Better Clear Some Space For Kinect (Or Move House)

Better Clear Some Space For Kinect (Or Move House)

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.


  • …just don’t leave the camera on when you are ‘changing clothes’…. not good if yhou are in a party gaming!

  • So what if the device requires 1.8m of space, you would want this to have full range of motion anyway. I don’t want to be kicking my couch or tv unit while I’m playing Dance Central. You’d be naive to think you could use Kinect in a cramped living room.

  • You raised lots of interesting possible concerns.

    But didn’t mention that the manual has you re-arranging your living room furniture!

    There’s room to move around in my living room, but I don’t have many reasonable options for the coffee tables position.

  • Just saw this repeated on Giz, and made a comment there, which I’ll basically repeat here.

    Why is this such a surprise, and why are people suggesting that it’s a “bad thing”?

    Any activity that requires you to be moving around the lounge room (ala Eyetoy, Wii or Playstation Move) will realistically require exactly the same thing.

    And yes, multiplayer is going to require more room, because you’ve got more people…

    I’ve played some awesome games of Wii Tennis that required plenty of space for me and my opponent to get maximum enjoyment from.

    And now with with the Move coming out with it’s massive hand wands, if you go swining a sword, or raquet or anything, you’re going to need a fair bit of space between you and your TV etc.

    It’s just a fact of life, living with playing these kinds of games.

    And sure, I do also get that with the Wii, and possibly the Move, you can sit in a couch and move the controller less, but still play the game. But that’s not the point – If you want motion tracking gaming, you need some space to move to get the most out of it.

    Seeing my fat cousin play Wii Fit Jogging by lying down, and shaking the controller was quite a sad experience.

  • So about the same space me and my for four kids use playing Wii so we can wave around a Wiimote and a nunchuk each and not hit each other.

    Stupid question but if you live in a tiny box house/apartment why would you want to buy a full body motion game device?

  • i just checked and i have exactly 2.4m from wall to couch. not tv to couch though.

    that’s really a lot of space.
    I’ve managed rock band sessions with 2 guitarists, an ION drum kit and 3 singers in my gaming space and plenty of wii flailing yet i may not have enough space for 2 player dance central.

    thats a load of crap, ive got the biggest room of all my friends that would potentially buy it. it just seems like a better lens could have helped.

    oh well i’ll wait till release to see how big of an issue this really is.
    but i certainly wont be getting one on launch until its been tested

    • For the record I’ve had the Kinect since it launched we don’t have a huge living room but our unit works freak for mp. On another note you can place the sensor at eye level and it will account for the space lost by tv stand or large tv.. We love our Kinect and we have 5 games that all work great even in tight quarters!!

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