The Kinect is a great addition to the Xbox 360, it adds a more physical aspect to gaming and it’s just a lot of fun really. The one problem with the Kinect is that it needs  a lot of room to work, and people with small living rooms or apartments are going to have a problem with it. Nyko has come up with a solution for that and it’s called the Zoom and it does what it sounds like, it zooms the Kinect lenses in so you can play in a smaller area. I’ve got one and I’ve used it for a while and I found that it really does work as advertised. I’ve got a large living room, but it still felt a bit cramped with the couch in the way, with the Nyko Zoom I don’t have to worry about the couch anymore really.

The Nyko Kinect Zoom comes in a small box with the familiar green colors of the Xbox 360. On the box is of course information about it.

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It’s actually two boxes, or a slip cover and a box.

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Opening it up you’ll find the instructions right on top with the Zoom wrapped in plastic for protection.

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The Zoom itself is a one piece device with three lens on it to coincide with the lenses on the Kinect itself. The lenses are made to reduce the range of the Kinect by up to 40% so you can play in a cramped space like an apartment. The Zoom itself is well made, it’s plastic of course but it feels heavier than it looks really.

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It fits over the Kinect and is held on by tension essentially.

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Here’s a better look a the lenses, they’re actually spring loaded, the lenses move in and out.

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Specifications:

Nyko Kinect Zoom Lens Kit

Decrease the space needed to play your favorite Kinect games with Nyko’s Zoom for Kinect

- Specially designed optical lenses allow you to play up to 40% closer than before
- The Zoom clips on top of the Kinect Sensor with no additional cables, power or installation required
- Play comfortably with two people in a space that would previously only accommodate one
- Works with all Kinect software, no upgrades needed

Decrease the space needed to play your favorite Kinect games with Nyko’s Zoom for Kinect. The Zoom reduces the play range required to enjoy Kinect software by up to 40%, allowing you to play closer to your TV. Zoom’s wide angle lens also enables two people to play in an area normally only suitable for a single player making it ideal for those in smaller apartments or dorm rooms.

Specially designed optical lenses fit over the Kinect sensor and clip into place making set up a breeze with nothing to plug in. No additional software or calibration is required. The design of the Zoom blends seamlessly with the look and feel of the Kinect. The Zoom opens up a whole new world of Kinect play to those who previously lacked the space required to fully enjoy it.


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The Nyko Zoom easily attaches to my Kinect.

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To attach the Zoom you just slip it over the Kinect, and it locks into place. Simple and very easy to do.

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Once I got it installed I turned on my Xbox 360 and then I had to re-calibrate the Kinect as it couldn’t see me. Quick recalibration consisted of me just walking closer to the Kinect to get it to work with the Xbox 360 dashboard. I was really surprised by just how close I had to get to the Kinect with the Zoom in place, it seemed like much more than 40% shorter to me.

One of my favorite games on the Kinect is actually Fruit Ninja so I played it for testing the Zoom. I did have to actually calibrate the Kinect since it had the Zoom on it for playing the game, which wasn’t a big deal. I found the Zoom didn’t interfere at all with normal game playing, it just made the distance I needed to be from the Kinect shorter.

I’ll be honest here, I’m really amazed that the Zoom really works as well as it does. It really does reduce the amount of room you need to use the Kinect. I’ve read about many people having to re-arrange their living rooms in order touse the Kinect, and then when they’re done having to put everything back. I wouldn’t want to do that, and with the Zoom you shouldn’t have to anymore.

The great think about the Zoom is that it you can take it off very easily and put it back on if needed. You can take it to your friends house as well and share the experience.

One small drawback is that the Zoom does slightly distort pictures, that can be bad if you use it for taking pictures. Personally I don’t use my Kinect for picture taking, so it’s not a problem for me.


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Conclusion:

I have to say I’m impressed with the Nyko Zoom for Kinect, I was pleasantly surprised by just how well it works. Many time we see gadgets like these that make great promises but don’t deliver, but the Zoom does deliver on all of it’s promises.

If you’ve got a Kinect and a space playing are then you need to get the Zoom to really enjoy your Kinect. I for one will keep using the Zoom as I’ve got limited room, and it really works.

I’d love to give the Nyko Zoom a perfect score, but because of the distortion of the pictures I can’t do that. Still though, I can highly recommend the Zoom if you’ve got limited space.

9recommended5


Pros:
+Really works as advertised
+Simple installation
+Made well

Cons:
-Slightly alters pictures

Grades:  
Overall score-9-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-10-10

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