Why I'm A Little Bit Worried About Kinect

I am a little bit worried about Kinect.

I've just spent 10 minutes being scanned into Kinect Sports Rivals. I'm not sure if it's working correctly. The only feedback I am being given is from a Microsoft rep to my right. He's politely giving me instructions when the Kinect (for some reason) stops the scan.

"Take a step forward."

"Take a step back."

"Maybe just tilt your head a little bit left."

After this laborious effort (which I'm assured will be streamlined before the game's release) Kinect Sports Rivals goes through the process of translating the information into a virtual representation of me. As it does its calculations I ask myself, 'if this is difficult with a Microsoft representative guiding me step by step, how difficult will it be for a ten year old in the comfort of his or her own home, or parents who've never used a console before?'

Then my avatar pops up. It looks vaguely like me. Vaguely. That's being generous. The 3DS did a similar job of creating my Mii with a single low-resolution photograph. Was it really worth all that effort?

Now to play Kinect Sports Rivals itself. The rep sets up a two player game. Rock climbing. As someone obsessed with rock climbing (I climb three times a week) I'm super excited. I stand side by side with the Microsoft rep. Immediately I notice there is something wrong. My avatar's limbs are contorted like some screwed up Lovecraftian marionette, my arms twitch incessantly, clearly not responding to any of my movements.

I think we have a problem here.


Yesterday I spent a fair amount of time with the Xbox One's new Kinect, and it seemed like a significant chunk of that time was spent trying to get things to work when (two months from the launch of Xbox One) they should simply work.

We were supposed to be forgiving, and we were. After two player Rock Climbing on Kinect Sports Rivals clearly wasn't working, I was happy to simply try out the single player, despite Microsoft making a big fuss of the fact Kinect allows multiple players on-screen simultaneously. Single player climbing worked more fluidly but, regardless, I never really felt like I was in control of my actions. My movements weren't being replicated accurately. I felt as though I was fumbling my way to the top with no real in-game feedback; no real sense that Kinect was working as advertised.

'The lag has been reduced massively': that's what we're constantly being told in conferences, in communications with Microsoft, in interviews, in previews. I have no doubt there are figures to back those statements up, but the disconnect between my movements in real life as replicated on screen is obvious. I feel it, instantly, and it makes playing any game with Kinect a frustrating experience. The next game I play is Wakeboarding, it feels a little better than climbing, but it's nowhere near responsive enough. The delay is obvious to anyone who plays it, to the point where I can't imagine anyone investing in it to any great extent.

I find myself asking another question: three years after the release of Kinect, how many video games have really worked well with Kinect? I come up with two names. Two. Dance Central and Child of Eden. In three years. Is it possible that Kinect just isn't suited for video games?


I'm worried about Kinect. Mere months from launch it feels imprecise, temperamental and clumsy. On more than one occasion its voice recognition, being demonstrated by a Microsoft rep from the US with an American accent, needed three or four repeats of 'Xbox Home' to do what a single button press could have done in half a second. If Microsoft reps who have been briefed and have lived with the Xbox One for months are struggling to make everything work seamlessly, what chance does the average punter have?

And make no mistake, a device like Kinect — the device Microsoft is hellbent on shoehorning into our living space — must be seamless if the Xbox One is to capture the mainstream audience Microsoft is lusting after. In short: I have very little confidence in Kinect's ability to respond quickly, efficiently or consistently and that's an issue.

But the major issue is this: if you want to purchase an Xbox One, Kinect is being forced upon you. You are paying extra for a device that, two months from launch, feels like a rough, unfinished product. You don't have a choice and that's problematic.

When Kinect was first announced — as Project Natal — it felt monumental, as if Microsoft had captured a rare bolt of technological lightning. Don Mattrick looked and talked like a strange time traveller, with a device he had somehow stolen from a distant, brilliant future. Our minds were alive with possibility. Since that day those possibilities have faded and declined, yet Microsoft still seems driven by that squandered potential — by the future that Project Natal promised but couldn't deliver upon. Stop trying to make fetch happen, it isn't going to happen.

