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Ask the Experts
Xbox One and PS4: Motion and sound controlAre you ready to use your voice to control the new generation of consoles? They might not listen to you. Jeff and Peter breakdown how well the Kinect and PS4 cameras track your movement, voice, and more.
-Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Ask the Experts, where myself, Jeff Bakalar from CNET, Peter Brown from GameSpot, he'll talk eventually just not right now, we answer your next generation console questions. Today, Peter, all right, answer me this: Ben wants to know all about Kinect. And will it work with the voice commands in a noisy or crowded room. So, you-- I'm sure you've had a noisy room where your Kinect lies. Does it work? -Can I talk now? -Now talk. -Oh, now-- okay. Yeah, we've done a lot of testing around the office, actually, where we have a lot of editors talking to each other-- -Sure. -talking to their Kinects and it's not that reliable when there's other chatter going on. -Right. -I mean, you have a hard enough time just in a quiet room, I mean, the Kinect is still really picky. If you have other people making any kind of noise-- -Yeah. -it's totally gonna disrupt the, you know, the signal that it's looking for from your voice - that little waveform, you know, that audio makes. -Right. Talking to Kinect is like talking to a, like, a senior citizen-- -Yeah. -or like maybe, a grandmother, like I have a 92-year-old grandmother-- -Like a real old person. -she makes eye contact with me. And it's like, you know, we connect on a certain level, but it's just in one ear and out the other. And I feel like that's what kinda what happens with Kinect. It hears you, doesn't always understand you-- -Yeah. -and that's super frustrating. When I had my Xbox during the review process, out of the first 100 times I tried to get Xbox to turn on with just the phrase "Xbox on"-- -Yeah. -after 100 tries, it only works 68 times on the first try. -Interesting. -Which-- -That's not very good. -That's like a D plus. -You know, both PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One will play games, but Microsoft's big selling point for that extra $100 is this notion of, you know, it's gonna change entertainment, it's gonna change the way you interact with things, and when it doesn't work, it's certainly disappointing. -And I'm kinda sick of people giving it a pass. People saying, "You know, it doesn't really work, but when it does-- -Yeah- -it's like it's from the future." -That is true, but that's-- -Where else-- -right. -would that be okay? -That would not be okay. -Not really. -Yeah. -This car is awesome-- -Yeah. -when it starts. So that sort of success rate, in my opinion, is really not acceptable. -Yeah. -Surprisingly enough, the PS4 voice recognition stuff might even work a little better. -I found that it did. -Yeah. -Yeah. There are fewer commands, by far. I think there are three dozen commands for the Xbox One. -There's a lot. -For PlayStation 4, there are maybe one dozen. And I find that I'm able to speak to it in a really natural tone and pace-- -Sure. -and it responds every time. It's pretty simple. It's, say, you know, like "go home" or "load this game". -Right. There seems to be a lot of, you know, sort of code that you have to play with when you're-- when you're talking to Xbox. -Oh yeah, yeah. -The PlayStation, it seems a little more seamless and intuitive and to me, that's what I want. That's the experience I want when I'm talking to a game console. -Yeah. There's certainly a lot to cover on both the Kinect and the PlayStation camera-- -Right. -both have their ups and downs-- -Sure. -you know, the pros and cons. But one really important thing to consider is how much space you have in your room. And Jesse, a GameSpot reader wants to know, how much we do need for these cameras to work. -Right. So that's a great question because I don't know how it is here in San Francisco, but in New York you have-- you have really no-- your kitchen is in-- -Oh. -your living room. -Oh, it's no better. My bathroom's in my living room. -Oh, that's cool. That's-- -Yeah. -convenient. Yeah-- -Or gross. -and gross, right? So check it out. I have about five feet from my Kinect, and that's kind of for me, I think, the sweet spot. I've gotten it to work real close up, just-- I've been messing around with it-- -Yeah. -and see how close it would actually work. They both have super wide-angle lenses. -Right. -And there's no mechanical movement within those devices, so they do a really good job at sort of zooming in from that frame that they are looking at. -Sure. -So even if you're, sort of, all the way to one side of it, both of them will sort of seek you out and-- -Right. -either zoom in or do what they have to do. But I think-- -It's also in Skype on the Xbox One-- -Sure. -it's one of the bigger features. -Yeah, yeah. -It actually, it tracks people around the room, you know, resize the frame to fit whoever is there. -Right. -The PlayStation camera doesn't have that many applications out for it yet. -Right. -There's PlayRoom, and then there's the Twitch Streaming, but that's basically it. -Right. You're really not getting, I mean-- and then there's like the DVR stuff, which will, you know, you can do like the commentary stuff for. -But that's only for Xbox One-- -Right. -not the PlayStation 4. -Right. -So Jeff, what do you think? Is voice recognition and face recognition, is that the future of entertainment in the living room? -No. It totally sucks, man. I hate it. It really does suck. It doesn't work well enough, and-- -Yeah, and when it does, it's good-- -Don't be that guy. Don't be that guy. It doesn't work well enough to make it the exclusive way to control all of your stuff. Until that day comes, I'd stay away from it. Right? -Fair enough, yeah. -Okay. Well, that's gonna do it for us on this episode of Ask the Experts. Thanks to everyone who sent in those questions. They were totally kickass and we love you for it. Until next time, I'm Jeff Bakalar-- -I'm Peter Brown. -that's gonna do it for this episode. We'll see you guys very soon. Thanks for watching.