A couple of weeks ago, I tried the Table Tennis of Kinect Sports for the first time and I can honestly say that I was rather impressed by it. My initial impression was that I absolutely hated it. “It’s broken”, I would think, “This doesn’t work,” “why is it not mimicking what I’m really doing?” and so forth. It was very frustating to be honest up until the point that I realized how I was playing the game. I began to notice that when the ball was coming toward me, I had a habit of swinging downward toward the table and the ending result would be that I would miss the ball entirely. Now obviously if you’re playing table tennis in real life, you would never do that so why would do it in the game? Once I corrected this issue, it was smooth sailing from there and everything worked perfectly.
This is a really fine example of just how much of a realistic and immersive experience Kinect Sports can be. Whether it’s table tennis or bowling, you can’t expect to go in and start swinging wildly or really do anything differently than you would if you were literally standing behind a table with a paddle in your hand. You have to prepare to play with the expectations that you really are behind that table and that you really are grasping that paddle and compete with all of your might. When I started to do that, the experience was and still is unforgettable. I don’t have a “table tennis” here at home, but I do have Kinect Sports and that is, quite literally, the next best thing.