Thoughts from a (girl) Gamer

Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life

A Waste of Time – Using Kinect with Netflix

So yesterday (April 14, 2011), there was an update to Netflix that allowed you to use the Kinect to control the interface. Now, I was unnecessarily excited about this. And I don’t have a good reason. It just seemed like the best thing ever, probably because choosing a movie with the wave of my hand still sounds so futuristic and bad ass.

But really, it wasn’t. It was pretty lame actually. Let me explain.

So, here is what you are presented with when you log access Netflix via the Kinect:

Netflix Interface when using the Kinect

Now- you’ll notice a few things.

Firstly,  I’d like to draw your attention to the text at the lower left hand corner. “For more choices and search, use your controller.”  Now why does it say this? When you are navigating though Netflix by using the Kinect, you can only choose from what is essentially the “Suggest for you” category.  For me it was a mix of the TV shows I had currently been watching, as well as movies in my queue, and some movies similar to ones in my queue or that I had rated well.

This means that other categories – including “Your Queue” and “Recently watched” aren’t there.  And that sucks.

Now, even if the Kinect interface did have everything the normal Netflix interface provided, I would still probably never use it. I was very much snuggled into my couch when I went to turn something on,  and had to sit up and get myself very much out of my super comfy spot to get in position where the Kinect would recognize me on the couch. For me, sort of defeats the point of watching something.

Even worse, navigation is slow. Really slow. Using the controller is much, much faster.

So, although I was originally very excited that I would be able to just wave my arms to pick a movie, the whole system and interface is very impractical.

So final call? Cool party trick, gets old after 2 seconds.

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