One of the reasons I was apprehensive is that the games looked too casual. I was afraid that it would be fun for about a week and then it would just sit there, just like the Wii. At some point a year back I had a chance to get a free Wii and after the initial week I knew I would never buy games for it. The main reason I even considered a Kinect is that with winter coming I knew my daily jogging would be reduced due to the cold weather. I needed some type of indoor activity to get my daily cardio. I hate gyms and treadmills so the Kinect seemed to be a perfect fit.
Space is definitely an issue when setting up the Kinect. If you are putting this in your bedroom with only a little space, do not even bother getting this. I recommend a good 6-10 feet of room in front of the Kinect and at least 10 feet wide. You could probably go a little less but not by much. Kinect is a social experience and is best played with at least two people so you want to make sure you have the room. It's like a having a pool table, you could play by yourself but it's a lot more fun with others.
After turning the XBOX on I went through about 10 minutes of a configuration wizard. In the Kinect world this means stand in different areas waving my arms around and turning. Once completed I was ready to go. For the moment, you cannot control the main XBOX UI. You can control a special Kinect menu which is a dumbed down version of the standard UI. You can still do some things like watch some videos, start Netflix, and start up a game. I'm sure at some point you will be able to control the entire menu. The Kinect also responds to voice commands. Say "XBOX KINECT" and the Kinect menu comes right up. This seemed to work fine but I prefer to use the gestures.
I was pleased with my purchase and I had not even put my game in yet. At this point everything was better than I expected.
You can also use the Kinect to control movies streamed on the Zune marketplace. Note this does not currently work on Netflix. You could use the Kinect to start Netflix but you can't pause, rewind or fast forward. While watching the Zune stream, I found pausing via gesturing is fun but rewinding was not. I found it difficult to get to a precise point in the movie. I also found that when I crossed my arms during the movie it registered my hands and went into the Kinect video screen. It was annoying but I just dealt with it. I should note that even with the Kinect plugged in you have to have wave your hands vigorously just to enable it so you won't have to worry about unplugging it when you don't want to use it.
The games out for the Kinect right now are very casual and fun for quick play. However I don't see this as a bad thing. The Kinect is not designed to replace your Halos, Call of Dutys, Mass Effects, etc. It was designed for short fun party games to played with friends or online. From a tech aspect it far exceeds my expectations.
The games are a little lacking but for what its worth I play Kinect Sports every other day for an hour or two. I usually play in my workout clothes and I finish in a sweat. I particularly like the Ping Pong, Boxing, Track and Field, and Soccer and I get the workout that I specifically bought the system for.
Please keep in mind, this review is based on the Kinect device, not the games. The tech is amazing and if game developers find a good way to utilize this peripheral then all gamers, both casual and hardcore, will be enjoying this for years to come.
Review is a segment about my opinion on things. I like things, and you like things too. Before you run off and buy something, you should check out my review. Chances are if I like it, it’s probably awesome.