Even though we’re approaching the end of the era of the seventh-gen console, there is suddenly a new concept on the market which has renewed manufacturers’ interest in their consoles. Motion sensing has currently captured the focal attention of console makers, and gamers alike and Microsoft has come up with an ambitious motion-sensing system for its Xbox 360. Microsoft Kinect’s most significant selling point is that it doesn’t incorporate any form of buttons and relies solely on detecting bodily movements. It was released in November and is now available in a starter pack for $149.99.
The Microsoft Kinect (pronounced ‘Kuh-next’) was initially introduced as ‘Project Natal’ back in 2009. Since then, Microsoft has worked hard at improving the motion-sensing range and overall quality of the product. It weighs in at 3.1 pounds and features a couple of sensors along with a VGA camera. It is also equipped with a multi-array microphone. This results in it being able to accurately figure out complex human body movements as well as spoken commands. The VGA camera is also excellent for video chat, and the feature is excellently incorporated due to its ease of use.
The Kinect connects to the Xbox through a dedicated port found on the new series but uses USB to connect to earlier models while getting power through an AC adapter. The component which gives the Kinect its ‘magic’ is the software – a custom-made Microsoft piece of code which translates input from the sensors and the camera to tell Xbox where you are standing and what you are doing. Although there is no theoretical limit to the number of players supported by the Kinect, most current games support only up to two players at a time.
But while the Kinect has a great interface (because there’s no interface at all!), the competition is not that far behind. Nintendo has its bestselling Wii gaming console which is entirely based upon the concept of motion-controlled gaming, while Sony has also released PlayStation Move for the PS3 in an attempt to take on both Microsoft and Nintendo. Even though the Wii suffers from having dated graphics as compared to both the HD experiences of the Xbox and the PS3 or if you want to experience outstanding sound quality while gaming you can check some best earbuds for gaming, it has a well-developed catalog of games which are entirely oriented towards motion-sensing. The PlayStation Move is late to the game but has a better sensor than the Wii and has an advantage over the Xbox due to having a certain degree of actual physical control.
The best accessories that can be purchased to complement the Kinect are, of course, video games that support it. Microsoft has released a wide array of custom-made games specifically designed for the Kinect. Kinect Adventures is a well-loved title included with the starter pack while you can get an excellent choreography game called Dance Central for $39. Kinect Sports is another excellent offering from Microsoft, which offers a variety of sports at $44.49. Kinectimals is a pet simulator available for $45.