New York Times article about a day in the life of a busy mom. She talks about many things, including Kinect with her three active boys.
The Xbox Kinect Dance Central game, I will tell you that is hysterical. I actually love the fact that this Kinect thing helps them jump around
Enjoy the article here.
For our community reviews of Dance Central and other favorite games, visit our guide for Xbox Kinect Favorites by Age.
Market research firm NPD recently published report that indicates kids 2-5 year old account for the fastest growing age group that is taking to video gaming. As a parent, this data would have been alarming to me a few years ago and cause worry about them turning in to couch potatoes. But the advent of controller free technologies such as Kinect from Microsoft Xbox has actually changed that apprehension in to real joy in our living room. Now we find ourselves physically play along with kids and end up getting a lot more activity than ever before in the living room.
Picture courtesy Microsoft
Here are some good things we are noticing watching our kids play Kinect with their friends:
- The games in Kinect are closer to their real life activities rather than the usual shooting, driving and violent stuff on video games. For example in Sesame Street game they are tickling each other, jumping along with Elmo exploring things. This is not only fun for them, but healthy to keep them fully active. My toddler is sweating in under 10 minutes of play.
- In games such as Disneyland Kinect, for toddlers who have been to Disneyland or DisneyWorld, this is a great way to interact with characters, attractions. Clean and familiar fun for this age group.
- Ofcourse, the family favorites are Dance Central where everyone including adults, teenagers can join in for some groovy dancing, plus Kinect Sports that has a nice range of sports including track, field and games such as baseball, beach volleyball.
- For more reviews and age appropriate game recommendations, click here.
Earlier this week, Xbox users got a serious upgrade to the dashboard technology. The new user experience is very exciting and social (kind of like iPhone or Windows Phone).
The best feature for kids is the voice interaction and not having to reach for the remote EVER! (I am sure moms would love this feature)
They can simply turn on the Xbox and say ‘Xbox’ followed by name of their favorite game to play. For example, they can say “Xbox Kinectimals“ and that’s it.. the game automatically gets loaded and read to play. If you already own Kinect sensor, it even does the face and voice recognition and brings us the kid’s favorite apps to the front of line.
There are still some kinks in the navigation and consistency of command recognition, but we think this is a serious turn towards a great living room experience.
For adults, the TV integration is going to popular. Xbox integrates ESPN, NBC, SyFy, Netflix, Hulu nicely in to this content mix.
Read further about this upgrade here.
This is part of the reason why in one of the earlier posts a mom was talking about the need to remodel living rooms to set up Kinect playing.
Kinect is a breakthrough technology in gaming today. But this is a technology that is FUN and COOL for almost everyone in the family. We bought it early to make sure they don’t sell out before Christmas. But here is why we think Kinect makes sense as an exciting chirstmas gift for kids, toddlers and teenagers.
(As always, please share with our community your own comments and experiences with Kinect Xbox 360)
- Saves you money!: If you have more than one kid, you will spend a fortune buying individual controllers, the batteries etc. With Kinect, 4 kids can play together WITHOUT any controllers. Controllers are a thing of the past now. Why bother buy, charge, lose, get chewed up by your dog etc?
- Spending time as family during holidays: Kinect games such as Kinectimals, Kinect Adventures and Dance Central give you a variety of options for everyone in the family to play and experience together. You don’t need to ration separate play hours for each kid. Family can do play most of these games together.
- Sharing crazy pictures and videos with other family members and friends: For the holidays when everyone is home, isn’t it really cool to be able to share your kids pictures and videos in playing poses with the connected family and friends over Xbox? We love this feature.
- Kinect is a technology jackpot: Kinect includes a state of the art camera ( better than your webcam)Not only is it cable-free, battery-free and hassle free, Kinect makes watching videos (ESPN, Movies,Netflix) really fun. Kids can now navigate the screen like Sci-Fi robots themselves using their hands.
Some of you asked me which games I would recommend based on our family’s experience.
Here is what I would do based on the kid’s age group. Pick and choose from the list if you have more than 1-2 kids.
|Your kid’s age
|3 years or older(OK. may be an overactive yet patient 2 year old as well)
- Visually compelling for this age group
- Controls and tasks well designed
|6 years plus
- We like the variety of sports
- Setting to make it easy or challenging is a plus
|6 years plus
||Kinect Joy Ride
- DON’T BUY THIS
- Download the demo instead
||Biggest Loser : Ultimate Workout
- Good for weight-conscious kids
- Entire family can wok out
|Adults and kids 10 years plus
- BEST GAME on Kinect today
- Non-dancers will enjoy it too
||Your Shape: Fitness Evolved
- Very good controls
- Tracks all body parts well. Effective guidance given
We have been following Kinect progress from its Project Natal days. Needless to say most of us bought it the day it got out.. Some of us even preordered.
Stay tuned for our first impressions.