I have been reading about the new Microsoft Kinect – the add-on real-time motion sensor for the Xbox 360 – and seeing what cool things can be done with it. Today I noticed that Amazon and other retailers have greedily capitalized on the apparent shortages of the Kinect by drastically raising prices (it was $149.99 yesterday and jumped to $199.89 today with some retailers charging upwards of $250! Highway robbery if you ask me, but as big retailers such as BestBuy are showing out of stock online and in stores, people are taking advantage of the ‘oh no I need to get one for Xmas’ feeling. Fear not, at least here in Pensacola FL. Gamestop’s here in Pensacola still have plenty Kinect units in stock at the retail price of $149.99 (they also have the bundled with Xbox 360 versions). After purchasing one today at the Gamestop on US90 Mobile Highway here in Pensacola (right by the Walmart at Mobile Highway and Fairfield), I must say that I am quite impressed with it. Big thanks to the guys at Gamestop for being so helpful and friendly!
The Kinect is quite a marvel of technology, incorporating a camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone, and custom software which gives 3-d motion capture, voice and facial recognition, and allows you to interact and play games without a controller. The Kinect comes with a small assortment of Kinect enabled games, and there are already quite a few interesting and fun titles. These games will certainly get people off the couch and can provide a pretty good workout!
With Microsoft selling over 1 million units the first 10 days, the Kinect is sure to be a top seller Christmas gift this year, far overshadowing the drooping iPad in popularity.
The Kinect has already spawned quite a number of innovative ‘Hacks’ and there have been quite a few bounties put up for people who can write drivers and software that allow the Kinect to work with a PC. Some very cool things have already been done, including one that turns the Kinect into a 3D webcam type recorder which takes motion video and turns it into a 3D navigable environment – see the video below:
So if you go to Bestbuy or another retailer and find they are sold out of Microsoft’s Kinect, or decide that the greedy Amazon isn’t deserving of your hard earned money, this year stop by Pensacola Gamestop for the Kinect at a non marked-up price with great customer service (no, I don’t work for Gamestop, I was just impressed with their great customer service!). The Kinect will certainly make a great Xmas gift for the entire family.