Review of the Xbox Kinect

Review of the Xbox Kinect: Interactive Gaming for Kids

Xbox Kinect for Xbox 360
With my constantly traveling for work, I have made it a new tradition to visit my sister’s family every August. I never know when will be the next time I see the kids, so it is always best just to celebrate their birthdays a little early. Since my sister got divorced last year, the kids have been having a rather rough time. To help make this holiday a bit more special, my fiancé and myself decided to go buy them a nicer gift than usual. Since everyone in the family loved playing on the Xbox, it seemed fitting to find something for the Xbox 360 that everyone in the family would love- especially a busy mom, a six year old girl, and a preteen boy.

After doing some searching online, we finally decided to purchase them an Xbox Kinect. My fiancé felt like an idiot since he already had one, but he had never considered using it for kid’s games. Having never played with it myself, I was bit nervous purchasing it for the kids at first. I usually avoid buying anything that involves violence, so it took some convincing for me to buy this for the kids. Once it was in their home, however, I was quickly surprised at just how big of a hit it was in their household. Here is what my sister and I both though of the Xbox Kinnect for the Xbox 360.

Functionality

Even though I have been used to seeing my fiancé play games for years, I was totally shocked at how neat the Xbox Kinect was out of the box. I was fairly certain it was going to be difficult to set up with my sister, but it was surprisingly easy. The Kinnect sensor and your Xbox 360 walks you through the entire process, teaching your Xbox how to recognize you and all of your family members. My little niece absolutely loved helping us set up the Xbox Kinect since she felt like a big kid jumping in front of the screen and bossing around the game system!
Xbox Kinect for Xbox 360
Having watched the Xbox Kinnect video before purchasing the Kinect, I was unsure how well it would actually work. Since my niece and nephew have an older Xbox 360, I was concerned that the Kinect may not really work with their Xbox. I was glad that it proved me wrong! Within about ten minutes, we were testing the voice functions, using it to tell the Xbox to start movies, as well as testing it with some of the kids compatible games. It was truly an amusing experience watching the kids jump around the room as they played games.

Very few things I have ever purchased for them worked so well out of the box! Even though the hookup and setup was easy, nothing impressed me as much as how beautifully the camera worked. Not sure what to expect, I asked my fiancé to get on Xbox Live and have a conversation with us (we saw this in the demo and wanted to try it out). Just as promised, we had a crystal clear picture that allowed all of us talk and play around using the Xbox Kinect.

Kid Friendly

Xbox Kinect for Xbox 360
If there is one thing I love the most about the Xbox Kinect, it is how quickly it got my niece and nephew off the couch. With winter coming, my sister was worried that her kids would be sitting in front of the tv or Xbox. Instead of viewing the Xbox as a distraction, it is now a form of exercise for my niece and nephew. Gone are the days of using the controller since gaming is now a full body experience. While watching them play Kinect Adventures, (this comes with the Xbox Kinect) I noticed that they were moving across the floor – running, spinning, jumping, and working up quite a sweat.

Wanting to see for myself how well the system works, I decided to play the game with my little niece. Within a half hour, I was sweating with how much I had to move with the games. In many ways, I consider it more of a workout than playing with my Wii Fit at home! One thing I was not expecting to work when playing with my little niece was the ability to be logged in from my voice or body motions. This seemed like a gimmick to me. As soon as both of us started talking, we were logged into our accounts and looking at our little prebuilt personas. I have to admit, it felt like something I would expect to see in a sci-fi movie, not a gaming system. Either way, I will not complain at how much easier it made all of our lives since the kids are off the couch and playing!

Games & Movies

One of the things that my sister and I have always loved about our Xbox 360s is the ability to watch DVDs. Nothing is more fun than sitting down when the kids are asleep and watching HD quality movies. Like most people, we can easily get confused remembering which button does what on the controller – which I will freely admit we do by experimenting. Once the kids were asleep, we decided to start testing the hand motion functions with the Xbox Kinect. Just as advertised, we no longer need a controller to start watching movies. With a wave of either of our hands we were able to play, stop, rewind, or fast forward to any part of the movie we want. As a parent, my sister viewed this as a major perk since this means her six year old can now tell the Xbox to start playing her favorite cartoons.