I want to be positive about Kinect, but it's difficult. Some aspects work well: facial recognition, although slow, is a great idea. I love that it recognises who is holding which controller and responds accordingly. This is a useful, future facing feature and it's the result of great innovative thinking. Easier than switching controllers? Maybe not, but it has benefits, particularly in tandem with Xbox One's customisable homepage. Watching the console adjust preferences on the fly based on who was holding which controller was quite breathtaking. 'This is what Kinect should be used for,' I thought.

But that was the 10%. During the remaining 90%, Kinect felt like it was a hindrance, forcing users to swim against the giant leaps Microsoft made with Xbox One's user friendly UI, which looks fantastic. Sure, I can turn Kinect off — that's my choice. But I still have to pay for it. I don't have a choice there.

So, yes. I think there are issues there — not with the Xbox One, with Kinect specifically. Forza Motorsport looks incredible, Ryse seems to have made strides in the combat department and I walked away genuinely blown away by the scale and ambition of Dead Rising 3.

But Kinect? I’m a little bit worried about Kinect.


Comments

    TL:DR

    :P

      Ha! <3

        Yeah c'mon Mark, you need to write more like Bashcraft. One paragraph and lots of pictures of crazy Japanese stuff! :P

        Last edited 25/09/13 2:22 pm

        do any of you at Kotaku have anything positive to say about Xbox One? kinect is still optional I'm just glad I'm getting it for free and all developers will know the entirety of the install base has one hence the developed content will be a lot better than say that woefull playstation eye

          Oh, that fun old argument. Knowing that all players will have this fancy new motion tech will mean they can make it good, eh? As good as, say... any motion control in any wii game ever? This argument is so old and tired and wrong it needs to be euthanized already.

          Motion control is ass. We all know it. Knowing that everyone will be able to access it doesn't make for better experiences. It makes for more contrived experiences as developers get mandates from management to shoe-horn in token mechanics which make use of it in places where it does not in any way at all enhance the experience.

          If you're at all confused as to why motion control is so bad for gaming, have a peek at http://youtu.be/ijcezUy3ZzY which explains it very neatly and logically. Like the article says: there are occasionally neat features which are enhancements. But that's the 10% out of the 90% of its forced usage.

          This is not a good selling point, and not a great reason to drop an extra ~$100'ish on otherwise similar hardware.

            Disagree it was the selling point for me after the original kinnect made Skyrim heaps better IMO otherwise I'd still probably be still deciding which console to buy in Nov

          "I'm just glad I'm getting it for free"

          Are you absolutely serious? How can you possibly be this dumb?

          What @akuma07 is incredulous about, in case it isn't clear to you Raze35, is that you're not getting it for free if the device is $100-150 more expensive because it has kinect in it.

            Well actually considering the kinect is packaged with the console and currently there is no package without it, one could consider it free.
            Lets not ignore the fact that Fifa 14 is also boxed with the console (for pre orders) which costs $99.95 from EB.
            So would that mean that the release console is only worth $349.05 (if Kinect cots $150).
            But after release the consoles go up to $449?

            Take what you want out of it.
            I don't need to pay extra for it so its free.

            And it seems they can't get it to work right this generation either.

            Don't be so tough on the kid

            Most kids these days have problems w/ 1 + 1 already... let alone numbers w/ more than 2 digits! xD

          Explain the part where you're getting it for free...

    So when Kinect 2 was announced and everybodys response was "It will be as pointless and inaccurate as Kinect 1" they ended up all being as right as they knew they would be?

      I don't think what you're saying is fair, it's one reviewers experience with the product. There are others who have come away with exactly the opposite impression.

      Perhaps we should reserve our final judgement for release and looking at how the masses react to it instead of calling it a day and concluding it as a failure.

