Home > Gaming, Videos (Gaming) > Gaming: Kinect – Vindication

Gaming: Kinect – Vindication


Wikipedia fact: "2.5 million units of the Kinect sensor have been sold as of November 29, 2010, of which 1 million were sold within 10 days of its North American launch."

A couple of months ago I posted in response to a Microsoft video about setting up Kinect in optimal conditions, going through each condition and feeling that I came up rather short of optimal (and nothing like the cavernous spaces Microsoft shows in its commercials). It left me feeling that it just wasn’t worth me trying the camera while my game space remains where it is, despite actually being somebody who thinks it has real potential (even if the launch line-up doesn’t appeal to me).

Eurogamer recently put up a video of their own as part of their Eurogamer Asks series, visiting the homes of some of its staff to see just how well Kinect works in real world conditions. The results have left me feeling I made the right decision in skipping Kinect for now. You should watch the video but I’ll include a summary of it all below:

  • First up was Oli Welsh’s home, which worked okay even with two players but was a little cramped, with windows and a hanging light being a little too close. They were right on the edge of the optimal space as well and Oli couldn’t get Kinect’s automatic sign-in to work because the calibration required more space than they had available.
  • At 5:00 they went to Ellie Gibson’s where it worked well enough (though Ellie couldn’t get the voice commands to function), having adequate space for two players but encountering the biggest non-space issue Kinect has, something neither Microsoft or players can do much about (you can go straight to 6:30 to see it, it’s quite funny).
  • At 7:50 they try out Tom Bramwell’s home and his space is most like mine, being pretty narrow and with little floor space between the TV and sofa. It goes terribly, repeatedly warning them about needing more space, dropping the second player or outright failing to detect anybody at all. This was the one that reinforced my decision not to give Kinect a try at all in this space as it clearly wouldn’t work, at least while I still have the same sofa (and I’m not in any rush to buy a new one for Kinect).
  • At 10:35 they try out Johnny Minkley’s home and it’s the first one that really works close to ideal, with enough space for them to walk around the entire recommended play area, fit two players comfortably and easily calibrate Kinect ID.

The video ends with two Microsoft reps (including Kinect supremo Kudo Tsunoda) carefully trying to address the issues EG had without actually saying anything negative about Kinect or recommending people don’t buy it. I’m actually quite surprised that there haven’t been many problems reported with Kinect and lack of space as I thought it would be a much bigger issue than it seems to have been so far, and for me at least it has made Kinect something to avoid (for now).

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