Through those doors was my opportunity to try out the new Kinect for Xbox 360.

This is the entry way into one of the two demo booths that were set up at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival in Canton, Ohio this past weekend.  One was demoing the new dance game for Kinect and the other one was running the sports package.

So how did I get here – so far from home in Jacksonville, Florida – for this demo?

Well, I was already scheduled to be in Canton for the Induction Ceremony which was a trip I had planned five years ago and when the Kinect for Xbox 360 Experience Tour was announced and showed that the demo would be at the HOF Festival I had to make sure I had a chance to have hands on, pun intended, with this new motion controller.

I barely made it into the demo booth though.  In fact I was the last person allowed to enter as they were wrapping things up because the HOF Induction Ceremony was due to begin at 7 PM.

Anyway, the demo booth was set up like a typical living room and had the new Xbox 360 setup with a flat panel HDTV, two regular controllers and of course the Kinect for Xbox 360.  We stood about 8 feet away from the front of the living room and started a hurdles race.

The idea with this is to run in place so your avatar will run around the track and then when the hurdle turns gold your supposed to jump.

Well running was not a problem however I knocked over the first three hurdles despite my attempts to jump in place to get my avatar up and over them in the game.  What I figured out on the fourth hurdle is that I really had to exaggerate my movements to get over the hurdle.  The exaggerated running also helped my avatar to run faster.  I ended up finishing third in my race.

I was also very aware that I had just done some physical activity!  This will be terrific because your kids want to game right?  Well let them have their Halo and other games they control with a standard controller but then as part of the deal get them into the Kinect games for a while.  Not only will they get game time but they will also not be sitting around doing it – they will get a work out.

Although my interaction with the Kinect for Xbox 360 was very brief I think Microsoft has a winner here for casual games for sure.  If they translate this controller into other games like the Star Wars game they demoed then this will also win over non-casual gamers.

This experience confirmed for me my plan to get this upgrade when it comes out on 04 Nov 2010

How about you – will you be the controller?