I know the Xbox 360 Kinect has been around for quite a while. With everyone playing on Xbox One, I wanted to cover this oldie but goodie anyway. You see, I owe the first 20 pounds I’ve lost thanks to playing the Xbox Kinect. As a result, the device will always have a special place in my heart.
What Is the Xbox 360 Kinect?
Although it was discontinued in 2016, the Xbox 360 version of the Kinect was still quite a popular addition to the game console. It uses sensors to track body and hand movements with impressive accuracy when compared to similar devices of the time.
The movement tracking made it possible to play certain games without the need of a controller. In fact, you are the controller. This was during the time when the health fad was sweeping through the gaming industry. Nintendo, Microsoft and even Sony attempted to get people more active.
It wasn’t just games that made the Kinect useful, though. You are also able to control the Xbox console with a few swipes of the hand.
The physical aspect of the Xbox 360 Kinect is the primary reason why I bought one for the house. In fact, it was well over a year before we even bought games that required a controller. All of our titles were specifically for the Kinect.
I suppose you can say it was a $400 piece of exercise equipment that was used quite often…and still is to this day.
Why Do You Want the Xbox 360 Kinect?
In reality, you can’t get this item new unless you buy it on eBay or have a local game store with some on the back shelf somewhere. With new consoles coming out in time for Christmas, this piece of technology is becoming as relevant as Sega’s console development department.
However, it’s worth the investment if for some reason you have an Xbox 360 and don’t have the Kinect sensor yet.
It all boils down to using the system to help get yourself in shape. And that’s going to be the focal point of this review. Not necessarily the gaming aspect or the usefulness of the Kinect, but more of what it can do for you from a health perspective.
After all, spending 30 minutes a day grinding out Tennis or playing Wipe Out on the Xbox 360 Kinect is better than sitting on your ass with a controller in hand. Don’t get me wrong, there are some games I like to play on the system that don’t require getting up. However, the system shines as a health device if you use it properly.
How Well Does the Kinect Work?
Originally, we had the Nintendo Wii thanks to the commercials centered around exercise. However, the Wii pales in comparison when stacked against the Kinect. For one thing, it’s easy to sit and cheat using the Wii controller. It’s quite a bit more difficult to do the same when using the Kinect sensor.
Like I mentioned before, I owe my first 20 pounds to this unit. I played several different games between three and five times per week for at least 30 minutes at a time. The unit kick started my health and contributed to getting my life back on track.
You see, I am not a big fan of mundane exercise routines where you do the same thing day in and day out. With the Kinect, you can play different games with varying difficulties that are both entertaining and fat burning.
At one point I was burning more calories playing Kinect Sports Season 2: Tennis than using a Bowflex cycling machine. The trick is to keep yourself moving and dancing around as much as possible. Over-exaggerated movements and dancing in between levels keeps the heart rate up.
The only real problem I have with the Kinect is the built-in microphone. The system doesn’t always pick up voice commands with accuracy. Sometimes this is due to the television speakers being too close to the Kinect or if there are any background noises at all. Sometimes it could be dead silent and the microphone still wouldn’t recognize commands.
Not understanding me isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, though. I rarely talk to my game systems. Besides, the games I play rely on very little voice interaction. I would probably leave it perma-muted if there was a switch on the Kinect that did so.
What Kind of Benefits Does the Kinect Provide?
From a fitness standpoint, the Xbox 360 Kinect delivers the same level of exercise as an aerobics routine. In some cases, even more so. For example, I spent 45 minutes fighting my ass off in Avengers: Battle for Earth in order to beat the arcade version. After which, I was so tired I collapsed on the floor.
That’s how engaged I was in the game. I played as Wolverine and Iron Man bashing my way to victory on the normal setting. It was perhaps one of the most grueling workouts I’ve ever had, all the time I was enjoying myself while playing the game.
What about the technical aspect of the Kinect? When it first came out, I found it to be a far superior motion-sensing device than others on the market. We did love playing the Wii, but the Xbox 360 Kinect drove nails into the Wii’s coffin in our house.
The sensor was very accurate and the system itself was more immersive than what the other consoles provide. It was perhaps one of the best accessories I’ve ever purchased for a game console. And this is from a Sega fanboy who relished his 32x!
I’ll have to do another video with my Sega if I can find the damn power cords for it.
Is It Worth the Price?
When we purchased the Xbox, the Kinect sensor was a secondary item. Although I was a bit skeptic over the $149 price tag, we thought we would give it a shot and trust the reviews of friends and family.
Over the past several years, we’ve only had the one sensor. It’s seen a great deal of use and has proven to be a well-balanced unit. It’s been knocked over by cats, dropped and jostled around quite a bit and it still works perfectly. The Xbox CD-rom, on the other hand, needs to be replaced soon.
Where Can You Find the Xbox 360 Kinect?
If you can’t find the Xbox 360 and Kinect at a local Gamestop, you might have to hit sites like eBay or Amazon. Since it was discontinued in 2016, the odds of finding a new one for the Xbox 360 are relatively low…that is unless you go online.
The problem I’ll face is the lack of a Kinect sensor or ability on the Xbox One X for future play. If Microsoft is deciding to phase out the motion-sensing capabilities for consoles, I’ll have to find another platform to dump money into.
Here is a breakdown of my experiences with the unit: