I kissed a console and I liked it. Okay, maybe I didn't really kiss it. But I did talk to it. And I did kind of like it. I'm a big fan of innovation and modernization. While I might not buy every new gadget that comes out, I can still appreciate the vision the designers put into their project. This is true regardless of whether the device is a success or failure. I even enjoy reading about projects that never see the light of day. From the Nintendo Power Glove to the Oculus Rift - these devices and those who dream of making them are what propel our industry forward. Okay, maybe not the Power Glove (I'm kidding, I'm kidding)

Do you remember Microsoft's patent application for a video game projection system?

What about Sony's Augmented Reality Headset?

Of course you can't forget about digital scent technology?

When the Kinect and Move (and Wii, for that matter) released, I was interested in them for their technological breakthrough and what they achieve, but I never purchased a Kinect or Move. I'd watch gamers use them at stores that had floor models set up, captivated with how responsive they seemed to be. Yet I never bought one. I'm sure I've mentioned them in a blog or two before, but I've never used one myself.

Until recently.

"We've completely re-engineered Kinect to take full advantage of all that Xbox One can do. It's more precise. More responsive. More intuitive. Its unparalleled voice, vision, and motion technology lets you reach into games and entertainment like never before. Automatically sign in when you enter the room. Accelerate through a game with subtle gestures. Or navigate through your favorite TV shows with the sound of your voice. It's an entirely new Kinect for a new generation of entertainment."

I know a lot of gamers had reservations about the Kinect being able to spy on you, and I can respect that. If you don't trust it - I don't blame you. What we know now about the amount of surveillance going on and the fact the government is capable of tapping into the webcam on your computer or phone without your knowledge; it wouldn't surprise me if they could accomplish this on other devices too. I accept the risk and potential compromise of privacy. I suppose you could unplug the device though, if you felt that strongly about it.

Anyway, I've started using the Kinect for everything it was designed for, except maybe motion filled games like Kinect Sesame Street TV. Haven't tried that yet. But I have used it to essentially control everything else...and I have to say, I thought it was going to be sort of a gimmick, but what I've quickly learned is how cool it really is. I tend to use it more for controlling the TV than I do anything else. You can change channels and adjust the volume simply by talking to this little magic box.

Oh sure, I haven't gotten completely used to the camera recognizing me when I walk into the room, and saying hello as it signs me in. I'm sort of hoping they will eventually implement an AI that can talk back to you, sort of like Siri. And I'm kind of hoping it sounds like GLaDOS. Who knows, maybe the new Steam boxes will incorporate something like this. But the voice controls work really well. And I like it.

I've only used the hand controls just for the amusement of flipping through the screens much like when using a current generation tablet like the iPad or Surface. It's neat. I don't think it works as conveniently as the voice commands. It seems like you have to be in front of it to get the best results, whereas the voice you can be anywhere in the room.

I had heard reports the Kinect worked pretty well in Mass Effect 3. I never really knew how this was employed, but having used it in Ryse: Son of Rome, I have a general idea now. In Ryse, there are a few opportunities where you can shout commands to your fellow Roman soldiers. Sure, you can just hit the LB and do the same thing, but talk about immersion. I found I'd actually yell whenever the icon appeared on the screen. And when my soldiers responded, I felt like I was the man in charge. Of course my wife looked at me like I was crazy. Hah, she did jump on occasion when out of the blue, I'd bellow, "Archers, cover me." I suppose if the NSA is watching, they might think us crazy.

The Kinect might not be a necessary peripheral to play games or watch TV, but there is no denying it is an innovative feature that extends and enhances the experience. I look forward to using it more (can't wait to try Skype on it) and can't wait to see what the future holds for this technology. Could it be paving the way to computer interfaces demonstrated in movies like Iron Man or Minority Report?

Oh, and one more thing. I would never suggest the best thing about the Kinect is how easy it is to redeem codes now, but the fact you can hold up a QR code and let the Kinect scan it instead of typing the numbers and letters like the old method is definitely cool.

Okay, well time to wage a little war now.

Xbox Play Disc.