Xbox Kinect: Ultimate guide

Find out the inner workings of Kinect, the Kinect games you need to buy and industry opinion on Microsoft's motion gaming innovation

So, is it a bleeding-edge motion camera that “Makes you the controller”? Or is it a more sophisticated Eyetoy with knobs on, much as the Sony PlayStation Move is a more sensitive Wii remote with better graphics? Kinect contains a camera, depth sensor and multi-array mic. It's proprietary software means it can accurately motion capture your entire body in 3D, recognising your face and voice and tracking your body with a claimed 1:1 response time.

The camera tracks up to six people, but only two active players at a time. It tracks 20 joints per active player but not individual fingers, so forget making cowboys And indians-style, gun-firing gestures in first-person shooters. Kinect automatically recognises and logs you in when you walk In its path then follows you around the room. Intricate motion and Voice control of your computerised future-home can’t be far off…

Price: £130 (£250, bundled with Xbox 360 4GB), www.xbox.com/kinect

MORE: Xbox Kinect review: Video and hands-on I Xbox Kinect: How does it work? I Xbox Kinect manual reveals set-up details I Video: Xbox Kinect explained I Xbox Kinect vs PlayStation Move

Kinect games to look out for

For the family: Kinect Sports

Play six sports – bowling, boxing, athletics, ping pong, football and volleyball – against the
computer in a selection of challenge modes or against a human. Boxing over Xbox
Live should be laughs. One Of 16 launch titles.

Price: £35

For fitness fanatics: Your Shape

Choose your personal training options, with classes such as yoga, martial arts and tai chi, and keep track of calories burned. With mini games Including dancing and target practice, it’s a very detailed fitness package.

Price: £35

Your Shape’s Michaël Ferron on motion gaming for health and fitness

The workout you get in a gym is obviously the best you can get, but if you don’t have time or access to a gym, Kinect could easily become the best alternative. Time is a major constraint these days when it comes to working out but kinect really helps to overcome this barrier. “Our game is basically a gym on demand. The experience might be a virtual one but the workout you get out of this game is real.

For drunken revelry: Dance Central

From the creators of Guitar Hero, this game features Over 600 different dance moves spanning 90 dance routines over three decades From the twist to Beyoncé. All you have to do is learn Them. Essential gaming for Christmas and hen parties.

Price: £35

For serious gamers:  Child of Eden

Stunning graphics and psychedelic audio await in this shooter. In it you’re thrust into a battle to save an archive of all human memories from an unknown virus; swipe enemies with your hands to restore peace in Eden.

Price: £35

For big kids: Star Wars

Shown off at E3 earlier this year, the as-yet unnamed Star Wars Kinect game sums up both the format’s power and its obvious shortcoming: it lets you wave lightsabers around… but only ones made of air – not even a plastic replica.

Price: £35, out Christmas 2011

Xbox Kinect - Expert view

Neil Thompson, Xbox General Manager, UK & Ireland on the potential of Kinect

Kinect has the potential to revolutionise the way we all consume and enjoy entertainment in The future. No longer do You need to learn how to use technology to play games; the technology learns from you and allows you to just be yourself. You literally just jump in and get involved without the need of a controller. You just show your TV what you want to do and, most importantly, you can share all those great experiences with those around you, whether Young or old. Nothing in The world of technology or entertainment will feel more natural than The way you enjoy your Kinect experiences.”

Xbox Kinect - T3 View

Adam Bunker has had hands on time with Kinect. Or rather he hasn’t. Here’s his verdict…

Kinect is a strange beast. On the one hand it’s an incredibly accurate and intuitive means of interaction; The absence of joypads Makes it a gaming experience that needs No tutorials, and one that won’t exclude anyone regardless of age or experience. That said, having nothing to grip on to and being tethered to only a simple selection of poses and actions means that the games themselves must surely be inherently limited in terms of offering any great depth.

I played a few games, but the one that stuck in my mind was Joyride – the Xbox’s answer to Mario Kart. While steering with an imaginary wheel was fun, there was a major part of me that would really rather have been holding something to keep my arms – and feeling of self-consciousness – in check. Even clasping a basic, Wii-wheel-style lump of plastic would have made things easier. i’ve concluded that, when push comes to shove, i’m rather a fan of buttons…

Xbox Kinect: The future?

It’s no secret that Kinect is not just aimed at existing Xbox owners. Microsoft’s currently researching all kinds of functions for the motion camera which could see remote controls replaced by Minority Report-esque full-body interfaces. Bill Gates sees “incredible value” in using the motion camera on Windows PCs for “meetings, collaboration And communication,” and in the living room for managing movies, Music and your home. Peter Molyneux’s Milo AI, a virtual boy who reacts to your movements and conversation, suggests nothing less than a new race of sentient beings. It’s bordering on creepy.

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