Tag Archives: kinect

Will Kinect Kill the Wii?


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Someone asked if Microsoft’s Kinect will “kill” the Wii. I really hate that whole “kill” mentality.

In any case, I don’t think it will happen. I think that the Kinect will be a gateway drug of sorts – it will encourage people who never wanted an Xbox 360 to grab one. The Wii and the Kinect systems are so completely different, that many people will choose between them – or use both.

I don’t know if one technology will “trump” a second technology. Comparing the two of them really isn’t fair. They truly are different.

What do you think about the Kinect? Is it better than the Wii? Or, is that even a fair comparison to make? Should Microsoft encourage Kinect hacking? Inquiring minds wanna know.

World of Warcraft on Kinect


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The Kinect has been “hacked” once again, but this time the stakes are more exciting than before. The new Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST) technology works with the Kinect to allow a gamer to control World of Warcraft completely with body movement alone.

FAAST can be used to control video games – such as World of Warcraft. Since these games would not normally support motion sensing devices, FAAST emulates keyboard input triggered by body posture and specific gestures. These controls can be dynamically configured for different applications and games. FAAST allows for basic commands and movement to be done via body motion and sound in the game.

Who says that gaming is bad for your physical health? By getting up and getting your body into the entire game, you’re taking the experience – and your health – to a whole new level.

DDoS Attacks Bring Down the U.S. Copyright Office

Anonymous initiated a DDoS attack against the U.S. Copyright Office yesterday in an attempt to show their disdain against the defenders of copyright law. The site was knocked completely offline for about thirty minutes. The following few hours showed it crawling along with slow loading times and rendering it useless. Even several hours after the attacks began, most links on the site would not work.

Anonymous spearheaded Operation Payback a few months ago. Their targets to date have included the RIAA, the MPAA and the UK Copyright Office. “Anonymous sees itself as the defenders of the Internet. Anonymous is rather a loose coalition of individuals who see the crackdowns against file-sharing, done in the name of copyright protection, as contrary to the very freedom of the Internet.”

Do you feel this is an intelligent way to protest against something you believe is wrong?

Don’t forget to stop by our software center to see what’s new today.

Are You Ready to Kinect?

This is a guest post written by long-time community member and friend Mike Parks – otherwise known as simply @BigRedPimp. You can also find him helping to “pimp” out his wife’s Eco-friendly Homemaker site. Mike has had a Kinect in his hot little hands for nearly three months now, and was gracious enough to give us his thoughts on the device thus far.

Video game controllers have come a long way since some of us were kids. We’ve gone from blocky, one-button joysticks that move a small, yellow circle around a maze to current iterations that have more buttons than we have fingers. Often times, we find ourselves wondering what’s next and hoping for a little more interaction with the games we play. Gamers want just a bit more immersion into worlds they choose to dedicate their spare time to.

In recent years, some companies have experimented with video-based or motion controls. Games using these technologies would allow the player to get involved through motions that either the controller or the camera would pick up and translate into movement. These often offered minimal enjoyment and, after the newness wore off, felt gimmicky at best.

Enter Kinect for Xbox 360. In order to hopefully offer something different, Microsoft has released a new style of gaming peripheral that uses camera-based game play and offers a totally new twist on anything we’ve seen before.

The Kinect is an attempt to get users off the couch and into the games they play. It offers a camera, microphone and a depth sensor that allows it to not only see and hear the players but determine their location in front of the TV. Kinect even allows for more than one person at a time to play which is great for getting families involved.

CAMERA

The camera in the Kinect is an RGB camera that captures video at [email protected] It offers an impressive image quality that is not only good for allowing games to capture detailed images but great for video chat using Video Kinect. It seems to lag behind slightly during Video Kinect sessions but that does not interfere with its processing during normal game activity. Overall, it’s a great camera for its purposes.

MICROPHONE

The microphone is a fairly standard multi-array microphone that is able to pick up a wide spectrum of sound. The sound quality is above average and great for voice communication via Video Kinect or even issuing voice commands to the Xbox 360. To get the attention of the Dashboard, you just say “Xbox” and it responds. You may have some issues with responsiveness of voice commands with certain accents and dialects but it still seems fairly accurate. The microphone is passable but far from horrible.

DEPTH SENSOR

Kinect uses a depth sensor to track a player’s location in the room. If you’re curious how it works, it basically bounces infrared light onto the play area and processes the brightness of a series of images into a sort of greyscale image. With this information, it’s able to figure out the shapes of things like your furniture as well as recognize facial & body movements. If you walk forward, your avatar moves forward. Act like you’re kicking a ball and your avatar will do the same. This is the best aspect of the product and does a fantastic job at what it does.

GAMES & SOFTWARE

Of course, the whole thing would be useless without the games. Kinect comes with a game called Kinect Adventures that has players kicking and punching dodgeballs at targets, navigating a raft down a river or even racing around an obstacle course. The game has a lot to offer players with 20 different game types to play as well as collecting trophies along the way to document your adventures.

Another game that flexes the muscle of Kinect is Kinect Sports. This game includes a few sports titles that really get you off the couch and involved in the game. One minute, you could be swearing off that last gutter ball in Bowling, hurling a javelin for distance in Track & Field or even scoring the game-winning header in Football (sorry, “Soccer” isn’t in my vocabulary).

You’re not stuck with having to buy all the software to use the Kinect either. There’s plenty of things to do within the Xbox Dashboard too. Currently, the ESPN, Last.fm and Zune applications as well as Video Kinect take advantage of certain aspects of Kinect. It has something to offer everyone, no matter the price.

OVERALL

The Kinect experience is definitely one that everyone should try at least once. The offerings as of this review range from sports, exercise & music titles with a few action games rounding out the mix. Kinect has a lot of potential to get families playing together. The core gamers shouldn’t feel left out either as there are plenty of titles both current and in the works to satisfy even the most hardcore gaming appetite. While it may not be a game-changer, it does well at enhancing the fun factor and leave players wanting more.

Play With a Kinect Demo in Microsoft Stores

The Microsoft Store announced via their Twitter account earlier today that the Kinect demo is ready to play with in their stores. Sadly, there are only four Microsoft stores in this country. If you don’t live close to one of them, you’re out of luck.

Kinect is a system that does away with controllers entirely, instead using technology to scan players, detecting motions as subtle as a smile or a frown. This is impressive, but the slight delay between movements and onscreen effect is something to be concerned about.

Are you looking forward to Kinect’s launch? Do you think this is a device that could change gaming forever?