Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: Nyko Zoom (Kinect)

I really was not planning on doing review on accessories on this blog, but I really feel compelled to write about this one after personal use and success.  This won't be a regular occurrence, just this once.

E3 Display showing off the box art
Accessory for: Microsoft Kinect (xbox 360)
Maker: Nyko
Cost: $29.99

Back at E3, Nyko announced a fish eye lens attachment for the Kinect called the Nyko Zoom.  Me, being 6'5" (~197cm) and all, knew that if something like this worked, it'd be a must-have add-on for the Kinect.  I pestered my manager at Gamestop about this product for at least a month or so, and I think he was relieved to have me off his case.

When the zoom finally came out, I went impulse buy on it.  Bear in mind, that I can't make up my mind for s*** in most situations.  This surprised even me.  My initial thought process was along the lines of "what am I getting myself in to?"  Honestly, I knew I wanted to do a review about it.  There's a bunch of worthless kinect accessories out there, and I wanted to review one that breaks the mold, even if it doesn't work.

Being as tall as I am, that usually means I need a LOT of space to use the Kinect.  Microsoft may say that you only need 6' (2m) to play, but for me, that's a load of crock.  I have to be a good 10' away from the sucker for it to register properly.  Even more if the sensor is down low.  I wish I had more space for my kinect misadventures. Part of me is afraid of playing my kinect with other people in close proximity, lest I find myself in one of those "kinect fail" videos all over youtube.

This seems like a rather dubious-looking chart...
So when the box says I can get 40% closer, my BS radar went crazy.  40% is a serious reduction.  I will admit that I was really skeptical of this little item's claims.  The included on the back of the package seemed fabricated.

When I attached the Zoom to my kinect, I liked how well it blended with the kinect visually.  The whole device is very unobtrusive and fits with the design aesthetic of the kinect.  When I fired up my kinect, the first thing I noticed was that I could stand almost halfway between my couch and my kinect and have it read me, head to toe! I just about had a nerd-gasm.

So once the initial ogling and such were out of the way, I fired up the main game I use on my kinect, Dance Central.  While playing, I noticed that my moves, while slightly distorted, still read quite well and the snap shots didn't look like a fun house mirror.

Kinect Adventures also meshes with the Zoom quite well, too.  I was worried about distortion around the edges, but it's really not that noticeable. It's kinda nice like that.

All told, this is a must have accessory for the kinect.  The only people who don't need this accessory are the families that use their kinect in a mansion-sized room.  Do yourself and your house a favor and go buy one of these things.  Your couch thanks you.

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