In October, select PTPA families had the opportunity to hang at the Microsoft Kinect Hub in Downtown Toronto to test out the unreleased to the public (at that time) new controller-less video gaming system. There was much hype surrounding this gaming system and whether it was really as easy to use and as ” controller-less” as it claimed to be.
The kids had a blast, I’m not sure that they had quite as much fun as their parents did but pretty darn close. There was something for everyone; for my kids, who have no pet, kinectimals was a huge hit. Skittles the tiger ( a perfect first pet) responded to my daughters voice commands, and my daughter was able to virtually scratch skittles’ ears and play hide and seek without a controller and without parent interaction (my favorite part).
Most of the moms particularly enjoyed the fitness game “Your Shape” that allowed us to virtually box and train and sweat at the same time.
The men had a blast bowling, taking safaris with kinect adventure and playing the most wild game of ping pong I had ever witnessed.
Personally, I was a little obsessed with Dance Central. My solid gold dancer dreams were coming true. The goal was to copy the moves of the on screen dancer who clearly has had many more years of training ( or computer programming) than myself.
By the end of our morning at the kinect hub, we were all ravenous from our morning workouts.
So obviously, the last few months have been filled with ” ( insert whiny voice) Mooooom, when are we going to finally get Kinect!”
Last week, when my ears could no longer tolerate the whines, we took the plunge and ran out and bought kinect to see how it would work at home with our existing Xbox system.
If I’m looking fitter, it’s thanks to kinect. If my kids are smiling more, it’s thanks to kinect. If we are spending more quality family time laughing at or with each other, it’s thanks to kinect.
Here’s what you will want to know if you are considering the purchase:
If you own Xbox, it’s a reasonable purchase to upgrade it with kinect. We purchased our unit for about $150.00, certainly not a debt inducing investment.
As a previous high tech entrepreneur, I consider myself rather tech savvy and am always excited by the challenge of getting new technology to work. Kinect unfortunately offered no such challenge. Plug and play. Microsoft made it too damn easy.
We popped the first game in, and off we went. Kinect was able to scan both me and my little munchkins without me having to make any adjustments to it. It might have helped that I am a mere 4 foot 10 and therefore not that much taller than my little ones. My 5 foot 11 husband did need to adjust the sensor a bit.
Within about 5 minutes we were trained. The concept of standing in front of a sensor and moving your hand to virtually select buttons on a screen was very “CSI Miami “.
Into the system the dancing game went and let the funky moves begin. First it was my children and I taking turns. Personally I had to go change clothes mid-way through the game because I was apparently not dressed properly for dancing faster and harder than I had in my dance club frequenting days.
Then it was the husband and wife challenge. If there is something that is going to remind a couple of their care free dating days, this is the game. Watching my husband follow the on screen wrapper was the best laugh I have had in a long time. Watching me imitate a 20 year old breakdancing looking character still has my husband laughing. But the best part of the game that brought on the most laughs was by far the “freestyle” portion of the game. This is about 20 seconds that everyone jumps in and freestyle dances in front of the sensor and then kinect plays back snippets of it for you after which you roll around laughing at each other. Hilarious is an understatement.
Kinect is all that it promises to be. The best part of it is that it is easy to set up to your existing Xbox system, it’s easy to get trained, and it’s easy for the children to navigate. My kids are 5 & 6 and they caught on very quickly.
Here’s the best part; it’s fun and a fitness challenge for the entire family. It gets everyone up and active while at the same time holding everyones attention. No one gets bored as each player can play at their own level and every once in a while the entire family gets to make a few moves and get a good laugh.
Does PTPA think that this could be the best $150.00 you will spend? Absolutely. I may even put my gym membership on hold after I try out Kinects personal training game. Will keep you posted!