Your XBOX Kinect Guide

What is this ?
Inspite of having google,, yahoo answers and thousands of such discussion forums for getting responses for all our technical queries, you must be thinking what is so different in this blog. Friends, in this blog I would like to share my 1st hand experience of buying, setting up and playing my new XBOX 360 S with Kinect. I am trying to put across things as easy as possible and trying to avoid all alien-feeling-techi-lingo.

What is Kinect ?
This info is for the real beginners. Others please don't get offended, if u know this already.
XBOX is a gaming console which plays game DVDs and you can play video games using remote controls (called controllers). Kinect is an accessory to be attached with XBOX console. Kinect consists of few sensors (not going into tech details) which can see your body movements so that you can play a game without remote but just be your body movements like hand for TT, Boxing and Legs for Football.
Sony has a similar thing for their game console and it is called Move.

First Thing First !!
So, if you were thinking of buying a gaming console for a long time and couldn't buy one because of budget constrainsts, I can't help you much because it is a bitter truth that this will cost you a fortune. In such cases you can go for sony PS2 which is just 6k INR but remember, it will be phased out soon and no new games will be launched for PS2.
Now if you want to buy a console and confused between Sony PS3 and Microsoft XBOX here is the comparision -

XBOX 360 + Kinect
Motion Sensing games - ( Plus)
NO Remote for Motion Games - ( Plus )
Response time of hand motions - V Good
Current Motion games - Boxing, TT, Volleyball, Bowling, Dancing, Fitness, adventures etc
All major/popular games (controller based) - Yes
Some popular games are exclusive for XBOX and some are exclusive for PS3.
Media Support - upto DVD
**Region Lock for Movies - yes
**Region Lock for Games - yes
XBOX 250 GB price(console + Kinect + 2 remotes) 35000
XBOX 4 GB price (console + Kinect + 2 remotes) 26000

Sony PS3 + Move
Motion Sensing games - ( Plus)
Remote for Motion Games - ( Minus )
Response time of hand motions - Awesome ( Plus)
Current Motion games - Boxing, TT, Volleyball, Bowling, Dancing, Fitness, adventures etc
All major/popular games (controller based) - Yes
Some popular games are exclusive for XBOX and some are exclusive for PS3.
Media Support - up to Blue Ray DVD
**Region Lock for Movies - yes
**Region Lock for Games - No ( confirm before buying )

Sony PS3 320 GB price (console + Move + 2 Remotes + 2 Move Remotes) 29000/-

** What is region Lock ?
People who were thinking of getting their XBOX from US should get disappointed here.
Region Lock means certain hardware is locked to work in certain region only. XBOX is one of them. So how does an end user is afected by this ?
Simple -
1. XBOX bought in US(NTSC supported) will not work in Indian TVs (PAL supported)
(not going in much details. PAL and NTSC are 2 types of tranmissions for TVs. India has PAL and US has NTSC)

2. If you TV does support both PAL and NTSC, XBOX bought from US will work.
3. XBOX bought in US will not play game DVD bought in INDIA. same NTSC-PAL theory.
4. XBOX bought in US will not play Movie DVDs bought in INDIA. and Vice Versa
BUT !!! India and UK both have same PAL system. So XBOX bought from UK will work in INDIA. Games DVDs bought in UK will work in console bought in India. and vice-versa. (I am not taking any guarantee for this)

Why I choose XBOX over PS3 ??
Apart from the comparision shown above, there are simple personal reasons-
1. I and people like me, are casual gamers. We cannot simple hooked up to a game for hours. Our need is a casual game and entertainment with our family. And Remote games a a real deal breakers when you have your wife, kids, parents etc at home. I bought Kinect because my father, my wife, even my Mother and my 2 year old daughter can play on it.

2. XBOX 4 GB is cheaper than XBOX 250 GB and as I said we are casual gamers. We may not indulge in downloading use less game demos, movie trailers from net, avatar and other useless technological waste. So 4 GB XBOX will be a good deal and anyways you can buy a 16 GB pen drive and connect it to your XBOX via USB. It will cost you just 1000-14000 INR..

Setting it up !!
Ok.. so I have convinced you and you have bought a console finally. What's next.. Well I am not copy-pasting the entire user manual here but I would like to give some suggestions.

1. Setup your console with the help of the manuals inside.
2. Please READ everything thoroughly and DO NOT press YES without reading everything on your TV screen.
3. I formatted my 250 GB hard disk by mistake when I tried connecting it to the console. Reason - I did not read the instructions properly.
4. Similarly, I played around with the Kinect Senser manually, tried to adjust it angle by turning and twisting it and later came to know that it is fitted with a motor which does all this. SO, DO NOT TRY TO ADJUST THE KINECT SENSOR MANUALLY...

Congratulations !! you are ready to play your Kinect now.. after this everything will be a cake walk as you simply have to follow the instructions on your TV screen.

My personal experience !!

1. Place the console in a horizontal positon to avoid the chances of tipping it over.

2. Place Kinect Sensor on TV for best results. It should be near the edge so that it's vision is not blocked. But when you are not playing you should move it back to avoid free fall. You see a white soft padding attached with the Kinect Sensor Base. Remove it. It is just a packing material. It will hamper with Kinect Sensor's Movement.

3. Be patient with the Kinect. Some times it takes time to start and configure. And if you move Kinect Sensor every time after switching off the console, the Sensor will surely adjust the angles when it will be started next time.

4. When Kinect Sensor adjusts for the 1st time after you switch on the console, make sure no body else is standing with you. It will make sensor takes more time.

5. You cannot play pirated games on your console. It will simply not play.

There are techniques(small softwares) which can play Pirated game DVD on the console but it will void your warranty and you will be banned from XBOX LIVE*

XBOX LIVE* is for connecting your console to internet for playing online and buying/downloading games etc.

6. If you feel new games are too expensive then, instead of looking for pirated games, try pre-owned games.

6.1 Try Landmark. They sell pre-owned games. Price ranges from 700 to 1400 per DVD. Minus point is, obviously, the games are old.. i.e. released in 2005 to 2007.. but for the 1st timer on consoles, even they will give you awesome fun.. (this is only for NON-Kinect Games..)

6.2 Try National Market in Bangalore or any Gray market in your city. You will find 2nd hand game DVDs there and wil be cheaper by 50% than landmark. But try at your own risk. Don't buy pirated or scratched DVD.

6.3 Buying from UK/Europe.. if any of your friend is travelling back from UK you can ask him to bring some games. pre-owned games selling in Landmark for price of 1200 INR can be found there in 7-10 GBP.. which will be 500 to 700 INR..

6.4 Sharing among friends... best options.. :-)

7. There is an option to save the entire game on the hard disk of your console. But you cannot simply borrow a DVD from your friend, save it on you console, return the DVD back and play. Saving game on drive gives you an option to play the game from drive, just to avoid wear and tear of your DVD. However, You Have to Put the DVD in the console to play the game from the hard drive.

I will contribute some more to this blog as and when I unfold new secrets of Kinect.. till then Happy Gaming..

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Anonymous November 12, 2011 at 11:59 PM  

You didnt talk about power supply, is the US model with a universal power supply or do you need to buy a 220-110V transformer ?

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