Hardware

Nyko Zoom for Kinect Review

Nyko Zoom for Kinect Front ViewThe Nyko Zoom for Kinect peripheral promises to reduce the required play space of Kinect for Xbox for 360 titles, allowing those with smaller or narrow living rooms to play most games as intended by developers. Though some rearrangement and recalibration will be needed by most, the peripheral does deliver on its promise, maybe even a little too well.

Installing the Nyko Zoom for Kinect is an extremely simple process. After making sure your Kinect sensor is free of dust and hairs, you simply line up the Nyko Zoom for Kinect with the recessed "eyes" of the sensor and slide it into place. There are no physical modifications, tools or external power source required. Read More...

The Nyko Zoom for Kinect peripheral does not only reduce the space required to use the Kinect sensor, it effectively limits the space to about six feet (two metres) in single player mode and to roughly eight feet (2.4 metres) in two player mode.

I had to rearrange my Kinect for Xbox 360 setup a bit and go through the sensor's calibration to get it to work properly. It feels a bit weird playing closer to the television, in some cases as close as four feet (1.2 metres), but the peripheral does indeed work and in most cases has improved my Kinect experience.

It's not perfect however and I've had to remove the Nyko Zoom for Kinect to make certain games like Rise of Nightmares feel right, but conversely I was able to play The Gunstringer seated with the peripheral on; something that didn't work very well at all without it.

The Peripheral Integrates with the Look of the Kinect SensorThe Peripheral Integrates with the Look of the Kinect Sensor

I also tested the peripheral with Xbox LIVE Arcade titles like Hole in the Wall, Leedmees, Fruit Ninja Kinect and Burnout Crash and had mostly positive results while standing in the five to six foot (1.5 to 1.8 metre) range.

If there is ever another iteration of the Nyko Zoom for Kinect, I'd love to see an option to fine tune the glass lenses like you would a pair of binoculars and tailor the sensor's range to your exact play space, which in my case is about 7.5 feet (2.3 metres). Nyko did a good job making the peripheral integrate with the look of the sensor, but it does add a fair amount of bulk and is about 1.5 inches (3.8 centimetres) thick.

Everyone's play space is different, so your mileage may vary, but I feel that the Nyko Zoom for Kinect is a worthy, if not slightly overpriced investment for those with small or narrow rooms. Being able to effectively play more Kinect for Xbox 360 titles in a small space far outweighs the minor inconvenience of having to remove it for certain games or rearranging my setup.

Positives:

+ Works as Advertised
+ Improves Kinect for Xbox 360 Experience in Small Spaces
+ Easy to Install

Negatives:

- Effectively Limits Play Space
- No Ability to Fine Tune the Peripheral

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Game Forward Score: 4/5

Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward

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Nyko Zoom for Kinect (Kinect for Xbox 360) Quick Facts:

Genre: Hardware / Peripheral
Developer: Nyko
Publisher: Nyko
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Price: $29.99
ESRB Rating: N/A