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Microsoft Kinect


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Go be grumpy somewhere else Meh. I think by now everyone knows about your dislike for Kinect, so theres no need to keep posting the same tired messages and reasons why you think Kinect will fail.

Shhhhh - it keeps him out of the BSG threads. Ah, no it doesn't.

Related Kinect news:

I read this interview with the new chap at the top of Rare. It almost decends into parody how he manages to twist every single question into a Kinect promotion.

I don't think I've ever witnessed anything like it.

Eurogamer: You're taking a lot on here with Rare – you're uprooting your family and relocating to the UK. What was the main motivation behind the move?

Scott Henson:

You asked personal, right? I've mostly talked about professional, but I'll bring it to me as a dad and a husband. I have two little girls. I have a 10-year-old and a seven-year-old. My motivation, really, at a personal level, is that everyone is invited to come in and play.

I very much have been over the last, I'd say, if you think about the last 10 years as Xbox has grown up, very motivated by creating experiences the entire family can play.

Now don't get me wrong – we've played lots of Kameo together. We've completed Kameo four times playing co-op together with a controller. Seriously. Lots and lots of Kameo time. But, there is this visceralness and simple approachable fun about getting up off the couch using your full body and playing sports the way you play sports.

Rare's New Boss Reveals His Vision

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Wow that Kinect promotion - cough - I mean interview is fucking unbelievable.

Well at least we know who'll be locking up the door behind them when Rare gets dismantled by Microsoft after their Kinect debacle.

Yeah, I've just read this - the guy is a walking press release, infinitely worse than Allard or Moore ever were. His threat of Killer Instinct on Kinect is fucking terrifying. Kinect Instinct. Please God make it fucking STOP.

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Get ready for Big Brother!

Do you ever read the terms of service agreements that come with software, hardware and firmware updates? I know I don’t. I’m all too happy to scroll on to the end and click “yes.” One astute reader, liberty, took the time to read through the updated Xbox Live terms of service included with yesterday’s Xbox system update – and uncovered some pretty scary stuff.

Remember how we, via Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, assured you that Kinect wasn’t spying on you? It seems that might not be entirely factual; According to the terms of service, they can – and will use Kinect to monitor players.

Sections 9 and 12 of the updated terms of service are particularly scary :

If you accept the agreement, you “expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of Microsoft, our partners, or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the Service; or © act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public.”

Also scary? they reserve the right to monitor your voice and chat sessions using their new camera system. Personal privacy? Not so personal, not so private.

“You should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features (for example, voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions) offered through the Service.”

They obviously won’t – and can’t – monitor every single system at the same time, but they say that they have the right to do so “to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

Microsoft also “reserves the right at all times to disclose any information as necessary to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, or to edit, refuse to post or to remove any information or materials, in whole or in part, in Microsoft’s sole discretion.” Break the law in front of your Kinect system? You could be up against the law.

Thinking of disabling or bypassing any of these monitoring systems? Well, that’s illegal. Of course,the TOS has always included sections that one might deem questionable if they favoured privacy – but with the inclusion of camera, it’s edging ever closer to an Orwellian level of surveillance. It seems Big Brother really is watching you.

Read over the new terms of service here : Xbox.com


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IGN Have a review up for that Sonic game. I couldn't believe the score they gave it.


Closing Comments

Sonic Free Riders is, ultimately, a fairly standard racer that works well for Kinect. Pretending that you're on a hoverboard is actually a lot of fun. The tracks are well designed, the level of board customization makes the game more robust than many racers, and the numerous multiplayer modes keep the game entertaining past the main missions. It's not amazing, but it's definitely one of the games you should get to round out your Kinect collection.


Not sure what it did to deserve that score but I'm interested to find out.

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I wasn't but I decided that my TV wasn't ridiculous enough with just a sensor bar and eyetoy decorating it. May as well complete the set, right?

I'm actually really looking forward to Dance Central and that's it. Everything else looks pretty bad. I'd quite like to sample everything set up properly but there's no way I'm dropping money on something like Sonic.

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I wasn't but I decided that my TV wasn't ridiculous enough with just a sensor bar and eyetoy decorating it. May as well complete the set, right?

Well indeed. :D

Always spooks guests when they visit, only to find multiple boxes and several lenses staring back at them. lol Be interesting to read your thoughts anyway.

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So this is out here next week? I thought I would have started seeing commercials now given the silly marketing dollars they're meant to be throwing at the thing. Or am I watching the wrong shows?

Its definitely advertised in the four nations rugby league (that's rugby league, proper rugby :)) games between NZ, Oz, England and Papua New Guinea! Electronic bill boarding around the playing field and, wait for it, a huge advert on every TV referee TRY~NO TRY decision.

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so it's going to be huge then is it?

5 million sold by xmas now according to some MS person, sold out everywhere etc. I really want to try one out at least.

But arent they only making a million units for launch? :hat:

Anyway reviews are up on ign and they seem to be surprisingly honest and unbiased, I was kind of expecting ign (at least) to be absolutely gushing over Kinect and just repeating the hype. Anyway for the Kinect unit itself

They gave it a 7.5 and said that the tech is good but the current games arent going to win over the gamers who like CoD or Halo.

