Microsoft recently released the Xbox Live Vision Camera for the Xbox 360. How does it perform? Is it worth the money? Find out all about it right here.
The Xbox Vision Camera comes in two bundles. For $39.99 you get the camera, a headset, a one-month free trial of Xbox Live Gold, and a code so you can download Uno for free. The other bundle will set you back $79.99 includes everything youll find in the cheaper one along with a one-year subscription to Xbox Live Gold. Which version is right for you? It really depends on whether you need another year of Live or not.
When you first get the camera, setup is extremely easy. You literally just plug-and-play because all of the software was included in a system update months ago. You just plug it into a spare USB port on your Xbox 360, set the camera somewhere so you have a good shot, and you are off and running. Then you just twist the ring on the front of the camera to focus it. One downside is that the camera is sensitive to light, and it doesnt produce too good of a picture when you have glaring sunlight coming in through windows or bright interior lights. When you get that sorted out, the quality is surprisingly good.
Using it With Games
What can you do with it when you get it set up? The camera works with Uno, Bankshot Billiards 2, and the three Hardwood arcade games. It makes games just that little bit more fun and interesting when you can actually see the people you are playing with. You can also use the camera with Activisions World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions so that other players can see your face while you play. You can also use it to map your face onto your character in WSOP and it looks surprisingly good. This feature will also be available in Rainbow Six: Vegas and who knows what else in the future.
You can also download a free Xbox Live Arcade game called Totemball that was designed with the camera in mind. In Totemball, you use your left and right hands in front of the camera to control a character onscreen. Move both hands up and the character goes forward, move one up and the other down to turn, and so on. Unfortunately, it is extremely poorly executed here and not all that fun. Dont bother with Totemball.
What Else Can It Do?
You can also use it for video chat with friends or to take custom gamerpics. Only people on your friends list can see this custom pic, but it is still a nice way to personalize your profile.
One other very nice feature is that you can use the Vision camera as a PC webcam. All you have to do is plug it into a USB port and let Windows download the right driver and it works. For chatting with friends or recording quick videos, this is a cheap and easy way to get a decent webcam.
For your $39.99 or $79.99, you are actually getting quite a good value considering all that you get with each bundle. If you have friends with cameras, Id say it is definitely worth picking one up. You cant use it with very many games yet, but it is pretty safe to say that in the future it will be used more and more and the usefulness of the camera will definitely be proven. Also, I think the fact you can easily use it as a PC webcam is pretty significant, and when you consider all you can do with it through your PC it is a pretty solid investment. The Xbox Live Vision Camera isnt hot fire quite yet, but it will be, so I would recommend it for a purchase.