A considerate reader has sent us images from the manual for Microsoft's Kinect peripheral, and amongst the tips on USB cables and power supplies comes some disheartening news for owners of small living rooms.
The manual shows, as you can see in the image above, that for a singleplayer game, you'll need 1.8m of clear space between you and Kinect for the game to be at its best. That's... a stretch, but multiplayer becomes an instant concern as it needs 2.4m of space.
I don't know what world Kinect's designers live in, but 2.4m of space between a TV and a person is a luxury I'm sure many potential users in apartments and smaller homes simply cannot abide. I know I can't!
(Vid cuts out around two seconds from the end, so don't worry, you're not missing a startling revelation.)
Below are a few other informative shots, highlighting the USB extender those with Wi-Fi adaptors will require (since Kinect will be using the console's rear port) as well as the extra steps owners of older Xbox 360s will have to complete to get Kinect plugged in (the peripheral connects directly to a new "S" console, so doesn't need to be plugged into an external power source). You'll also see the height you'll need to place the camera at.
One more thing before we go: There's advice at the back of the manual regarding the camera's ability to detect the player in various lighting conditions. One of the tips says not to allow direct sunshine to hit the camera, which is understandable. Another, though, says if the device is having trouble picking you up to try changing clothes. Maybe wear something that contrasts more with your surroundings.
To be fair, Kinect's sweetspot for singleplayer is less than the Sony Move's. According to the developers of PS Move launch game Sports Champion, the Sony motion peripheral works "best" at around 2.4m. However, the Sony peripheral is "definitely tolerant outside of that range". It also does not have "clothes changing" as part of its troubleshooting.