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[123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review


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[123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
11-05-2010, 07:23 AM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2010 08:21 PM by Clemens.)
Post: #1
[123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
Here's your first real review by a person that is not paid to review the kinect and it's games! Are you on the fence about purchasing kinect or switching from PS3/Wii to Xbox/Kinect? Look no further, I'm hoping my honest opinion can help you!

Technology
First off, the technology. The technology is amazing. I come from the Atari era so what they are doing with games now is just simply mind blowing. If you have played the Wii, this is not even comparable. The current games yes, but not the actual device itself. If you didn't know already, it has 2 camera's in it, along with a microphone. It is also motorized and tilts to calibrate itself to your "play area".

Play Area
Onto the play area, this is where people are mentioning that their apartments are too small or where ever the kinect is going to be. Seriously folks, unless your tv is in a 4x4 room, you will have no problem with it. My living room is 16 x 10 which is not very big, I have an older house so it's a box style room by room. This is probably the majority of older houses with people with space concerns.

Realistically, think to yourself what games you will want to play and how many people will be playing with you. The majority of the games do not ask for you to step into much space, the max if I recall was adventures that required me to have an area of about 6' wide by 4' tall. Now this is for single player, it's when you want another player added when space becomes a concern as it's not kinect that requires the extra room, it's your playstyle. The sports game had me going side to side a lot as well as adventures. Doing this with 2 people, you will bump into the other person unless there's a good spacing around you.

Placement
Now what baffles me that they don't put this in bold writing everywhere, is that you want the Kinect at eye level (more DO's and DONT's of the setup of Kinect). This gives you your maximum play area view that kinect sensor can detect. At first I had mine about 2' off the ground, in my entertainment center. The problem was I had to be about 8' ft back in order for kinect to see my feet. This is again where people are going to complain about the space, however, you just need to accessorize! Typical modern tv's are probably a little lower than eye level unless it's wall mounted, then more than likely it's higher, and they have a TV mount for kinect that goes on top of your TV as well as a wall mount, which will probably solve your solution. I don't recommend the floor mount, it just doesn't make sense, because kinect has to tilt upwards to get your whole body, the whole floor will probably not exist and this does have an effect with games.

Lighting
Onto the actual only problem I had with Kinect, the lighting. You basically need to create a stage lighting setup in order for it to be 100% accurate, which for those that don't know what that is, think of a couple of spotlights, at about a 45 degree angle, hanging from your ceiling pointing downwards and onto you. I had lights behind me, and kinect had issues on trying to figure out what I was doing when my arms/feet would merge with my body in front (such as crossing arms/legs). With proper lighting this isn't supposed to happen, but I don't know for sure yet if that's true until I fix my lighting scenario.

Kinect Box Contents
The device is packaged well, comes with everything you need, old style Xbox's need to use the USB and AC Plug that come with it, the new ones have it just plug into the extra port for it.

Setup
The setup was fairly simple. At first, if you have the new dashboard update, it requires you to update it again. After the xbox reboots, for whatever the kinect sensor doesn't turn back on automatically, so you have to manually power it off and back on, then the sensor turns back on.

Now, after you go into the kinect setup, it then recommends for you to calibrate it with you so it knows your play style. I found this portion quite annoying, as it has you do about 5 or so different poses with standing on different squares in different areas. If it has trouble calibrating, this can take awhile (I estimated mine to be about 5 minutes). What else I don't care for, is you have to run this calibration for each person you want to add to kinect, so this can end up being a time consuming process especially games that don't offer the kinect guest option, then you are pretty much required to add that person to kinect. But I do understand why this is setup like this, everyone plays Kinect games differently so it's just more of a nuisance than a problem.

Kinect's Pricing
Lastly, the price. The majority has a problem with the price, yes $150 for an accessory to the xbox seems steep, especially if you don't have an xbox, then your minimum for kinect is $300, but this is a next gen system. Sure you can get a "next gen" system for $200 called the Wii, but how next gen is it really? I have a Wii and I'm not bashing it as a handful of the games are quite fun, but let's be honest, 90% of the games are realistically for kids. The only thing it tracks is the remotes, and if you buy the extra Motion Plus adapter, then it tracks your wrist turning the remote, but that's it. The Move is not much better as of right now, basically it has Wii functionality with HD graphics, however it seems that it does not want to associate itself with kids (the gaming characters that represent you are older and mature looking) and once the developers start using the EyeToy for body tracking, then it can very well be a good contender for kinect.

Environment
The Wii have Mii's to represent your character. These characters remind me of the old bowling pin people. They have no arms, no legs, sometimes little balls for hands, in a majority of the games. Most casual gamers or people that didn't even know they were a gamer until they played a Wii, will most likely not care about graphics, or a realistic experience. My brother-in-law is a perfect example, he played our Wii when it first came out, loved bowling on it. He purchased one, him and his wife played for a little bit, but now the only time they use it is for parties. I suppose that is ok if you are ok with spending $200+ on something that's a party favor or those with disposable incomes?

The kinect also has a similar people system by using Avatars. No these are not like the movie SmileThe difference is your avatars are fully detailed, and customizable to the hilt, you can even purchase additional accessories for them. It's crazy to me because I don't go all out into character customization, but it is cool to play with your represented image of yourself in games. Where I think the Kinect suceeds where both Nintendo and Sony have failed, is that's the kinect combines both adult gamers with children games as well as adding a fun factor for casual gamers. Nintendo targets younger generation/casual gamers and Sony seems to be going for the "hardcore" gamers. Microsoft is right there in the middle.

