So, you’ve bought an exercise bike which is cluttering up your garage, a treadmill that’s a glorified coat rack, and endless videos and books and diet programs. For your next piece of exercise equipment, why not consider an Xbox?
Maybe you’re ready to buy an Xbox as exercise equipment, but the last video game system you owned was an Atari 2600 (or for the young ‘uns among us, a Nintendo NES or a Sony Playstation). How do you get started?
Choosing an Xbox
The first thing to know is that there is no such system as the “Xbox”. Microsoft stopped making those in 2005. Since then, Microsoft has been selling the Xbox’s successor: the Xbox 360. There have been a bunch of models of the Xbox since 2005, including the Xbox 360 Core, the Xbox 360 Pro, and Xbox 360 Premium, the Xbox 360 Elite, the Xbox 360 Arcade, and the Xbox 360 Super Elite. Yes, from the same people who brought you names like Xune, Vista, and Bob.
Anyway, currently there are only two models of the Xbox 360 you should consider. These were a redesign of the Xbox 360 hardware which launched in June 2010.
1) The Xbox 360 250GB (retailing at $399.99)
2) The Xbox 360 4GB (retailing at $299.99)
The models are exactly the same, except the first has 250 GB of hard drive space, while the second has 4 GB of internal Flash storage (you can add on a 250 hard drive later for an extra $129.99).
The Xbox comes with the console, a wireless handheld controller, composite cables to connect to your TV.
Wait, we’re not done yet. In 2010, Microsoft released Kinect. This is a separate set of hardware that you add on to the Xbox 360. Specifically, it’s a long plastic “bar” that has a built-in camera and four built-in microphones. You can either buy it bundled with an Xbox, or you can buy it separately. It comes with a the sensor, a power supply cable, a wireless network adapter cable, and an awful game called “Kinect Adventure”. More on that in a later post.
How it works is quite amazing. As you move your body, the sensor will pivot up, down, left, and right following your motions. The sensor goes for an extra $149.99 retail, but if you don’t already have an Xbox 360 you can save a lot of money by buying it in a bundle.
How to buy an Xbox with Kinect Bundle
Choose the Xbox 360 250GB Console with Kinect if you want to take advantage of the Xbox’s hard core gaming capabilities or if you plan on using storage-intensive applications like downloadable games from Xbox Live, movies, videos and photos. The hard drive space is currently the largest that can be installed on an Xbox 360.
Choose the Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect if you just plan on using the unit for exercise. Most of the games we’ll be reviewing here don’t need large amounts of hard drive space.
If you already have an Xbox 360, you can opt to get just the Kinect Sensor. It comes with Kinect Adventures.
I decided to splirge and get the big enchilada–the 250 GB version. I’ll talk about the setup process in my next post.