23 February, 2012

Xbox 360 with Kinect

My latest game console is the Xbox 360 with Kinect. Specifically, the "Xbox 360 S" (does that stand for speed or slim?) or Valhalla. More specifically, the new matte 250GB one (the old one was glossy). The 250GB version only comes with 2 games (one of which you have to download), while the 4GB comes with 3! I bought it together with my TH-L32C30S, as I didn't have a TV.

I chose the Xbox because of Kinect. To me, the leaps in game consoles have been:
  • Wireless controllers
  • Motion sensing controllers (Wii)
  • Online connectivity
  • Controllerless (Kinect)
Kinect is amazing. Not only can it distinguish people from the surroundings, it can also recognise people, and it only has a 640x480 camera! It's a little too smart though, and refuses to let you log on as someone else (must find solution to this). Kinect has a motorised stand. I thought it was just like the Wii sensor bar at first and tried to angle it myself.

I'm not going to review the Xbox since I don't have the experience and others have done it better. AnandTech has an interesting review. In particular, while the new version uses much less power, it still consumes 70W when idle! MacBooks only consume 85W max. Although the Xbox may be more powerful, it's inefficient to use it to watch YouTube. Speaking of YouTube, you need Xbox Live Gold to use Facebook and YouTube. I don't have any other uses for Xbox Live, so I'll stick to iPhone+HDMI for now.

The new Xbox 360 no longer has red LEDs around the power button, making it "immune" to the red ring of death. I seriously question Microsoft's solutions. Think Windows XP and onwards are much more immune to BSOD? That's because they're set to restart automatically when it occurs. Solving problems by hiding them, and making it harder to find out about them.

Some unboxing pictures:

Now doing some power measurements:
  • Off, no background downloads - 2 W
  • Home screen - 70+ W
  • Playing Skyrim 70 - 90 W, max 90+ W (only tested for a few minutes)

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