Microsoft Xbox Kinect – Compatibility and Games Review

The Xbox Kinect allows a revolutionary wire-free game-play experience. Designed to compete with the Sony PlayStation Move and Nintendo’s established Wii games console, we take a look at the origins of the Kinect system and review compatibility with older Xbox 360 consoles. We also review the best new games and look at the Kinect launch titles.Origins of Microsoft’s Kinect Kinect was announced by Microsoft at the E3 technology show on 1 June 2009. At the presentation three demos were shown to showcase the system, these being Ricochet, Paint Party and Milo & Kate. A demo-only version of Burnout Paradise was also shown at he show.Project Natal formally became Kinect at the 2010 E3 show where the redesigned Xbox 360 was also announced. This new version of the console has the additional Aux port to combine the USB data and power supplies required by the Kinect.

Kinect Compatibility Microsoft has confirmed that the Kinect system will be fully compatible with all versions of the Xbox 360 console sold since its original release. It would appear that the new motion control system will considerably extend the product life of the Xbox 360 system. Combined with the recent refresh of the product line, the console should not see a replacement until around 2015.Xbox Kinect Games Although existing games were adapted during the development process (including Beautiful Katamari and Space Invaders Extreme), it is understood that to modify current games for use with the Kinect system via a downloadable patch would take to much work. New titles will be released in time for the Kinect launch in order to take advantage of the new system.In addition to game control, Kinect allows users to control the Xbox 360 Dashboard using both voice commands and hand gestures with voice and facial recognition potentially being used to automatically identify users whilst Video Kinect permits voice or video chat with via Windows Live Messenger or with other Xbox 360 users. Other uses for the Kinect control system include interaction with ESPN and Zune using Xbox Live.

Kinect Launch Titles So far fifteen launch games have been announced by Microsoft. These are Sonic Free Riders from Sega, Kinect Adventures, Kinectimals, Kinect Joy Ride and Kinect Sports from Microsoft Game Studios, Dance Central by MTV Games, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved and Motion Sports from Ubisoft, EA Sports Active 2 from EA, Dance Masters and Adrenalin Misfits from Konami, Zumba Fitness from Majesco, Deca Sports Freedom from Hudson, The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout from THQ and Game Party: In Motion from entertainment giant Warner Bros.In addition to the already announced games, other developers including Activision Blizzard, Bethesda Softworks, Capcom, Disney Interactive, Namco Bandai, Square Enix and THQ Inc.