Microsoft Kinect: The launch lineup

There are several new games available for the launch of the Xbox 360's Kinect camera peripheral. We tested them all, and tell you which ones are worth it.

There are about a half-dozen games available for the launch of the Xbox 360's Kinect camera peripheral. We tested them all to tell you which ones are worth it, and you can read our impressions in the gallery below, along with our full review of the Kinect hardware.

The Kinect camera peripheral for Microsoft's Xbox 360 is, in our hands-on experience, an impressive piece of hardware. But hardware alone doesn't make for a great product unless there's quality software to go along with it. The real challenge for the Kinect is to create a compelling user experience, not just a flashy technology demo.

At launch, there are about half a dozen games available for the Kinect, including Kinect Adventures, which comes boxed in with the hardware. If you're thinking of laying down $150 for a Kinect (or more, for the Kinect-plus-Xbox bundle), we've gone hands-on with the entire launch line-up, to give you our thoughts on which games are worth investing in.

Related:
>> Read the full review of the Xbox 360 Kinect
>> Does Kinect hate your small apartment?
>> The Kinect lunch game lineup tested

One big-picture observation is that this first round of Kinect software all works well, but lacks a unified sense of information design. Games from different developers use different visual language to show Kinect commands, and they all differ from the Xbox Kinect menus. Until there's a more universally used standard, users will find navigating game menus to be a hassle.

Check out our impressions of each game in the slideshow above , which is complimented by a video of our marathon Kinect gaming session, and then let us know which games you plan on picking up with the Kinect starting on November 4 in the comments section below.

Bonus video:
>> Dan demos Kinect with Reuters TV
>> Scott plays Kinect on NYC's WPIX-TV Morning News
>> Dan talks Kinect for ABC News Tech Bytes

Read the full CNET Review

Microsoft Xbox 360 S (4GB) with Kinect Bundle

The Bottom Line: Though the new Xbox 360 certainly addresses most of the concerns we've had with the versions before it, we don't think it warrants a purchase if you already own an Xbox 360 in working order with an HDMI-out port and a hard drive. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Microsoft Xbox 360 S (250GB) with Kinect Bundle

The Bottom Line: Though the new Xbox 360 certainly addresses most of the concerns we've had with the versions before it, we don't think it warrants a purchase if you already own an Xbox 360 in working order with an HDMI-out port and a hard drive. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Microsoft Kinect

The Bottom Line: With its impressive body tracking and unique, controller-free experience, Kinect is great for casual gaming parties and workouts--assuming you have enough room to play it. / Read full review

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired, Esquire.com, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.

 

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