The Engadget Holiday Gift Guide | Add to My AOL, MyYahoo, Google, Bloglines

Totem Ball gesticulates onto Xbox Live Arcade

In case you missed it, yesterday's Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday title was the gesture-controlled Totem Ball, released for the low, low price of 0 Microsoft Points (that's $0 USD). The catch: you need Microsoft's Xbox Live Vision camera to play the game.

Totem Ball was announced as a free download for all camera purchases but, considering the device hit retail a little early and the game's release is a little late, the retail box came with no Totem Ball registration key. No worries, that's why they stuck it up on Live as a free download (you need the camera either way). The first gesture-based XBLA game proves that the Vision camera is capable of being using as an input device, but is it more than a simple proof of concept?

Recent Posts

Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. I tried it last night and it's very difficult to control with the camera. Maybe I had poor lighting conditions but Totem Ball doesn't seem like a very good showcase for gesture based gaming. Did anybody else have better luck with the controls?

Posted at 12:30PM on Oct 5th 2006 by austinMINI 0 stars

2. Yes it was very difficult to control. The logs on each side which you control the ball from were moving very sporadically even when I wasnt moving my hands causing the ball to move in all different directions even when I wasnt doing anyting. It was very annoying. I'm glad someone else had the same problem I thought there was something wrong with my camera.

Posted at 12:48PM on Oct 5th 2006 by dan 0 stars

3. I got it Tues night (only 12:00am in alaska) and i could not control it at all. Tried it last night with all the lights on in the room and it worked no problem. Have not tried the 2 player yet.

Posted at 1:26PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Ciscomancer 0 stars

4. My guess is that you have to be against a solid background the way most of the demo footage showed. Personally, I thought Totem Ball was awful. The vision cam is awesome and the quality is outstanding, but they shouldn't market it with crappy games like Totem Ball because it was so bad, it cheapens the expectations of the camera itself. Plus flailing around like a special needs kid is mildly fun for about 5 minutes. Then it's just plain stupid and tiring.

Posted at 1:47PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Joe 0 stars

5. You do not need a solid color background but it helps. What you need is good lightning conditions preferably white light which you can get by installing a fluorescent or neon bulb. The game works perfectly for my and it is a lot of fun!

Posted at 2:34PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Gabriel Acevedo 0 stars

6. I've played and it's as gimmicky and clumsy as any other gesture game out there. Not a camera seller. Uno fits that role nicely!

Posted at 3:42PM on Oct 5th 2006 by xbox360dsPSP 1 star

7. Very bad. Horrible game and controls. I agree it is a bad game to showcase the camera with. Your arms get tired to fast. But the funny part is, that there are pick ups you can get that give you a "Quick Break" for 10 seconds.

Posted at 4:12PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Phil 0 stars

8. Horrible game and is unpossible to play

Posted at 5:06PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Groov 0 stars

9. Totem Ball is NOT the best showcase for gesture technology and I question why it was released at all. It strikes me as more of a technical demo, that happened to receive enough polish to become game-like.

Control is frustrating, although not totally impossible, but requires a lot of body language on your part to move around. I kept thinking to myself, 'if only I could use the controller to get from point A to point B, it'd be a lot more fun'

This one is only mildly entertaining.

Posted at 10:54PM on Oct 5th 2006 by xfan 6 stars

10. Have to agree with all the comments, I had the camera yesterday and was impressed with the quality of the video. After putting on TotemBall I was left feeling a little frustrated and disappointed.

Not only was the control scheme awkward and a little unresponsive (I had the lights on full and was standing in front of a plain pale blue wall) but there was absolutely nothing in the way of instruction (other than the little back story) or information on the different game types. I know there's not much to explain but that's not the point.

And an option on the Main, Options or Pause menu to dipslay the camera image (so you can adjust it before playing) just seems like common sense to me and I can't for the life of me understand why it's not on there.

I wal also a bit dissapointed with the bundle too. It contained the camera, a headset, and two codes (Uno and 1 month Gold) I already have a Gold membership until next May, I already have Uno and I already have a headset so apart from the camera it was useless.

Why not just bundle it with 1600 MS Points (say the games were 800 each) or something? There are only 2 games on XBLA that currently support the camera so surely people who purchase the camera will use the points to get these games, if they don't have them already. If they do, then they've got 1600 points to spend. Everyone's a winner.

