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967 of 1030 found the following review helpful:
Best Motion Controller & Improved Xbox at a Great Price!Nov 05, 2010
The xbox 360 slim with 4 GB is what the original arcade version should have been. 10 new features of this model are: 1. New Valhalla chip - hopefully improved design to prevent RRoD issue, but tech. reviews noted that the Jasper chip in the older Elite model runs cooler 2. WiFi N - this is the newest wifi standard that is 12X faster (up to 600 Mbits/ sec) than wifi G; you'll need a Wifi N router to get the max. speed 3. digital optical audio port (IF your sound system is separate from your TV, then you'll need this to get full 5.1 surround sound) 4. 4 GB of flash memory (although 1.1 GB is used by the game system, but 0.3 GB can be reclaimed by deleting 4 game demos) 5. 5 USB ports (2 in front & 3 in back) 6. slimmer design with side vents (to prevent overheating) 7. dedicated Kinect port (just a convenience feature) 8. only 1 year of warranty (the only negative; older Elite models had 3 yrs.) 9. USB flash drive support (this was a xbox software update released in April 2010) 10. ESPN video streaming (will be included if you are a Gold member, $50/ yr)
Slim 4 GB memory vs. 250 GB hard drive: I bought the 4 GB system over the model with 250 GB hard drive because the xbox now supports game saves/ installs/ downloads and pic/ audio/ video downloads to USB flash drives. It supports 1-2 USB flash drives with 1-16 GB memory (using a 16 GB drive, 1.6 GB is used for formatting). 2 advantages of USB drives: loading games and media is 3x faster with USB drives than disc reading and more reliable (flash memory rarely fails, while discs can get scratched). 2 disadvantages of USB drives: you can not install old xbox games on USB drives and certain games, like Halo Reach and Halo ODST, will not support online coop without a hard drive (having a USB drive will not help). If you have a big appetite for video downloads and game demos that 32 GB can not accommodate, then you can always upgrade later with a 360 GB hard drive. The original model's hard drive is not compatible with the slim model without modification - you would need to remove the original hard drive and insert it into a slim hard-drive case (non-Microsoft, sold separately). You can find a non-Microsoft 120 GB drive for 1/2 the price of the Microsoft drives, but you would need to manually install the "partition 2" xbox emulator (search google) to play old xbox games.
XBOX vs. PS3: I am originally a PS3 and Wii gamer, but finally bought the xbox when the slim 4 GB model was released. To be competitive with the PS3, the xbox had to have the built-in wifi, optical audio port, and USB flash drive support. I was deciding whether to buy another PS3 since many games require 2 consoles for coop and multiplayer gaming, regardless of what system you choose. With this xbox priced at $200, I decided to choose the xbox since it has better coop games and more online gaming. However, Netflix on xbox requires gold membership and starting a movie is a lot slower than the PS3 even though the xbox has faster wifi. Xbox music and music videos library needs to expand to the size of their TV and movies selection to be comparable with iTunes. The PS3 has better graphics though not significantly better (expected since PS3 has a better processor), but the xbox has better coop and multiplayer games. The PS3 controller is better designed, better constructed, and has a rechargeable battery; the D-pad on the included xbox controller creaked without even playing a single game. Also the PS3 has a Blu-Ray player, which accounts for the small cost difference. The button to open the disc tray on the xbox is too sensitive and not recessed, so slightly brushing it with your clothes will activate it.
Speed Comparison Update: The Witcher 2 game, which is highly recommended, inspired me to write this update. For the Slim 4 GB model, most game discs can not be installed to the internal memory due to insufficient space. The internal memory is 3x faster than hard drives, which is 3x faster than USB drives, which is 3x faster than disc reading. The approximate speeds are: 270 MB/s internal memory > 90 MB/s hard drive > 30 MB/s USB drives > 10 MB/s disc reading. NOTE: USB drives vary a lot in speed; check the speed and cost before buying - you get what you pay for. So loading a game installed on a USB drive is faster than loading it from the disc, but can be potentially 9x faster if installed to internal memory. The Slim model should be updated with at least 16 GB memory since a game DVD holds up to 8.5 GB of data, 1.5 GB is needed for system files, and 6 GB should be reserved for game saves and updates. With flash memory so cheap these days, Microsoft has no excuse to not increase the internal memory to at least 16 GB. I originally gave the Slim model 5 stars, but docked it 1 star for this issue since it's been more than 2 years since this model was released.
