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Netflix Gets Kinect Support, Sort of

If you start up Netflix on your 360 today, you'll be greeted with a quick update meant for Kinect users only. Even if you have a Kinect, the update doesn't do much. Okay, that's a bit harsh, but the much touted Kinect integration for Netflix is every bit as disappointing as it's been for the entire 360 dashboard.

The update provides a dedicated Kinect hub within Netflix that offers a dozen movie suggestions. You can browse through the options or use your voice to choose them, but if you don't like what's available, you're out of luck. The suggestions include a mix of recommendations and programs you may be in the middle of watching already. With only a dozen options, most users will quickly be back to their controller, shuffling through their undoubtedly massive instant queues.

At least the integration is handled quite well. I had no problem using voice commands to pause or play episodes of Top Gear. You can even use your hand to move the timeline and jump quickly to specific points. That part was enjoyably Minority Report-ish, at least.

When Microsoft saved Netflix for later, I'd hoped the final result would be more impressive than what they've delivered so far. Instead, they've given us service that's as limited as what the Kinect started with. Microsoft needs to do better (and fast) if they want to keep the 10 million Kinect owners they have accrued.

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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