Friday, June 25, 2010

XBox Project Natal = KINECT! Wow!

Last week I had the privilege to attend a super cool XBox event downtown L.A. The code name for this new XBox technology was Project Natal and the big reveal gave us KINECT for XBox 360 and they did it BIG!

See? Swanky!

First we were treated to test drive some of the new KINECT games at a swanky loft downtown. We danced, we rode the rapids, we frolicked with leopard and tiger cubs, we bowled and more! So what's so special about KINECT for XBox 360? No hand controller! Nothing to accidentally slip out of your hand when you screech around the corner in your race car or bust out your next dance move. Your body actually IS the controller and it's a lot of fun!

Fellow blogger friend, Bernadette's niece, gets some instruction on how to steer her raft on Kinect Adventures

There are games available for all ages and the learning curve is fast - especially for the kids. Kinect uses a sensor that works with any XBox 360 and there is a brand spankin' new Xbox 360 console too! It's sleek and powerful with a 250BG hard drive and built in Wi-Fi and comes ready for Kinect right out of the box. It's available now and retails for $299.99. This means I will not be buying one anytime soon... but I'm sure glad I got to try it out!

The coolest part of this event was yet to come though. After scarfing down some edamame burger sliders, miniature loaded baked potatoes and a Diet Coke at the loft party, we hopped over to the USC campus to the Galen Center where we were treated to a live performance imagined by Cirque du Soleil for XBox Kinect. You know when you can commission a show from Cirque du Soleil, you're doing ok. I don't think Microsoft will be missing my $300. Hahaha!

The show was stunning and here are some of the mystical dancers who beckoned us into the arena from the outside.

Once indoors, we were told a million times not to take photos or video, so I won't post the three grainy, undercover shots I took and they don't do justice to what we saw anyway. If you've ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show, you know what I mean. A camera simply can not capture the scope and awe of their live performances. Add on top of it, the wizardry of Microsoft electronics programming and you have a truly magical experience. A family on a couch suspended from the ceiling, families in a living room that rotated 360 degrees, a woman walking and bouncing a ball on the ceiling, precision programmed video monitors surrounding the entire arena, amazing acrobatics, a sauntering life sized elephant with video monitors in its sides - I thought it was real when I first saw it - and then I saw the video monitors! It was really, well for lack of a better word, cool! No joke! Click here to see some professional photos of the event, including the amazing elephant puppet.

At the end of the show, my boyfriend and I did get a chance to have our picture taken while still wearing our funky show ponchos! They made us a part of the show when special lights made the ponchos glow in different colors. We still haven't taken them off. OK, just kidding. We took them off, but we will never forget this great experience.

Amy & Lee Jump for Kinect Joy

If you're a gamer, the new XBox 360 with Kinect should definitely be on your must have list! Kudos to XBox 360 and Kinect for an amazing launch and a thank you for letting me be a part of it!

I was not paid for this post and the opinions expressed here are my own. I was granted entrance to this event to facilitate this review and tickets were not available to the general public. Furthermore, parking cost me $10 and I waited in line for almost an hour. So there.


  1. "Furthermore, parking cost me $10 and I waited in line for almost an hour. So there."
    Hahaha! I love the disclaimer. Did you actually get to try Kinect yourself, or did you mainly just watch other people try it? I own an Xbox 360 myself, so it would be neat if you could share a little about how well it seemed to work.

  2. I have to admit, I actually didn't play any of the games, myself. Only because there were SO many kids there and I didn't feel right hogging the space, especially since I know I'm not going to buy an XBox 360. Also, there was an open bar, so...

    I did watch kids and people playing a lot of the games, close up though and they really are good! The capabilities with the Kinect sensor seem really slick and smooth and the games are really fun. The Kinectimals is for little kids, but was so cool! You can reach out and pet the little cat cubs, teach it tricks, etc. My daughter would probably go nuts for it.

    So yeah, even thoughI didn't play myself, I have played Wii games and owned Playstation 2 once upon a time and this is definitely a step above. Once again... my own opinion!

  3. Looks amazing Amy, love your story of the event!