        Agreed Kinect sports rivals is not finished yet

          See, comments like this is bullshit.
          Of course Kinect Sports Rivals is finished. Its finished, pressed, printed, packed and getting ready for shipping now.
          Theres thousands of copies sitting in boxes in warehouses.

            Are you aware that it's been pushed back for a release in May 2014 (8 months away)? It's not a release title.

            Last edited 25/09/13 3:32 pm

              That's a key point that should probably be mentioned in the article, then. I don't pay much attention to future release dates and assumed that if they're using this game to demo Kinect it must be a launch title too.

              If a game they used as a demo has been pushed back that far from launch, maybe it's because they realised that the game itself is not ready and it's not so much the Kinect itself. Maybe.

        Have seen a fair few videos of people using the Kinect at the various games conferences since it's announcement. Results are in favour of this article.

    We see things like Minority Report and think "wow how cool is that" but do we ever think about it being dsily use?
    Sitting at a desk typing and using a mouse all day is far more practicle from a health and efficiency perspective than flailing uour arms and yelling all day.
    Kinect is a cool concept but a pointless addition to using a remote and controller for daily media use.

      +1

      Everyone uses minority report as an example of why these motion technology will be great. I don't remember Tom Cruise in minority report using the motion control all day. He uses it once (for about 30s) to pull up some info, and then spends the rest of the movie doing other shit.

      Actually sitting down is quite bad for you. The human skeleton evolved from standing up, walking and running around all day. The culture we live in now where we're sitting down or laying down for the majority of each day causes stress to the body.

        Thanks, but if I want a biology lesson I will go back to school.

        I see what you are saying man. But by that logic people should be out and about getting exercise when not working, gaming etc.
        When you are at a desk at work, if you used kinect (minority report style tech etc etc) you'd end up with wrecked shoulders and stuff. That was the point I was trying to make with Kinect. We have got posture and data entry, game cont ergonomics down pat for our longterm benefit.

    This is Microsoft being stubborn and not listening to their audience. Kinect games, I don't know anyone who plays them apart from my girlfriend's sister who plays a dancing game on it. Did they look at how Wii Sports basically sold the Wii and then Wii Fit took that even further and thought they could do the same with the Kinect and Kinect Sports? They either have shortsighted people working there or people are afraid to tell the developers that success like that won't be easily replicated.

    But then again, The Xbone will be judged by it's traditional games and those alone. The 'games' that come out for the Kinect or Playstation Eye more often than not look more like glorified tech demos, and tbh, that's all they actually are. No-one yet has figured out how to seemlessly integrate motion control into a game apart from the mentioned dancing games. I share your pessimism about the Kinect, Sony probably do as well which is why they're not shouting from the rooftops about the Eye, but at least microsoft seem to've taken a step back from that approach of forcing it on everyone and gone to focusing on the games.

      Did they look at how Wii Sports basically sold the Wii

      It, did? I thought that the Wii sold Wii Sports. To the point that I believe that Wii Sports wouldn't be the top selling game of all time if it wasn't mandatory to buy a Wii.

      Kinda like how I don't believe the Liberal party would have won if voting wasn't mandatory and that the majority of people just gave a donkey vote.

        Well, maybe it didn't sell the console directly, but people raved about it when it first came out and it got people talking about the Wii which moved it off the shelf. Now that people have wisened up to motion control and it's not a big new fad anymore, it doesn't have the impact it once did.

        A little of column A, a little of column B. Wii Sports was multiplayer and picking up a controller and playing with friends sold a lot of consoles. I think the console would have done ok without it, but everyone having a casual arcade style multiplayer game that didn't require multiple controllers was a big factor in the sales explosion the Wii saw.
        Not many launch games provide that extremely welcoming experience. I know I didn't own any that weren't bundled with hardware (Zelda's an awesome game, but it doesn't sell consoles the same way Wii Sports does).