I have lost out on 800 points (that could have been used elsewhere) as I had already purchased Uno before getting the camera.

Finished ranting now!

Posted at 6:17AM on Oct 6th 2006 by Boff 0 stars

11. 1 more thing - have to agree with #9, I think it could be a lot of fun with the controller. (Marble Blast).

I know that's defeating the object of the camera controls gimmick but there you go.

Posted at 6:21AM on Oct 6th 2006 by Boff 0 stars

12. Yeah, I've got to say this game isn't all that it was hyped up to be. I've been looking forward to this ever since I heard about the EyeToy and it was a major letdown...the controls barely even feel like a fun game! I *wanted* to love the game and I couldnt stand would anyone on the fence about it feel? Not to mention the fact that while I'm no David Hasselhoff, I'm hardly a Ralphie May either, and this game was *tiring*. Maybe its just my setup (rear-projection tv, camera on top, standing about 5-8 ft away), but I have to move my arms way out to play the game. I dont have any problem lifting weights but this game killed my arms, without any of the weight-lifting benefits. Anyways, before I really start ranting, I should encourage people to at least try the game on their own...just don't do what I did, and buy the camera based on this game.


Posted at 2:20PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Ravi U 0 stars

Add your comments

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry: inappropriate or purely promotional comments may be removed. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br> tags.

Your name (required):

Your email address (required, will not be shown to the public):

Your site’s URL (optional):

Do you want us to remember your personal information for next time?
Add your comments:

Amped 3 (6)
Assassin's Creed (0)
BioShock (3)
Burnout Revenge (7)
Call of Duty 2 (19)
Condemned (12)
Dead or Alive 4 (20)
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (28)
FIFA Soccer 06 (5)
Fight Night Round 3 (4)
Final Fantasy XI (12)
Frame City Killer (2)
Full Auto (6)
Fuzion Frenzy 2 (1)
Gears of War (104)
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (25)
GUN (4)
Halo 3 (67)
Kameo (13)
King Kong (8)
Madden NFL 06 (5)
NBA 2K6 (4)
NBA Live 06 (4)
Need For Speed Most Wanted (3)
NHL 2K6 (2)
Perfect Dark (17)
Project Gotham Racing 3 (21)
Quake 4 (6)
R* Games Presents: Table Tennis (8)
Ridge Racer 6 (7)
Rumble Roses XX (0)
Saints Row (7)
Splinter Cell: Double Agent (14)
The Godfather (2)
The Outfit (4)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (3)
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (4)
Too Human (11)
Top Spin 2 (4)
Viva Pinata (2)
Cheats (7)
Console wars (108)
Downloads (92)
E3 (17)
Fan stuff (237)
Game announcements (17)
Hacks / mods (77)
How-tos (36)
Interviews (59)
MMO (6)
Multiplayer (19)
News (1386)
Peripherals (134)
Polls (9)
Reviews (31)
Walkthroughs (1)
WMC (17)
Xbox Live (378)
Xbox Live Arcade (190)
Xbox Live Marketplace (253)



Powered by Blogsmith

Xbox 360 Fanboy bloggers (30 days)

# Blogger Posts Cmts
1 Richard Mitchell 183 28
2 Dustin Burg 71 0
3 Ken Weeks 11 0

Xbox 360 Fanboy Contributors

# Contributor Stars Cmts
1 Tucker 10 48
2 epobirs 10 59
3 jc 8 149
4 refinedsugar 7 119
5 Tom Crymes 7 61
6 H880 6 82
7 Alex Keen 5 30
8 Sense 5 86
9 Morgon 4 25
10 Pixelantes Anonymous 4 54
11 EatingPie 4 32
12 SuicideNinja 3 15
13 Dirk Dorkelson 3 65
14 pennywise969 2 112
15 Oozer 2 34
16 bv 2 9
17 aZTEKv2 2 10
18 Don Wilson 2 129
19 Spartacus 2 18
20 Nick Spacek 2 17

Most Commented On (60 days)

