacts with the 3D space. You can move forward and back within the boat, as well as left and right. Then when you had to jump, the amount you jumped actually effected the in game hight which I wasn't expecting. After using the Wii balance board, it was hard to remember I actually needed to move, rather than just lean.
The Voice recognition worked every time (so far), say 'Xbox' and it prompts you with what you can say at the bottom of the screen, or say what box you want. Never has opening and closing a disc tray been so much fun lol.
You also get a small box in the bottom right which is what the camera sees, so you can tell if its seeing you clearly or not.
If you go to far back/forward, it tells you to move accordingly, you soon get use to the play area.
I use a projector so have the lights off and the camera was still tracking me fine. The only issue with the light source coming from behind was the facial recognition for auto sign in, kind of expected though.
I was also impressed with how quickly two players can join in, I was helping my daughter to select an option with her hand, and suddenly I popped up and was playing with her, then move back out of shot and its back to 1 player.
The tech is very good, and can be improved with updates, I dropped a star as the play area is very limited, and recommend you all get out a tape measure and make sure you have enough space. This isn't suitable for every lounge, and certainly not for your average childs bed room, but if you got the play space it is a lot of fun and can only get better with more in depth games in the future.
271 of 282 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2010
ok well this arrived today
Plenty of cable and installation is painless .... although your xbox will require 2 or 3 downloads before its all working
I stuck mine to the top of my tv with blu tak ... worked a treat!
The problems start tho when you realise just how much room you need
The sensor wants you to be stood AT LEAST 6 feet (2m) away from the sensor ... and something i had not read anywhere ... if you want it to be able to recognise 2 people at the smae time you need to be stood at least 8 feet (3m) away. I never saw this mentioned in any of the promotional videos or articles and think that it is a bit of a deal breaker
Not only that, but you need room to step backwards comfortably too. Thinking of family and friends living rooms, i would say only about of quarter of the people I know would have the room for Kinect. Not only that but alot of people sit their couch 6 - 10 feet from their tv, so you would probably have to move that too ...
The Kinect needs to be positioned in line with the centre of your TV, so you cant position it off to one side either.
OK so now the good news .... i did manage to get it all setup despite the back of my legs being against the sofa .... and i have to say that the technology seems pretty impressive to me. I have a fairly dark living room and didnt have to do anything with lights, curtains etc to get it to work ... it all worked straight out of the box and the motion sensing is indeed pretty impressive ... when you see it picking out each of your joints for the first time you will be impressed
I have never bought a dancing game before but i would love to try dance central, as from what i can tell, Kinect seems perfect for it and it would be alot of fun.
So impressed with the speech recognition ... it can still recognise what you say when the xbox is playing a loud film!
The most fun i had was using speech recognition to flick between film trailers on xbox Zune ..... just by saying 'Suggest a Movie', it started streaming (full screen) a recommended movie trailer ... saying 'next' immediately starts the next trailer, there are 100+ to watch and its so quick, smooth and slick (on 10mb broadband) that u can flick through loads of trailers in seconds ... great stuff
Its not immediately apparent what words the xbox can understand and it doesnt discuss it anywhere in the paperwork .... there is a video in the 'Welcome' bar which covers using the Kinect and it also covers this.... basically when Kinect is active ... most of the text you can see on the screen is understood when spoken by Kinect ..... only currently works for English ...
The bundled Kinect Adventures works well in helping you to discover the Kinect gaming experience ... the outside box says other game demos are included on the disc , but due to room limitations i quickly left the game and hadnt noticed any mention of other playable demos ... but i hope they are there
So ... if youve got the room ... get one .... if you can make room by moving things around .... get one ... if you dont have a big enough room, make sure you have a friend who gets one ... because although it might end up getting dusty like most hardcore gamers Wii's now are, it is certainly a big leap forward and an experience you wont forget in a hurry
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2011
From research prior to release this looked like the perfect present for my boyfriend. Fun games - check, 6 foot of space - Check, Voice Activation - check & value for money - Half a check. So I bought the kinect in the hopes of fun filled evenings with my boyfriend and I wouldn't exactly say they are fun but more adequate.
- The Games are good fun - Kinect adventures (free with most kinects) is the equivalent to Wii play for the Wii where as it has a light hearted mix of activities throughout. I also bought him sonic which is a good game but contained many cons (see con section).
- The pictures that are taken whist playing wii adventures are a great laugh and provided us with good entertainment.
- The kinect ensures that you are actually working out as opposed to the wii where I discovered I can bowl while lying on the sofa.
- Space issue - I will get grief for this (see any 1* reviews as to why) but I made sure I had 6ft of space before I purchased but what I didn't realise is for 2 player you need 8ft plus approx another 2 foot of 'playing room' as I discovered when I needed to walk backwards and walked my calf of the sofa. It is not a big deal in the sense that yes we can each take turns and just lose the points when required to go backwards but I just don't think that enough consideration was put into the development considering it was an issue raised in testing. I'm not saying that this will affect everyone as we live in an apartment (a small one at that) but I would ensure you have about 10foot of room to ensure you get the most out of the kinect.
- Lag - A lot of reviewers have also commented on the lag and it is not an overly big issue with me but an annoying one at that. I do not appreciate a lag at the 6ft mark considering it is the recommended distance but a friend pointed out that when she moved it back to 8ft she lost all the lag so until I move into a bigger house the lag will also be there.
- Also the voice command function seemed like a great idea but realistically you can operate very few commands by voice.
- Game controls - Maybe I am too use to the conventional gaming where I click pause and it pauses straight away but holding my arm in one sport for 10secs is a bit irritating. It is even worse when playing with my hyperactive 5 year old niece who cannot stand still that long for it to work.
- Few Games - I maybe was a bit naive but I did believe that by now there would be some decent games out for the Kinect. There were only 2 of interest at Christmas and maybe one more since but I think it is a bit harsh that there is still a lacking in the games department.
- Sonic - Oh dear this game ended up being more trouble than it was worth. The game seemed to start the power things without me even asking it to and several involuntary movements occurred. Think it has been played twice now.
Overall we use it and its fine. I will not rave about it but I will not totally disregard it. We are in the process of trying to sell it at the moment more to do with the lack of time we have as opposed to the problems we have had but realistically that did add to it. I know others have had more luck than I have hence not giving it 1* but it was a disappointment. I would compare it to the 3DS in the sense that although the 3D effect gave some people headaches others found it fine and with the kinect some people have the space and some just don't. I'm sure the ones who have no issues find it great but until they fix my few gripes I probably would not rush to purchase it again.
153 of 161 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2010
As other reviewers have stated: I'm not convinced how many UK houses fit the ideal distance for Kinect. I have the second biggest bedroom (in a detached house)as a "games room/lounge". It's about 8ft long but has a sofa in it at one end and the telly at the other end. So, in reality, I'm about, or just under, 6 ft away from the sensor.
I set up the Kinect (piece of cake - plug in power [it needs its own power point BTW so bear that in mind] and plug into USB at back - wireless adaptor users will need to plug that into the front with supplied cable but I use ethernet so can't comment much on that) and ran through the inital setup wizard (you'll need to be online for a few small updates to the software). At first it seemed to have no problems whatsoever, and I had some fun with the bundled game and quickly began to see how this might well seriously take off.
First impressions: wow! Impressive tech indeed! Yes, it works! Wave your hand in the dashboard (where you see a little hand in bottom right and/or a little mic to indicate hand gestures/voice recognition respectively is available) to get Kinect's attention and you get a 'Wii like' hand pointer which you move around the screen to select things: keep your hand in same position when over the icon required until the circle completes, and it will be selected. Easy! And you kinda feel like you're in 'Minority Report' which is kind of cool. It seems to correctly pick up all your movements and this does indeed go WAY further than the Wii (which I totally agree with another reviewer here, as mine is indeed gathering dust and has been for some time; in fact I'll sell it now I think as the XBOX now truly does it all, and much, much better!).
However, once you realise that your "starting" point of the "play area" - when standing - is with your legs against the sofa and then games (or the calibration setup) asks you to "step back" you realise you have a problem!
I should have known! I really should. When I saw the adverts and vids online little alarm bells did start to ring when I noticed what large spacious studio minimialist studio type houses these people seemed to have! 50" telly mounted on the wall and they're standing about 15ft away! Hmmm. "Nice to have the space," I thought at the time... Oh dear, those alarm bells should have been ringing MUCH louder! I was perhaps temporarily deafened by the sight of new shiny tech.
The 'manual' states 6ft away from the sensor (for 1 player) and 8ft for two players. However, I would argue that this is absolutely bare minimum for even 1 player!
The reason being that I have just run the calibration tool in the Kinect menu (which seems to be more in depth than the initial setup 'wizard') and the problems become more apparent. It can't recognise my head until I move my sofa until it hits the radiator (bit of a problem as it's a recliner model which now won't recline! And it also doesn't like being moved much either due to the mech of the reclining bits! So not something I want to move every day.) and then really push my legs against the sofa. Now, at this point, I would say I am almost certainly about 6ft away! However, you get a stiff card with a face on it that you have to hold up and Kinect tells you to line up the eyes on your card into the glasses on the screen (weird I know but when you run through it you see how it can help it calibrate) to get great calibration. Trouble is - it keeps asking you to move back, and move back. At this point of course I am clambering back onto the sofa to satisfy its instructions.
Even if I moved my XBOX downstairs to the lounge I would no better off as (like a lot of people I'd imagine) we have the telly and sofa "width-wise" rather than length-wise as it makes more of the space available.
Long story short (too late!) I would agree with another reviewer here that not many UK houses would struggle to fit the bare minimum distance requirements here! Seriously, you're talking about quite a large room with no obstructions in front of you and at least a couple of foot behind you as well. If you're buying this for your kid who has their XBOX in their bedroom; I would seriously measure up before hand as I can't imagine many people have a bedroom big enough.
MS will of course argue that they want Kinect to be a family game and thus it's designed for lounge use. Trouble is I would argue that the US average lounge must obviously be larger than our 'poor little UK' houses! :(
However, you've got the space: what's it like?
Well, first impressions: very, very, very good. People over 35 will probably think it's worth 120 notes alone to be able to talk to your XBOX just like they used to talk to the computer in Star Trek! I'm one of those people and saying (in a perfectly normal voice! No need for over enunciation here!) "XBOX pause" or "XBOX REWIND.... FASTER...FASTER...PLAY!" will never, ever get old for me! :)That it works over background noise plus the noise of the film itself is very impressive indeed (no 'training' required for voice recognition by the way!).
The sensors/camera(s) are equally impressive. As someone who plays too many games sitting down, I can see myself losing some serious weight playing these games! You do indeed have to jump, wave, kick and move around the room with gusto (depending on the game of course). And it seems to detect your movements perfectly. Again, if you're old skool and have experienced things like "light pens" on ZX Spectrums et cetera in the past. then, like me, you probably always expect these things to be flakey, gimmicky and a bit naff at best. I'm pleased to say that I was wrong! The tech (so far) seems to work almost perfectly. Nice to see something truly innovative come out of MS R&D department!
The voice recognition only works on a few items (you can't move through items in the whole dashboard for example. In fact it only really works in "Kinect Hub" and Zune). It works best in Zune (playing back movies or music). One thing I haven't seen mentioned in the tips/manual is that you can chain commands together at same time. e.g. I was saying "XBOX" and then waiting for menu to come up with available commands and then saying "pause"; in fact you quickly realise that you can say "XBOX PAUSE" straight away and it instantly (!) pauses etc. Very impressive.
Anyway: would I recommend it? If you like the idea of Wii type games (and perhaps more involved ones in the future?) which use your whole body and/or want to control your media playback with voice recognition then absolutely yes: it's worth every penny. B
But... don't forget...
MEASURE YOUR ROOM before buying!
Now if only I had the money for an extension...
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2010
I felt I had to pass on my fun experience with the kinect.
Easy to setup, works extremely well (even in my badly lit living room).
Tracks my movement without any problems, and voice control with Zune (movies) or Last FM (Radio) is Excellent. "Xbox suggest movie", "Xbox play movie", "Xbox make some popcorn". Ok, well not the last one.
Although I got kinect Adventures in the box, I have mainly been playing Kinect Sports. It works really well locally and online.
However and this is the only downside, you need a large space to play, especially for 2 players at the same time.
My living room is a good ten feet. Although this is perfect for one person (no problems at all, except when another person walks in front of the sensor). Sometimes with 2 it can get a bit confused and we have to chuck the sofa out of the way and move a bit further back.
So if you have the room, I highly recommend it, so would my Aunt who bought one after trying mine.
I havn't been this active in a long time, great fun and I have probably lost enough calories to make my own popcorn.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2010
It looks like you will love or hate this pice of equipment. Personally i love it! just had it out for a few hours then it will get warped up for xmas.im using it on and old elite model xbox. played the adventure game it came with it and its pretty good.
Over Priced! No - becouse if you think of how much a second controller is and battery packs and a decent charger ect......
and this is relay something new.it is way more advanced than an eye toy! picture is clear for a start. don't have any problems with light in the room. and is motorised
so can folow you and positon its self
i say try it and see what you think
I solved the issue of space by putting my Tv on an extendable bracket that can also be angled
141 of 160 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2010
I am a person who tends to buy most tech the day it comes out. I am also in my 30's and play games like Black Ops, Bad Company 2 and Forza. I own a Wii, Xbox and PS3 so am pretty impartial. I have no particular axe to grind. I tend to use the Xbox the most as most of my friends are on that and I find the interface the best and therefore I tend to get most peripherals for the Xbox immediately when they come out. The Xbox wheel for example is utterly brilliant.
I bought the Kinect mostly as an innovative way to control my Xbox as well as to interact with the console as they showed in the MILO demonstration online. It was amazing. I am less interested in games where I jump around. I also bought it for the future when I can use it as an add on for games, such as detecting head movement like Track IR on the PC in games such as Black Ops and Battlefield when this is implemented. To date I have found the genuine Microsoft Products excellent so didn't hesitate in pre-ordering the Kinect and in fact ran home to get it installed.
The box is nicely made and you have no dispute that it is a beautifully made product. It is heavy, black and chrome. If you don't own the new Xbox you have to plug the Kinect into the wall and then into the USB above the Ethernet port. If you have the Wi-Fi dongle for the Xbox there is also an extension cable that uses the USB ports on the front. The cables are very long in case your Kinect is a long way from the console, and the thing does add a lot of cabling to your setup. If you have the new Xbox there is just a single cable that goes into the back. But I don't so I now have metres of cable behind the machine.
Initially I placed the Kinect in front of the TV but when I turned the Xbox on and went through the initialisation (which is pretty easy) I realised this wouldn't work as it couldn't see the floor. I can't use the Xbox in the living room as the wife goes crazy so it is in my office and there is a desk in the way. So the only way to make it work for me was to attach it to the top of the TV. But there are no mounts provided or available to buy yet. And I have the Wii little bar on top of the TV. Now the Kinect base is large and the Kinect fairly weighty. I could balance it on top of the Wii bar but it was very unstable and as the Kinect tilts up and down on its own I decided the only way to secure it was with double sided sticky tape. Which I did. But it really is less than ideal.
So then I did the initialisation again and it detected my feet but then made me keep walking backwards. I cleared all of the furniture out of the way but still couldn't go far enough back. I fudged it by squashing myself against the wall but really can't see myself moving all of the furniture every time I want to play a game. And my office isn't that small.
Then I tried out the commands and frankly the controller is much better. There is a little image in the corner of the screen showing you and your hands lit in purple. This is pretty clever. But to get the Kinect screen up you have to wave a hand or say "Xbox" then "Kinect". This doesn't work on all screens. However when it is working at least it is novel.
The hand controls are jumpy if you are too close. I had to keep going backwards for it to work so that rules out using my hands instead of the controller when I am sitting at my desk. Then to select an item you have to hold you hand above it for a few seconds and the box activates. This takes a lot longer than clicking the A button on the controller. And when I was playing with my Avatar I kept nearly purchasing things by accident. It is clunky to say the least.
So I loaded the Adventures game that came with the Kinect. I got bored of this pretty quickly. Standing in the room with my furniture piled up in a corner trying to plug leaks with my hands and feet got boring very quickly. Then little niggles like my foot going behind the desk so it doesn't detect began to tip me over the edge. I think this may be fun on multi player but on my own it was boring and as I can only just get 7 feet from the Kinect and not the required 8 feet, multi player is not an option for me.
My friend also bought on so we tried Kinect chat which is OK but basically just Skype on your TV. And I don't want people watching me while I'm sitting at home. He is also disappointed with his Kinect.
In honesty I don't think I am going to be using my Kinect much except for the voice command. I can't be bothered moving the furniture to play games all of the time. I can't get 8 feet back from it without moving the sofa which is a huge chore. And I am not going to stand near the sofa for the pleasure of using my hands to select something I could easily do with the A button. I can't play it with friends either due to the distance issue.
I thought the Kinect would make my Xbox like a scene from Minority Report. But it's not quite there yet. It is a clunkier than I hoped and I really don't see myself jumping around kicking balls with my Avatar with all of the frustrations that come with it.
My Wii is my least used console because of the graphics and I can't be bothered waving my arms around for hours after a long day at the office. I am playing Goldeneye on it at the moment as it is point and shoot and I move using the Nunchuk. Otherwise I tend to stick to first person shooters on the Xbox. And I think the Kinect without some sort of controller is too limited. Watch the Star Wars Kinect trailer. You can fight but you can't move the character. It just rushes forward when the baddies are dead. The Nunchuck plus Wii remote is currently better. And the 8 ft thing is a joke. I think there needs to be a balance of the technology of the Kinect combined with the hands on experience of an innovative controller for feedback.
I think where the Kinect will eventually live is reading your face and gestures. Imagine in Black Ops if your characters face smiled when you smiled. Gestured when you gestured. Having used it I think it is going to be tough to make work without a controller. How do you crouch, go prone, select guns, throw a flashbang instead of a grenade? How do you accelerate or use the parking break? Where's the rumble when you get hit or go off on the gravel? I have come to rely on rumble massively and of course with no controller there's no rumble.