      I thought that motion control was well integrated into Heavy Rain, and have even heard that it is the better way to play. I think motion controls can work well, it's just dependant on how they are implemented, and also on the subject of the game itself.

        HR with move is fantastic, but HR wasnt built with move in mind - QD added it in later, so not sure if its can be classed as the same example

          I know it wasn't built with move in mind, but it is still a good example of how motion controls can be implemented into a game while enhancing the overall experience. Developers seem to be content with implementing motion controls into linear, unimaginative games. A more creative approach to motion gaming, like HR, is how motion gaming should be done.

    Come on Mark, we all know that the kinect features aren't meant to work for Australian's out of the box, like every other feature Microsoft has said is so amazing with the Xbox One :P

      Yeah, Kinect doesnt work with Australians. It scanned Mark and went "Nope, youre Australian."

        Maybe it went, "alert, alert, Scottish man posing as Aussie, alert" and that was the reason it did not scan Mark?

          Hahaha, oh dear. Mark can be hard to understand at times, though I put that down to my shot hearing :P

    Is the Kinect market really that big? Are there that many people out there who feel they absolutely need it in their lives?
    Maybe Microsoft should stick with pimping it out for its alternate uses, hospitals and 3D scanning and mocap and whatever.

      It's weird.

      The technology behind the Kinect is really nifty and people have done interesting things with it. Just nothing gaming related.

        Pretty much this.
        It really isn't "gaming technology" (Is that a thing? I don't know...).

      The point he was trying to make is that he believes it's not really that great, but everyone is forced to pay for it... valid point.

      I have some insider sources who are blown away from it, and these are critical jerks in general so I'll save my judgement for the final release. I will agree that the current kinect sucks so hopefully kinect 2 does deliver.

      I have 4 daughters and kinnect and Wii is the most played games in my household, I for one love voice commands and hope more games will include them and hopefully with the Xbox forced kinnect this will increase

    Interesting write-up. I've never experienced Kinect except for in-store demos of the old version and can't say I've ever thought to myself, 'I want to play games this way'. Have you guys had any experience with the PS camera? I'd be interested in knowing how that performs as details on it are scarce...

    I'm not overly surprised to hear this. Microsoft really have promised the sky with their Kinect integration and currently, I just don't see it. The fact that Mark reports it as being worryingly inaccurate is beside the bigger point, as I see it.
    I think motion gaming will always need tangible inputs to make them fun - taking away buttons, and therefore any games which require complex actions, will limit what Kinect-only games can do. Using the subtler features, like facial scanning, in conjunction with a controller is a much better idea for the games I want to play.
    Not to be a brow-beating fanboy, but Sony's approach seems smarter, to me. The camera appears capable of recognizing basic gestures in a Kinect-like manner, albeit not in as much detail; and they're sticking with making the controller the center of it all. Whether motion gaming captures me any more than it did last generation (ie. not at all) is still up for grabs, but I think I'll be preferring Sony's approach based on my experiences with Kinect vs Move. Both companies' approaches seem to be more refined versions of what they've done with PS3 and 360, so my reaction to them is likely going to be the same. Kinect 2 could be 100% accurate; I probably still won't enjoy the games which use it.

      Agreed, motion only is weird... at least the Wii had you waving wands around and pressing buttons.

      I'm more excited for smartglass and subtle uses of kinect as opposed to full blown jumping around my living room, I just can't see it being that fun.

        I wanna see facescan in more games, like EA Sports gameface, be so cool to get your face in BF4

    Thanks for an honest review.

    As someone who also attended last night's shindig, I came away with a completely different interpretation of Kinect 2.0. While the rep didn't give me the benefit of being scanned in or allow me to rock climb, the jet ski game was a tremendous feat compared to playing anything on the original Kinect device. Every action I made was translated instantly. The guy even told me I made the best lap of the night, and I hated playing anything on Kinect previously.

