Kinect is a brilliant piece of gaming technology

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By Juan Aguilar / Inscape Editor

By Juan Aguilar / Inscape Editor

It’s finally time to put the controller down and get “kinected.”

 

Get up off the couch, stand in front of the television screen and experience the coolest piece of gaming technology ever constructed.

 

Kinect by Microsoft is a small sensor that is capable of scanning an entire room including the people in it, creating a real-time kinetic interaction with such accuracy, it’s hard to believe.

 

The Kinect can be placed in front of most television screens and require about six to eight feet for playing space. The add-on device is connected via USB cord to the Xbox 360 and will automatically update the original Xbox interface.

 

Once it adjusts to the setting of the room, it will then activate its lenses to scan for any people in its vicinity. This opens up a small box on the bottom right corner of the screen where the player appears as a grayscale silhouette that accurately reflects the player’s every motion.

 

Simply wave to the Kinect and it will immediately transfer the player to a new interface with boxes for choices.

 

A white hand will appear on the screen and it reflects the hand movements of the player standing in front of the television. When one hand is hovering over a particular box, a circular meter will appear around the hand and fill itself up to take the player to a new screen.

 

The choices found in the Kinect menu are even intriguing to the non-gamer as one can choose to watch movies on-demand with Netflix, access Facebook or Twitter accounts, or even video chat in real-time with Video Kinect.

 

The device itself is perfect for an advanced and brand new way to navigate through several entertainment mediums, all with the precision of kinetics reflected onto the television screen.

 

The player can also choose to access different options with voice command. This proves to be just as responsive as the hand movements. The player can say something like, “Xbox” and then “Play Disc” and the Kinect will do just that. It’s not like having to speak to an old man, and it will definitely impress any spectators in the vicinity.

 

Aside from the cool and entertaining perks this system is equipped with, Kinect allows any individual to experience gaming unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.

 

The games are truly immersive and cannot be played from the comfort of a couch. With Kinect, it’s time to stand up and burn some calories.

 

Featured games such as “Kinect Adventures” require players to move through obstacles by jumping, ducking, and moving side to side. The responsiveness is nothing short of perfect and is a cause for a good workout from anyone willing to play.

 

Other games like Harmonix’s “Dance Central” and Ubisoft’s “Your Shape: Fitness Evolved” are the perfect example of the much evolved player to game interaction. All bodily movements are captured, even a scratch on the head.

 

But as perfect as the Kinect may seem, there are some flaws that are worth mentioning.

 

Pausing games isn’t quite so easy, in fact, it’s nearly frustrating. Some games can only be paused by hovering the left hand over the bottom left corner of the screen. This being easier said than done, it doesn’t work so well, especially if there is a shouting relative in the background requiring some assistance. Even if the player steps out of the camera view the game will keep rolling.

 

The amount of required space for the Kinect might also be an issue for most homes. With an average of six to eight feet for playing space, a home with minimal space won’t be the perfect setting for the Kinect. Even if there is enough space, someone in the house is likely to not appreciate any rearranging of furniture.

 

But don’t let those factors overcome everything the Kinect has to offer. It is by far the coolest technological achievement since “touch screen” and it’s only dipping its toes in the water.

 

Brilliant as it already is, the Kinect still has a lot of room for improvement and Microsoft will most definitely provide. Video game developers are already in the process of creating fascinating titles set for release next year.

 

When a chance to experience the Kinect comes around, it will be a privilege to take full advantage of that chance.

 

There is no doubt that anyone who gets a chance to play the Kinect will be blown away.

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