Kinect Xbox 360: Poor Reviews – Will you still buy?

By Alan Ng - Nov 5, 2010

If you have spent a few hours checking out the vast collection of reviews for Microsoft’s new Kinect hardware for the Xbox 360, you’ll know that a fair number of reviews from the media didn’t exactly give Kinect a glowing report.

The big question that we want to know is, is will these minor number of poor reviews for Kinect put you off completely, from heading out to buy the hardware for $149 this weekend? For those of you who had pre-ordered, you don’t really have a choice now unless you return it of course, but those of you who waited for the official reviews to come out now have one of god’s most important creations – choice.

Engadget didn’t really have too many positive words to say about Kinect, citing hand-gesture lag and room space as key issues. Kotaku stated that Kinect needs to offer more for the $149, while also giving a nasty report on Sonic Free Riders due to the Kinect Controls. Gizmodo however, chose to go down the ‘hardcore‘ route, advising gamers to wait for the games that they really want.

We’ll be providing a full review-round up later for you, but judging by the negative reviews on Kinect so far, are you still standing by your decision to pick up the new hardware, or has the reviews from the media put you off slightly? $149 could be an expensive mistake to make guys.

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  • You are probably thinking, yeah right, this is too good to be true, right? Most people do, and I probably would also, but this is the real deal! This offer is for an exclusive time only and can only be used once per house hold.

  • MotionSick

    To be honest, it is not possible to reduce the lag on kinect by patching, unless of cause kinect upgrade its hardware processors, motion sensing is computation bound devices, if it is lag means the hardware capability is not at par. So wait for the next generation of Kinect !!!

  • justforfun

    i have been looking at reviews as the article suggests, but this is the first negative review i found of kinect….from that first sentence i knew that this was a biased review of kinect…

  • Nina

    Got it today it’s super fun and made me work up a sweat! Great fun

  • Jordan

    Im pumped to get Kinect, i remember seeing it at E3 two years ago and i was excited then but to see it now is truly amazing. Lots of people think tht it is getting poor reviews when its not the lag will get fixd im sure its just a bug and a upate will be up for it here in a few months. Their are not goi nto be alot of games for somthing new right away it has to build itself up thats with every system. The price is pretty reasonable look at the move the only reason why its cheaper is because it is just like the wii. While Their is nothing like kinect out their. It has facial and voice regonition and what not. In a summary Xbox has spent their time greatly and it has paid off more people will prob buy it when more people get it so they can tell their friends about it.

  • stefan

    this be dumb. it aint workin rite

  • slut

    its stupid!

  • collin

    personally i think its gay. if i wanted to have to buy a whole new xbox box i would have. im not going to go get a new one just for a game…

  • Jo_E

    Lame article/editorial, and all out of context. Read the entire reviews, mention the games that got good scores, the the sites that gave it good reviews, and how Dance Central has just revolutionized dance games. NY Times, US Today & Fox News gave it a glowing review. Not gaming magazines, but the reviewers for that mags are gamers (you can tell when reading 'em). How many launch games scored well with Wii at launch? 1 or 2?, Wii Sports being one of them? Not to mention, there were like only what, 4, 6 games? All I know is, Kinect has to be experienced in your home. Not at some retail store, and not streamed by a bunch of wise-cracking jaded game industry snobs. Everywhere you read, "actual owners"are enjoying it immensely.

  • JohnnyTwoTown

    I tried Kinect yesterday at a Best Buy with a friend. He is a big X-Box guy with two of the consoles in two different rooms. He came basically committed to buy it for his kids for Xmas. I already own the PS3 Move and love it, but was willing to buy an X-Box/Kinect bundle if it rocked. After reading all these posts I guess I'm going to have to try it again.
    We both had fun jumping around and what not, but both of us decided the lag and lack of precision was just too much to overcome. Sure, we would play for free somewhere for a quick laugh but we couldn't imagine buying it. We tried all Kinect sports, but then also tried out the demo of Move ping pong after Kinect ping pong for instant comparison. He left thinking about buying a PS3 Move for Xmas instead. I mean, the Kinect control/lag issues were really bad.
    But I do not want to give up on it yet. When I go back for the demo I'm going to make sure someone helps me go through complete calibration. Maybe that will help. Otherwise I may have to wait for Kinect II.