    Personally, it almost had me sold on the Xbox One, but the other games from last night weren't really impressive.

      I genuinely hope I get proven wrong on this one, and that I just had a pretty poor demo. It's possible. Before I wrote this I tried to get feedback from a couple of other people who had seen it. They're hard to find! Thanks for commenting. :)

        I've seen both the Kinect 2.0 and Kinect Sports Rivals in action and I'm not worried. The Kinect tech demo was amazing and really impressive especially the IR capabilities and low light/light cancellation functions. KSR on the other hand was broken and never made it past calibration. It was supposed to be available all day for demo and never made it past the first hour.

    I can't speak for everyone else, but the biggest reasons why a Kinect 2 is appealing to me as an X1 preorder are:

    1: Project Spark integration

    2: Skype use

    3: Voice/gesture navigation

    Which is particularly why a mandatory Kinect doesn't bother me, and to be frank is something I like as we should see more developer focus/integration now that 1 Xbox = 1 Kinect.

      My thoughts exactly. Actually screw it, I'm not even going to add anything apart from these two sentences stating that I am not adding anything, just to ensure that you understand that my addition to the above statement is not required.

      I never really had much interest in 2 or 3 myself, if I wanted to use Skype I would just use my laptop. I also think if you take the time it will require to give the Kinect the commands to navigate through the menus and compare it to just using a controller, using a controller would be quicker. Correct me if i'm wrong but weren't basically all the Kinect games that solely used the Kinect on-rails anyway. Do we really want more of that.

        The Skype integration is useful, it's about being able to snap (multitask) Skype while watching TV or playing a game in my media room. The voice commands are just something I think of a bonus, I wouldn't use them all the time but if I'm just getting home from work, it's going to be easier for me to say "Xbox On" while I'm walking past the media room instead of going in there, grabbing the remote and turning it on.

        If I'm not able to find the remote or I left it over there? Well if the task is small enough then I can just use voice commands as an alternative. I think the option being there is good, not that I think it should replace controllers completely.

        And I do hope your last comment isn't addressing Project Spark, because then you haven't looked into Project Spark much have you? It would be quite impossible for it to be an on-rails game considering it's a creation game, and I do urge you to look into it as it is the biggest X1 seller for me, free to Windows 8 and Xbox One and it is amazing what you can do in that game.

          No Project Spark looks amazing I'm talking about Kinect games in general

            Fair enough, I'm hardly a fan of Kinect games so I don't really pay much attention to them. Weird Déjà vu at the moment though.

      Totally agree - It is kind of like how Microsoft iterated on its non games focused offering throughout the life of the 360 - once the platform is in the living room, you can push what it can do. Once you have the 1 Xbox = 1 Kinect world, I suspect we will see lots of different experimentation in how to use the functionality, shading from light touch (replace a couple of commands with a voice or gesture) all the way to fully integrated games that actually work.

      I also think that it is when you have this wide platform penetration you will start to see some interesting app development - e.g. shopping apps that size you as you do your shopping through the XB1.

      I will definitely use the Kinect camera for Skype.

        Doesnt X1 Skype need XBLGold sub?

          That's a bit cheeky from MS. Which other device requires you to get past a paywall to use Skype?

            your ISP ?

              Not always. Free wifi, free Skype. Whereas who's using free wifi on their xbone? So, let's rephrase. What other device makes you get past a paywall to use Skype (after you've secured internet access - which if you're going to be a tool and call your ISP a paywall as well, means TWO paywalls on the xbone)?

              That actually makes it sound much worse. Well done. :)

              Last edited 26/09/13 4:44 pm

                We lost this argument years ago with the 360 and XB Live Gold. They won the war to have each device in your house charge you an ongoing fee to use features. It amazes me at the outrage and shit storms around on-disc DLC while happily paying money for the privileged of using a hardware port. And the argument of 'Well they need it to run the service' is BS, since they force the service use. If Stream tried this, or MS in Windows, there'd be government actions, but it's OK for games consoles?

