Kinect for Xbox 360 Christmas buyers guide

by PYB James | Dec 01, 2010

If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last month, or if you simply haven’t had a chance to keep up with the gadget market - and plan your Christmas shopping – you may not be up to speed on the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 which came out in November.

Described as a ‘controller-free gaming and entertainment experience’ by Microsoft, the video game accessory may eventually become compatible with Windows PCs, but is mainly designed to accompany the Xbox 360. If you already have an Xbox 360 and just want to buy the Kinect system with the basic Kinect Adventures game that will cost around £130, but if you’re buying a Kinect and and an Xbox 360 you’re looking at starting prices of around £245.

The Kinect design is a webcam-style add-on which senses body motion and allows game players to become the controllers in the games they are playing. Individuals and groups can therefore control and interact with Xbox 360 games. Kinect competes with Wii MotionPlus for the Ninteno Wii and the Sony PlayStation Move & PlayStation Eye motion control systems.

The Kinect device connects to your Xbox 360 console via a special port at the back of the machine but if you have an older console you need to use the Kinect adaptor. It can take photos and capture video and its sensors are capable of distinguishing up to six people, though motion tracking is restricted to two players at the same time. Facial recognition allows it to sign you in to your Xbox Live account when you look into it.

Voice communication with the device is also possible as it has a good quality microphone, which means it can double up as a video conferencing accessory. Those audio features also mean you can pause and restart games with voice commands.

So if Santa doesn’t already know you want a Kinect this Christmas, you might want to add it to your wishlist!

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