  • Stevey g

    Just a quick not to all the fan boys. Ps3 move is just a wii mote in new packaging.

    All the games are wii rip offs or add ons for older games.

    Kinect is new tech, which has 7 unique titles on launch. If the kinect gas tracking problems like a few people have said on here then you need to play the move, it’s full of bugs and controller loss problems! Placing the sphere near a bright light source or the same colour makes it lose complete control.

    The ps3 fans are bitter because they use move as a argument to the reason of there ps3 ownership to then be faced with a better product and online service!

    Will all the major titles on ps3 being delayed I jumped the ps3 titanic as it sails slowly into the iceberg 🙂

  • dudeinco

    Watching people use the Wii for tenis while laying on the couch is kind of a failure, not only on the part of the end-users, but also on the part of Wii to achieve it's goal of "active fun."

    I LOLed when I saw the comment of the guy complaining because he couldn't lay in bed and play for hours like he could with his Move…

    As far as space is concerned, you all need to check out schillaci14's reviews on youtube. Just an ordinary couple with limited space, and they seem to love the device.

  • dudeinco

    @James… Bingo! That's what these numbskulls fail to recognize. The Kinect wasn't meant for the "hardcore," Cheeto-munching, couch warrior to do battle tactics in their living room by rolling around like idiots on the floor, it was made to help the XBox further it's success with the "more than casual" gamer by appealing at the same time to their kids! I'm hoping it does just that, because between kinectimals and the dancing game, I'm all but convinced this is the route to go this Christmas for my 6 year old daughter, as these games appear to be created with her particularly in mind. If I find compelling evidence that this is not the case, then I will go with Plan-B (the Wii). The main advantage that I see to the Kinect is the requirement to step off the couch and have a little healthier fun.

  • James

    Got it last night for the family. We spent hours playing with it… My kids 5, 8, and 9 loved it. Worth $150 spent on the device. Looking foward to EA Active for the Kinect!

  • Jon

    It's a joke as far as I'm concerned. The environmental requirements, lag, and library are just awful.

  • Andre

    The Kinect device is not only revolutionary because of the use of no controllers is is one of the most enjoyable devices I have used since owning any console. I have had a number of them. Yes, I bought it on day one and have to say that it is fun for the entire family, especially when my 3 year old is jumping with me in Kinect adventures. I got mine off of trade ins, so it was not much of a burden on the pocket. The set up was easy and the more you use it, it is as if the device adapts to you. I have to say that Microsoft got it right this time.

  • Bob Loblaw

    I notice PS3 peeps on most gaming sites seem to be really bitter. I wonder f it's because they own a PS3. I know people who have both PS3 and xbox, and they all favor xbox.

    • steve

      Not bitter bob – just really excited at the prospect of another M$ product fail. Kin = Zune = Vista = Kinect? All good for a laugh. It might be worth checking with M$ if you bought the HD-DVD add on for your 360 if you can trade it in against the Kinect? I also love the fact that you're all falling over yourselves to buy a controller less system then defend it when you find you can't control the games properly. But don't worry, as others have pointed out that's just minor control glitches (which I really hope for all of your sakes is software and not an inherent system flaw). Someone else has pointed out that M$ will launch controllers so all of these issues will go away once you've spent even more money. Really? No wonder M$ still turn a profit when they can rely on sales to so many gullible people.

    • BubloZX

      Not true al all. I’ve read, heard, and known more people to prefer ps3 to 360. If you said xbl over psn then you might be more accurate

  • Ziro Opinion

    Obvious troll is obvious.
    Every article you've cited states at one point or another that the hardware is great and the device kicks butt but there are some minor control glitches in the games.
    Sonic Free Riders is of NO surprise, anyone here play Sonic and the Secret Rings… control on that sucked the big one too!

  • Trevor

    hardly poor reviews. it received ok to great reviews. if your talking about software then yes there are some terrible games but there are also some great ones which i picked up.

  • james

    This thing is sick awesome great fantastic wonderful sweet boss incredible and any other positive adjective you can think of

  • Adrian

    You lucky devils I’ve got to wait another five days before I can make up my mind and paying £130 for it so once again us Brits get it late and more expensive !!!!

  • Steve-O

    So why is the author focusing on only the negative reviews and not the positive ones? Oh yeah, like Kudo said, this is the internet.

