In case you havenít heard, Kinect is definitely cool. Itís part of a gaming system that takes the next step into the future. When Wii came on the scene, it mesmerized the general public with its interactive capabilities. For some games, players seemed to be part of the system itself. In fact, players were a part of the video game as evidenced by the handheld component which physically connected the motions of the player to the gaming console. However, in 2010, Microsoft took the next step by creating Kinect, a gaming system that acknowledges the player without the handheld device or any other physical connection. Kinect sees you, and thanks to voice recognition software, it hears you, too. In order to get the full benefit of this console, you have to get off the couch and get moving to play its interactive games. While it's not perfect, Kinect can be a source of great family entertainment - and exercise!
There are several sports and fitness theme games available for Kinect, however there are also games that focus more on fun, but still keep you moving. Dance Central, with its modern soundtrack, and the more difficult Dance Masters, which shows the playerís image on screen, are both popular games for kids, teens or for anyone who wants to show off their moves! If you want to keep it traditional, try the racing games like Sonic Free Riders and Kinect Joy Ride. However, while the idea of the racing video game is familiar, the way the game is played is very different. Remember, you are the controller taking the vehicles through all the twists, turns and jumps. Since your whole body needs to get involved, with these games you still can get a good workout. For a younger audience, Kinectimals is a game which centers on the player interacting with an exotic, adopted pet. How do you teach your new pet a trick? You show them how to do it.
One thing the novice video game buyer should keep in mind is that unlike Wii, which is a standalone gaming system, Kinect is an add-on to the XBOX 360. So, even if youíre only interested in Kinect, you must still invest in the Xbox 360 gaming console (if you do not already own one). Fortunately, Kinect and Xbox 360 are being bundled together and offered at a price which is a little cheaper than what it would cost if both were purchased separately. Also, plenty of unobstructed space between the sensor and the player is required. So, moving furniture to clear an area each time anyone wants to play may also be a requirement.
Finally, hereís something else to consider for the long term: The 2010 Kinect is a first generation software product, so the quality (and possibly price) will probably improve in a relatively short time frame (think iPod and iPhone). Waiting for a technological upgrade may be an option, even though itís still a great gadget for family fun now. In addition, the games slated for next yearís release will continue to make the Kinect gaming system a worthwhile investment.