Recent Comments

Weblogs, Inc. Network

Consumer Add RSS
AdJab AOL | Yahoo
Autoblog AOL | Yahoo
AutoblogGreen AOL | Yahoo
Autoblog Spanish AOL | Yahoo
Autoblog Chinese AOL | Yahoo
Autoblog Simplified Chinese AOL | Yahoo
Blogging Baby AOL | Yahoo
Card Squad AOL | Yahoo
Cinematical AOL | Yahoo
Download Squad AOL | Yahoo
Divester (scuba) AOL | Yahoo
Engadget AOL | Yahoo
Engadget Mobile AOL | Yahoo
Engadget Chinese AOL | Yahoo
Engadget Simplified Chinese AOL | Yahoo
Engadget Japanese AOL | Yahoo
Engadget Spanish AOL | Yahoo
HD Beat AOL | Yahoo
Joystiq AOL | Yahoo
Luxist AOL | Yahoo
PVR Wire AOL | Yahoo
Slashfood AOL | Yahoo
Styledash AOL | Yahoo
That's Fit AOL | Yahoo
TUAW (Apple) AOL | Yahoo
TV Squad AOL | Yahoo


CSS Insider AOL | Yahoo
Digital Photography AOL | Yahoo
Flash Insider AOL | Yahoo
Google (Unofficial) AOL | Yahoo
JavaScript AOL | Yahoo
Microsoft (Unofficial) AOL | Yahoo
Office AOL | Yahoo
Open Source AOL | Yahoo
Peer-to-Peer AOL | Yahoo
Photoshop (Unofficial) AOL | Yahoo
RSS AOL | Yahoo
SAS (Unofficial) AOL | Yahoo
Search Engine Marketing AOL | Yahoo
Social Software AOL | Yahoo
Tablet PCs AOL | Yahoo
TUAW (Apple) AOL | Yahoo
VoIP AOL | Yahoo
Yahoo (Unofficial) AOL | Yahoo


Gadling AOL | Yahoo
Blogging New Orleans AOL | Yahoo
Blogging Ohio AOL | Yahoo


BBHub (BlackBerry) AOL | Yahoo
Engadget Mobile AOL | Yahoo
Engadget: GPS AOL | Yahoo
Engadget: Wireless AOL | Yahoo
The Wireless Report AOL | Yahoo

Video Games

Blogging E3 AOL | Yahoo
DS Fanboy AOL | Yahoo
Engadget: Gaming AOL | Yahoo
Joystiq AOL | Yahoo
Nintendo Wii Fanboy AOL | Yahoo
PS3 Fanboy AOL | Yahoo
PSP Fanboy AOL | Yahoo
Second Life Insider AOL | Yahoo
WoW Insider AOL | Yahoo
Xbox 360 Fanboy AOL | Yahoo

Media & Entertainment

Cinematical AOL | Yahoo
Design AOL | Yahoo
Digital Music AOL | Yahoo
Droxy (Digital Radio) AOL | Yahoo
DV Guru (Digital Video) AOL | Yahoo


Blogging Stocks AOL | Yahoo
Apple (AAPL) AOL | Yahoo
eBay (EBAY) AOL | Yahoo
Genl Electric (GE) AOL | Yahoo
Google (GOOG) AOL | Yahoo
Microsoft (MSFT) AOL | Yahoo
Time Warner (TWX) AOL | Yahoo
Wal Mart (WMT) AOL | Yahoo
Yahoo! (YHOO) AOL | Yahoo


Mortgages AOL | Yahoo

Life Sciences

The Cancer Blog AOL | Yahoo
The Cardio Blog AOL | Yahoo
The Diabetes Blog AOL | Yahoo
Medical Informatics Insider AOL | Yahoo


Brian Alvey AOL | Yahoo
Jason Calacanis AOL | Yahoo
Judith Meskill AOL | Yahoo
Ted Leonsis AOL | Yahoo


Blogging BlogHer AOL | Yahoo
Blogging DEMO AOL | Yahoo
Blogging E3 AOL | Yahoo
Blogging ETech AOL | Yahoo
Blogging Gnomedex AOL | Yahoo
Future of Music AOL | Yahoo
Blogging Milken AOL | Yahoo
Blogging Sundance AOL | Yahoo
Blogging Web 2.0 AOL | Yahoo
Live 8 Insider AOL | Yahoo