                What, really, does XBLive add? It could be worth it, but it is hard to tell since it is mandatory. And moot at this point, as that ship sailed. Now PS4 will have the same setup. Great for people with both consoles, nibble away a little more...

                  Having both consoles is a byproduct of the console wars being SOFT this current generation. You could own both AND a PC, and it would all be good, buying only the exclusives and putting everything else on PC.

                  The next gen? It will probably be shorter (say... 5 yrs instead of 8) with more modular architecture/hardware options, giving people less time to gradually acquire both out of boredom, and they'll be moving focus even more to lounge-room primacy, tying as much as they can to your online profile so that switching systems results in tangible disadvantages.

                  ...Such as double subscription, like you mentioned. Dark days are ahead in these console wars. I'm bowing out until the first 'extras' version of the new hardware comes out. (Slimmer form-factor, upgraded HD kinda thing.)

    While i can't argue with what you have seen, I can argue with the fact your basing this mostly off of a game that is 8+ months from release.
    Kinect Sports Rivals was delayed to Q1/Q2 2014 (estimated may release) months ago, most likely because they hadn't nailed down the Kinect integration. So it seems unfair to base everything on pre release alpha playthrough of a game.

    While i have no doubt there will be many awful kinect games like there are now, i think everyone needs to stop doom and glooming it before its even arrived. I mean if everyone had their way Microsoft would have dropped kinect and beefed up the gpu and we would have 2 identical consoles to chose from and that is insanity.

    With that said I don't know how successful full kincet controls will ever be, at best they tire you out at worst they get put into things they really shouldn't. So in that respect i do agree with the "this is what kinect should be doing sentiment" (about seeing who has which controller and adjusting). The more ways they incorporate things like this, that require no input from players and just provide pure benefit, the more people will warm up to it.

    Last edited 25/09/13 2:38 pm

      Well, Microsoft shouldn't have used it as a tech demo then. Or shown it at all if it was intended to show off the game. I would've thought that a demo using a device coming out soon should be representative of the device's capabilities.

        I have to agree, that's a huge snafoo on their part.

        They probably should have just showed off zoo tycoon (its looking pretty decent imo, better than half the launch titles on either system) and fighter within (if it works awesome, though since there is very little footage i doubt that it does)

    See, on the one hand, I think Kinect is neat tech being shoehorned where it really doesn't belong.

    But on the other, if MS hadn't forced it into gaming, we wouldn't have things like this:

    http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/17igz0i4m3ijbgif/original.gif

    I'd go as far as to say the Kinect needs to be beyond seamless and into predictive to deliver a worthwhile dashboard experience. Voice and motion control has been obsolete since the command prompt. It looks futuristic, so people keep chasing it, but at the end of the day even with a flawless AI processing your commands navigation using vocal/gesture commands is a hindrance compared the guide button, d-pad and A/B buttons. It's like asking someone to get up and change the channel while you're holding the remote.
    Even if I were to control the UI with my mind it'd need to require focus so to tell the difference between thinking about turning off the console and a command to turn it off. That would actually more work than using the controller I'm holding in my hand. The only way it will work out better is if it somehow gets ahead of the user. Until then a classic iPod click-wheel beats the snot out of trying to communicate with a machine as though it was human.

    The only judgement I disagree with here is that the current generation Kinect not being utilised properly is a flaw in the Kinect concept. We didn't see many games truly use the XBOX HDD this generation because not all consoles had HDDs (or large enough HDDs), but that doesn't mean you can't do anything great with a HDD. Another comparison might be the GBA-to-NGC cable. Nobody did anything worthwhile with it but the concept was great. Admittedly the WiiU isn't doing great with the same technology, but I'd say that's the result of problems elsewhere.
    The PS4/PSVita and XBOX/Smartphone compatibility should net some decent results now connectivity tech has evolved, although like the GBA cable because it's not boxed in with the console you can't invest too heavily in it.

