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Xbox Kinect - My Second Experience
try, try again
So, if you read my first hub on this topic (xbox kinect - my first experience), then you'll already know that my first experience was entirely frustrating. Personally, I had expected a lot more from the technology then it was prepared to give. I liken it to seeing the picture of a burger or other food item shown on a menu, that never comes to you in real life looking the way it did in the menu. It happens, I'm over it, and now that I've had a chance to get to know my kinect, things are going much better.
shorter distances would be better
I know from reading regular xbox articles and pr releases, that the teams at mircosoft strive to make the xbox available to everyone regardless of ability or income, and I feel that in order to make the kinect more widely available to xbox fans around the globe, it would be ultimately better if the kinect could see a person in a small distance than 6 to 10 feet. This would make the kinect available in homes with small living rooms or with smaller tv's, two issues that I can both claim.
In order to get my kinect to work, I had to squish the tv (with kinect on top) all the way on one side of the room, and put my couch all the way on the other so that I have 16 feet between myself and the tv. This still is really not enough, because you seem to need at least 6 feet of room to your left and right as well, meaning you need around a 12 x 12 foot space minimum to play, idealistically it should be at least a 20 x 20 foot space to play. Not everyone has that, and I know plenty of living rooms that are much smaller then my own.
Before we go further, I must say, that no matter what my original expectations were, the technology used to create the kinect is still very awesome, and being that it is pretty much still in it's infancy, it's amazing what they have been able to do.
That being said, I must say I am rather disappointed with how glitchy the system is, and I hope it is one of their first improvements. The kinect seems to have a hard time keeping up with what your hands and legs are doing when you are in the middle of a game, which can sometimes make it difficult to complete the game objective.
As an example. I might be trying to play a game of Rallyball in Kinect Adventures, and find that even though I put my hand up to hit a ball, the kinect didn't see it soon enough, and that cause lag, preventing me from hitting the ball. Another example would be the times when I am standing the correct distance away from the kinect, and yet it still cannot see me. I understand it's likely to happen occasionally, but when it happens just about every other time, it gets a bit weary. Having to go back to the kinect tuner, or walk in and out of the kinects vision all the time, just isn't something a player should have to do. I want to get right into the next game, not waste fifteen minutes trying to get the kinect to see me.
This feature is both cool and creepy. It's awesome that you can interact with games on a more personal level, while still a bit unnerving for the conspiracy theorist or sci-fi fan in all of us. With that being said, while it is cool tech, it still has some bugs to be worked out. Most of the time the kinect cannot recognize me in the games, even though the lights are bright in the living room and there is nothing obstructing the kinects view from my face.
So far, from the game and game demo's I've played, even with the bugs and glitches, the kinect is still very awesome and probably only a few steps away from true full immersion-AR games. I've had lots of fun, and found myself sweating buckets after even the simplest games.
In summary, the kinect designers still have a long way to go in the development and improvement of kinect-tech, though that doesn't discount all the awesome work they have done so far, and the little amount of time they have done it in.
I give the kinect 2.5 stars. I would have given it three or four, had I not had to rearrange my living room so dramatically, or had to deal with so many glitches. Though it definitely deserved more than a two star rating.
In conclusion, I am fascinated with the kinect, and look forward to writing more reviews as more games and kinect-tech come out.