Online Gaming & Media Sharing Update: I originally didn't mind paying for xbox gold membership since it included Last FM music and ESPN video streaming, but now there are better music streaming service (Sony's definitely better) and the videos within each sports category are disorganized and poorly label so it's hard to find specific clips. So when I discontinued my xbox gold memberships, I found out that you can not play online coop games, even privately hosted ones, without at least one person having gold membership. Microsoft should at least allow privately hosted, online coop games to account for the lack of LAN support by most games. Also, the xbox's support of DLNA media streaming from your computer is poor; you can not save your media, only stream it. DLNA media streaming and sharing is flawless with the PS3. Microsoft's greed is evident in these 2 issues so I docked the xbox another star to give it only 3 stars.
While the concept of natural body movements translating into character's actions sounds intuitive, the implementation of this idea in games has eluded many game developers. Too much motion will tire out the gamer, repetitive motion will bore the gamer, and complicated motions can not be successfully detected by the controllers. I'll compare motion controllers for all 3 systems below.
Usage Comparison: The Wii was wildly popular when it was released due to its novelty, however 4 years later, few Wii game innovations have appeared causing Nintendo to lose market share in the past year. The PS3 Move is more accurate than the Wii since the Move tracks motion in 3-D space while the Wii tracks motion in 2-D space (2 dimensional, like paper) and analyzes that data to interpret 3-D movements. The light globe on the PS3 Move looks cool initially, but the bright light becomes glaringly annoying soon, especially in a dark room. Both the Wii and PS3 motion controllers are less integrated to the console's navigations and functions than the Xbox Kinect. The Kinect allows users to say commands and motion gestures to navigate menus, browse online, interact with avatars, and play media content. Winner: Xbox Kinect.
Price Comparison: The Wii system ($200) includes the 3 controllers (Wiimote, nunchuk, & motionPlus) needed for 1 player, but costs another $40-80 per player, depending on the accessories that you buy. The PS3 Move retails for $100 for 1 player and the XBOX Kinect retails for $150 for 2 players, but both are accessories so they require the original game system. Also, the PS3 Move requires $50-100 more per player, depending on the accessories that you buy, while the XBOX initially supports 2 players but is capable of tracking 6 players for future games. All 3 motion systems include a game to showcase the controller's features. For 2 players, the Wii is the cheapest system and the PS3 is the most expensive; but when the Xbox supports 4 players (probably via a software update in 1 year), it will be cheaper than getting a Wii. Winner: Xbox Kinect (assuming 4+ players).
Technical Comparison: Motion detection differs in all 3 game systems. The Wii uses micromechanical components, such as an accelerometer and gyroscope, and an infrared sensor. The PS3 Move uses an accelerometer, angular-rate sensor, and visual tracking of a LED-lit globe. While the Wii & PS3 Move use similar components, the PS3 has the advantage since its components have 3-axis of motion detection compared to 2-axis sensors in the Wii; also the PS3 has a stronger processor to calculate position and distance. Instead of relying on micromechanical components, the XBOX Kinect uses a video camera, an infrared camera, and a 4-microphones array, which together is capable of gesture, facial, and voice recognition for tracking up to 6 players. The PS3's disadvantage is that micromechanical components may wear & tear and cause inaccurate motion detection, while the Xbox's disadvantage is that more processing overhead is needed when analyzing video and sound to interpret the players' motion. While the PS3 is the obvious winner over the Wii, the success of the PS3 Move vs. the Xbox Kinect will depend on the game developers' ability to translate motion into actions. Overall, the Xbox Kinect has a slight advantage because the motion software can always be improved by Microsoft, whereas the PS3 controllers will most likely remain unchanged since hardware redesigns are always expensive to both the company and its users. Winner: Xbox Kinect.
