May 21st 2013 1:12 pm

80

Hold on to your gamepad

80

The facial recognition on the Xbox One Kinect is amazing, and the voice commands can be magical -- when they work. The rest of the time, the Kinect's inability to understand your voice will leave you reaching for a controller instead.

Critic reviews

8.1
17 reviews
  • Ergonomics / comfort
    8.3
  • Accuracy / responsiveness
    8.0
  • Durability

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User reviews

8.3
3 reviews
  • Ergonomics / comfort
    8.7
  • Accuracy / responsiveness | 1 comment
    8.0
  • Durability | 1 comment
    8.0
8.0
Engadget Nov 20, 2013

It's just not a reliable enough input method. When it does work, boy is it incredible. Every time it doesn't, we're one step closer to disconnecting it forever.

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9.0
Gizmodo Nov 20, 2013

Kinect is ostensibly a camera first, but its voice recognition prowess is a huge selling point for the Xbox One, and it is incredible—when it's working. It's very clear that Kinect ... [has] been a huge part of the Xbox One vision from the start, because this stuff goes deep. Wonderfully deep.

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8.0
TechCrunch Nov 20, 2013

Between the improved skeletal tracking and the fact that every Xbox One comes with a Kinect ... I’m actually quite excited to see what developers do with the Kinect this time around. For navigation? In most cases, meh. But in games? This could be fun.

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8.0
Joystiq Nov 20, 2013

As an additive feature, Kinect works well - and I often preferred it if I wasn't planning on playing a game that session. You must know the command structure, though, and must repeat the "Xbox" opener with certain commands.

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9.0
Pocket-Lint Nov 20, 2013

It's not always perfect and as with any other voice system - like Siri or Google Now - there will be occasions when it doesn't get it right. ... Happily, most of the time, we found that it worked for us.

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9.0
Time Nov 20, 2013

It’s a powerful, addictive way to navigate the console, and save for a few exceptions that seem to be smoothing out with use — the system’s always training behind the scenes — I now prefer it to using the gamepad.

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8.0
Polygon Nov 20, 2013

We were constantly surprised by what the system could distinguish, by all the small but smart usability enhancements provided by Kinect. It feels futuristic and cool in a way that little else about the new consoles does.

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8.0
Kotaku Nov 20, 2013

In theory, Kinect represents a fascinating and potentially revolutionary approach to how we interact with our home theaters. In practice, it's a generational improvement over its Xbox 360 predecessor but still has a ways to go.

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8.0
TechHive Nov 20, 2013

The new Kinect is leagues beyond the Xbox 360’s Kinect. It’s smaller, it works far better in dim light, and it has a much easier time tracking a tall guy like me in a tiny San Francisco living room.

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8.0
ABC News Nov 20, 2013

Ultimately, the Kinect is a powerful tool at the Xbox's disposal. Developers are likely to find ways to take advantage of the Kinect's abilities to make interesting games and apps.

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8.0
Mashable Nov 20, 2013

Kinect games in the past, with a few notable exceptions, were underformed ideas that didn't play well, but it looks like we can expect more accurate, innovative games from this technology.

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9.0
T3 Nov 20, 2013

The Kinect sensor, by the way has been re-vamped. It can now monitor heart-rate and muscle density meaning the virtual drill-instructors on the Fitness App will be doing players more good than ever.

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7.0
The Verge Nov 21, 2013

The upshot is that you can go anywhere, do practically anything in the user interface with your voice alone — when Kinect works as it should. When Kinect works, it completely makes up for the Xbox One’s obtuse visual interface, because you don’t need to think visually anymore.

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9.0
HotHardware Nov 19, 2013

The original Kinect was a huge success for Microsoft and proved to be as versatile as it was useful, even for applications not even remotely connected to gaming ... And the new Kinect sensor included with the Xbox One is better in a number of ways.

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8.0
Expert Reviews Nov 26, 2013

In our experience, we still got some in-game feedback from our online friends when playing Killer Instinct, but for the most part speech was clear and of a much higher bit rate than the Xbox 360.

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7.0
Destructoid Nov 20, 2013

If the voice commands aren't consistently reliable, users are going to pick controller commands over them, which would defeat the purpose completely. I've found that a hybrid works best in my office and home.

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First Looks

product preview
Engadget May 21, 2013

Presumably thanks to its 250,000 pixel resolution, we saw the IR module tracking joint rotation, facial expressions, individual fingers, open / closed eyes, and even how many calories we were burning as we moved around. Oh, and it can track up to six people at once.

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product preview
Ars Technica May 21, 2013

From the moment we entered the demo room, it was clear how much the new sensor improved on the depth sensing resolution of the old Kinect

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product preview
Gizmodo May 21, 2013

Kinect's innards are beefier than ever. Its new sensors can not only pick up on all your joints, and model your body, extrapolating things like your balance, and even figuring out your heartbeat from just staring at you. That last bit alone means its camera must be damned serious.

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product preview
Eurogamer May 22, 2013

There is negligible lag between the person in front of the screen and their image on it and that image is very detailed - right down to shirt wrinkles and even buttons. Apparently the fidelity is about three times that of Kinect 1.

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product preview
The Guardian May 22, 2013

It seems that every aspect of the technology has now been hugely improved and updated. The camera is three times the fidelity of the old version and offers a much wider field of vision (about 40%, meaning that up to six players can now be spotted and tracked by the system.

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product preview
TechRadar May 23, 2013

We're hopeful that the changes will enable smoother use with the Xbox One, but also enable more people to take advantage of the voice and gesture command functionality.

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9.0
WilliamTM WilliamTM

So far so good...haven't got any complaints. The voice controls for the Xbox One are pretty good - it does need repeating sometimes, but I've not had too much trouble with it. As for games, well, I'm only playing Forza 5, so there's not much I can say about that so far!

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