On Hiatus/Retired

Telemedicine Insider AOL | Yahoo
SCM Wire (supply chain) AOL | Yahoo
Bluetooth AOL | Yahoo
RFID AOL | Yahoo
Ultra Wideband AOL | Yahoo
WiFi AOL | Yahoo
The WiMAX Weblog AOL | Yahoo
Wireless Dev AOL | Yahoo
Wireless AOL | Yahoo
Documentary Film AOL | Yahoo
Enron Blog AOL | Yahoo
Independent Film AOL | Yahoo
Magazine Design AOL | Yahoo
Nanopublishing AOL | Yahoo
Spam AOL | Yahoo
Unofficial Playstation 3 AOL | Yahoo
Unofficial Xbox2 AOL | Yahoo
Video Games AOL | Yahoo


Weblogs, Inc. AOL | Yahoo

Powered by Blogsmith

Paper Magazine AOL | Yahoo
Razor Magazine AOL | Yahoo

Other Weblogs Inc. Network blogs you might be interested in:

PS3 Fanboy
  • Remembering the Fresno PS3 launch
  • EA reports on Sony PS3 sales
  • PS3 is the winner! For wattage use...
  • Sony recreates Management Team -- here comes Krazy Kaz!
  • Namco-Bandai may be in trouble -- needs 500k games sold
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
WOW Insider
  • Select free realm transfers
  • Belkin N52 Gamepad
  • The coming addon apocalypse
  • Is ten character slots enough?
  • Blizzard at DreamHack 2006
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
PSP Fanboy
  • Kutaragi gets shoved in Sony reshuffling
  • IGN takes a look at Star Wars: Lethal Alliance
  • New Metal Slug trailer makes next week's Metal choice difficult
  • DevHook updates, offers 2.82 emulation on 1.50 PSPs
  • Japanese Lumines II to feature expanded soundtrack
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
  • China holds audition for its own Lara Croft
  • Remix Lumines II's 'Breezer' track
  • Today's hot video: Wiimote on PC acceleration reading
  • Today in Joystiq: November 30, 2006
  • DevHook returns, now emulating 2.82 on 1.50 PSPs
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
  • Killer whale attacks Sea World trainer
  • Peter Weir To Direct Shadow Divers Movie
  • Fox Fury Dive Light
  • This Is Why We Dive
  • Sea&Sea Announces the New DX-860G Compact Digital Camera and Housing Set
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
Autoblog Green
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid is Green Car of the Year
  • Find bio-diesel on the go from your cell phone
  • EDTA Conference: Government solutions for electric drive vehicles
  • Ten tips to make winter cycling easier
  • EDTA Conference: The East Coast GM plug-in hybrid announcement
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
  • AMD shows off Barcelona server chips, garners mixed reviews
  • Wiimote acceleration values plotted on a PC
  • Colorado scientists invent breathable rubber
  • CNET's James Kim and family missing -- have you seen them?
  • Viewsonic's V212 wireless tablet client
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
PVR Wire
  • Alternatives to the Apple iTV - Media Extenders
  • Portable Media Player Roundup
  • gotomydvr: Remote TiVo access for advanced users
  • HP's upcoming touchscreen Media PC
  • TiVo on the Colbert Report
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
  • BREAKING: Kirkorian sells all GM stock
  • Abu Dhabi to build Ferrari World theme park
  • Check this sleigh: UK firm offers cheap Ferrari rental rates for Christmas
  • LA Auto Show: Two-peat! GM wins LA Design Challenge again
  • LA Auto Show: Kia Rondo-isms mark debut
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
  • US Worst in Travel Headaches
  • Word for the Travel Wise (11/30/06)
  • Rafting "the Fu" (in the Andes)
  • Photo of the Day (11/30/06)
  • George Packer on Lagos
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
  • Yahoo lets branding reign on minisites
  • Flickr Fiend: Kids and food
  • Looking for the web video ad network
  • Advertisers give out family awards
  • ANA providing Yahoo with research numbers
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
Download Squad
  • How to fix your iTunes artwork
  • Add This
  • Add tasks to Google Calendar
  • Rockbox could rock the Zune open source-style
  • Yahoo! Mail Beta shortcuts revealed
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines