The Nintendo Wii for a long time was out on its own on motion based controllers and helped to establish it as one of the top gaming consoles available. Whereas for the PS3 and Xbox the main points of difference were the power of the processor, graphics and games available. But with the introduction of the PS3 Move and Xbox360 Kinect the Wii has some real competition on motion style games. The PS3 Move uses a controller in a similar way to the Wii. The Kinect goes one step better by doing away with the need for a controller altogether.
It uses software to track the movements of all your body and reflects the actions on the screen so your body acts as the controller. You play the games with through the movements of your body and navigate the menus through hand signals or voice commands. This is certainly another level of motion sensor gameplay. However, the question is does it deliver on its promise of fun and can it help you with your fitness too.
Size: 12 x 13 x 7.2 inches
Fitness Games: Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012, Zumba Fitness Game, EA Sports Active 2
Online Gaming: Xbox Live
Ease Of Use: You get an Xbox 360 4GB S console, one wireless controller, Kinect Sensor and the Kinect Adventure Game when you buy the bundle. Most people find the instructions easy to follow and the game console simple to set up. Once the console and sensor are up and running it is ready to use. To control the console you can use simple hand movements, voice commands or even the wireless hand controller to move around the menus.
The Kinect Adventure game is fun to play and learn. The games included are all easy to play and make a good introduction to this style of game play. There is a period of time needed to get familiar with using your body to control the game characters but most people find they get started fairly quickly with the basic moves. You don’t have to learn how to use any controllers or push any button and can just concentrate on the screen and moving your body to get the hang of it.
Fitness: Because this console tracks your full body movement it is possible to have a wide range of different exercises and you can have quite intense workouts as a result. It also means that you have to make the movements properly to be rewarded and you can see where your form wasn’t correct when performing the exercises. You do have to be totally committed to the fitness games to score points and get the most out of them. The best game on Kinect for fitness is currently the Your Shape Fitness 2012 (this is not part of the bundle).
Great Fun: Like the Wii people have found this style of game play great fun. When you are not involved in the game you have a choice of two things to watch – the player as they move around or watch what is happening on the screen. The games included get you very involved and you can become immersed in making the movements and controlling the game character and end up forgetting about how you are getting on with the game. It is great to play on your own as it very rewarding but it becomes even more fun when there are a few players and an audience to enjoy it with. It is a great console for all the family.
X Box Live: Using the built-in Wi-Fi you can connect to Xbox Live. You can play against other players from all over the world, plus you can watch streaming TV shows and movies using Netflix and get game upgrades and download new ones. You can also connect to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. This means it can quite quickly become one of the most popular gadgets in your home. It is a great entertainment centre.
Area Required: Microsoft say that you need an area of 6 feet or more to use it properly. It does work at this distance but it doesn’t work on a consistent basis. For a better result you need at least 8 feet and probably 10 feet for the best experience.
Less space than this can result in frustration. When you are moving around for the sensor, you are required to move forward as well as other directions, and this can bring you too close to the sensor for it to register your movements, especially if you haven’t enough space to start with. When using fitness games you can find it doesn’t record all your movements and will tell you that you still have more to go, which can be annoying when you have just given your all.
It is important buyers of this console understand this restriction and Microsoft should make more effort to let prospective buyers know about it.
Small Hard Drive: You get only 4 GB of memory with this bundle, which is quite small compared to the 250 GB you could get with the previous model. You can still do downloads and save on to USB flash drives and can support 2 flash drives at the same time. Loading from these flash drives is quicker than from the hard drive, but 36GB is quite small for someone who want to download lot of content from the internet.
Should You Buy The Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle?
When buying the Xbox 360 you are probably going to consider more things than how it rates for home workout games. In this respect it is one of the best especially when used in conjunction with the Your Shape Fitness 2012.
It is a very good idea and you can have a lot of fun with the console as well as get fit with a wide range of games available plus Xbox Live. Even so, it isn’t for everyone. Serious gamers will be disappointed with control system and the number of games available for this market is limited. It is designed to be used by people other than serious gamers and is more families and those looking for some fun.
The space requirement claim by Microsoft of 6 feet is not the experience of a lot of people who buy this machine. You are probably going to be disappointed if you live in a small apartment or want to put in your kids bedroom as it is unlikely you will have enough room for it to work properly.
However, if you d have the room you are likely to find this a terrific game console. It is far easier to get fully engaged than with other similar game consoles and makes for great family fun as well as providing the opportunity to get a good workout.