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Kinect: Your questions answered

Let's get physical

Yesterday, we asked you if you still felt in the dark over anything related to Kinect's UK launch.

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The question came off the back of our 8.8/10 review of the kit.

Although CVG ed Tim's write-up was as comprehensive as possible, we realise £130 is a lot of dosh to lay down if you're unsure about anything - so we invited you to submit any additional queries you might have after reading. You certainly delivered.

Below, Tim does his best to give you a clearer picture of Microsoft's technical wonder...

Moorpheus: Does it have to be put on top of the TV (like a webcam) or can it sit in front? Also.. if I had Kinect, I'd put the sensor in front of the TV, which would put it at say 4.5/5 feet off the ground. I'm over 6 foot - would I have to stand further back or could it pick me up OK?

Kinect can happily be placed below or above the TV - I tested both and they worked a treat. For most of the review process, I had mine set up around three feet off the ground, below the screen. It had no problem 'squeezing me in' to its field of vision from this height.

As noted in the review, I manually adjusted the camera for fine tuning, but that won't be necessary for everyone. Kinect will set itself to what it feels is the ideal angle - and it's never far off optimum. 4.5/5 feet off the ground should be fine - it will crane its 'neck' to ensure it captures all of your skeleton.

Slick Loose Move or Kinect?

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Now you're asking! Tom was genuinely wowed by Move earlier in the year - as demonstrated by the high score he gave it. It's probably true to say that Move is the more accurate at reading your arm, hand and wrist movements.

However, on the downside, your lower half is left a bit redundant - meaning you'll miss out on the joy of, for instance, Kinect Sports Soccer. Also, the voice and gesture control of the slimmed-down Kinect Hub is a thrill that hasn't gone away yet. I'm pretty confident I'll continue to use it long after the novelty has worn off - especially "Xbox, pause" to freeze frame a Zune movie when I'm nipping to the lav.

Monty79 What are the dance games like?

I can't speak about any other title than MTV/Harmonix's Dance Central, probably the most enjoyable game I've played on Kinect. Note, however, that it tests you by asking you to copy its direction - whilst most games go the other way round, representing your movement on screen. It's not as much of a 'cheat' as it sounds, but it does mean DC's probably not technically working Kinect as hard as other games.

That said, its reading of what you do is startlingly responsive. For instance, legs and arms glow red when you haven't pulled off a groovy move - and shimmer with a green hue as soon as you've executed an Usher-esque manoeuvre correctly. Which, in my case, is very rare indeed. We'll have a review up next week.

Zombiesinmyhead Where do babies come from?

Your mummy's tummy.

Nolim One serious question is that of calibration...

Ah, yes. I did seem to bang on about this a little more than other reviewers - but it was for good reason. I like to think that CVG readers know their onions when it comes to video games - your comments certainly suggest you do.

Therefore, I'm guessing a 'reasonably' accurate Kinect just won't do - but that's what you'll get from straight out of the box. The main reason to re-calibrate the device is one of light; if you set it up in, say, three different light conditions, you'll have a much more reliable experience throughout the day. This is nothing to be scared of - it's very quick and very simple for anyone who knows their way around a 360.

WHERESMYMONKEY Can you boot up Kinect games on the old dash and still use it?

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Yep, no problem. When you turn your Xbox on, it still loads up the standard Xbox Live menu. It's only as soon as you've waved at it or said "Xbox, Kinect" that you'll be taken into the all-too-basic Kinect Hub.

If you do neither of these and just grab your controller, you can use Live (and all of its features) exactly as before - albeit via the redesigned nav. The lack of Marketplace on the Kinect Hub is a bit of a letdown, but Microsoft will no doubt keep adding to the area over time as the noobs - sorry 'family consumers' - get used to their surroundings.

JAKEEvans Does it speak like Hal?

No. Not yet, at least. You'll have to wait for Kinect 2 for that. (Although it did say to me in a dream: "I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do." At least, I hope that was a dream...)

ChrisCandVG Wired reckon it doesn't work in sunlight... have you tested it in a realistic home environment (average size lounge by the patio doors for example) and do you agree with Wired?

If anything, I tested it in a smaller environment than average - the lounge of my one bed flat. It worked perfectly in natural light - a good sign, considering my TV is camped right next to a huge ceiling-high window. That said, I live in Hertforshire and it's November. We're hardly talking about a tropical paradise. I'm sure the Kinect in Wired's sun-drenched San Fran office had a little more illumination to deal with!

ei8hty5ive What can Kinect do genuinely that Eyetoy can't? Which game actually uses the '3D' movement?

If I've got this right, I think you're asking which titles detect forward and back motion as much as mere arm flapping. They're thin on the ground, to be honest - but the 'pop the bubbles' mini-game in Kinect Adventures requires you to move closer to the camera to get to the front of the in-game 'room'.

Similarly, in Kinect Sports Table Tennis, you seem to be able to move closer to the table to get a good angle on shots. Elsewhere, the Kinect ID setup shows you moving around a 3D plane. This requires you to stand in different areas - reaching the back corners led to clambering on my sofa! I can definitely vouch that '3D' movement works, then - but I can't vouch that you'll have the room to take full advantage.

gillri Can a big enough dinkle be counted as 5th limb?

Not in the eyes of the Worldwide Olympic Committee, I'm afraid. Kinect would probably be able to detect it, though - which would make for a neat party trick...

Hope that helps all. Cheers for your questions!

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