Pros:Slim design, futuristic controller free play, easy set up, FUN FUN FUN!
Cons:The amount of space you need for the Kinect won't work for everyones livingroom.
The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a fun system for someone 3 or 93 the Kinect makes it possible for all age ranges and I highly recommend it!
My kids have saved up to buy an XBOX 360 and we purchased a used one from a neighbor and were turned off by the loudness of it and the fact that it was having a hard time reading discs so we decided to go and buy the XBOX 360 and Kinect Bundle at Target. So far we are very happy we spent the extra money.
Just a few major changed from the old XBOX to the new is the noise level. The old one sounded like a CD-ROM about ready to fly out of a computer. The new one is almost silent, and is not heard at all while you are playing a game and the sound is on. Another major difference is the size. It is quite a bit smaller and will fit in tighter spaces in your entertainment system.
The following items came with our XBOX bundle: AV Cable, so you'll want to buy an HDMI cord if you have an HD TV, power cord and supply, wireless controller with batteries (you'll want to buy rechargeable batteries or one of the charging systems so you don't spend a fortune on batteries) and also a Kinect game called Kinect Adventures. The console has 5 USB ports total, and an Ethernet port as well.
The total set up time from box to play was less than 10 minutes. Everything was very simple and you don't even need to read the instructions or be a guru to figure this system out. This is something small but I love the power and eject buttons on this unit. They are infrared or something that doesn't require you to actually "push" on them to make them work.
The new XBOX has built in wireless networking to connect to your wireless router. Makes your life easier and saves you money! You can now consider your XBOX one of your devices to connect to your computer and share songs, movies, music, pictures, etc. Of course you can use your XBOX as your DVD player so that allows you to get rid of your old DVD player and free up some room.
The Kinect is, of course, one of the coolest most futuristic devices I've ever seen. My entire family loves being able to play games with any controllers. It takes some time to get used to but after you get the hang of how to use your hand to select things it gets easier. It's amazing how the Kinect senses who is in front of it and changes the little icon on the screen to represent you. It also takes pictures while you are playing and shows them to you at the end which makes for a lot of laughs! You can also control with your voice but we don't use that feature. You will need approx. 6-8 feet of space from your Kinect sensor and at least 4-6 feet of width.
If you are playing something with a controller (i.e. a non-kinect game) it comes with a wireless controller that says it works up to 30 feet away and for 30 hours of play time between battery changes. Wireless controllers are around $50 and wired controllers are about $25. The selection of games is not near as vast as with the Nintendo Wii but you'll definitely find enough to keep you busy. Not to mention with games being $20-60 we can't afford to have a ton of games so as a parent I am happy for the slightly smaller selection.
Yes, the initial cost for the XBOX is more than the Wii right now but in the long run it will be cheaper when you consider buying the controllers for additional players on the Wii will cost you close to $100 per player where as the XBOX with kinect games no extra controllers are needed or you could buy wired controllers for $25. The warranty is just 1 year so I recommend buying an extended warranty for some extra protection.