Friday, November 19, 2010

The One with the Xbox Kinect

We ordered the Xbox Console with Kinect yesterday. After writing the last post, I did a quick check on Amazon and found that it was sold out and I was told that was the case in other stores. I also read that Microsoft was asking people to order one this week if they wanted to get one for Christmas, I was really down on reading it and I was all set to start blaming S for it (I like to blame him for all my problems in life, isn't that what all wives do?) Then someone told me that Best Buy had got some and I checked the site and viola! I quickly ordered one and we picked it up yesterday.

And the verdict - WOW! It really is amazing. It does a good job of recognizing arm and leg movements and as far as voice commands go, it doesn't seem to have a problem my accent. We didn't buy any game for the Kinect and we just played with the Kinect Adventures game that it came with. The game is very light and is just intended to let people know what the Kinect can do. The games are in 3D and I did face a little problem with mapping co-ordinates, but it's not overly sensitive and I managed to get the hang of it soon. The surprising thing was, I worked up a sweat in the 45 mins I spent playing this game. I am yet to check out the other games on Kinect - I want to buy Dance Central and Joy Ride. I hope the games live upto their hype, because unless there are good games there is precious little that one can do with the console. It was bit of a gamble to buy this new piece of technology so soon (I usually never buy any first generation product) But since the Xbox 360 is something that we can use without the Kinect, I am not very worried. And at the rate at which Kinect seems to be flying off the shelves, I think we will have more games on it soon.

In other news, I got a new pair of glasses and I spent the day thinking that I looked like Tina Fey. Then last evening we were watching The Big Bang Theory and S said "Look, Leonard's glasses look so similar to your new ones" and my bubble burst. However a couple of people at work said my new glasses look really good though. I have a 90 day period to decide if I like the glasses, so we'll see. What I really want is to get Lasik done so that I can be done with glasses, contacts and prescription sunglasses forever! Wonder how much it costs.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Serious Case of the Gimmes

Like I discussed at length in my previous post, sometimes when I want something, I want it really bad. A few years ago, it was the iPod (you can read about it here and here) Now, everyone knows that I am a music ignoramus. And I hardly never listen to music. Even when I am at the gym, I watch TV while working out. If there's ever a person who should not get a 30GB ipod, it's me. And I knew all that and yet I wanted it. I imagined myself listening to music all the time and filling my ipod with new age music. Cut to 2010, I have less than 3GB of music in my ipod. The newest album on it is Vettaiyadu Vilayadu. I use for 30 mins each night to listen to Crazy Mohan/S.VE Shekar dramas.

My newest craze is the Kinect. For the uninitiated, Kinect is a sort of add on for the XBox 360 which lets you play games without a controller. In their own words, you are the controller. So they have a camera to track your actions, so that in a dancing game, it tracks your dance moves and you can see it on the screen. I really think Microsoft is marketing it really well. When I see the Kinect ad where people are having fun dancing, driving imaginary cars with imaginary wheels, I want one too. Again like the ipod, I don't doubt that the Kinect is an awesome game platform. It's just that S and I are one of the laziest people to roam the earth. We like our couch and enjoy the time we spend sitting on it. The only games we play on the Wii are the ones that we can sit and play. When we feel the need to exercise, we haul our rear ends to the gym and we both believe that exercise games on the Wii or Kinect are not very effective. So buying the Kinect is not really a good move for us at all. I am sure we will be all excited and play with it for a week and then let it gather dust till someone visits us and wants to try it (that's what happened with the Wii Motion Plus!) However since both of us are moderately interested in regular video games, I am sure that we would enjoy playing games like Halo on the XBox. The XBox 360 costs $199 and with the Kinect bundle it costs $299. Despite everything I've written here I am sure that we will end up buying the Kinect bundle (if we decide to buy the Xbox 360 that is).

While I am very free with my money when it comes to day to day things, ("Let's buy the more expensive laundry detergent", "Let's go out to eat, I don't care that we went out for dinner yesterday", "Tip the waitress 30%, she was really good to us") I am usually wise (or so I think) when it comes to big purchases. I still use the same laptop that I used in grad school and I have no plans to replace it anytime soon - even after watching the numerous MacBook Air ads on TV. Our TVs at home are really old and despite my initial love of the iPad, I don't plan to buy one ever. I know that I am not the most careful with money (like my father likes to point out every time I tell him we went out for dinner for 2 days in a row) but since I don't spend on these big things, I used to think that it cancels out. But the Kinect seems to prove otherwise. Since S is worse than me, I am sure that we are never going to leave our children houses, wealth and money. However we both have a zest for life and a desire to live our life to the fullest, travel widely, do crazy things just because we want to and this kind of people are never expected to have money in the bank, are they? :-)

PS People don't give me grief about people who save money and yet manage to live a full life. A girl is allowed to have her delusions right?