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(Pocket-lint) - A new Kinect accessory announced at E3 could open up Microsoft’s motion sensor accessory to thousands of new gamers in the UK when it comes out later in the year.

The Zoom from Nyko is an optical bolt on for the Kinect sensor that promises to increase the range of the device so you can stand considerably closer to the sensor than you currently can.


That’s important for UK, European, and Japanese gamers with small living rooms as it means that you are less likely to have to move furniture to get the most out of the revolutionary gadget for the Xbox 360.

Nyko, the company behind the new device, claims that it’s around a 40 per cent improvement. That relates to you being able to stand about 3ft closer to Kinect in your lounge.

Pocket-lint tracked down the new accessory to give it a go. In reality it’s a very simple idea. There is no moving parts, no electronics, but just two optical lenses that sit over the current camera sensors and then act as a wide angle lens to increase the range of Kinect’s cameras.

We played Kinect Adventures, the game that ships with the sensor, and one that requires a large space to play.

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With the new accessory we were able to play the game as we would without it, however the big difference was that we were only around 4 ft from the sensor rather than about 6ft.

The gaming experience was identical. We noticed no lag in our movement, and the accessory – in our brief play – didn’t appear to affect the gameplay whatsoever.  

The company tells us that the new Zoom will be going on sale in the US for $30 in August, and will be due out in the UK shortly afterwards (but before Christmas) depending on how the US launch goes. The price has yet to be decided, but expect it to be £30. 

- Microsoft Kinect reviewed

Writing by Stuart Miles.