Xbox 360 Hardware - Kinect Explained
You know those 'I'm a Mac, I'm a PC' adverts from Microsoft and Apple? Imagine if they were based around the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii...In one corner you have a serious gaming machine and in the other, you have Nintendo's family friendly party machine.
Both consoles are hugely successful but where the Wii asks you to jump around and get involved with games via the Wii controller, the Xbox 360 sits in the corner with a wireless headset, asking you to come back for another game of Call of Duty. Both are great fun but both consoles are very different and appeal to different people for exactly that reason...But all that changes on November 10th as Microsoft launch the Kinect add-on for your Xbox 360.
What is Kinect?
Kinect is a small box that sits under your TV and gives you the chance to play games without a controller, using your hands and body to direct on screen characters and objects. It's like using a advanced Wii and it even has voice control. Just plug it in to your Xbox 360 and you're ready...
How does it work?
Kinect is an array of small cameras and one long distance mic. When you turn on your Xbox 360, Kinect looks at you and automatically recognises your face and brings up your little avatar. If friends sit on your sofa, the cameras scan their face to see if they are connected to Xbox Live and have their own avatar.
The games we've played so far all use Kinect in different ways. We've played Kinect Joyride which asks you to control a car by holding an imaginary steering wheel and then asks you to tilt your whole body to power slide around corners. It sounds crazy but works well and is more intuitive than getting to grips with a Wii controller. Fighters Uncaged is a traditional boxing match which sees you punch, duck and kick towards the screen in order to beat your opponent. Of course, the ways in which games use Kinect changes all the time.
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