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Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 review

You become the Xbox 360 controller with Microsoft's motion peripheral

kinect

Kinect has had a bit of a rocky ride up to now. There's been plenty of criticism - including from us at TechRadar - but you know what? We think Kinect is actually pretty good.

The problem is that the people who'll be most interested in Kinect from the off are the hardcore gamers who've had their 360s for ages. They've got a mountain of games, and they're looking for something new.

But Kinect is not necessarily for that type of gamer. Sure, there are plenty of Kinect games aimed at that hardcore audience, but we think Kinect is a product designed to bring the Xbox 360 to a wider audience.

Kinect turns the Xbox 360 from a console predominantly aimed at young men, to a family machine with infinite possibilities.

Games such as Kinectimals are a prime example. That game is not aimed at anyone other than young children, and for them it's fantastic. Equally, there's going to be a raft of new Kinect titles coming out to cater for other untapped demographics.

We liked:

Voice control works nicely, and we never had a problem with games or apps misunderstanding what we were saying.

We also love the way Kinect is opening up the 360 into a much more well-rounded console. Microsoft is going to sell a lot of consoles to a wider range of people off the back of Kinect, and so if it gets more people involved, that's a good thing in our book.

We didn't like:

We don't like having to hold our arms in the air in order to select from the Kinect menus. It's annoying and we much preferred the point-and-swipe method employed by some of the games.

Space is also a major negative - there'll be plenty of budding Kinect gamers out there who won't be able to join in due to not having enough space in their living rooms. We suspect this will be more of a problem for European gamers than North American ones.

Lag is also an issue, and while you can get used to it, Kinect doesn't quite feel like the finished article while these delays exist. It's also a bit more expensive than we'd like, but it's hard to criticise this simply because Kinect is such a unique product.

Verdict:

We like Kinect a lot. But it's not a perfect product by any means, and many hardcore gamers out there are going to be disappointed by it.

However, we think it's an impressive piece of technology, and in the months and years ahead we envisage it spawning some truly revolutionary games.

For the moment though, the launch titles seem a bit weak and that £125 price tag looks just a bit too much.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMotion Sensing Gaming Controller
Connectivity TechnologyWireless
Brand NameMicrosoft
Platform SupportedXbox 360
Compatibility

Kinect Adventures Games

ManufacturerMicrosoft Corporation
Product ModelLPF-00004
Product NameXbox Motion Sensing Gaming Controller
Product LineXbox 360
Manufacturer Part NumberLPF-00004
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.microsoft.co.uk
Marketing Information

Kinect for Xbox 360 brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways with no controller required. Simply step in front of the sensor and Kinect recognizes you and responds to your gestures. Connecting in a whole new way is as easy as a wave of your hand.