Impressions: First Hour with Kinect

By Chris Guzman

November 4, 2010

The day has arrived. It’s November 4, 2010. It’s been 17 months and three days since Project Natal was announced. It has been a long road. Look what has happened since then. The National Enquirer outed Tiger Woods to be cheating on his wife, the Saints won the Super Bowl, both the Yankees and the Giants have won the World Series since then, Kobe once again wins a NBA Championship, Lebron James goes to the Heat, Michael Jackson dies, the Cowboys fall to 1 -6, the Lions are actually winning games, and World of Warcraft is still selling millions of copies. While Apple was off refreshing their entire lineup and contemplating buying everyone, and Sony has finally begun making money and selling those darn PS3’s like hotcakes at IHOP, Microsoft has been in the lab constructing this fine piece of black magic. Video games without a controller? Dancing games without a mat or station? I would call you crazy, but this is what we have.


Upon the GameStop employee handing me my Kinect in a huge bag, I realized just how light the device it was. I thought the Kinect would be a lot heavier than what it actually turned out to be. The box is a wonderful white color, with some green and purple stripes. The actual unit is finished in a glossy black, similar to the Xbox 360 S, and like I said before is super light. Kinect Adventures is snuck away on the side of the box. You can tell Microsoft went to a lot to package this big thing in such a little package. A plethora of manuals and random stuff you’ll never read are also included, but if you have a long drive one day, why not bring it along? Don’t actually do that, reading isn’t cool.


After quickly setting up the system, which is quick and easy, a few plug-ins and you’re done, you’ll be introduced into a few menus. Guess what? You need your actual controller for this, so I hope you didn’t throw that out completely yet. Now, your turned onto some calibration for movement, voice, and checking to see if your room under your mom’s stairs has enough space (mine didn’t).


So, onto my first hour. One of the first things I did was play with the voice recognition software. Telling  your Xbox things never get old, although sometimes it just won’t recognize, causing me to curse out my Xbox multiple times. However, it usually worked out well. Saying “Kinect Hub” at the regular Xbox Dashboard will bring you to the land of motion controls. From there, you move around like you would move around the Wii, but with no hands. Everything flows great, and I feel so awesome swishing between blades with my hands. Now, saying “Xbox Open Tray” allows the Xbox to open the disc tray after a one-to-two second delay, which is fine considering I’m talking to my Xbox.

Next was Kinect Adventures!, which started and began with moving. No, not moving, jumping, and stretching for the game, more like moving furniture. Sadly, my room under the stairs is just too small, which required the movement of my glass work table. Even then, my room was tight, but I managed. After playing a little Rallyball, I found the tracking to be great. Everything seemed to be 1:1, with a extremely small amount of lag. Remember, we’re dealing with a one of a kind system here. It tracked my jumping well, my hand movements, and pausing. The game was also done very well, leaving your right hand to your side, and your left hand 45 degrees from your leg.

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From what I experienced in my first hour, it’s better than anything that anyone has ever shown me on the Wii, or anything I played in my short time owning one. The system feels innovative, polished, and like something I’ve never seen before. I never thought this system would work, let alone let me talk to the thing, but everything Microsoft said it would do, it does. Want to watch some ESPN? “Xbox ESPN”. Or maybe you want to start playing Dance Central, “Xbox Play Disc.” It’s the system of the future, it’s gonna have you saying, “Look Ma, No Hands,” and I have already used that line quite a few times last night. Everything you might need to do can now be achieved in the Kinect Hub. Bring up your friends, achievements, everything Kinectified, and for the good.

And yes, Kinectified is a word. Look it up.

A Kinect, and Kinect Adventures were purchased by the Chris on November 4, 2010. He spent approximetley 2 1/2 hours with Kinect on launch night, and documented the first hour of what he explored.

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Chris Guzman

An avid gamer since birth, I consider myself a new-age gamer. My first system was the N64, but the first system I really cared about was my Xbox Original. I'm a computer science major in college, and spend all my money on games, and stuff I don't need. I've never played Zelda or many Mario games in my youth. I'm also a huge sports fan, and a chick flick lover. My favorite games include Gears of War, Halo, Fallout, GTA, Mass Effect, and Metal Gear Solid.

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