Lag and Conclusions

So what about lag on Kinect? It’s definitely there, but it isn’t nearly as big of a problem as it’s been chalked up to be. I decided to test how much that lag is by taking an extremely self-deprecating video of myself flailing my arms about in front of Kinect, and inspect the video to see how much delay there is between me sweeping my arm up, and the TV reflecting that change. I just used the Kinect tuner since it’s full screen and does body tracking, and later counted how many frames it took after my hand reached the top of an arc for the image to also reflect the change. 

At the end of the day, I measured between 8-10 frames of input lag, which at 29.96 FPS works out to 267 ms of input lag. Of course, that number also includes my Onkyo TX-SR608 A/V receiver, which (even in game mode) adds a substantial and perceptible amount of latency to the whole display chain. For the caliber of games currently rolled out which support Kinect, lag honestly isn’t that big of a deal. I found it definitely noticeable in the Kinect Adventures obstacle course, and somewhat noticeable when playing Kinect Sports and running hurdles, but everywhere else, while noticeable, it isn’t a game-killer. Don’t get me wrong, 267 ms is seriously laggy, but right now it doesn’t matter too much. Maybe when we get FPS titles that’ll change. 

I think it’s fair to say that Kinect thoroughly rains on the Wii’s parade, and enjoys a substantial lead over Sony Move if nothing else entirely due to lower out-the-door cost. One of the best parts of Kinect is that you really do only need the sensor to play games - there’s no sets of controllers, camera, or kit to purchase. If you've got a room that's large enough, Kinect is perfect. On the other hand, there's no possible way that Kinect would ever work in the average dorm room - you really do need 9' - 12' behind the TV to play with two people.

 

The rest of what Kinect does is really just mitigate a lot of the motion-cheating I felt was possible with the Wii, some of which is still possible with Move by holding the wand close to the sensor. Adding real depth detection and forcing players to actually move around has done a lot more to make me move instead of wrist-flick than any of the other motion-augmented console addons did.

Does Kinect breathe enough life into the Xbox 360 to make it last another few years? I suppose, but only for as long as Kinect titles can deliver new and more interesting gestures, immersion, and interaction events. For now, however, I’m having enough fun motion trash-talking people in Kinect Sports to keep me entertained for at least until the next major console blockbuster title.

Kinectimals and Kinect Joy Ride
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  • bplewis24 - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    I agree... and I find it pretty sad. When calling this thing anything but a disappointment from a gaming perspective, you've pretty much lost all credibility. This site is really letting me down lately after many great years. Reply
  • ExarKun333 - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    Find a new site to troll. You will not be missed. Reply
  • petenagurski - Friday, December 10, 2010 - link

    All gaming is subjective. My kids and I find playing the Kinect games a blast. Anandtech has "pretty much lost all credibility" because of a positive gaming review???? Get a grip and go back to fondling your wii wii. Reply
  • ExarKun333 - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    Your a fool sir. Thanks. :) Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    Yes it's true and the games utterly SUCK! The number of things they can do with no pointer interface is mindblowingly small.

    It's a gimmick, so much more than the Wii ever was. At least the Wii is honest with what it is. This is a "me too!" item that tried to be different for the sake of being different. Microsuck is alienating the userbase that made the Xbox brand huge, and that is retarded.
    Reply
  • c1dv1c1ous - Friday, December 10, 2010 - link

    I for one, bought my 360 6-7 mths after it released. After several years it RROD on me and they fixed it for free. The thing is still going strong too. I plan on buying a Slim when I get back home from Army deployment. I have no problem with this since....in the past a new console buy would be due by now, but the current ones are still usable. I will enjoy the smaller, quieter and sleeker Xbox 360 S.

    There is logic in this, if you dont agree, maybe you should go out and start your own console company. Show us how you think you could do it better. Competition only brings out better stuff for us to buy in the long run.
    Reply
  • Nataku - Friday, December 10, 2010 - link

    u sir, need to do more research... even canadian price for Kinect + Xbox is only 299 not ur 150 + 300

    if u don't find a use for it don't buy, but some of us can see the potential and entertainment in these systems

    don't troll any of the comment section in any of the article on this site, they are reserved for actual useful comment
    Reply
  • petenagurski - Friday, December 10, 2010 - link

    ...this little piggy said wii, wii, wii, all the way home.... Reply
  • neogodless2 - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    350 vs 360 Reply
  • Brian Klug - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    OOps, my bad!

    Fixed!

    -Brian
    Reply

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