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Kinect for Xbox 360 -- how much space do you need?

We're having a great time pratting about with the brand-new Kinect motion controller for Xbox 360. But it demands plenty of space to play -- check out our photos to see if it'll fit in your front room.

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Luke Westaway
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Since Kinect landed on our desks, we've been leaping up and down, doing star jumps and flailing our arms around like crazy people. Oh, and we've played lots of Kinect too. We think the Xbox 360's controller-free motion-gaming peripheral is the best thing since sliced bread, but one concern we expressed in our review was that it's very demanding in terms of space. So we decided to take some photos to show just how far Kinect liked you to stand from the sensor.

Our lucky chums at GameSpot UK have the best spot in the office, the fabled Games Room of Happiness. So we chloroformed them and stole the keys, so we could set up Kinect in something approximately like a living room.

Setting up is impressively simple. If you own an Xbox 360 Slim, you need only plug in the Kinect sensor bar via the proprietary cable that sticks out the back of the bar itself. If you own an older 360, you'll need to plug Kinect into a power supply, and into the console via USB. All the different cable options are provided though, so don't panic.

The instruction manual asks you to stand 6 feet away from the sensor for single-player gaming, and 8 feet for two-player. Bearing in mind that for the latter you'll also need room for two people to stand side by side and wave their arms around, and you're looking at a substantial space requirement.

We found once we started gaming, Kinect was pretty lenient, letting us move a few feet closer to the sensor before telling us off or losing track of our position. Several games we tested, however, made it tricky to get to the actual gaming bit of the game before we'd proved how much space we had.

Still, click through those photos and see for yourself what kind of space requirement Kinect Adventures (which comes bundled with the sensor bar itself) asked of us, and let us know what you reckon in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

Check out our full Kinect review here

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Here's the Kinect sensor bar sitting under the telly.
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Kinect hooks up to the 360 Slim via this proprietary cable. Cabling and a power supply for older Xboxes is included in the box.
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Plug that bad boy in.
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The sensor bar uses three separate cameras to create a 3D image of your living room.
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The 360 dashboard now gives you this monochrome window showing what Kinect sees. Glowing white points identify your hands.
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Here's the room we're setting up in. We estimate it's a little smaller than the average living room, but not by much.
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We're playing Kinect Adventures, and it requests 6-10 feet of distance between the sensor and you. The Kinect instruction manual asks for 6 feet for one-player games and 8 feet for two-player.
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The sofa is moved back in anticipation.
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We're stood this far back from Kinect. It can see where we are, but what does it think of our placement?
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Hmm. This particular game won't let us play two-player until we can prove we have more space. Not every game forces your hand this way, but still, we're going to need more room.
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The sofa is removed entirely and we're stood as far back as possible.
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There you have it. Flick back to that last image, and that's how much space the game requires. Other titles seem to make similar demands.

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