I GOT A KINECT! Part II
Last night, while testing out the functionality of the Kinect, I ended up playing with Bing integration far more than I had intended. While trying, ahem, non-standard commands out on the Xbox, I ended up discovering that Bing will pretty much try to find whatever you ask of it, as long as your command is worded “Xbox, Bing, (insert phrase here)”. Of course, this inspired much hilarity in my household, as the mister and I took turns trying to make the Kinect blush with embarassment. Funnier yet? Bing will return results for most everything you search, and yet, it self-censors. Therefore, my comparatively PG rated search for one of my favorite bands, Nashville Pussy, returned prompt (and extensive!) results, but Bing identified my query as a search for “Nashville *****”. The results of complicated searches were also very amusing, such as Bing’s imaginative interpretation of my last name, and its initial resistance at finding “but it’s not Google”.
After fiddling around with both the arm waving and order barking, I decided to run Kinect Adventures, and see if the fear mongering about playspace is legitimate. My understanding is that this title has a huge space requirement, so it seemed like the right place to start. Personally, I didn’t have any problems, and that’s with the Kinect placed below my television (I plan on mounting the Kinect above my tv, which apparently cuts down on the space required by the device quite significantly). The game only once paused to ask me to step back into the “field”, and that was through many rounds of two separate mini games. To be fair, my couch is already roughly 6 feet away from the location of the Kinect, and giving it an extra foot or so of space by moving the couch back would have made the experience even more comfortable, so I can’t argue that the space requirements are small by any means.
As for the minigames, both were extremely fun to play, with one focused on bouncing balls down a tunnel to explode targets, and the other on hovering and floating through the air, bursting bubbles. I found the response to be pretty dead on, and while I looked like a fool playing them (thanks for the photo reminders, Kinect Adventures!), the interaction with the game was satisfying overall, and not frustrating in the least.
I anticipate that I’ll be posting more updates on my Kinect experience, especially as I add games to my collection, but in the meantime, you can click here if you missed Part I.
[This is another image pulled from the initial Kinect patent, which seems to indicate some kind of evil-mastermind-mustachio-twirling simulation capability.]