    One of the other interesting factors, Microsoft are pushing Kinect 2.0 exceptionally hard, as Mark mentions you have no choice in buying it or not, you would think there would be ONE game that uses the device in a significant way at launch.

    Yes, most games have some Kinect functions, but nothing that was designed for the Kinect as a primary control interface. Kinect Sports Rivals should have been that title, but is now a 2014 title. Which I really think could be a decent argument to show that MS has the priorities of Kinect for other services and not games.

      Yes, most games have some Kinect functions, but nothing that was designed for the Kinect as a primary control interface.

      I think that's actually the realm where we'll see the Kinect shine. It's almost useless as a primary game control for traditional games like shooters, platformers and RPGs, but as an augmentation to be used in conjunction with a game pad it can work.
      Although I'm hoping we see a Point and Click Adventure revival with the Kinect. It won't happen, but I'm still hoping.

    I don't mind the motion stuff when used alongside an actual controller, which is why I'm ok with the Wii as well as PSMove and the upcoming PS4 Camera and dual shock 4 because you get a physical controller to manipulate still.

    Is it possible that Kinect just isn’t suited for video games?

    Pretty much what I've been saying for years - it's cool technology, but MS are trying to shoehorn it into an application (gaming) to which it is not suited.

    Just read, I agree. Don't like paying for things I don't use :-/

    I think the only real problem is that you can't not have it.
    I like the tech, and it has great potential for motion capture, VR, dance games etc... but it hast he same problem as every other motion control.
    it has to be worth.
    People always complain that they rather use a control than wave their hands around. That's perfectly true and normal. What the industry has to do is create a situation where motion controls become better than a controller and where motion controls becomes worth the effort.
    I think VR is an environment where motion controls add to the experience (and dance games). Everything else is a gimmick and it's the same reason the first Kinect, PS move, Wii remote were all pretty average

    "Stop trying to make fetch happen, it isn’t going to happen."

    I love you, Mark.

    I think the bottom line is that the lame, semi-broken 360 Kinect had sold 24 MILLION units by February this year. There’s a lot of people out there, and I’m not necessarily saying the same people who read Kotaku, who love the tech or at least the idea behind it. I know people are ripping on it, but I do think that the sales numbers show that even if it’s shit (which I’m sure it will be), it could well be a huge advantage to Microsoft over the coming generation.

    I also think that silly gimmicks like the ability to walk into your house and turn on the console with a voice command are actually a big deal. It seems stupid to us cynical gamers but it is something new and a lot of people will think it’s awesome, particularly since it’s absolutely the first impression people will have of the console. If I’ve got casual friends over and I do that, peoples first reaction will be “Oh, that’s cool!”, it’s something new and understandable to an audience who are going to be confused if I start talking polygon counts.

    I’m not saying it’s useful, I plan on ignoring it, just saying that I can see why Microsoft have committed to the idea and why I’m happy to have it bundled with the system.

    Strange, I've seen videos of it working perfectly fine in Kinect Sports Rivals.

    Could be a build issue?

      Every body and situation is unique, which is the real challenge of such a system. There may be some quirk to some people that messes it up. If that even represents 1% of the install base of a required peripheral, that's going to be a huge problem. Sure, there are lots of good reviews, but there's a good few like this, and to me that says it is clearly still quite hit or miss. Remember, 'works for me' doesn't mean 'perfect' or 'works for everyone'.

    My thoughts exactly it is simply a gimmick that would see better use in other areas such as trying on fashion clothing in a shop window, diver training (it sees what you look at) etc.

    As a home console it should be an optional accessory that I do not wish to pay for.

    Microsoft offer the Xbox One WITHOUT Kinect and we will talk until then you can keep your Spybox.

    Meh, I had no intention of jumping around in front of it like an idiot anyway. I just want to control the Xbox with my voice, and have the Xbox On command.

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