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Xbox Live Vision Review
on 5 September 2007
A good idea with some great potential but for the time being that's all it is. I think it's great that the camera can be used as a normal webcam, being a USB, you can just plug it into your PC.
The camera is reasonably clear, however you can take a higher advantages of the effects on the 360. After taking a photo, to set as your personal gamerpicture, or to send to a friend, you can add various effects, including the common settings like black and white, sepia, negative, as well as special lens effects that expand, inflate, or reflect the picture, as well as many more.
When i purchased this item, it comes with a one month free gold membership on xbox live, an extra headset for online chatting (worth about £14.99 at the time), and a code to download UNO full xbox live arcade game. Great if you have friends over with the headset, so you can all talk to different people, and UNO isn't a bad way to boost your gamerscore.
Similar to the Sony Eyetoy, on playstation 2, you can use it to control characters. However there is few games this is compatible with. TotemBall, (a free arcade game that requires the camera) is not the greatest of games, but, for the younger generation it can be fun. Basically you control a ball rolling around a level, by moving your arms up and down in fountains to control the speed and direction. Doesn't sound great, because basically it isn't, specially when you already have perfectly good games to play on.
You can also have video conversations and calls with other xbox live members but they must have a gold membership to view and send their own (if they have the cam), or they can just watch, (with gold).
Another great feature that the visioncam can be used for is 'Gameface' technology. Despite only being in one game, this shows great potential for personalising characters. The only game supporting this so far is Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas. I don't own this game but I would say - aswell as many other people - that it's possible one of the greatest shooters on xbox 360 so far. In multiplayer you create your own characeter, when the camera is connected, you set up to take a photo, line up your face in good lighting in the box shown on screen, then take a photo, repeat it again from the side. After quite a long wait, that, providing it works, is worth it, a photo appears on your soldier that doesn't look identical, but looks quite good. Unfortunately, I don't think you can arm your character with various headgear, like scars, balaclavas and goggles but you unlock an achievement worth 20 or 30 gamerpoints which is a highish benefit if you have a low score like me :)
Despite a high asking price, with all the extras and potential included it is worth buying. However it's also worth waiting for to hope the price lowers and more games include the gameface technology.
Hope this review was helpful to anyone considering buying this item.