While watching movies is fun, my niece and nephew were more interested in the games that they could play with the Xbox Kinnect. Even though the game came with Kinnect Adventures, I also purchased Kinectimals and Kinect Sports to go with my present. These Xbox Kinect games for their Xbox 360 have been an absolute hit! During my week visit, you couldn’t get the kids away from the Xbox. From what I had seen and been hearing since I left, this has been a win-win purchase for the kids and my sister.

Included in the Box

Xbox Kinect for Xbox 360

  • Kinnect Sensor
  • Power Supply Cable
  • Manual
  • Wireless Network Adaptor Cable

 
 
 
 
 

What Others Are Saying

So far, the Xbox Kinect has been one of the most expensive gifts I have bought my sister and her family. While it was pricy, I consider it worth every penny with how it has the kids exercising and excited to play as a family. Based on what I have seen and heard, I would give the Xbox Kinect a five star rating. On Amazon.com, where I purchased their Kinect, it has a 4.5 out of five star rating. Here is what other people have had to say about this Xbox accessory…

“My sons and all their buddies were hooked on Halo, serious day and night couch potato shooting machines………until Kinect. It’s a miracle. They’re not only off the couch, they’ve MOVED the couch out of the room! They’re active again and can’t stop “Kinecting”. If you want your kids to take a break from the violence, get their bodies moving, and have fun again…… BUY KINECT NOW !!! It’s a brillant concept, perfect for all ages and a parent’s dream come true!”
“It was nice to install a “video game” during the Holidays when all the family drops by to hang out for hours. Instead of passive controler games with little to no conversation or eye contact with others playing, I see family and friends jumping, yelling, giving high fives, hugging, laughing, and actually sweating. Although there are some aspects of the game play that are less than real, I have to give this first “controless” game(s) for Xbox360 5 stars. And you know the developers out there will only improve many details as the game(s) gain popularity. I can only imagine what improvements will be in play two years from now. In the meantime, it’s so nice to see family and friends having so much “active” fun ~ off the couch ~ and even sweating! Heck, I even wanted them all to stay a bit longer this Holiday season.”
“I. Love. My. Kinect.”
“Kinect is a fantastic new way to play video games. The Kinect adventure game is fun and I can’t wait to see the other games they put out for it. It’s super responsive and in the past hour that I’ve played it I’ve had a blast. I love the little pictures it takes, too!”
“I have 2 daughters, 4 and 6. Before the Kinect we would watch TV or play games on the computer for fun, neither was anywhere as engaging or compelling as the Kinect. Plus I was actually burning calories while playing with the kinect while also bonding with my kids, how awesome is that. If you have small children, I highly recommend it, your entire family will love it and young kids especially get a hang of it immediately. My 4yr old knows how to turn on the xbox, login to the Adventures game, and select the River Rapids all by herself. A true glimpse into the future of user interfaces.”

Where Can I Read More Reviews

You can find more reviews on the Xbox Kinect at Amazon.com. All of these reviews are written by real parents and grandparents just like us who have bought this item. Click here to read more about the Xbox Kinect!

Where to Buy the Xbox Kinect

Being someone who travels constantly, I don’t have the time to go shopping at most physical stores. Having purchased from quite a few retailers online, I can say that the only one I trust to get gifts anywhere on time is Amazon.com,. Other places have sent my gifts very late, leaving me embarrassed during the holiday season (last year my Christmas gifts arrived three days late for my niece and nephew). When shopping for the Xbox Kinect, I also noticed that they had better prices than both Best Buys and Gamestop, leaving me happy that I got the best deal on this hot item. At least I didn’t have to wait in long lines like my fiancé when he got his Xbox Kinect for his Xbox 360!

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