Xbox Kinect Review – it’s cool, but not awesome

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Look what my toddler got for his second birthday:

My toddler got a Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB Console with Kinect for this birthday

No, I wasn’t the one who bought him an Xbox 360 Kinect for his birthday. I’m not one of those crazy parents that likes to spoil their kids. With a present like that for his second birthday, I would have to buy him a Porsche for his eighteenth birthday. When I was a kid, no one ever gave me an expensive present like the Kinect for Xbox 360. My parents and all their friends and relatives were all very frugal. Luckily for my kids, they have an aunt that spoils them. Anyhow, my sister-in-law bought the Microsoft video gaming system for the toddler because with the Kinect, he is the controller. In the last couple of months, my toddler has tried using the Wii controller when he sees his brother and sisters playing, but he has not figured it out yet. In theory, he could play Kinect games without having to figure out which buttons on a controller to push. In reality, he can’t play video games any better on the Kinect than on the Nintendo Wii. He can move his avatar, but the problem is he doesn’t know how to play the games. He just randomly jumps up and down.

What I like about the Xbox Kinect

  • You really are the controller. I’ll admit it, I’m not a gamer. Sometimes I have trouble figuring out which buttons to press when I’m playing Wii games. With Kinect, I just use my body to move.
  • You can get an even better workout playing Kinect games than Wii games. It’s great for winter because you’ll work up a good sweat.
  • It comes with Kinect Adventures! (rated E for Everyone), which features a handful of motion-based games. The games are not spectacular, but they are fun. My favorites are River Rush and Reflex Ridge.
  • Unlike the Wii, you can play DVD’s on the XBox console.
  • There’s a large library of X-box games.

What I don’t like about the Xbox Kinect

  • It’s not easy to use gestures to navigate in the game menu (compared to a controller). Too bad there isn’t a controller option for the menus.
  • Sometimes your avatar disappears while you are playing.
  • If someone walks by while you are playing, your avatar can get switched.
  • You need a wide room to play with two people. I bumped my head on the bookshelf once while playing with my little clone.
  • There are not very many Kinect games. I only saw about 12 Kinect games when I was at Target recently. It’s been four months since the launch, shouldn’t there be more games by now?
  • The console power button is very sensitive. You could easily turn the system on and then off again without meaning to.

In conclusion, I would like to say the kids and I love the Kinect for Xbox video gaming system. It’s a pretty cool experience to use your body instead of a controller to play games. It’s so simple, even a two-year old can move his character. However, I wouldn’t recommend getting this for a two year old. You’re better off waiting until he/she is older. In my opinion, the biggest problem with the video gaming system is that there are not a lot of Kinect games available. Over time, there will be more Kinect video games available. In the meantime, if you don’t currently see enough Kinect games to your liking, I would suggest sticking with just the Xbox for now and getting the Kinect sensor later.