Kinect's Price (Continued)
So anyway, now that I went into a ton of detail about the systems, back to the price. The way I look at it, is yes it comes with Adventures, it is a party game, however there is a little replay value from what I played (see my other reviews), and you may not want this game, but if the game was separate, that would probably be the same as the other games for $50. Kinect for $100 does sound more feasible...unfortunately, it's bundled and who knows, they may start selling it without kinect if they don't hit their 5 million units mark at the end of the year. But $100 or $250 (for full package) for full body motion tracking theoretically? To me, that price is worth it. You are getting the best of everything and the future of this thing, who knows how far they are going to take it.

Hopefully there's something that helps you in this super long review. I apologize for its lengthiness, however the money being spent you should know what you are getting and in details.

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11-05-2010, 03:47 PM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2010 07:44 PM by Clemens.)
Post: #2
RE: [123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
Great writing, awesome piece. Could you add some small headings (for readability). I will add some links to some other stuff on this website, where people can find additional info.

If you've done that I'll put it up on the frontpage Smile!

Check for Kinect's pricing and availability options here.

If you're still doubting whether or not to get Kinect, then read some more real experiences here

For user reviews of Kinect Games check here.

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The most complete Kinect Games List... ever!
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11-05-2010, 06:08 PM
Post: #3
RE: [123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
I just thought of a question. Does the retail version of Kinect have that cool "what Kinect "sees"" mode where you can see your 3D model (and models of other things in your room like chairs), your "skeleton" and your 3D model with video mapping?
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11-05-2010, 07:12 PM
Post: #4
RE: [123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
(11-05-2010 03:47 PM)Clemens Wrote:  Great writing, awesome piece. Could you add some small headings (for readability). I will add some links to some other stuff on this website, where people can find additional info.

If you've done that I'll put it up on the frontpage Smile!

All fixed!

(11-05-2010 06:08 PM)Corellianrogue Wrote:  I just thought of a question. Does the retail version of Kinect have that cool "what Kinect "sees"" mode where you can see your 3D model (and models of other things in your room like chairs), your "skeleton" and your 3D model with video mapping?

When you do the calibration it turns more into a night vision camera and displays everything in green. However, it puts into memory how your setup is layed out, as I have a sectional on the back wall/corner and it knows its there so it elimates it from the play area. It also marks your main body parts with a dot and connects them with a line, this would be your head, 2 hands and 2 feet. The only skeletal view I've experienced so far is with the fitness one...as it scans your body and shows your skeleton.

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11-05-2010, 07:20 PM
Post: #5
Heart RE: [123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
@TheZeeman, Changed it slightly (removed some brackets) and changed 'Pricing' to 'Kinect Pricing'... that's all. You're on the frontpage! Big Grin

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11-05-2010, 07:23 PM
Post: #6
RE: [123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
Sweet, thanks Clemens! Smile

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11-05-2010, 08:18 PM
Post: #7
RE: [123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
The minimum is $300 for a 4GB console with Kinect packed in.
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11-05-2010, 08:19 PM
Post: #8
RE: [123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
(11-05-2010 07:12 PM)TheZeeMan Wrote:  When you do the calibration it turns more into a night vision camera and displays everything in green. However, it puts into memory how your setup is layed out, as I have a sectional on the back wall/corner and it knows its there so it elimates it from the play area. It also marks your main body parts with a dot and connects them with a line, this would be your head, 2 hands and 2 feet. The only skeletal view I've experienced so far is with the fitness one...as it scans your body and shows your skeleton.

Oh, OK. This is the thing I meant by the way. (It's obviously a bit glitchy because they're totally messing about with it.)



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11-05-2010, 08:20 PM
Post: #9
RE: [123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
(11-05-2010 08:18 PM)70x7brandnew Wrote:  The minimum is $300 for a 4GB console with Kinect packed in.

Absolutely right Smile, the 4GB bundle. I'll change it right away.

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11-05-2010, 09:08 PM
Post: #10
RE: [123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
(11-05-2010 08:19 PM)Corellianrogue Wrote:  
(11-05-2010 07:12 PM)TheZeeMan Wrote:  When you do the calibration it turns more into a night vision camera and displays everything in green. However, it puts into memory how your setup is layed out, as I have a sectional on the back wall/corner and it knows its there so it elimates it from the play area. It also marks your main body parts with a dot and connects them with a line, this would be your head, 2 hands and 2 feet. The only skeletal view I've experienced so far is with the fitness one...as it scans your body and shows your skeleton.

Oh, OK. This is the thing I meant by the way. (It's obviously a bit glitchy because they're totally messing about with it.)

Ah ok - yeah it only has the lower right screen, in green though instead of purple, but it does show it to you to see how it's tracking.

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11-08-2010, 11:32 PM
Post: #11
RE: [123kinect.com] Kinect Sensor Review
Just to add to the review, this was the experiences from the kids, a 6 year old and 11 year old.

The 6 year old played Kinectimals for 6 hours straight and then passed out on the floor. If he had the stamina, I think he would of continued playing.

The 11 year old was sore from playing and the following day and his words exactly, "I never want to play the stupid kinect again." But a couple of days later, he feels fine now and wants to play it again.

I think it's awesome that lazy kids get mad at it Smile

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