Friday, November 05, 2010
So I had the opportunity to use Microsoft's new Kinect yesterday. Having a Wii, I had the opportunity to directly equate the two experiences. With the Wii, you have a unique controller waving in front of a bluetooth band sitting below or atop your television. With Kinect, you bring only your body to the game.
The Kinect device is eery! It is very accurate once it has locked onto who you are. It recognizes the shapes and sizes of individuals with very little effort. I was very impressed. More impressive is the responsiveness of the device. The obvious Wii imitator standard software that comes with the device is actually well worth owning. The games are pragmatic and really do well to simulate the actual body movements of the players. In addition, the ending photo snapshots and video snips can be sent to your facebook page or emailed to individuals. I was particularly impressed with the Volleyball game, which allowed you to Set, Pass and Spike the ball over the net as you would do in a real game of volleyball. With a two player game you can actually feel as though you are in the game itself. I think I may have lost 200 calories during one set!
The video response to movement is almost 1:1. Although I did not get the opportunity to try out the video conferencing feature, I can only imagine that this is also just as good.
What does Kinect feel like if you own a Wii? Well, it feels as though it is a Second Generation Wii, the device that Nintendo would have made next. It is really that good. My wife and kids enjoyed this device as well. We really see that the device has the potential to lead to other things, such as Yoga, video conferencing, real time tutorials with feedback. Throw in Netflix on the XBox and you soon get the idea that Microsoft is trying to lead the Living Room war.
Are there negatives? Well not really. Medically, there is always the question of not having tactile feedback to guide your extensions, but unlike the Wii, I actually feel immersed in the game itself on the Kinect, hence the visual aspects of the game tend to keep me from over extending on a spike and trying small, but varied tactile moves. Nevertheless, the entire family was extremely sore after playing.
As a disclaimer, the actual Kinect device used was from a friend at his house yesterday on the first day of its release. There is no question that I will be getting one as well. I really think that this is a great device. I do understand that Microsoft will be linking this with the new Windows Phone. Nice, but I'm attached to my iPhone. It may bode well for Windows Mobile. Like Microsoft or hate them, I really believe that this product will be a winner for Microsoft. Well done!