  • Bought it, played it for a bit, but it gets really annoying after a bit, especially when you want to scroll around the dashboard. It's a really tedious experience, as for the games. I can only comment on what I have, but Kinect Adventures is ho hum. It's good for a bit of a laugh, but then if you were expecting depth in a launch title, this is clearly not it.

    For me Kinect's a fairly mediocre affair. Hopefully new games will come around, but it's a cool toy for the kids, not so much for a grownup.

  • MarvinGarvis

    Most of the articles I have seen have been largely positive, and the software reviews have been better than expected for what I expected for launch titles.
    I am sick of the kinect bashing that has been, why do so many people want it to fail? I am looking forward to my kids really enjoying this, and it won't stop me enjoying my FPS games one bit…

  • nate-dog7

    I thought my Wii was fun when I got it as well. Now, I might turn it on once a year. Enough with the gimmicks, give me substance.

  • thcpritchard

    I dont like it at all, Just feels like playing a eyetoy.

    And no it wont always do what it says on the box they will bring a controller out.. Sony has this one guys.

  • steve

    I'm sure PS3 "fanboys" aren't going to lose much sleep about Kinetc. In fact they probably find it a bit of a laugh and are glad that our 360 owning friends can finally have some fun on a dog-old system that's going nowhere. For years we've been told that XBox owners are the "hardcore". Now we're being told they are happy being casual gamers, like to dance around like girls and want to play with ittle bitty tigers. All together "awwwwww cute!" And let's be honest, M$ need something to sell in decent numbers so they can limp on for another year trying to avoid the "obsolete" tag. Hilarious.

    • Rob

      Are you really that much of a gamer nerd that you just wrote that well thought out, serious bust on xboxers. Not even a comparable comminity to xbox live. Woooow, get a life dude. How many times a day do you beat it? Do ya have a job or girl even?

  • Please

    gameinformer – 8/10

    ElectricPig – 5/5 – 6/10 http://www.engadget….box-360-review/

    CNET – 3.5/5

    GameTrailers – 8.5/10

    IGN – 7.5/10

    Strategy Informer – 9.5/10

  • Coldturkey

    gameinformer – 8/10

    ElectricPig – 5/5 – 6/10 http://www.engadget….box-360-review/

    CNET – 3.5/5

    GameTrailers – 8.5/10

    IGN – 7.5/10

    Strategy Informer – 9.5/10

    you call these "Negative Reviews"??
    And please look at all positive comments above…… don't even deserve to be a writer.

  • I also love kinect and what it offers, yes it has it problems but you are willing to over look those small things because of the fun you're having with it. It is not new technology but it is new to the public to experience and I think microsoft done an excellent job at bringing that to market. I believe with a few minor patches and hopefully netflix will also work with it, this is the thing of the future. There are those who complain about not being able to sit down while playing "Joy Ride" but if you noticed it's not made for you to sit down (of course you can though) because of the stunts you must perform for points, you can't perform those while sitting down unless you like falling out of chairs. I've also noticed that everyone who posted positive on this site got a thumbs down, there had to had been a PS3 fanboy lurking around….sorry eye-toy, LMFAO!

  • The Diggidy

    PS3 fanboys are hating the fact that this device is fun and actually works! I've had nothing but a good time using Kinect, and I have no regrets in buying it. Why does everyone talk about the price as though it's high? The PS3's motion control set up costs just as much if not more: Move Controllerx2+Nav Controller+Playstation Eye+Sports Champions=$180.

    The fact is, Kinect works, and it will only get better with future updates and user feedback.

  • simarx

    3. if you're a hard-core gamer, you're probably annoyed as you're being left out of the kinect party at the moment – i know hard-core gamers want kinect and want real games they can play with it. Hopefully these are in development and will extend the kinect appeal to such players.

    4. no rumble/feedback – As much as MS stating 'you are the controller' etc, they probably have an ace up their sleeve that is going to make them more dollars from releasing extra accessories to use. eg, a gun, bat, etc, even if they are just plastic. On top of that, for developers, the Kinect development kit would probably let you build a play-station Move controller if you really wanted to. The kinect cameras would able to pick up a ball on a stick quite easily to use in games – then you have fully body + pin point Move together.

    Ultimately I think there's a lot more to come from Kinect as developers get more experimental – and great for all of us that this product is out so that it keeps the tech moving along.

