Microsoft Kinect

The Good Controller-free motion gaming; full-body motion sensor; solid game library at launch; voice control; games will have you very active; almost impossible to fool.

The Bad Timing-based learning curve; menu and video navigation is occasionally wonky and gets old fast; requires a lot of room to play; majority of games require standing; hard-core gamers may not feel satisfied; requires separate power supply when used with older Xbox 360 consoles.

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.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 7.0
7.0 Overall

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Review

Microsoft Kinect

With its emphasis on fun over graphics, the Nintendo Wii has been the surprise hit of the current generation of game consoles. It's taken a few years, but Sony and Microsoft have finally answered the motion-gaming call with the PlayStation Move and the Xbox Kinect (reviewed here). Whether your loyalties lie with motion gaming, it appears that for the time being the trend is here to stay.

Though it can broadly be called a "motion controller," Microsoft's Kinect is a different beast. Unlike both Sony's Move and Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus controllers--which detect motion as you wave them around in your hands--Kinect turns your entire body into the "controller," with the Kinect hardware--a motion detector/camera that you set up in front of or on top of your TV--converting your movements into gestures that the Xbox can understand.

Microsoft not only sees Kinect as a means to widen the general gaming audience, but a way to interact with the menu system of the Xbox 360. But that "Minority Report"-like future is going to cost you: the Kinect is priced at $150 (though that price includes the game Kinect Adventures). Is it worth it, and is it a must-have add-on for existing Xbox owners?

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