Xbox 360 with Kinect

After a year of planning to buy a Playstation 3, two weeks ago we purchased the Xbox 360. What changed? Kinect, it just looked so cool, and you can have multi-player without needing to buy yet another controller.

Dance Central is killer application in our house hold, my daughter loves the game, and the rest of us enjoy it greatly, but we get beaten mercilessly by her.

The reasons I was leaning towards the Playstation originally were:

  • Region free games. This was a big issue for me, as our New Zealand Wii does not play US games and paying $90 USD for a NZ new game, which costs $55 here is annoying, waiting for shipping from NZ and not been able to pick-up cheap second hand games adds to the frustration.
  • Free online gaming. I’ve seen lots of PS3 vs. Xbox fan-boy arguing over this issue, and I’m just not sure what $60USD gets me, or $99 to allow the family to play online.
  • Xbox prior quality problems.

Now we have the Xbox, there are little things that annoy me:

  • The endless advertising on the menu’s. I guess 50% of the panels on the system menu are advertising, and the start screen is always the ad’s
  • Home game development cost $100 a year. It’s almost like Microsoft want $100/year from me one way or another. What with the online game fees or this, if you plan to get more than 20 hours of fun from a game (thus avoid buying another) MS wants their share of the lost pie
  • The Facebook application is crap. Just show it in a freaking browser, the Group feature is missing and that’s the only way we use Facebook, thus it pointless and ugly.
  • Movies costing 4-5 bucks to rent. No thanks, I’ll drive to Red Box and pay $1 thank you. I’ll admit that penalty/late fees involved with normal rental operation discounts the upfront movie cost, and it convenient not having to move from your sofa, but surely not by $3 dollars per movie.
  • Being a southpaw, the buttons are on the wrong side of the controller in shooters. But I’m guessing this problem would have been present of the PS3 also.
  • I really dislike my avatar’s name being my Xbox Live handle. We had four users with each person’s name, and now it’s ‘AttrachedSpore3 vs. Mahalia’ in dance central, nice touch. How about using my online handle for online stuff, and my chosen name for in game stuff. Please!
  • MS Point, 400 for $4.99, but 800 is $9.99, so either to just took an extra cent of me for doubling the points, or the real price is more, and your just generously gift me one cent. Oh how nice, or maybe you’re playing the .99 price game. Also there is not volume discount, why not? It just seems very backwards.

But I’m mostly over that now. I had been keen to make some homemade games, but not two new games a year keen. Not sure where I sit on the pay to play online, it’s fun, other than I suck and I’m really struggling to adjust to not using a mouse and keyboard in FPS games. I’m completely ignoring the region locking of the games, which is so pointless, as the games are all playing on HD TV’s so it just about price control. Grrrr.

The reason I’m over it, the family has so much fun playing on it. In fact I can hear them arguing who’s turn it’s next, and I need to enforce the ‘Dad’s Time’ rule, like ‘Daddy Tax’ but for games, instead of food.

What’s Simeon been up to?

Well thanks for asking. But only because you asked, I’ll give you the short answer, because trust me, I know your busy, and I really appreciate you dropping by.

So we flew from New Zealand to Peoria, Illinois, USA, landed in some of the colder weather they have had. Not the coldest, but an aeroplane did slide off the end of the runway and go into the ditch on the morning of our arrival. Our bags also were “delayed’

Our temporary housing is in a not so nice B grade apartment complex, we can hear the people above’s every move, even their talking at times, but not what they are saying. Also noted on that, was that from the hallway you can hear everything that anybody on the floor is saying. Interesting experience there.

We looked at a few houses, not many to rent in the area’s we wanted to live. There are quite a few houses for sale, but we are not ready to commit that much to this location (yet). So we are renting a house bigger than we need, but it’s nice, and a nice area with a nice school.

The kids started school on Thursday last week, which was as good for them as Michaela. There was a little bit of cabin fever going on.

We have been shopping for lots of house hold things, spending large amounts in shops to find specials on the next day or two. Slightly maddening, and yes some places will retrospectively give discounts, but not all. Really it’s just annoying to be spending so much money in a short time period, and knowing you can’t get the best time to buy discounts…

Which bring us to the Social Security Number, which we needed to wait before applying, which means three weeks into the adventure we/I don’t have it yet, but nearly everything needs/wants it. Which means important things have to wait. So frustrating.

Oh, and things are beyond crazy busy at work.. and there is so much US HR paperwork to compete, and it’s all made harder by the fact I’m not stationed at a Trimble location.

It can only get better.