Today sees the release of the Kinect, Microsoft’s XBox 360 motion sensing games controller.
The device tracks the players movements, which are then replicated by the on-screen avatar. The control system is similar to the Nintendo Wii and recent Playstation Move, but without the need for a physical controller.
We first saw the device at the E3 games show back in June. Find out what we thought in our Microsoft Kinect First Look review.
Games for the Kinect are played by moving the body to interact with objects on screen. Kinect Sports sees the player throwing virtual javelins, competing in hurdles by running and jumping on the spot, and deflecting volleyballs by punching the air. Kinect Adventures requires the player to maneuver their inflatable raft down an object filled river by leaning to steer, and jumping to negotiate ramps.
Keep fit games for the system, such as EA Sports Active 2 and The Biggest Loser Workout, scan the players body and take measurements before the workout, so that progress can be accurately recorded.
Hand signals and voice commands
As well as ditching the traditional games console controller, the Kinect is capable of other functions, allowing users to navigate menus by simply moving their hand. The device also enables the user to control the Xbox 360 by using voice commands, allowing the system to be turned off or on, or instructed to load a game with just a few words.
The Kinect’s built in camera features facial recognition software, and signs players into their profile automatically when they stand in the Kinect’s field of vision.
Check our video First Look review of the latest Xbox 360 250GB.
The UK will see 19 Kinect compatible games released this month, with most available from today. The focus of these titles is on pick up and play games, including Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports and Kinectimals, in which the player plays with a virtual tiger club.
Included in the line-up are numerous keep fit and dance titles, developed specifically with the motion sensor in mind. Games such as Dance Central and Dance Evolution tracks the players motions, and score the player depending on how accurately they have followed the on-screen choreography.
Pricing and compatibility
The Kinect device is priced at around £130, and comes with the Kinect Adventures game. There is also a bundle available which includes Kinect and the Xbox 360 console, for £250.
Kinect is compatible with all Xbox 360’s, although the newer 4GB and 250GB models have a dedicated port, reducing the need for the additional power supply required for older models.
What do you think of the Microsoft Kinect? Will it be on your Christmas list? Let us know your thoughts in the Which? Conversation.
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