Every Christmas it seems a must-have toy or gadget splits people into the haves and have-nots. Only this year things are slightly different. Little Johnny might be overjoyed to find Santa has left a shiny new Xbox 360 Kinect under the tree, but imagine his heartache when he realises his living room isn't large enough for his …
Pretty much our experience also - the kids love it. Most impressive thing to come out of MS in a long time.
Those example depth images
look strange to me. Why is there a first-order discontinuity where the walls meet at the corner of the room? (Maybe it's some kind of depth-plus-gradient map rather than a depth map?)
...but no game changer. I think that this is probably the best wave-your-arms-around-to-control-stuff device so far, but it was the Wii control system that really brought this to the masses.
I think the room size flaw will be particularly hard to swallow, as people have no got used to Wii-ing in our pokey british front rooms without a problem - surely this just requires adjustable optics? Something for version 2 I guess...
Would I buy one? No, but it's got nothing to do with the tech - I just still have a problem with looking like a prat through my living room window.
"grand sitting rooms of America, but a distinct one in more modestly sized European and Japanese..."
Why are you using Europe as a reference point rather than Britain? I mean, you may as well include Russia, China, Argentina et al. Difference being? Europe is not a country even though the media talk about it like it is. Use it, then you must use North America.
For me, it's the mix of motion- and voice-controlled gameplay.
A few weeks back a friend from M$ gave a small group of us gamer-geek friends a demo on a prototype. The ability of the controller to "see" and recognise players is simply amazing, it even worked if you did things like walk out of the zone, took off a baggy coat, and then walked back into the zone - instant recognition, no problem in picking up your motion points at the elbows. And I admit, whilst the stuff we could do then was limited, the demos were very interesting in the possibilities they immediately presented, especialy when we looked at the voice control - who needs buttons on a controller when you can say what you want? The scenario we discussed was something along the lines of a first-person Iron Man game, where the Tony Stark character makes most of his commands to his armour by voice, and the rest is manual movements. Whilst the current offering does have some lag, it's great fun, as much fun as the Wii introduced, and without the chance of flinging the Wii controller across the room.
Thanks for the review
I am a PS3 fanboy and we also have a Wii for the kids, but don't have an Xbox.
I enjoyed reading the review and it has made me think about getting an Xbox / Kinect, despite previously being adamant that this technology is a rehash of the old Eye-Toy controller.
Why? Because the idea of interacting with technology, without buttons and controllers is exciting especially if, as Spiracle says, this might turn out to be a primary domestic computing interface.
I doubt that I will get the first incarnation (I've worked with MS products for too long to fall into that trap) but I can certainly see the potential for this device, and I think that is why the reviewer puts such a high mark on the product.
Hopefully we'll see some future software that really showcases what the Kinect can do and provides a compelling argument for purchasing the equipment, even if it means I have to rearrange the furniture.
I must admint, i do like the idea of this, but see lots of the limitations... but everything has its drawbacks!
I had a quick look yesterday when collecting COD, the size of the sensor bar was surprising! its huge! and the chap behind the counter was all too keen to give me a demonstration, well, he would have, if I had enough time to wait for it!!
the shop wasnt big enough for him to use the device with one other staff member working in the same space, when he did have enough space the thing kept loosing track of him... after almost 5 minutes he had managed to get from the title screen of the sports game into the first practice of football, I then had to leave as the parkies were getting close to my car...
It was impressive to se him kick an imaginary ball, there is no doubt about that, but it took him an age to do!
Does it cope with twins?
The most important thing on a games system...
..is the games. The wii had wii sports. Doesn't look like there's anything in the kinect launch line up that's going to shift units like wii sports did.
Hooked it up last night. Kids couldn't stop playing it. I have officially lost that tv and will be buying a new one for the basement and moving my PS3 so that I can eventually play games again. Glad I bought it before Christmas though I think these will be really difficult to find after Black Friday. Good luck...would NOT recommend for a kid under 6 yrs though.
Confused by your score
You score Kinect 90%, the same as Move was scored back in September. The Move review was glowing and positive throughout, and yet the tone of this review is markedly different including this phrase in the concluding paragraphs;
"But there's no ignoring Kinect's severe limitation. "
You talked of lag in control and other aspects that were not good about Kinect, and yet it rates a 90%? Sorry, maybe I'm just confused, but that score seems a bit generous for a product about which you use the phrase "But there's no ignoring Kinect's severe limitation. "
Could it be a small amount iof inherent bias? Advertiser pressure? Really, I think we need to know because I've never seen a review that marks something 9/10 and yet is critical of it to the point of talking about a "severe limitation" within the product.
>Could it be a small amount iof inherent bias? Advertiser pressure?
Its better than Move which is a rehash of Wii/emitter technology, Kinect is pushing well beyond this. End of story. If your living room has insufficient space for two kids to break dance, its hardly MS's fault.
As to pro-MS bias from El Reg, I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion. Most of MS's tired offerings of late have lacked the genuine innovation here and are roundly criticised - major fails like Kin, Vista and their ilk get appropriately slaughtered and I can't remember the last time anything Ballmer said was treated without well-deserved contempt.
you have never used PS3 Move. If you had you will in no way think " is a rehash of Wii"..
a) the games are so much better
b) It's so much more responsive
c) it's so much more accurate
d) it's a slightly different demographic
e) it's based on totally different tech
f) it's a different colour
do you consider sausages the same as WiiMote as they are the same shape?
I think we will have to wait
I dosen't matter how good the hardware is, its the games that make the console. At the moment there are just a few games out for this thing and obviously I wouldnt judge the system based on those alone as they are early simple games (probably), essentially a step up from tech-demos. Once more games (or not) get released for the thing, then I think we will be in postition to actually judge how well the Kinect is fairing against the Move and Wii.
It seems pointless reviewing the Move and Kinect right now - all there is to say about both of them is "they work, there's a few shit games, one good game and playing makes you look silly like the wii did four years ago".
I think we will have to wait until after next Christmas's shopping season to find out for sure if this thing is going down well with consumers and if the games are good. Jurys still out for me!
One thing that would have been helpful
...is an analysis of the games it launched with. Not asking for an in-depth review of each but knowing how well game developers are coping with the new input system would give readers a better idea of how well the Kinect works.
Re: One thing that would have been helpful
If you have a wii
...and you feel event the SLIGHTEST bit constrained on space while 2 or more people are playing, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON KINECT. You need as much as TWICE the playing area to play safely. For PS Move, you need roughly the same space, with limited exception for some games (Move requires more straightforward motions, mostly in front of the body, vs. the flailing, waving, kicking, and side-side movements of Kinect, not to mention the balance issues and needing plenty of room to fall down in...).
Pointless as most houses in the UK are too small
not enough room to swing a cat in, let alone use this new device...