At the moment the games are like Wii sports. Novel for a while. For kids this could work if you have a large living room. But for me it is a disappointment. After setting it up and trying the games, I found myself back on Black Ops with it unplugged. And I don't think it is great to ask you to put it on top of the TV with no mounts. In this age double sided sticky tape should not be the answer. My advice if you are an adult without young children is to avoid for now until it is better implemented.
Nicely made good quality product
A great idea and when it works it can be fun
Clever technology that I am sure will be amazing when developers get used to it
Fun for kids or groups of people
The room size issue. You need to able to get 8 feet from your TV
Lack of mounts for the top of the TV. I used Sellotape. Another reviewer used Blu Tack.
Clunky navigation. Much slower than the controller
Basic games at the moment mostly involving waving your arms and legs around
No integration in standard games, such as head tracking
I think it will come into it's own with time but not yet....
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2010
After queuing in the freezing cold for the Midnight Launch of Kinect at a high street retailer I got my hands on it and a selection of games. Took it home and set it up.
Now, installing it. It's easy, I did it half asleep at 1am without issue, that is until the size it requires. Ever since I started following this in E3 2009 I knew it needed a lot of space but I never realised exactly how much
You see, it says 6ft minimum, thats fine. But then you need 8ft minimum for 2 players, bit tight in our living room but its possible. However you find getting the camera to see both the tops of your heads and your feet at the same time can be tricky. I tried the camera below my TV and it worked generally okay, moved it onto a TrackIR stand ontop of my TV and it worked good but found if i walk a few paces towards the TV, the camera wouldn't be able to see the top of my head
I don't see this yet being a problem as for both me and my partner there is just about enough room for us both to play, true sometimes we have to lean backwards over the sofa in some games and/or parts of us go out of the cameras view causing us to fall out of sync with the game, but the real problem will be when we have people over. I mean, Kinect will/should shine when you have guests, right? Well when we have people over they will want to sit on our sofa, meaning falling over their legs causing drinks and food to be spilt and no doubt us landing on them backside first and putting us into an embarrasing position
It's not all doom and gloom mind. I only take away 1 star due to the above as it's more of a problem for Microsoft as it will limit who can use the device, in particular kids/teens wanting it in their bedrooms will most likely be out of luck
On a plus side, I think the price is reasonable(if they ensure good game support in the future and the device has a long life span). It does track quite well give or take(as per issues above). The games are very involving, i'm loving Kinect Sports right now, it's a great experience and the Wii really has tough competition.
Ah the Wii, of course the console Kinect gets compared to. Well I on a personal note prefer Kinect. It's more thrilling, interactive, engaging, better looking and has better multiplayer capabilities. It's more streamlined and does more than "sense motion". For example in dancing games and fitness games its easy to fool the Wii with the Wiimote, but with Kinect, it can see if your not doing it properly.
I highly recommend this item, but please measure your living room. Both length from the camera but also width. Ensuring you allow some extra for "elbow space"
Our living room from sensor to sofa edge is: 9ft 3 and width from wall to other sofa is: 6ft < I really wouldn't go any smaller than that as its really tight. I also disagree with people giving the item one star as they've found their living room/bedrooms to be too small, research before you buy. It's a camera obviously it will only have a limited range/viewing angle and i'm sure Microsoft will update the technology as and when
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2011
I'll start by saying it should be brilliant & I so ant it to be. I had dreams of being able to play with my 4 year old as controllers are too big and fiddly for him at present and hey this is also exercise. This is where I encountered my first problem I am 6ft4 & he is 3ft and half the time Kinect thinks he's just part of me and gets very confused (given up on 2 player). Next issue I have just found as the nights grow longer is that in daylight its fine but with our ceiling lights it can't see me. Oh and you do need a lot of space so not for the modern home where space is a luxury (I thought we had a big lounge until I got this)Being a taller person it does struggle to see my head and feet at the same time in the confines of my lounge.Kinect Sensor with Kinect Adventures (Xbox 360)..
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2010
recieved kinect today for my sons xmas present and natrually i had to test it...thoroughly ;), i was impressed by the ease of setup required then the game you get free kinect adventures i found great and the delays that have been written about on other reviews were barely noticable although jumping straight after any other action seems to be a bit much for it to handle all in all this is far superior to the Wii and i look forward to trying some games more aimed at adults.one warning; you do need a lot of space i have a large sitting room after clearing the table etc i still managed to headbutt the light and kick the chair trick is not to get to carried away....easier said....