It would certainly be a mistake to say there’s not far more advantages than drawbacks to the Xbox 360 Kinect and even its cousin, the Xbox 360 Slim Kinect. However, there is one hidden wiki link major hole in the product’s design that has eyebrows raising and a lot of gamers questioning whether the product’s worth the price or not.
Which side do you fall on in this debate? We’ll reveal that carefully hidden problem right now, and let you decide how you feel about it.
That concealed flaw, or rather, practical limitation, in the Kinect is simply this: lag. More particularly, reports have consistently indicated a slight but noticeable lag greater than that of similar motion-based control schemes with the Kinect.
This isn’t a surprise – after all, the product is using a full range of motion from the entire body, not just a limited set of controller-based movements. What IS surprising, however, is that this issue is still around even now.
A slight lag of up to one second between the movements of the user and the action on screen has been visible in even some of the earliest demonstrations of the Xbox 360 Kinect. The constant refrain, of course, was that this problem would be ironed out.
And here we are, quite a bit later, with the product as good as finished. And unfortunately the Xbox 360 Kinect price tag doesn’t ensure any protection against the lag that’s still inherent to the design of the product.
So what does this mean for you, the prospective buyer? It certainly doesn’t mean that all Xbox 360 Kinect games are unplayable or unenjoyable. Most games with non-stringent interface requirements, especially casual ones, should run just fine.
However, you shouldn’t take demonstration videos as word of God on interaction quality. Even a typical Xbox 360 Kinect trailer is likely to use cuts that hide this flaw. Try to test the Kinect yourself before you make a final decision.
If you’re having trouble deciding, then you may want to wait until the game library is fully fleshed out and look at a Xbox 360 Kinect review of how the game you’re looking at will specifically react. With so much pressure on the game developers to work around this limitation, you’re sure to see a lot of different creatively evasive design decisions.
These are likely to work best for games that require the least precision. And, of course, one can always keep up with things through a Xbox 360 Kinect wiki or blog instead of running all over the web for your info.