First, I gave you delightful readers a review of PlayStation Move, then, Austin gave us a nice PlayStation Move vs. Xbox Kinect article back in September. So, now that the Xbox Kinect has been released, what’s the verdict?
A lot of the PlayStation Move vs. Xbox Kinect debate focuses on two key issues – buttons vs. no buttons and price. So, let’s focus on those two key factors.
Here in Canada (as well as the US), the Kinect is priced at a not-quite-breaking-the-budget price of $149.99. To put this in perspective – the new Xbox 360 S is $199.99. I purchased my Kinect on Boxing Day – the Canadian equivalent to Black Friday. I’m going to admit, I was slightly upset this day. First, I was frustrated because all the stores were sold out (another story, another time). Secondly, I was pissed because a friend of mine bought his Xbox 360S for $139.99 (it was on sale at EB Games) while I still had to pay $149.99 for my Kinect! What has the world come to when I’m paying more for an Xbox accessory than for the actual console?! Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Rant over, I promise.
To put the price in a much less personal perspective – the Kinect, at $149.99, comes with the adapters for older consoles, the actual peripheral and a copy of Kinect Adventures. Right out of the box, you can play any and all games! Now, PlayStation Move’s $99 bundle comes with Sports Champions, a motion controller and the PlayStation Eye. The navigational controller or additional motion controllers are an additional cost and must be purchased seperately. So, as the owner of both a PlayStation and Xbox, along with their respective motion controllers, Kinect wins this fight! I was able to play my Kinect right out of the box, whereas I had to purchase additional accessories for my Move. Not cool.
Next, let’s talk buttons or no buttons. As I’ve said – I have both consoles as well as both PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect. PlayStation Move does a great job of utilising their button options, and I can’t imagine playing some of their games without buttons or controllers. However, Kinect does an equally amazing job providing an enjoying gaming experience just using your arms, legs and body, and provides the gamer with the ability to use body parts other than just your hands and arms.
The problem I had with Xbox Kinect is that it requires a lot of space and so, when there’s less than the ideal amount of space, the camera would have issues recognising you and simple gestures would not translate onto the screen. For example, when playing Kinect Adventures, there is an adventure (or mission) where you are playing the equivalent to racquetball, however, you use your hands, feet and head as the ‘racquets’. Then, several balls would come towards you at once and you must hit them using whichever body parts you think would get the job done. The problem here is that, if you’re too close to the Kinect sensor, it had difficulties capturing more than one motion at a time – as in, if you kicked one ball and slapped away another simultaneously, the sensor would only pick up your first action. Definitely a pain in the butt when you’re trying to complete the adventure!
As I’ve said before, the Kinect needs A LOT of space. And, I know you’ve heard this several times but let me repeat – A LOT of space! The game says you can play with at least 6 ft., but let me break it to you – you can’t. Luckily for me, both myself and my mother are gamers, so we don’t have a couch – we have gaming chairs. So, we were able to just move the chairs out of the way, push the table forward and voila – a Kinect gaming environment. That being said, I was about 8-10 feet away from my TV before I was able to play 2 players, and when I was closer, it kept saying to move backwards – even when playing solo.
What I enjoy about the Xbox Kinect is the ability to video chat, navigate the Kinect hub, sign in and view achievements – all without touching your controller. Using simple gestures and voice recognition, you have the ability to navigate through several different menus. Not once did I have a problem with navigating the Kinect menu. However, if it is having difficulties recognising your requests, there is a Kinect Tuner available to recalibrate it to your preferred settings.
Overall, the Kinect is an amazing product. It provides the ability to play games you wouldn’t be able to play without buttons (such as Dance Central) and provides a great gaming experience. Even as a self-proclaimed hardcore gamer, I enjoyed my Kinect.
Do you have Kinect? Let me know what your favorite games are in the comments below and be sure to check back soon for reviews of Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports and Dance Central!