Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Console Post: Oh, My

Led by a post in the Qt3 forums, I read an article over at VG247 that includes photographs of the Kinect manual.

Highlights ("high" may be misleading):
Choose a location for your sensor
--"do not place the sensor on your console."
--"Do not place the sensor on or in front of a speaker or surface that vibrates or makes noise."
--""Keep the sensor out of direct sunlight."

Sensor doesn't see player
--"turn on lights to brighten the play space."
--"Prevent lights, including sunlight, from shining directly on the sensor."
--"Try wearing different clothing that contrasts with the background of your play space."

Adequate space for playing-- the sensor can see you when you play approximately 6 feet from the sensor. For two people, you should play approximately 8 feet from the sensor.
--keep enough distance from other players, bystanders, and pets.

Boy, that's a relief, because I was afraid this device would be finicky.

Let's see. The manual says "make sure the sensor is aligned with the center of your TV." Okay--you're looking at the television to play, so it makes sense to put the sensor there.

Also frequently located in this space, though, is the center channel speaker. Oops. With the Wii sensor, it doesn't matter if they're in close proximity (in our house, about a foot away), but the Kinect sensor also senses audio.

That doesn't seem good.

Needing to turn on lights or wear differently colored clothing? If .1% of people need to do that, no big deal. If 15% do, big fail.

The biggest problem, though, is just finding enough space for the damn thing. Our television is a little less than seven feet from the couch. With the Wii, this is fine, because we can get within three feet of the sensor and it still works.

For us to play with Kinect, though, we have to move the couch back about four feet to hit the eight foot range and have a few feet around us for space.

How often are we going to move the couch back four feet, which would basically put it against a wall? Um, never, probably.

No matter the complaints about the lack of "sophistication" in the Wiimote tech, there's no disputing that it works seamlessly. Anyone can figure it out.

The Kinect technology is potentially much more powerful, but it also sounds finicky as hell, and with Microsoft desperately wanting this to become the next big thing, I doubt that's a good trade-off in a commercial sense.

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