You've seen the adverts, all those shiny happy people playing in living rooms the size of an aircraft hanger? Tricksy Microsoft eh, forgetting about us in the UK with our titchy houses.
The manual claims 6ft minimum which I know a few people will have trouble finding, but you really need a minimum of at least 8-10ft in front of the TV and a good few feet either side to allow for a decent play space where you can move about without crashing into things. If you want 2 people playing then the wider the better and clearly the further away from the TV you can get, the better. Too close and you'll get errors and people stepping outside the play area and things just won't go well.
So I've had to slightly reshuffle the living room around, I've had to move a small sofa and set the Kinect sensor up so that the TV can be angled differently when we want to play Kinect - don't forget that it needs to be set up, calibrated and then left in its position - every time you move the sensor it needs to redo its set up to confirm the correct play space. A mild pain in the bum, but with a little tweaking its been possible to get a decent play space in a 1930's terraced living room, suitable to 2 people to play.
Set up is nice and friendly with a range of update and fine tune options beyond the basic play area set up.
So, assuming you can find the space, this is a seriously good fun bit of kit. Its also, frankly, a rather spookyily cool bit of technology, scanning your body and mvoements and allowing for all manner of swish gesture based motion control. Its also a little bit weird controlling stuff on the TV with nothing in your hands. Voice controls also feature and although you might feel and sound a bit of a spoon shouting XBOX! DASHBOARD! its undeniably entertaining. It can also be set up to recognise individual players, so if I'm playing a game and my wife wanders in, she gets scanned and recognised and then her avatar joins the game. So clever stuff then.
Kinect adventures is your bundled party games pack and to be fair its a good introduction to control less motion control. The games are fun, suitably daft and surprisingly energetic, even for a toned adonis such as myself...add in two people and its gets even more hectic, all flapping limbs and shrieking, but the sensor copes admirably with translating these terrifying movements into the game. It takes photos too at random moments (Dance central takes hilarious sped up[ prodigy video style videos - awesome)
Flaws, well aside from the space considerations which should put a lot of people off, there hasn't really been any. Now that my play area is set and I've updated my Kinect ID for different lighting conditions I'm recognised whenever I step in front of the sensor and it all goes nicely from there. The only thing I can see being an issue is that naturally the novelty will wear off and I can't really see what kind of games other than party game shovelware (as seen infesting the Wii) Kinect could actually do. We'll see though, so 5 stars on the fun and cleverness factors alone.