Kinect Sports

As an example of what Kinect can do, and as a point of entry for gamers and casuals alike, Kinect Sports delivers an easily accessible but surprisingly nuanced game. While there are some stumbling points here and there, such as the strange local multiplayer omissions in Table tennis or the muddled co-op mechanics of soccer, Kinect Sports still manages to be fun and different. If you're looking for a game that shows off the hardware, this is it.


Kinect Adventures

Kinect Adventures is entertaining at first and works quite well, but the repetitive structure of the game is its greatest weakness. I was also troubled at how uninterested I was with most of the mini-games, having the most fun with a select few. Everything else served as a solid tech demo, but nothing more.

I'd recommend playing around with Kinect Adventures for a while, but definitely go out and pick up another game, because the fun won't last long.



When Kinectimals was at its best I genuinely enjoyed what I played. I actually got excited when I found a Serval cub and got to adopt him. And I've said "Aaaw look! Cute!" more times in the past week than I will probably ever say again for the rest of my life. But I've also yelled in anger when I lost a mini-game for the fourth time because I couldn't toss a ball in the right spot. It's a Kinect game that is probably worth picking up if you've got youngsters, but it's not the immersive family experience it should have been.



Kinect Joy Ride was put together in a smart way. It's accessible, there are plenty of different challenges to take on, and constantly unlocking new content is a rewarding feeling. But when it comes to actually driving, Kinect Joy Ride isn't responsive. The steering isn't precise enough to handle twitch corrections and the boosting mechanic is inconsistent.

This is not an unplayable game by any stretch of the imagination, but, Kinect Joy Ride isn't as tight as it needs to be.


Dance Central

Dance Central is great fun, it gets you moving, and it's absolutely perfect for parties. Although it's disappointing to see so few features and unlocks included, the actual song selection, dance routines, and the accuracy of the Kinect implementation is what makes Dance Central worth a look. Dancing is one of my favorite things besides video games, and Dance Central combines those two pastimes beautifully.


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Uh Oh


The Experience

My first experience with Kinect, glasses issue aside, was "Hey, cool, the cursor on the screen is following my hand." It's neat and kind of weird. I tried voice commands and they worked, even with music playing in the background and while speaking in a casual tone.

Then I tried playing games.


Kinect game manuals suggest that you stand at least 7 feet away from the sensor, or 9 feet if you want a second player to join in. 7 feet for me is in the middle of my aforementioned behemoth of a coffee table. 9 feet is right in front of my couch. I live in a house and have what I'd consider to be a "spacious" living room. I moved the coffee table and all was good. But having to do that was not a tick in the plus column for Kinect.

Now, my story ended happily. I can move and jump around and the sensor doesn't gripe at all. My girlfriend can hop in and play without issue.


But that's not the case for my fellow Joystiq editor Justin McElroy, who has also been testing a retail Kinect unit pre-launch. Given his living room setup, he's barely in the "frame," and two-player is out of the question.

Kinect demands a lot of space.

I have to put this bluntly: If you don't have at least 8 feet of unobstructed space between where you plan to place the sensor and the limit of how far back you can stand, Kinect will just not work right. Placing it on top of your television will give you an extra foot or so, but still, those who live in apartments, plan to use Kinect in a bedroom, or otherwise have "unconventional" living room layouts are, for all intents and purposes, screwed.

This should be a true deal-breaker for many who've been considering getting a Kinect. Believe me -- measure your play space. Not enough room? It won't work properly. Still want to take a chance? Be sure to keep the receipt.

I knew space was an issue but fucking hell. I consider my house to have a decent sized front room, but I could ONLY JUST use a Kinect in it. I predict a lot of people trying to return it when they find this out. Also, this is a little bizarre:

The whole process should take most people a couple of minutes and it's recommended that you repeat it in different lighting conditions / at different times of the day. I said "most people" because that wasn't my experience.

The first time I ran Kinect ID, it took about 20 minutes. I was constantly being prompted to keep my face visible and, several times, had to dismiss a warning that the sensor couldn't see my face at all. When it was finished, my console could not recognize me when I stood in front of it and waved (the gesture used to tell it you want to start using gestural input).

I was puzzled by the situation. The Kinect ID process was obviously taking far longer than intended and basically wasn't working in the end. I tried a variety of what I thought would be potential solutions; I turned on more lights, made sure there wasn't anything totally blocking the sensor's view (I was standing behind my rather large, very heavy glass-and-metal coffee able at times to be far enough away for the process) and even slicked back my hair so it wouldn't cover my forehead. None of this worked.

As it turned out, removing my glasses was the fix. I performed the Kinect ID setup again and sped through it in a flash. The console recognized me. All was well. Except for the fact that I need my glasses to see, and didn't really care to take them off every time I wanted to be recognized. I tried things again wearing an older pair of glasses that had a thinner, matte metal frames. Kinect was fine with them. My conclusion: the frames of the glasses I wear on a daily basis are too reflective for the Kinect sensor to handle, basically bringing the system to its knees.

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