Six feet. That's how far away from Kinect you have to stand in order to play it. Sounds fine, right? Knowing I had plenty of room in my living room for said six feet and more, I took home Kinect for the evening. But six feet is the minimum you need and that doesn't give you all game features. Namely, two player mode. And here I hit a problem. I've recorded it on video so you can compare it to your own situation and see if it would affect you too.
As you've probably seen from the video now, my front room is pretty normal. It's not massive, but there's 'room to swing a cat' as the saying goes. It's been fine for playing Wii, fine for the EyePet I bought my girlfriend, and fine for my awesome GameRacer Pro Racing Seat. Come on, if you've got enough room for a racing seat, you should have enough room for Kinect. After all, not everybody's house looks like this:
Above: Microsoft expects your living room to look like this. Just look at it! I've seen smaller cathedrals
To its credit, Microsoft itself seems to have noted this fact and illustrated Kinect's packaging with the following scene:
Above: That actually looks pretty much identical to my set-up. However...
From my experience, standing as close to the unit as these two models are would not allow us to play a two-player game of Kinect Adventures. It may be different with better lighting conditions etc. And they are leaning back, which worked for me...
I appreciate my house is not the same as your house (unless my girlfriend's reading this, in which case it is). But I don't think I'm going to be alone in having this problem. Sure, I could solve it by rearranging the room to have Kinect and the TV in one corner, getting the most length from the diagonal across the room. I could move the sofa out altogether and take the 'sitting' out of 'sitting room'. But I'm not going to. Not for these games. Not for Skittles.
Above: I'll admit, single-player Kinectimals isn't without its charms. 'Skittles' even tops the hi-score tables
At this point, I don't care whether the games get better and cater more for hardcore gamers. I'm not going to turn furniture removal man every time I want to play a Kinect game. The racing seat is bad enough and that only needs me to move the coffee table a few feet to the side - this needs the whole sofa to go... somewhere else. I'm so glad I didn't discover this problem after paying £129.99 for the thing.
I advise you to measure up very carefully before you buy. As for me… I'm out.
GamesRadar is the premiere source for everything that matters in the world of video games. Casual or core, console or handheld - whatever systems you own or whatever genres you love, GamesRadar is there to filter out what's worth your time and to help you get even more from your games. We deliver the best advice, the most in-depth features, expert reviews, and the essential guides for all the top games.