Rated 4 out of
Great for Everything Other Than Gaming
The Kinect has been out for over a year now, Xbox Ones are now being sold without the it and it seems like everyone is forgetting about it. What’s the sense of buying it? What is it even used for? What’s in it for the consumer? I for one, was sceptical when I first bought it standalone because my Xbox didn’t come with it. Now, I don’t think I could go on gaming without it.
First of all, let’s go over what the kinect actually is. It’s a camera that goes either above or below you television that gives you gesture and voice commands as well as a camera for skype calls and such. It’s big, a little bigger than the original kinect. It’s also not very “nice” looking it’s just a rectangle with the Xbox Logo on the right side. All it has is one cord that comes out of the back and connects right into the back of the Xbox. It’s not the nicest thing ever, let’s just hope it performs well in other departments. What can it really do? First off lets go though what you can do in games. There’s no huge difference between this and the original kinect. You move your body around with the game and the camera projects what you are doing into the game. There aren't many games around at the moment, but in all honesty, gaming is not where kinect excels at. The entire reason to buy this kinect is not for gaming, but for convenience to do what you want without having to look away from the screen, from simply going to your home screen to turning the volume up on your surround system. It really does it all, but it isn’t without it’s shortcomings.
One example I can give you is when I first got the kinect. I wasn’t sure what to do, and there isn’t much documentation describing everything that you can do with your voice. I noticed that half the time it couldn’t hear me and the other half, I didn’t know exactly what to say for it to do what I want. So, at first I was a little disappointed in the kinect and was ready to put it back in it’s box to take back to Gamestop.
Then, after a couple of days of use I really started to see the value of it. Last Sunday I was playing a game of Madden over Xbox Live with my brother while the Steelers game was on. Usually, I would have to switch my TV’s inputs back and forth to see the score which was really inconvenient as most of the time by then I would have a delay of game penalty on my team in an already close game. Since I started to get more comfortable with the system then, all I did was say “Xbox Snap Verizon Fios” and BAM! It was on my screen ready to go and watch the game while I played Madden with my brother. Since it was my first time doing this, I was AMAZED by how awesome it was that I could do this with just simply my voice. Of course, I could do this with the controller as well, but again, that would have been a delay of game while I waited for it to finally come back on.
Since then, I have come across a number of awesome commands that really save time and money. Yesterday, I was going to rent Austin Powers International Man of Mystery, since I just watched the other two back to back and I forgot a lot of what happened in the first. So, I was on the confirm buy button on my Xbox, then I remembered I could bring it. So, I decided why not, let’s try it. So, I just said “Xbox Bing Austin Powers” No pauses, just like I would talk to another person, and instantly it came up on my screen free on HBO GO. Which I had. My kinect just saved my 5 bucks, and I will always Bing a movie before buying it now that it has saved my on 3 separate occasions.
So, is the Kinect still worth buying? Both yes and no. If you want to use it for nothing but gaming then I say it’s a huge no and a big waste of money. It you want to use it for everything else from turning it off to on and everything inbetween then I say it’s a huge yes as it saves a ton of time and saves money in the long run. No more deaths from Halo or Call of Duty because you want to check your friends list, just say “xbox snap friends” and you are already on your screen without ever getting out of the action. For $150 you really can’t go wrong as I am sure MS will not just forget about the kinect, and will upgrade it even more over time. If you can find it used it will be even more worth the money. Gamestop has used kinects for $100 and they are guaranteed to work. That is how I got mine and honestly, I could not be happier with my decision.
Date published: 2014-12-31