It's easy to get excited about the Kinect for Xbox 360 ($149), an add-on that lets you ditch the controller and play with your whole body. When you dance, your character dances. When you jump, he jumps. When you turn your hands in a racing game...you get the idea. But is this the next big thing or just a fad? We wanted to find out by hosting a Kinect party. As it turns out, everyone had a good time, but we also see plenty of room for improvement.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think. And don't forget to check out some of our favorite Kinect hacks further down.
The conclusion we came to is that while the Kinect is pretty awesome, nothing beats a controller for navigating through menus. It also seems like something that is a lot more fun if you have more than one person around to play it. But only a few of our tester games allowed for multiperson play (at the same time, anyway). Read on for more impressions.
You've probably heard this already, but you need to have have a fairly large space to play the games in. Will younger gamers in dorm rooms or efficiency apartments have enough room? What about areas where small living rooms are the norm? It's definitely an issue. And, as always, the hardware is only as good as the games that take advantage of it.
However, there may be other reasons to pick up a Kinect. If you're a DIY type, a fiddler, a hacker, there are a ton of cool things you can do with a bit of programming skill. Now that there's an open source driver that allows you to access the Kinect from a computer -- no XBox needed -- people are having all kinds of fun. Sure, Microsoft seemed miffed at first, but now they're warming up to the trend and even excited by what they see. Open source will do that to you...
Here are our favorite Kinect hacks:
Make Any Surface Multitouch
From Pattern Studio; Via Reddit by way of CrunchGear
iRobot + Kinect = World Domination
Via Geeky Gadgets
From Design I/O; Via GottaBeMobile
Record 3D Video
From KinectHacks; Via Mashable
Share your favorite hacks in the comments.