Today is exactly two weeks since I hooked up my Xbox review unit with the Kinect sensor and started jamming the three games that came with it (Kinect Adventures, Dance Central and Kinect Sports) and to be perfectly honest, the novelty is starting to wear off.
In the beginning I raced home to fire up the Xbox and get my game on, anxious to get stuck into a mean 100m sprint in Kinect Sports or unlock the next difficulty level in Kinect Adventures, and lemme tell you, you can work up a mean sweat playing those games, its a far more intense gaming experience that the Wii is but that’s exactly the problem.
I got over all the effort involved. Sometimes you just want to sit on your ass and mash a controller like there’s no tomorrow. All the running / jumping / ducking / throwing / retarded dancing just gets a bit much.
When coming home from work I’d think to myself Ok, I could spend the next few hours exerting a lot of energy I don’t have right now playing Kinect games OR I could sprawl on the couch, drink a beer and do fuck-all… Tricky one…
Either that, or if I did have the energy, I’d just go to gym, klap some cardio and weights and leave feeling like I’d actually had a solid workout.
The Kinect games I’ve been playing require just enough effort to be tiresome when you’re not in the mood, but when you are in the mood, playing them doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re getting stronger or fitter in any way, which kinda begs the question, what market are they aiming for here?
The ‘casual gamer’ was a term that started getting some mainstream coverage when the Wii first landed, because that’s who Nintendo defined their target market as. In other words, regular folk who don’t game until their eyes bleed but wouldn’t mind a spot of Wii tennis with some friends if their picnic / social badminton league got cancelled.
Nintendo got it right because Wiis were priced lower that Xboxes or PS3s and so casual gamers thought ‘Why not? Sounds like a lark!’
But would they do the same for an Xbox / Kinect system that’s priced R2 700 more than a Wii? (According to www.take2.co.za where a new Wii is R1 599 and a new Xbox with 250Gb hard drive and Kinect sensor is R4 299)
Yeah, don’t hold your breath on that one. If you’re going to fork out that kind of money for a console, you’re probably a serious gamer and no serious gamer is going to jump around like a fairy playing Kinect games when there’s the promise of serious violence, bloodshed and murder to be had in games like Gears Of War or Call Of Duty.
Sure, it represents a major break-through in controller-less gaming, but what was so bad about controllers anyway? It’s a noble effort to get gamers off the couch and doing something healthy for a change, but let’s be honest – those fat bastards aren’t going anywhere.
Oh, and one last thing. Remember when I said that the Kinect takes pictures of you while you game? Yeah, well good luck getting your hands on them! I tried to track mine down so I could post a few to liven up this review, but was told by the kind folks that lent me the Xbox to review that the only way to do that was by connecting your Xbox to the internet and visiting https://kinectshare.com/.
I asked if I could connect using a 3G card and was told that you can, but you have to plug your Xbox into your PC via an Ethernet cable, configure a whole bunch of settings, plug your 3G modem into the PC, connect the normal way and then test the connection on the Xbox.
Obviously none of this worked, but I used my brain to figure out the glitches and an hour later actually got the Xbox to connect via the 3G modem plugged into my laptop.
Then I had to wait for another 30 mins while the Xbox downloaded 100MB of updates, after which I went through the whole mission of setting up an Xbox Live account and FINALLY when that was done, I was ready to get the pics off https://kinectshare.com/ using the… Xbox… internet… um…?
Great. So what the fuck am I looking for here? Internet Explorer? How exactly do I get to the site https://kinectshare.com/ using an Xbox? I asked Google and it told me to download some kind of fucking third party browser that only works if your machine’s been chipped which was a fat lot of fucking good.
Some other forum I read said you can use the Windows Media Centre feature on the Xbox to browse the internet, so I tried that too and 30 minutes later, after jumping through God-knows-how-many hoops to get my Xbox talking to my PC so I could configure the media centre I get a fucking message that’s so awesome you can’t even take a screen grab of it (they all turned out black) that basically says:
Go fuck yourself.
It’s now nearly twelve o’clock at night. I’ve been trying to get those fucking pics of me dancing around like a poof off the Kinect for the last four hours and truth be told, I no longer give a shit.
For my last week with the Xbox, I’m begging, borrowing and stealing games from my buddies where I get to sit on the couch and KILL THINGS. I’ll leave all the girly dancing up to the girls I work with when I bring the Kinect in to work tomorrow for a ‘games evening’ we’ve arranged after work.
And this time around you bet your ass I’ll be taking the pics with my trusty N8 rather than have to rely on the imaginary ones the Kinect may or may not have been taking.