- Ergonomics / comfort Motion controllers can be great, but there's something incomparable to gaming without any controllers at all. You just have to try it to truly understand.
- Accuracy / responsiveness Kinect is occasionally laggy and buggy in the way that it detects movement, especially subtle movements. We'll have to see if this improves with time.
- Durability It's a solid feeling device, but it does have some moving parts -- the entire head pivots, which makes me worry about its long-term durability.
So far the Kinect has received some pretty breathless praise, but I'm still feeling a bit mixed. It's absolutely an incredible new way to interact with games, especially when one is looking at the product through the lens of the utterly unique technologies that brought it to market. But Kinect isn't yet perfect, and at times its beta-like performance can be pretty frustrating: sensing motion is occasionally slightly laggy, and sometimes the body mapping gets a little wonky and jittery. Whether the resulting experience is related to buggy hardware or first-generation software, I don't know -- but I'd really love to eventually see a version that includes both front and rear room sensors.
Kinect definitely seems to work best in games that require bigger, more dramatic body movements (as in Kinect Sports and Kinect Adventures), and tends to get have a harder time registering smaller, subtler movements (like holding a steering wheel, as in Kinect Joy Ride). I never felt like Kinect completely failed to deliver, though, and I can't explain how surprisingly natural feeling and delightful it is to play certain games without any controllers at all. The Kinect Sports bundle games somehow feel even more engaging than their classic Wii Sports counterparts.
One thing to keep in mind is that you'll need a lot of space for the Kinect. Not just because you'll want the room to avoid hitting other players with your flailing limbs, but because the sensor has a sweet spot at 7-10 feet away, which means in most living rooms you'll probably need to move the coffee table -- if not the sofa -- out of the way. Time will tell whether the Kinect pans out to be the gaming revolution Microsoft hopes, but I think it's already pretty clear that looking at the Kinect strictly in terms of technology, it represents a huge, futuristic step forward in how we interact with machines.
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