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63 Reviews

Xbox Kinect

Marks and sensors

Page 4 of 4

But the fact remains that some multiplayer inconvenience is likely - a rum deal for a gadget which by its very design is supposed to minimise unwieldiness.

Just like Wii, however, if the software's worth it, it's difficult to complain... so expect to complain - at least a little bit.

It's unfair to judge the Kinect game launch line-up too harshly for being mainstream. By now, we know what we're getting - and it doesn't neuter the potential of what's to come.

What is irritating is the noticeable - if minute - deceleration in your control icon's mobility once you've launched a game like Kinect Adventures or Joy Ride. It might only be ever-so-slightly slower than it is in the Kinect Hub menu - but one has to ask why it's slower at all.

There are other in-game quibbles. Every title I've played so far has required I stick my arm out at 45-degrees to bring up a pause menu. However, it follows the old 'two second circle fill' system.

In other words, I'm yet to find a Kinect game that you can pause instantly with your hands; all very well when you're tickling Skittles' chin, not quite so kosher if you're swallowing Nazi bullets. If hardcore games are to make a successful transition, it's something Microsoft will have to fix.

On the bright side, the launch line-up offers a sprinkling of admirable standouts. I'll leave CVG's single-game reviews to speak for themselves, but Dance Central is every sliver as glorious as it is shameful and Kinect Sports gets better with repeat plays (thus all my aches and pains).

So, we come to the £130 question: Is Kinect worth the pricey retail valuation Microsoft has slapped on it?

It all depends what you're looking for.

If you're after motion gaming that can truly rival the joypad - that can take Wii's blueprint and push it into a new realm of sophistication - I'd give it time. Those Kinect Hub skeletal scan demos are inarguably very exciting, but, for now, they're just tantalising tastes of what's possible. The launch software can't match up.

However, if you're looking for a gizmo that will simultaneously wow your mates, change your sofa-based control habits and offer mouth-moisturising long-term promise into the bargain, you can't go far wrong.

Either way, make sure you test it out at the earliest opportunity. Believer or cynic; hardcore or casual, it's impossible to judge Kinect fairly until you've experienced it yourself.

Personally, I just envy you that first magic encounter. You might not be touching anything at all - but I bet you've felt nothing quite like it.

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The verdict

Technically, a gem. As deserving of a spot in a bleeding edge bachelor pad as a housewife's semi.

  • Accuracy answers the haters - as long as you put the effort into calibrating it
  • Voice controls are a marvel
  • Gesture controls work without a hitch
  • Kinect Hub is a classy deal
  • Kinect Hub is restrictive
  • Launch line-up disappoints
Xbox 360