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E3 2011: Nyko says it's solved Kinect floor space issue

Nyko's Zoom for Kinect requires 40 percent less space to play.

Sarah Tew/CNET

LOS ANGELES--One of our biggest gripes with Microsoft's controller-less motion system was the fact that it required quite of bit of real estate to function properly. A minimum of 6 feet from the camera seemed to be the sweet spot, but even at that distance we've experienced some nags with gameplay.

Small apartment living rooms like the ones we're used to in New York may now be able to accommodate Kinect with Nyko's Zoom for Kinect accessory. Thanks to a series of what we'd describe as an arrangement of wide-angle lenses, the $30 snap-on accessory sits over the standard Kinect array and drops the space prerequisite by 40 percent. That's a bold claim, so we had to try it out for ourselves.

As far as we could tell, the Nyko Zoom does deliver a true Kinect experience in a much smaller space. Our demo with Kinect Adventures proved successful, though standing closer to the screen during a Kinect session does have its inherent drawbacks. Just like in a movie theater, no one ever really wants to sit too close to the screen.

Sarah Tew/CNET

That said, Zoom for Kinect may just solve the space issues preventing some customers from taking the plunge. It's probably the only accessory Kinect will ever get, and that's music to a retailer's ears. It also might leave Microsoft wondering, "Why didn't we think of that?"

Zoom for Kinect will be available for $30 when it's available August 16.