Kinect Review – TV mount not included? no Netflix??

Anything missing from this picture?

Well folks,  its been a little over 18 hours since Kinect was release on the east coast and I still need to catch up on some sleep.  I spent the early morning hours setting up Kinect and marveling at all the things we’ve drooled over watching demonstrations.   Now that the “honeymoon” phase is over  I can get down to reviewing the product.

I like it.  Simply said. But there are things that I’m not happy with. So I’ll start with the cons and then talk about how much I enjoyed it.  😀

The first surprise was to find that the mount attachment for placing Kinect on top of your flat panel TV is NOT INCLUDED….. YES YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY NOT INCLUDED.   This was a disappointment  especially after seeing video after video and demonstration after demonstration where the Kinect was featured mounted above the television.  Would it have really been so hard to put this little piece of plastic in the box Microsoft?   Imagine my dismay when I saw this….

SOLD SEPERATELY!?!?!

How much could they possibly sell this for? Anything above 5 bucks would just be robbery.  Look Gates, we’re already buying a NEW version of the Xbox360  and a NEW peripheral, you could at least give us a mount to put it on our LCD/Plasma/LED/….  for $150 bucks I should be able to mount it on my HEAD!

Moving on…

“XBOX PLAY…………NETFLIX PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!………………….XBOX STOP……….um NETFLIX STOP??……………….uh  HELLO??????????????????????

So after a little two sided tape and a WOOOO-SAH, I jumped into the dashboard to find another disappointment. Remember the product vision,  all the families having a great time watching Netflix together?  Yeah? Me too, well it turns out that the Netflix application is not yet “Kinect Ready”  I was unable to find anyway to control the Netflix application with the Kinect sensor.  Furthermore don’t get excited about navigating ANY of the regular menus with Kinect.  As far as the dashboard goes  you have to enter the ‘Kinect Hub’ somewhat of a sub menu to the actual dashboard.   I wonder why this was  still needed after the huge overhaul the dashboard took for the fall update???  Personally I would prefer to be able to control any and every part of the 360 dashboard with the Kinect Sensor… but that’s just me I guess.   *SHRUG*

One other tidbit on the CONs side is the distance requirement.  The Kinect expects that you be at least 6 feet away from  the Kinect sensor.   Is that average? Go check out your living room now and measure the space between the TV and the couch.. I’ll wait

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Is your living room tall enough to go on this ride???  Chances are, it isn’t.  Kinect Adventures actually suggests that you move furniture if you can.  While I can get over this and calibrate the sensor to adjust for the small play space, this isn’t something their telling you before you buy.  Mom’s and Dads beware,  before your kids turn your family room into a gymnasium.  😀

Don’t misread me guys, I don’t HATE the Kinect, I think like many I was pulled into the hype and expected a perfect product. Lets hope some software patches fix some things ( ahem.. Netflix) and we can all move forward amicably.

Now for the good stuff.  Kinect does live up to its reputation in many other ways. Its really fun moving around in the ‘Minority Report’ style we all have been waiting for.  The responsiveness is extremely smooth and surprisingly accurate. People will want to call this a ‘Wii Killer’ but its simply a new animal, completely set aside from the Wii. It has some of the same quirks we saw with the Wii launched and the same basic functionality games at launch.   We’ve all seen how the Wii has continued to give developers a chance to be creative, so I’m excited about future titles for Kinect.  ‘The Micheal Jackson Experience anyone????’   Pardon the nerd moment but I think we’ve all danced like the King of Pop in our living room at some point, now we’ll have an excuse.  Sources say it wont be released until March of 2011.  I think its worth the wait.

Somewhere between being able to navigate the Zune and ESPN apps with a wave of my hand or  Telling the XBOX to pause when the phone is ringing and a video is playing, I was impressed!!!   The sensor does a great job of recognizing your voice, unlike many of the other voice recognition technologies that mistake  “Play Next Track” for “Disable Bluetooth”   😐

The games are fun, it ties in the more casual gamer, and to add a tag line that everyone seems to love nowadays,  ‘This changes everything, again’

I’ll be reviewing  ‘Your Shape: Fitness Evolved’ on my next post, stay tuned!!

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