  • simarx

    I've preordered Kinect for release in the UK next week and I've been reading the reviews this week for the US release – and most reviews have stated that :-

    1. the Kinect hardware is top notch – for those having concerns about needing floor space to use it, what did you expect? the camera needs to be able to see your whole body. If you just don't have the floor-space, don't buy kinect.

    2. some of the games released are very good (likes sports) and others are average. and this isn't to do with Kinect, but to do with how well the games have been coded. if you compare 360 games when it was released compared to 360 games today, you will see the vast improvement overtime – same applies to kinect games.

  • I owned a 360 previously, but ordered a 4gb Kinect bundle and had a blast with it today! I played Kinect Adventures for about an hour and haven't made it to my copies of Dance Central or Kinect Sports yet. I love it. I have read negative reviews, but mine works and well at that. The voice control isn't very robust or useful, but the motion detection is very good. Again, I think it's great and will recommend it to everyone I know!

  • I do not own a XBox. I do own a PS3. I am very interested in the technological proof of concept that Kinect represents, but based on the actual videos of people playing, the technical specifications (a 30 fps camera? seriously? my $20 webcam from Wal-Mart is 60 fps and it has problems catching fast movements so what will Kinect do), the lag in response time from movement to game reaction, and the reviews I would highly recommend waiting to buy this product until the actual consumers have had enough time to get past the "honeymoon phase" and post valid reviews on the product. Most companies are scared of smart consumers if their product is shaky. Right now I would say Kinect is, while definitely a step in a great direction, a shaky product that will require some hardware upgrades (higher resolution camera with faster refresh rate) and some software updates before it becomes a viable product in the motion controller market. For $149 this product should be exceptionally better than its competitors, but the PlayStation Move has 1:1 true motion tracking for $99 and the Nintendo Wii controllers are about the same with the MotionPlus attachment. So I would suggest waiting until Microsoft has improved this product, maybe even waiting until the second generation comes out. I will be watching to see the future versions of this technology, but I wouldn't spend $149 on a product that requires me to change my living arrangements just to play it when the Wii or Move do not require me to change anything.

    • Axe99

      Move is a clear step ahead of Wii plus Motion Plus – I traded my Wii and Motion Plus this morning because after getting Move, there's no reason to hang onto the Wii (well, other than for the balance board, lol) – Sports Champions is a substantially better product than Wii Sports Resort simply because of the depth the added precision gives to gameplay.

  • dan

    it does what it says on the box.. I love it!

  • low

    "$149 could be an expensive mistake to make guys"
    sooo are you telling us not to buy it? not one positive review from you guys just kinect suck because of this or that ,sounds like nit picking to me or maybe your ps3 fanboys hoping the xbox fails.

  • Wes

    Look, whether you end up liking it or not, what's $149? Don't go drinking for 1 weekend and you've saved that.

  • Mosin

    I like it and will buy it

  • Jman

    Most reviews actually seem pretty great. Engadget, kotaku and gizmodo do not account for all reviews in the world. And most news media and pc bloggers are giving it exceptionally high reviews. I for one will be buying a XBOX + Kinect bundle.

  • king

    Test it yourself. Don't always listen to those sites. Those sites also said in the past that Wii isn't good.

    • Axe99

      lol – the Wii _isn't_ good, traded mine in today ;). But that aside, I actually think Kinect looks pretty flash, but is also fairly limited. I've played nearly 100 hours of RUSE with Move, lying down in bed – I can't see Kinect being able to do that. But for Eyetoy-style (but far more precise in terms of tracking, and therefore depth in gameplay, as long as the dev's on the ball) I think it'll be great :). I loved the Eyetoy, and Kinect is clearly the next big step along those lines :).

  • Christy

    Love it! Had a blast playing tonight and I hate video games! A workout too!

  • Tony

    Played Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports and Sonic Free Riders for about 5 Hours today and I loved it. Don't regret this purchase it in any way. The issues mentioned are there but the amount of fun you will have playing Kinect just outweighs those petty lag issues. But yes you will need space and if you don't have space you need to move so you can get Kinect.

  • Chambers Stevens

    I also bought it today.
    And three games.
    Dance Central.
    The work out game and of course the adventure game that comes with it.
    I also love it.
    It takes gaming to a new level

  • Wayne

    Just bought it and I love it….. Almost every move you make shows up on the game..I even slapped my wifes but on the adventure game …hahaha