Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Make an Ass of Yourself With Kinect !

I spent a significant amount of my day yesterday boiling over with child-like excitement. The thought of using the Kinect and playing Dance Central swirled through my brain. And the final verdict, my preemptive joy was totally justified. Here's the breakdown of what to expect from the device itself.

This thing has motion sensors, face recognition, and voice activation. All this means that it is
not a plug and play accessory. Expect to spend about an hour setting it up. Between rearranging your furniture and the endless calibrations, give yourself the time to get it all ready before you invite all your friends to play. Otherwise, your Kinect party is going to be at a pretty serious standstill.

Remember all that hype about needing to empty out your living room to play ? Its all true. We created a floor space of about 10-11 feet from the television and still ended up playing up against the back. There are a few tricks to remedy this. Supposedly, mounting the Kinect higher up with a slightly downward facing angle means that you can get closer to the screen. Look for lots of reliable (and surprisingly cheap) mounts and stands already available. But this system can still be problematic for extremely tall people and the kids in the family. Before you dump a couple hundred on this for your demanding two year old, check the height recommendations first.

There were rumors flying around about the Kinect being racist. Somehow, the camera couldn't tell if there was a Black person with especially dark skin playing. What people don't realize, is that lighting is important. If you have super dark skin and you stand in a dark room with no lights,
rise genius, its not going to work. If your friends can barely see you, why would a camera across the room ? But the same is true in reverse. If people with exceptionally pale skin stand with the windows open and the hot sunlight flooding the room, the camera won't be able to detect them either. Between the intense light and heat, you are going to be lost to the sensors. So if the lighting is well controlled, that NAACP boycott you were trying organize won't be necessary.

But after all of that, prepare for awesomeness. You can shift through menus using your hands or the voice activation. There is also Kinect chat, although this is less impressive. It operates basically the same way that the regular XBL chat works. And you can look for a review of Dance Central very, very soon. I won't start it here, just know that it was probably some of the most ridiculous fun I have had in awhile.

So the long and short is that you should definitely spend the money to get this accessory. Its crazy fun and worth the price. There is no possible way you could regret bouncing up and down like an epileptic and recording it.


Linz said...

Is that my demanding two-year-old you're referring to? Because she is actually three. ;-)

This makes me want to Kinect. It makes me want to Kinect realll bad.

Debbie said...

No, I have no idea if your child is demanding or not. But anyone who happens to a short, bossy child, should seriously think before they get one.

The controls and stuff arent perfect, but its the first generation so thats to be expected. But its some of the most unbridled fun I have had in a long time.