Kinect Sports for the Microsoft Xbox 360 with the Kinect Sensor

Kinect Sports - Microsoft's Answer to Wii Sports

Kinect Sports is a direct competitor to Nintendo's Wii Sports. Both use advanced motion sensing technology, but the difference is that Microsoft's Kinect Sensor is about 1000 times better than Wii's motion controller. The Kinect Sensor works by sending out infrared beams of light to track a million different points on your body. When you move, the length of that beam of invisible light between the sensor and your body changes, and the system translates that movement to your character on the TV screen.

Kinect Sports features several different sports games that are fun for everyone, from children to more serious gamers. Alright, most serious gamers are probably too out of shape for Kinect Sports, but the ones who actually take care of themselves and don't just eat Doritos in their mother's basement all day while playing video games will have no probably getting a handle on Kinect's "full body" controller system.

The sports included in the Kinect Sports package include bowling, volleyball, track and field, soccer, boxing, and table tennis. Those are more sports than are covered in Wii Sports, so Kinect Sports is kind of like a combination of Wii Sports and that Wii Sports Resort game they came out with later on.

Kinect Sports will only work with Xbox 360 with the Kinect Sensor. It is not compatible with just the standard Xbox 360. You do not need any controllers to play Kinect Sports. Your body is the controller. In this way, many people will have an advantage because their controller is better than others.

The great thing about not having to use a controller is you never have to worry about the controller coming loose from your hand and going through the brand new $2000 LCD television set. That happens more often than you'd think with the Wii. One major disappointment for me was that head to head boxing did not involve me punching my big brother in real life and having it reflected in my character on the screen. You just mimic the boxing motions, but you don't actually face each other and take giant right hooks at each other's heads. What a major bummer.

I thought soccer would be weird, because it's kind of hard to select players and have them run to the ball when you are the controller. It's actually executed quite well, with your player just appearing where you kicked the ball (assuming you had a player in that direction). You run in place and making a kicking motion to pass or shoot. It looks a little strange, but it's not hard to get used to it.

Overall, I would rate Kinect Sports as much better than Wii Sports or the Resorts games that came later on. A lot of people seemed disappointed that none of the major video game console makers are seriously developing any next generation systems at this point, as we had become used to a 5 year cycle for such things, but the Xbox 360 Kinect is the next generation console. It just happens to be an add-on to the current generation. This is absolutely the future of console gaming, and it's leaving the Wii Motion controller and PS3 Move in the dust. Along with basic sports games like Kinect Sports, there are also more serious games for people looking to get fit like Your Shape Fitness Evolved. Maybe this is how America finally gets back into shape.

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