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Santa Brings The Xbox Kinect to the Pehote Home

I have made it clear, that even in my 30's I am still a "gamer."  I still enjoy gaming on my Xbox 360.  I also enjoy playing some of the Mario games on our Wii, not to mention the games I enjoy on my phone and iPad.  Both of my kids enjoy gaming as well.  They spend most of the time on the Wii and their Nintendo DS systems.  However, this past year my son inquired about Star Wars Kinect for the Xbox 360.  He realized we had the system and wanted to buy the game with one of his gift cards.  I informed him that we could not buy the game because I did not own the Kinect controller system.

If you are not familiar with the Kinect controller system it is basically a device you attach to your Xbox and place near the television.  It allows a user to control the Xbox with their voice and body movements.  Basically, it is a step beyond the Wii which requires users to hold a controller while playing games.  "Santa" decided to give the Kinect a try it appeared under the Christmas tree this year.  After a week or two of playing with the Kinect controller I thought I would share my thoughts on the device.

The Xbox Kinect Controller

First, installation was very easy.  I have an older Xbox so I had to use the included power supply.  I just plugged the USB cable into a slot in the front of my Xbox.  It took a matter of minutes to be up and running.  Configuration via the Xbox was simple.

Next, for the device to work properly you need a good amount of space in your gaming room.  Users need to be at least six feet back from the sensor.  I have a good sized great room, but I quickly discovered my coffee table was "in the zone" and causing problems.  Whenever we want to use Kinect I have to move the table across the room; kind of a problem, but nothing major.

There is a learning curve with controlling the games and using voice commands, but after a few days of playing my five year old had it down.  In early trials he would be "dropped" by the controller when he would leap to close to the television.  Now he is much better at remaining in the "zone" recognized by the Kinect Controller.

I really enjoy the Kinect games more than the Wii interactive games.  Santa also brought a dance game that the entire family is enjoying.  The device helps with a great work-out as I learned earlier today after a major dance off with my daughter.  My son gets so into the Star Wars game he breaks into a sweat and starts taking off his shirt.  So much for the lazy gamer lounging on the couch eating chips huh?

If you have an Xbox, and enough room I would recommend the Kinect controller.  Now, I don't plan to use it as my main controller, but I do enjoy interactive games now and then.  I just wish I did not have to move my coffee table every time someone wanted to play.  Oh well, one more part of the "workout" I guess.  Happy gaming!


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