191 of 214 found the following review helpful:
Kinect better then Wii and old 360Nov 07, 2010
By mom to 3 boys We have all the systems, Xbox, Xbox 360, playstation 2, playstation 3, PSP, DSL, Wii, Itouch and now new Xbox 360 Kinect (video games are my addiction)
Positives about the new 360 with Kinect: -Supper easy to install (even if you never own an xbox before) -Has built in memory (old 360 didn't) -You can add flash drives for even More memory (not xbox 360 memory card that cost $60, normal flash drive you can pick up for $20) -Has built in Wi-Fi nothing to install to connect xbox live (old 360 you had buy an antenna) -You can control the xbox main menu with your VOICE, say xbox, say game, voice command soo Neat and Easy, so if your controller battiers die no biggy just tell it what to do!! No controller needed. -Kinect games are way More Fun then Wii, my 65 yr old mother (grandma) was playing with the kids everyone was laughing, jumping and enjoyed it!! -Kinect games are easier then Wii for little kids but Fun for adults too.
With Wii you have to hold the controllers just right for them to work, if you don't flip your writs a certain way you'll lose. My littlies one Never held the controller right on the Wii and had hard time scoring in games and would always lose. With Kinect there is NO controller, you use your body & voice to play, my littlies one had no problems and score more then his older brothers!!
And my kids LOVE how Kinect takes pictures (Wii can't) of them jumping during the game and then shows them the pictures, they were rolling on the floor laughing at themselves, mine never laughed that much playing Wii!!
Negatives about 360 with Kinect You can NOT connect your old hard drive (not memory card) hard drive to the new 360 so you can't carry your old stuff over to the new one
I can't think of any other negatives, we really enjoy it and can't wait to buy more kentic games to play with Grandma and I plan on selling our Wii.
338 of 386 found the following review helpful:
Works, but ...Nov 23, 2010
By William Carroll
I'll leave the Xbox part out, because we all know that works fine. The Kinect device is an impressive piece of technology that works as advertised, tracking you and putting you "in the game." Jump and your character jumps. The only problem I had with it was a dealbreaker though. It requires significantly more space than the minimum. While Microsoft says it will work with 6 feet of space, I had very little luck with 8 feet. If you have a big, open space, this is a great option for you. If you're like most of us, we'll have to wait for another solution.
SUMMARY: Do not buy unless you have 10 feet or more of space. Take width and height of your play area into account as well.
29 of 30 found the following review helpful:
Lots of Fun! Definitely Give Kinect A Chance!Nov 20, 2010
By John CS I've been an xbox 360 user since 2007 and have been happy with it (as a "hardcore" gamer). This purchase was for my parents in their living room to use netflix and video chat with family hundreds of miles away. Here are my pros and cons for the console itself, then kinect:
PROS of the xbox 360 Console + Easy setup, take it out of the box, plug in the power, the hdmi and pop the batteries in the controller (I setup kinect after the 360). + 1 month free xbox live (bought a 12 month as well so 13 months). + Easy wifi-N setup! + The xbox itself has great wifi, I was worried about streaming netflix in HD but so far it's worked flawlessly, after the initial buffer, movies play perfectly from start to end. Also, streaming video files (like xvid and divx) on a home network wirelessly to the 360 works perfectly as well, in the midst of properly renaming my backed up tv shows and movies (no mkv support of course :/) + With windows 7, setting up a shared folder for the xbox to find and use for video playback was pretty easy. + Touch sensitive buttons for power and dvd eject is pretty cool, makes the unit feel a bit more high tech. + Smaller size of the 360 (while not much smaller) is noticeable and looks very pleasing to the eye + Adding 8gb of extra hdd space with a thumb drive is pretty sweet, later (if they need it the space) I'll buy a used hard drive.
CONS of the xbox 360 Console - Unit gets pretty warm, DO NOT block the heat vent or keep the 360 in an enclosed space, you will find it a grave xbox. - While initial setup of the 360 was easy for me (a gamer) it is still confusing and not as easy as it should be for casual gamers - Not being able to plug thumb drives into the back of the console (via usb) is a drag, in a dark room my sandisk cruzer's orange glow is a bit distracting when watching a movie.
