Sunday, 9 November 2014

Kinect - Gamertroll hardware review - Xbox One

Kinect is a curious mix of contradictions: technically jawdropping but ultimately unnecessary, straight away the perfect interface and in the next moment beyond useless.

What's new, you may ask? 
Well, the body movement and hand gesture tracking have seen serious upgrades from the Xbox360's original kinect unit. The directional mic works better, particularly noticeable when talking on Skype, broadcasting on twitch or conversing with other players online.

Skype, incidentally is the best use for Kinect that Gamertroll has found so far. The image is crisp and has the stunning ability to pan around following the speaker, at times even zooming right in automatically on their ugly mug. It's great fun to bid a friend farewell and say, 'Xbox, hang up'. It's enough to Make one feel a tad flash.

When Kinect works it's spookily good: you can walk into the room and it recognises your face and greets you... it's like an uncanny window into the future. The problem is that the poxy thing doesn't always work, in fact at times it can appear downright obstinate.

When Gamertroll says that Kinect's intermittant disobedience is a problem, he means it's a flippin' catastrophe. It pretty much ruins the entire experience. 

That 'Flash' feeling one gets when you say 'Xbox record that', or 'Xbox Turn off' evaporates the moment the obstreperous thing ignores you.

Kinect will ignore you a lot.

Gamertroll can often be found shouting fruitlessly at it's little black shell, 'Xbox, turn the fuck on you bastard!'.

Anger will often give way to sarcastically pleading with it to do anything. Then, beaten, you just have to stand up walk across the room and turn it on manually when all you will really want to do, is smash the bloody thing to pieces.

Even though you know it won't work you will find yourself swearing at Kinect whilst it sits there like an obstinate pet that won't 'sit' or 'rollover' despite doing it a million times before.

One moment shouting at Kinect yields no reaction whatsoever, the next, a muted fart can close an app and send the Xbox One ricocheting into a Bing search for 'Transformers' - It's tear-your-hair out maddening.

The original Xbox 360 kinect unit
And it gets worse, the gesture system is almost impossible to use without looking a total twat, it would be easier to learn and perfect sign language with a Portugese accent. How does Microsoft expect people to control video playback with subtle hand gestures?
Gamertroll was half way through a rented film with several guests only last week when suddenly, an innocent arm movement sent the whole film into fast-forward before stopping to show everyone the end scene - Kinect! You bastard!
You will find Kinect delights in embarrassing you in company.

Kinect is the culmination of Microsoft's ambitious 'Project Natal' research, a magnificent technological marvel with the fucking Grinch living inside it giving you the finger.

Everytime you go to unplug Kinect and throw it in the dustbin the damned thing miraculously starts working again and you think to yourself, 'This is so cool, i must have been doing something wrong'. It is then at the next most sublime moment, the perfect time to kick you in the nuts, that it starts ignoring you again. 

Kinect is exactly like a car with brakes that only work sometimes. If God had visited Egypt with a plague of Kinect sensors - King Herod would have killed himself. Gamertroll cannot recommend it.

As the Captain of the 'Event Horizon' put it, 'Liberate tuteme ex inferis', or
'Save yourself from hell'.

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