Kinect for Xbox 360
Kinect review: We put the Xbox 360's new motion controller through its paces -- is Kinect worth it?
- Innovative and beginner-friendly control scheme, suitable for all ages, good range of fitness titles
- Some games suffer from lag issues, setting up can be a chore
Kinect for Xbox 360 still has a lot to prove. The games we have seen so far are quite limited in scope (most are variations on the party and fitness genres). That said, the potential is there for more exciting and innovative titles in the future.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Kinect for Xbox 360 has finally landed on store shelves across the country. For those who have been living under a rock for the past few months, Kinect for Xbox 360 is a full-body motion control system that mimics your movement in-game. It essentially turns you into the controller, with every hand and limb gesture replicated onscreen. (This sets it apart from the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation Move, which both require handheld controllers.)
As the fresh-faced recruit in the impending motion-controller war, Kinect has a lot riding on its shoulders. In addition to being flanked by two worthy adversaries from Sony and Nintendo, it must also placate the console's core base of 'hardcore' gamers. Kid-friendly Kinect games like Kinect Adventures and Kinectinals are a far cry from the gritty likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops or Gears of War.
We put Kinect for Xbox 360 through its paces — along with our pulse rates — during a week-long assessment in our Test Centre. Read on to discover our verdict.
Kinect for Xbox 360 is a motion-sensing camera with advanced high-resolution tracking. The hardware continuously projects an infrared 3D box in your living room, and tracks changes within this area. In gaming terms, it works by mapping your body parts in-game (it can also respond to voice commands).
The Kinect sensor plugs into the Xbox 360 via one of its USB ports. It will work with all versions of the Xbox 360 console.
Kinect motion sensor peripheral
Microsoft is touting its new control scheme as 'full body play', with the player's arms, legs, feet and hands all being utilised in-game. As you can imagine, this leads to some very energetic gaming sessions: some games require you to jump, duck and run on the spot.
Kinect can also be used for non-gaming tasks. For instance, you can flip through the Xbox 360's menus or rewind a video clip simply by waving your arm. (It makes you feel like Tom Cruise in the movie Minority Report — very cool indeed.) The sensor can also recognise facial features and log users into Xbox Live just by looking at their face.
But first and foremost, Kinect for Xbox 360 is a games device aimed at casual gamers (that is to say families, fitness enthusiasts and people who don't normally play video games).
Kinect games can be quite energetic
Setting up Kinect for Xbox 360 is quite simple; at least in theory. The sensor plugs into your Xbox 360 console and resides either above or below your TV. However, we found that some recent flat-screen televisions are too narrow to support the sensor's base. (There are no clamps or suction cups to secure the device.) Consequently, some users will be forced to position the sensor below their televisions, which may not be ideal with young children or pets wandering around.
Kinect calibration card
The next step is to calibrate the sensor — a task that's easier said than done. While it's not rocket science, the process does take some getting used to. We imagine younger players may struggle to get the device up and running without their parents' help. In other words, the Kinect should not be viewed as a baby-sitting device.
Creating a large enough space is also an issue, especially for two-player games. Indeed, when playing Kinect Adventures, we were forced to lug our television to the back of the Test Centre to make an appropriate space. (Microsoft recommends that players stand around six feet away from the sensor.)
Kinect for Xbox 360 requires a large play area
Plenty of space is also required between each player; otherwise you're likely to get smacked in the face. (Check out this painful video for proof.) Naturally, the Kinect sensor requires an unbroken view of your entire body, so you'll need to move any furniture that's between you and the TV. This is bound to get frustrating if you have a coffee table smack-bang in the middle of your lounge room — it means you're going to have to shift it every time you want to play.
So to summarise, Kinect for Xbox 360 requires a pretty spacious lounge room — especially in multiplayer — and may need a parent's supervision to set up.
Microsoft has gone for a 'casual' strategy for its Kinect launch line-up, with an emphasis on simplistic games that can be enjoyed by the whole family. This decision has surprised many Xbox 360 owners, who were expecting a more 'hardcore' focus. (After all, this is the console that introduced us to the 'curb stomp' and chainsaw machinegun.)
By contrast, Kinect games are, to quote Microsoft, "for everyone".
Some of the Kinect games currently available include Kinect Sports (bowling, boxing, ping pong, etc.), Kinect Adventures (a collection of athletic mini-games), Kinect Joy Ride (a stunt-oriented racing game) and Kinectinals (a Nintendogs-style virtual pet game).
Kinect for Xbox 360 currently supports a maximum of two players at the same time. By contrast, the PlayStation Move and Nintendo Wii support up to four players simultaneously. We think this is a tad disappointing, especially considering the device's firm emphasis on party games. Mind you, given the Kinect's huge space demands, you’d probably have play in a warehouse to fit four players onscreen (we exaggerate for effect).
Join the newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
ESET Smart Security Premium
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Internet Security
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 3 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 4 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- 5 Huawei Nova 3i review: All Sell, No Soul
Latest News Articles
- Resident Evil 2 Hands On Preview
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards Nominees Announced
- Support for AUD finally comes to Steam (with a catch)
- Intel Extreme Masters Sydney returns for the third consecutive year in 2019
- Inaugural Australian Games Awards to be held on December 19
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?