Xbox 360 Kinect Review

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  • 1. Xbox 360 Kinect Review(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return;js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src ="//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1&appId=453336124685754";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "facebook-jssdk"));FacebookXbox 360 Kinect tech specsResolution:640x480 pixels @ 30 Hz (RGB camera)640x480 pixels @ 30 Hz (IR depth-finding camera)Xbox 360 KinectIn 2010, Microsoft introduced the video game masses to a familiar yet unrecognized motioncontrol video gaming experience called the Kinect (Project Natal as it was code named beforethe projected release date). As of January 2012, Microsoft has ship more than 18 million unitsof the Kinect. It has gone onto to be recognized as the "fastest selling consumer electronicsdevice" by the Guinness Book of World Records. Along with numerous awards and recognitionlike “Gadget of the Year” by T3 in 2011, you’ll understand why the Kinect has garnered such ahealthy fan base. (No pun intended). Nintendo had established the motion control genre withthe Wii and Playstation (PS3) followed suit with the Move. Very similar in concept, both the Wiiand PS3 utilized motion controllers and a sensor to interact with the game. With the advent ofvirtual reality and 3D motion control gaming, this thirst for a higher level of gaming started in the1990s to the mass market arcades. We as video game aficionados, looked forward to thefuture of home entertainment motion control video gaming but we had no idea what we were instore for. Games such as Sonic Blast Man (Taito, 1990), Mocap Boxing (Konami, 2001), andTop Skater (Sega, 1997) were such huge hits and introduced us to a primitive form of thismotion control sensing (with applied controllers) type of gaming and yet had so much replayvalue. Children and adults alike found themselves spending more quarters just due to thedifferent outcomes that could be achieved just based on ability alone. Fast forward 20 yearswith Microsoft taking a stronghold on the video game entertainment market, the Xbox Kinect ranout of the gates like a bat outta hell with one distinct change, no motion control sensorscontrollers.Technical Side of Things 1/4
  • 2. The basics of the Kinect provide motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition. Basically, you as the gamer can control certain functions of the Xbox and games with handmovements and voice commands. The Kinect utilizes a horizontal bar that houses an infraredlaser projector, camera, and includes a unique microchip that tracks the movements of theplayers on screen. The horizontal bar unit that houses the cameras and sensors move via amotorized pivot that tilts the Kinect up and down for a customized setup for young children andadults, depending on the size of the players. A monochrome CMOS sensor is paired with theinfrared laser projector that can capture video data in 3D in any ambient light condition. So it isquite intriguing that you can use this thing in the dark! Even during the Kinect setup it tells youto make it dark as possible in the room for an ideal set up. Imbedded within the housing is amulti-array microphone that can be used as a mic for Xbox live multiplayer games or as a videochat mic with Messenger. The Kinect can track two active gamers on screen for motionanalysis and you’ll be amazed at how technical the Kinect can analyze you all the way down toabout 20 joints on your body for precise movement. The facial recognition is amazing as it willallow you to log in by scanning your face and associating it with the correct gamertag. Imaginethis thing creating its own artificial intelligence (A.I.) and being able to track your movementsphysically and learning your online behavior and game style preferences especially if you haveyour system connected to the internet...HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey anyone? Three eyesand one very special light, quite creepy if you ask me.Tiny ComplaintsIve played multiple games where the Kinect is absolutely outstanding and probably ahead of itstime with regards to development. There are two negative aspects I have with the Kinect and itis probably not really with the system itself but with your area of play, the other is with themulti-array microphone. If your area of movement is smaller than recommended and you needto play close to the TV and the Kinect, you might have some issues of non-recognition. At times,the Kinect will not pick up the little details of your limbs and will get them confused with otherparts of your body, and in some cases does not pick them up at all. During multiple sessions ofEA Sports Active 2 and UFC Personal Trainer fitness games, I’ve experienced non-recognitionwith a few of my movements and exercises. For example, lying flat on the floor doing push-upsor sit-ups. The Kinect will not pick up my movements most likely due to myself being out of viewor that part of my body being out of view of the sensor and camera. This probably can berectified with having the minimum amount of room for the sensor and camera to pick you up. Third party companies have also made available extensions to the Kinect that will allow you tosnap on an external peripheral that can also fix this problem if you have a small area of play inyour house.Another disappointment of mine is being able to utilize the mic from the Kinect instead of usingthe headset. Now say you are playing an Xbox live multiplayer session of Call of Duty ModernWarfare 3 and you decide to forgo the headset, the mic will pick up everything it hears and willfeed that into the game. I’ve experience this on countless sessions and have decided to justturn the mic off before playing and just use the headset. If you are like me, you have a home 2/4
  • 3. theater set up and you love to hear the explosions go boom with serious volume and bass. Thisdoes not translate well as the other players will hear the feedback echo into their speakers andwill most likely complain. Needless to say, all the actions like running, jumping, side to sidemotion, and subtle movements of your arms and legs are all picked up with insane detail as yousee your avatar on screen move just as you do in real life!Ins and Outs "...I love the fact that Microsoft is supporting the Kinect 100%..."I love the fact that Microsoft is supporting the Kinect 100% and they periodically keep pushingout enhancements and improvements dealing with all things Kinect. The Kinect has animproved user interface and voice recognition when the last big update back in December 2011occurred and taking into effect having a significant improvement with the motion control throughvarious entertainment apps and voice recognition. Being able to control Xbox throughout thehome screens and through apps makes life so much easier. I’ve had moments where I did nothave my controller readily available but I was able to navigate to Netflix and browse through themovies and my favorite section, the documentaries, to see what was new. I mainly find thevoice recognition the most useful but very inconsistent at times. It has to be a fairly quiet roomwith little to no sound interfering to have Xbox listen to you correctly to perform the statedfunction. Now only if you could only turn your Xbox on and off with voice control that wouldeven be better. Did you know that Kinect is a type of wordplay or also called a portmanteau ofthe words kinetic and connect? We are always dropping knowledge at any given moment to ourTechpaw readers!Last But Not LeastAll in all, the Kinect is a solid product and a very amazing add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360.With games like Mass Effect 3 and Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor utilizing the voice recognitionwith controller game play, it further evolves playing videos games. When you need to moveyour squad or when you need to activate certain items there is no need to be mashing buttonsor going to a menu select to choose certain functions. The commands all are done on the fly, inreal time while the game is progressing. Certain games that allow you move constantly is greatfor small workouts and children. On those rainy days where they can’t make it out to the park oroutside to play in the backyard, the Kinect is a healthy alternative and stimulates them. Thereare so many other uses for the Kinect with all the apps that are included within the Kinect menuyou don’t necessarily need to be jogging in place all the time to make use of this peripheral. Ihighly recommend checking out the Kinect Fun Labs for some interesting activities for you andthe kids. I predict the Kinect will be around for quite some time and will evolve with the futureiterations of the Xbox. I predict we will also see the types of games that are made focus moreon versatility having the ability to use the Kinect’s features in every type of game and not justfeature the type of motion control we have seen so far from the past. Things are looking goodand getting better and better each year for the Kinect and Xbox. 3/4
  • 4. Author: Robert Myerswww.TechPaw.com Xbox 360 Kinect Review 4/4Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org)