*Note - none of these cons are serious problems/deal breakers, just things to note
PROS of Kinect: + Setup is pretty simple, nothing too difficult to figure out. + With the new xbox 360, you don't need an additional power adapter (cord) for kinect. + Awesome, NEW experience, completely new way to interact with games (everyone who has used it in the house has loved it or has been amazed by how well the technology works). + Kinect video chat is great, the automatic tracking is just sick, person on the other end (my friend on a laptop) could hear me just fine and I was speaking normally in the livingroom. + Love the hand gesture based gui navigation, just cool to wave your hand or say "xbox" and then say a command (I currently have a cold and my voice is garbled but it still recognizes my voice commands)! + The price of the xbox/kinect bundle plus amazon's $40 game credit really made this deal worth it (also no tax and free 2 day shipping!).
CONS of Kinect: - This is brand new technology, that being said you must be prepared for it to not work 100% of the time or exactly how you want (games and navigation). - Menu navigation for the dashboard is limited (for now), this includes Zune (which won't recognize my hand gestures now) and Last.FM isn't 100% kinect, you still need the controller to setup new stations (which I understand). - Some games work better than others. Kinect adventures is a fun package of mini games (and really, thats all it is, which is ok if you know that ahead of time) and tracks fairly well, sometimes my legs go crazy even though I repositioned kinect to clearly see the floor an my feet. Then Your Shape Fitness is about as precise as this tech can get (blew me away). - NETFLIX.. where are you?! I really wanted to try kinect with netflix, I tried out a zune video (when it let me navigate with my hands) and it was very cool. The hand navigation is pretty intuitive and just fun to use! Really want to have this experience with netflix! - YOU need a good amount of room! Do not blow this off, this is the most important thing you need to take into consideration. I measured it out and for my living room setup for kinect to work well I was 7 feet away from kinect and for most games needed 7 feet left and right. I thought kinect would readjust its space requirements around me, but thats not true it has a "sweet spot" depending on where it is placed and thats it. So, please measure your space first (or have a good idea of space).
*Note - Although there are some hiccups with kinect, I'm so glad I bought this, its a completely new way to experience gaming. I've had an xbox for 3+ years now and I'm confident Microsoft will keep releasing updates and fixes as time goes by, giving us more features and apps than what we started with. This technology is truly innovative, first time I used it I was blown away.
**Bonus Mini Game Reviews**
Kinect Adventures - This is the game that comes with Kinect. Its touted as a "full game" but really its a collection of some mini games. The games are fun for the moment (and actually some give a really good workout!) but they're still mini games. I played them a few times but I don't see myself going back and playing them alone, in a party atmosphere, why not. Overall, the tracking is done quite well and its easy to pop in and play, there is some depth to each game type and achievements etc so there is stuff there to keep you in it.. if you like the mini games. For kids, they'll love it.
Your Shape Fitness Evolved - Excellent game! For best tracking and menu system, in a dead heat tie between Your Shape and Dance Central! It has a collection of gym games which get your heart pumping and jump in and go type of cardio classes. These classes are quick and don't have a lot of help (like a break it down, slow mode) but considering what they are (cardio classes), in a real class you'd just jump in and try and learn as the class goes on. I haven't tried the actual personal trainer classes (which look very cool, slower and a complete workout - warm up, cardio, cool down) so I may edit this once I get around to that section. I didn't picture myself really out of shape but by the end of about 20 minutes of playing I was drenched in sweat and sore the next morning! Overall, I'm impressed by the flow of the game and how well they made it easy to use and yet challenging and fun. I look forward to my friends getting this game and smashing their records!
