According to the instructions manual the recommended Xbox Kinect room size for a single player is between 6-8ft (1.8-2.4m). An unspecified amount of "additional room" is required for multiple players. That's what the manual says. Now, my tests with several games have shown the following results:
While navigating the Xbox dashboard, you can wave your hand in order for Kinect to recognize you. In this case:
- Waving your hand, or walking in front of the unit will work with about 4ft of space. After initially finding the user, Kinect will have an easier time tracking you even if you stand close by.
- I highly recommend placing the unit as close as possible to eye level. On top of the TV should do it. Placing it in front of the TV will also work, but the camera will see more of the floor and less of the player during initial recognition.
What about games, you ask? In detail:
- Kinect Adventures starts off with a quick calibration, recommending a distance of about 6ft for a single player, and up to 8ft for more players. It has been my experience that it will have no trouble at all handling a single player at about 5ft (although a warning will ask you to step back), while 2 players actually require more than 8ft. Playing by yourself is easy and most game rooms will be able to accommodate, but you will want a much bigger space for a partner to jump in, especially once arms and legs start flying!
- Dance Central, on the other hand, requires much less room and I've had no issues at all with about 5ft between myself and Kinect. I highly stress it's better to place Kinect at eye level, though, because you will often have your arms in the air which may lead to a lower score if they're outside of the camera's vision.
- Kinect Sports: very similar to the room size requirements asked for Kinect Adventures, although the game does a much better job at tracking the players and won't leave you wondering why your arm or leg movements aren't captured accordingly.
- Kinectimals: perhaps the cutest game ever made, focused toward children but able to draw smiles from any adult, I've been able to interact with my pet tiger easily from as close to 4ft (1.2m) to as far as 7ft (2.1m) away.
So that's been my experience in terms of Xbox Kinect room size requirements. What about width? Much easier answer: the games are well programmed and won't ask for that much sideways space, unless you're planning on having two players. For example, the developers know that Kinect has a limited width angle of vision, so at no point will they ask you to step from one end of the room to the next. Dance Central, of the aforementioned, is the one that will require the greatest width in single-player and at no point should you need to step more than 3ft (1m) to either side. When playing Kinect Adventures or Sports in multiplayer, however, keep in mind you will need two people, so that space should ideally be doubled!
In short, the minimum room size you should aim for is:
- Single player: 6ft from Kinect, 6ft in width.
- 2 players: 8fr from Kinect, 10ft+ in width.