The Kinect device plugs into all existing Xbox 360 consoles, though with a new Xbox 360S the Kinect will not need separate power. In Australia this means a potential existing user base of 1 million consoles, world-wide 40 million.
Getting a chance to tootle around with the controller was a good experience, whilst much of this has been done as far back as the PlayStation 2, with the Eye Toy, the fact that the Kinect is so much more responsive, and incorporates a 3D special element to its detection process makes the effect somewhat unique and new.
Still not the final build, playing games such as Kinect Sports (yes!, almost directly going up against Wii-Sports to the point of using Avatar's (Mii's) in-game) was still pretty well nailed by the tech. Motion capture is responsive and well realised; my attitude to this product is turning around.
Playing through a couple of track and field events, both single player, and competitively (100 metre dash) was an intuitive and seamless experience. Unlike the soon-to-be-released Sony Move controller, buying the Xbox 360 Kinect covers everything needed for motion-sensing multiplayer gaming.
Judgment of the actual success of this device will need to be reserved for when it is in its final form, and installed into a living room away from the optimal conditions of the Microsoft press event. When asked, one of the Microsoft booth folks did mention that the device did struggle to pick up an individual clothed all in black, initially; second time around all was good.
CONTINUED on PAGE 2 - Pricing and dates