Microsoft Kinect: Just what the Xbox needs?

When Nintendo announced the motion gaming revolution that was the Wii, no-one saw it coming. Almost four years later, and only two months ago, Sony tried reinventing the Wii with the Move, and now Microsoft goes one step further with a fully controller-less motion gaming system.

With a new way of playing games that removes the controller from your hands entirely, has Microsoft’s Kinect reinvigorated the Xbox 360?

What is the Kinect?

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Technologically superior to the Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation Move, the Kinect asks you to drop the controller and just move your arms about in order to play the game. Forget the motion wands and remotes of other motion gaming systems and imagine, instead, your entire body as the controller.

That’s right: you. Your body will be monitored by a camera, depth sensor and microphone, all of which sit within a motorised plastic strip that then interprets your movements into on-screen actions.

Unlike the Nintendo Wii and Sony Move, you don’t have to purchase new controllers for each and every player who participates in a game.

Only one Kinect device is needed per Xbox 360 console, and each Kinect can work with up to four players, depending on the game.

A whole new way to play

While motion gaming isn’t a new thing, Kinect represents a whole new way of playing video games.

Because there are no controllers, you’re spend a lot of time flailing your arms about – like a branches in a wild wind – controlling actions that you can only see on the screen.

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Setting up for Kinect gaming is easy, just plug the Kinect device into the Xbox 360 or the new slim black Xbox, or plug in both the device and a power pack if you have the older 360. From here, you simply just have to follow the onscreen instructions and occasionally stand in front of your TV when it asks you to.

Once loaded and working, your Xbox 360 Dashboard will have a small black and grey video window showing you what the camera and depth sensor see. Wave your hands to get the attention of the Kinect and the fun will begin.

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