Yes, I know the XBox 360 Kinect is a bit dated. However, I still use the system several times a week to help get into shape. My household has found this system to be far superior to the Wii when it comes to physical activity. Remember, this review is based on the Kinect aspect of the XBox for health – not the system itself. Although I do have a collection of games that don’t require the Kinect, this review is about the physical aspect of gaming.
What is the XBox Kinect?
The Kinect is a sensory device that plugs directly into the XBox. If you have one of these game systems, there is a good chance you know what this is. The piece of hardware monitors for movement and then sends the signal back to the XBox. Coincidentally, it also has a microphone built into it that works decently – although sometimes it doesn’t pick up voices very well.
Why Should You Want It?
Remember, I am not reviewing the XBox, just what the Kinect can offer from a healthy perspective. There are several games that can offer a great workout if you’re tired of doing pilates DVDs or watching exercise shows on TV. It helps you maintain the workout while offering a greater level of entertainment. In many games, you don’t even realize that your exercising as you’re mind is centered on the fun aspect of the activity.
Wide Range of Exercise
The few games that are available on the XBox 360 Kinect offer a range of activity from novice to advanced. For example, the Kinect Sports games are somewhat easy. However, games like “Wipeout” will drop you quick if you’re excessively out of shape like myself.
Engaging the Family
My daughters and I play the XBox 360 Kinect quite often. They like to challenge me at the Kinect Sports titles such as Track and Field. Although I am still the top dog in the house, the last competition kicked my butt. This just goes to show me that I need to get back into playing more often. I refuse to let my family beat me at playing games.
Where Do You Get It?
As the game system is relatively old by today’s technological standards, most of these systems are relatively cheap nowadays. You can pick up new and used units from shops like Gamestop. There’s been a few times where I’ve seen them set up at yard sales for $75. If you’re feeling lucky, you may get a good deal on sites like eBay complete with a huge game collection for a fraction of what you would spend elsewhere.
Pros and Cons of the XBox 360 Kinect
Although I am a fan of the XBox 360 Kinect, it does have several cons that are a bit disheartening. However, I still find the unit to be one of my most utilized tools for getting back into shape.
- Entertaining game titles
- Several professional weight-loss games and workouts
- Detects movement very well
- Some online games available for physical activity
- Not enough game titles for the Kinect
- Range of view makes it difficult for 4 players to play simultaneously in a small living room
- Calorie loss in some games is not accurate
The Bottom Line
Some games, such as the Kinect Sports titles, don’t record calories burned accurately. This is because the calories people burn are dependent on several factors such as height, weight and the pulse rate of your heart. It’s not that the games themselves are poorly deigned, but they simply do not have the capacity to detect certain things about your personal physique.
Personally, I play the XBox Kinect quite often and have a thing for Tennis games and Marvel’s Battle for Earth. It can be one hell of a workout when your whole body becomes the controller. When I beat Battle for Earth on Arcade mode in 45 minutes, I thought I was going to die. It was a grueling workout as I pummeled the Marvel Universe as Wolverine and Iron Man.
Even though the system is a bit dated, it’s still an entertaining way to get a good cardio workout without being bored to tears. If you want to really take it up a notch, there are a few players who still get on XBox Live to play some of the more popular Kinect games. Good luck. If you’re overweight like I am, it may be a bit of struggle to compete with 12-year olds who are in shape.