Dance Central - Awesome game! This is my favorite game of the 3 we have right now! Its slick, the menu navigation is the best of any game (or xbox dash for that matter) and needs to be copied by the industry! I'm not a dancer and actually can't remember the last time I danced in public but my sister really wanted to try this out so we got it. I played the first song, lady gaga: poker face and went to break it down mode. What a great mode, this slows everything down and gives you a real shot at learning every move. Its deep and very intuitive. For instance: in break it down, you start with a new move, if you nail it flawlessly the first time you move on to the next move, if you don't you have to do the move 3 times in a row successfully (with a 3 second break in between). Then you move on to the next, you can slow it down any time and speed it back up when you've got it. I really believe the tracking system is monitoring me and giving me excellent feedback (I can also see my body outline as further proof). After dancing to the first song 2 times I was sweating pretty well but I actually felt like I was learning how to dance. Maybe not in a pro way but I felt more comfortable with certain moves, became more familiar, which I was surprised by, actually dancing and having fun! Add in leaderboards and dance offs and now you're dancing to win! They hit one out of the park with this game! Also, anyone who can beat multiple songs 1 after another on hard mode has my respect as a gamer because I cant!
Overall, the xbox 360 + kinect bundle is a great product for the price. We're having a ton of fun with this and the technology is still hard to understand.. how does it work this well?! The video chat and hopefully addition of netflix (in the future) will make this a must own product. As I was playing these games with kinect I kept thinking in my head "if I was 8-12 years old my head would have exploded playing this..." Its a strange idea to think there will be kids out there thinking kinect is a standard in gaming, that this is where they started with gaming and technology.
One last tip, while trying to navigate menus leaning back in my recliner I realized kinect needs to see my face, not just my hand to recognize a user and allow me to navigate menus. So if it doesn't recognize you waving at it, make sure your face is noticeable (not leaned back cloaked in a recliner).
Hope this helps! Kinect is really a lot of fun!
38 of 41 found the following review helpful:
Fun for Gamers and Non-GamersNov 10, 2010
By R. Paradkar
I have owned the first generation XBox (still have it) and would categorize myself as a "Gamer" with high degree of expertise playing the controller type games (Halo et al.). But neither my wife nor my friends fall in that category. They fall under the Wii type category. So finally we have something that works for both groups. What Kinect offers is a little more flexibility as compared with the Wii or Playstation Move. I bought the Kinect along with the latest XBOX 360 on the day of its release and we had a big group of friends over the next day. I turned it on and showed them one of the games and everyone just loved it. I thought this would be just a demo but we ended up playing for hours. They all got up to play and everyone absolutely loved the games. I'm sure as they come out with newer and better games and tweak the software to improve its accuracy, more people will jump on board. The applications are endless for the Kinect. Here are my pros/cons:
Pros: - Controller free. Fairly accurate motion sensing. For casual games it is fairly responsive. Also no need for (buying) exchanging controllers or hooking it to your wrist. Any new person can jump in and start playing! No need to press any buttons. - Once you get the hang of it, it is a very convenient and futuristic way to navigate between the menus etc. - Netflix, ESPN, Zune and more plug-in capability. - WiFi: by far the biggest advantage. Including the power cable there are only 3 cables. 1 for the kinect, 1 for the TV and 1 for the power. Although I have not yet figured out how to connect through HDMI to the TV & Home-theater system. But if you have a receiver that should only take 1 cable (HDMI). - Backwards compatible. I don't have to throw away my old Xbox games. - Fairly compact considering the capabilities.
Cons: - No Blu-Ray Disc! Biggest gripe I had in choosing this over the PS3. - Another big Con is that you have to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold ($50+/yr) to access Netflix!! - You need 6-8 feet of space in front of the TV - The Kinect has to be kept on or below your TV (This is particularly difficult if you have a projector with all systems in one corner of the room. Or if you have a wall mounted TV with the systems somewhere else.) - New/First-time players will need to be monitored and educated to make sure they stand within the 'zone' while playing. It is very easy to drift outside of the 'play-area' in the excitement of game-play. - The camera needs to be of higher resolution. It is a great idea that it takes pictures while we are playing, but it would be more fun if the pictures were high resolution. - Not too impressed with the free Kinect Adventures games. I would definitely suggest buying Kinect Sports or some other games to enjoy the Kinect. - The XBOX hub cannot be controlled via Kinect. I would have liked to be able to navigate all the menus not just the Kiect Hub menus using the Kinect. Like if I could browse through Netflix using the Kinect or using voice commands then this would have been #1 on my pros. I am hoping that with future updates to the softwares Microsoft adds this capabilities - then it would truly resemble Minority Report!