I just posted an article yesterday that was about the PlayStation Move, today I’m finally able to talk about Kinect so here is my chance to let you all know what I think. Ok, no more Move talk, lets jump right into the Xbox Kinect and I’ll let you all know what I thought about it from my experience as I’ve had it for a couple months now. And just like my previous article, I hope that this might help your decision making process and do myself and the rest of the staff here at Platform Nation. Leave us your thoughts on this article as well as any others, just something as simple as that really helps to motivate us to continue our work. (And if you enjoy our work, share it with a friend! There are Twitter, Facebook as well as a few other links on this page, feel free to use them.)
This thing is big, bigger then what I thought it would be like. The nice thing about this is that it’s just the one thing, nothing else. If you have a nonslim Xbox 360 then you will have an extra cable in the back of your equipment because you will also have to plug it into a powerstrip while with the slim version just a single cable has to plug into the back of the 360. The whole unit looks a little weird and odd, but it works and it does what it is suppose to do, just not while looking good.
I had a lot of issues with Kinect, especially when playing games with friends of different sizes. Whenever my daughter or dogs were around me the unit wouldn’t sense me right and you really need to make sure you have a big open space like what was being said about it earlier in the news. Without the required space you will have issues, I can confirm this. Kinect also features four separate microphones to help with voice control and even communication. Unfortunately I had nothing but issues with this, even after calibrating the unit. Time and time again the unit wouldn’t understand me, I have no accent to speak of, I was annoyed by this. I tried to use Kinect in my game chats as well but that was also nothing but issues, my friends could barely hear me unless I was yelling, but they were able to hear my daughter just fine. This was after I calibrated Kinect.
A big thing that Kinect was suppose to do was make you the controller, to take it out of your hands and actually put you into the game. After playing with Kinect I found out very quick that I like a controller and I like buttons. Buttons work a hundred percent of the time, every time, I wish I could say that about Kinect. Doing things on the dashboard took so much more work then picking up a controller and just going to what I want. Having to wave at the unit, move your hands in certain areas and holding your hands in place might sound awesome at first, all Minority Report style, it gets old very quick. After the third time of going through everything I just picked up the controller and when about my dashboard experience with that, the only time I’ll use Kinect in the dashboard will be to show it off to friends, but not to actually use it when I want to do anything.
A couple weeks ago Microsoft gave everyone in Oprah’s audience a Xbox Kinect, there was a reason for that, it is because that is their target market. As a person that has been playing video games for over twenty years now, I kind of know what I’m doing when it comes to playing them and I know what I like, unfortunately Kinect just doesn’t have it. Here are the games that Microsoft has listed at Xbox.com; Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures!, Kinectimals, Dance Central, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, Kinect Joy Ride, Zumba Fitness, The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout, EA SPORTS Active 2, DECA Sports Freedom, Fighters Uncaged, MotionSports, Sonic Free Riders, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Adrenalin Misfits, DanceMasters, Game Party In Motion. I’m sorry but as an older gamer, not an old gamer, most of those games just don’t interest me. Most of these are gimmicky type of games, not those that the majority of the people that read our site would actually be interested into. Yes, I’m sure that there will be a few of you out there that are looking forward to more then just Dance Central, but most likely, if you are a visitor of Platform Nation, then you’re not a casual type of gamer and you probably not to excited for these titles.
I did play with Kinect Sports, Kinect Joy Ride and Kinect Adventures! While Kinect Sports was a nice way to demonstrate the hardware, it got old and old fast. Kinect Adventures! was a series of minigame type of games and Joy Ride, ugh, Joy Ride was anything but joyful for me. Leaning side to side or forward and back lost it’s fun after about a single race, if that long, sorry but that is one game that I won’t be going back to.
I don’t feel that Microsoft is targeting their core group of gamers at all, they moved past us and they are trying to bring in those that are not playing. Is this bad? No, not at all, but this just isn’t for me. I’m sure soccer moms, grand parents and gaming families will have some fun with this, but for how long? The problem with gimmick games are that once the gimmick gets old, so does the game. I can see a lot of buyers remorse down the road with these titles as well as the hundred and fifty dollar unit. That’s a pretty large setback to get into Kinect and to experience the “next big thing” in gaming. So the question is, would I pick up Kinect if I didn’t already have it? No, I wouldn’t. I just don’t feel it’s worth the price nor that the games that will support Kinect will be the type of games that interest me. This doesn’t mean that Kinect is bad, it just means that it isn’t for me.