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Xbox 360 Kinect – Review – First Impressions

by Nindo Mom on December 26, 2010

For those of you who have been reading my blog, you know that Santa Claus was bringing our family an Xbox 360 with Kinect this Christmas. It is really my son’s main gift from the Big Guy, but he always shares everything with me, so it’s like it’s a gift to both of us.

Before this Christmas, we did have an original Xbox console that I had picked up on Ebay a few months ago–but the Xbox we got for Christmas is the first 360 model we’ve had. Unfortunately, Santa Clause had a difficult time finding the bundle he wanted for us: the 250 GB console with the Kinect sensor bar. So instead, we got the Xbox 360 Holiday bundle in one box, and the Kinect bar (with Kinect Adventures game) in another box. The two packages ended up costing us an extra $50 over our preferred bundle, but we ended up getting the extra 2 games that came with the Holiday Bundle: Alan Wake and Forza Motorsport 3.

Right out of the package, the console looks pretty SLICK! Glossy black, and smooth lines…nice.And it was pretty easy to set up: I think I did it in about 10 minutes with only the included Quick Start manual as my guide. And this is the fist console I’ve ever had to set up.

I did have to look up the info on setting up a second controller–a Fable III-styled controller that I had gotten because only one comes with the Xbox 360 console. It turns out the instructions were pretty simply, though–just press the X symbol on the top of the controller, then press the small button just to the side of the power button on the Xbox console. Finally, press the “connect” button on the front (not the top) of the controller, and you’re in business!

Since the Alan Wake game that comes with the Holiday bundle is a download rather than a game on cd, I had my son do the download today to make sure the download code doesn’t end up getting lost. Turns out the Alan Wake game requires between 6 and 7 gigs of hard drive space on the console. So if you ever plan on downloading full games onto your console, make sure you either buy the 250 GB version of the console or buy a hard drive to switch out with the puny 4 GB hard drive some of the Xbox 360 consoles are equipped with.

One of the cool things my son has discovered is that he can copy a music CD onto the hard drive of the console, and play it back–at the same time he is playing a game! He’s even figured out that there’s a way to adjust the volume of the music in relation to the sounds of the video game he’s playing. This is pretty cool!

All this, we figured out before company arrived on Christmas day. When the company finally arrived, I had had no intention of mentioning the console, or the Kinect, because I didn’t want it to seem as though I was bragging. But one of my brothers noticed the sensor bar sitting on our Comcast cable box and started asking questions. Next thing I know, my brothers want to try it out–which is understandable. What happened next came as a surprise to me. I had always thought that keeping the video games off during holiday visits was a GOOD thing, because it distracted from real visiting time and togetherness, etc. But playing Kinect filled the house with laughter, hooting, and fun-filled hollering. When it was time for guest to start going home, one of my brothers actually came up to me and said this had been the best Christmas ever.

Needless to say, the Xbox 360 Kinect was a total hit at my house this holiday–even in a house full of adults.

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