[Update: the Xbox Kinect Game Console Giveaway has started.]
I’ve been given the go ahead to run an Xbox 360 Kinect system giveaway on my dad blog. Sweet! The sponsor isn’t Microsoft so I’m going to blog about the Xbox Kinect video game console today and write about the sponsor and Xbox 360 Kinect giveaway in a separate post next week. I also wrote about the technology behind the Kinect sensor on my Geek Dad Blog.
In my opinion, Microsoft’s Kinect system will be this Christmas must have electronics item. In fact, when I checked online on Wednesday, both Best Buy and Amazon were sold out of the Kinect Sensor. If you see it in a store, you should snag one now because people on eBay are already selling it for $200 or more even though the list price is only $150. Luckily, you can still get the Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect for $300 and the Xbox 360 250GB Console with Kinect for $400.
Unless you’ve been holed up in an underground mine or stuck on a stranded cruise ship without Internet access, you already know that the Kinect system is Microsoft’s motion control system for the Xbox 360. I don’t have one and have not even seen it in action in person, but it looks impressive in the videos. It looks like you can do the same thing as you can with the Nintendo Wii, except you don’t need a controller. The system uses a Kinect sensor to provide full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition capabilities. Microsoft wasn’t kidding when they said you are the controller. Very impressive technology. It makes me want to ditch my Wii and buy an Xbox 360 Console with Kinect.
As cool as the Kinect motion control system is, it does have some drawbacks. First, there are currently only 16 Xbox 360 Kinect games. I’m sure there will be more games down the road, but there’s no guarantee developers will put their efforts in the Kinect instead of the Nintendo Wii and the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) Move. Another drawback with the system is that it’s new technology and rev 1.0 at that. There will be problems and you get to be the beta tester. On the other hand, there is no controller hardware so gamers should be able to download software updates to fix most of the bugs. One other thing you need to keep in mind is that there is more processing overhead for analyzing video and sound to interpret the players’ motion. As a result, there is the possibility of a little lag for complex motions and multi-player games.
Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect Features (this is the one I will be giving away)
The Kinect sensor utilizes full-body tracking to put you in the center of the fun. The new technology allows the sensor to recognize your body and mirror your movements in the game, making you the controller.
The new Xbox 360 is the only console with 802.11n Wi-Fi built-in for a faster and easier connection to Xbox LIVE. Stream HD movies and TV or download games from Xbox LIVE in 1080p and 5.1 surround sound from anywhere in the house. Compatible with b/g/n networks.
Instantly watch movies and TV streaming from Netflix. In crystal-clear HD, or download game add-ons like new levels, characters, maps and songs. Easily jump right into online multiplayer fun and play along with friends around the world. Plus, get your favorite music from Last.fm, connect with friends on Facebook and post Tweets on Twitter.
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
The high-performance wireless controller features a range of up to 30 feet and a battery life of up to 30 hours on two AA batteries.
With a total of 5, (3 back/2 front), gamers will find more places to plug and play. In addition to the standard Ethernet port and HDMI output, there an integrated optical audio out port for an easier connection to the booming sound of your A/V receiver.
Kinect Adventures Game
Float in outer space. Experience the thrill of roaring rapids. Tackle mountaintop obstacle courses and dive into the deep to explore a leaky underwater observatory — all from your living room. With Kinect Adventures, you are the controller as you jump, dodge and kick your way through exciting adventures set in a variety of exotic locations. Rated E for Everyone.