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Microsoft unveils Kinect for Xbox 360

by Parm Mann on 14 June 2010, 09:53

Tags: Xbox 360, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Xbox 360

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Microsoft has officially introduced its controller-free game peripheral; Kinect for Xbox 360.

The long-awaited add-on, pictured below and formerly known as "Project Natal", has been described by Microsoft as the "future of fun" and promises "an entirely new way to experience entertainment in the living room".

Revealing the unit's final design and product name ahead of what's expected to be a feature-packed Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Microsoft demonstrated Kinect to media but hasn't yet provided details regarding price or availability.

Equipped with a camera, audio sensors and motion-sensing technology, Kinect emits an array of beams that hit objects in its path and bounce back to the device. Using an on-board processor, the device is then able to map an image of everything in its field of view. According to Microsoft, Kinetic is accurate enough to track 48 points of movement on the human body.

Designed to allow users to interact with the Xbox 360 games console through voice or physical gestures, Microsoft will be hoping to widen its appeal to casual gamers. A market currently dominated by the Nintendo Wii.

"People who are intimidated by a controller or game pad will finally get to unlock some of the experiences that are possible in the living room, gaming and non-gaming alike," said corporate vice president of Xbox Live Marc Whitten.

At least a dozen Kinetic games are expected to launch alongside the device - including a Star Wars title that allows gamers to manipulate the Force using their hands, as well as the ability to wield an imaginary light sabre.

HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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It will be good to find out a confirmed release date for this - hopefully MS will let us know at E3. I would expect this to be offered as an upgrade to existing systems, but also as a bundle with new systems. With that in mind, I wonder how many people will hold off buying a 360 until it comes out. If it works as well as I hope, it will make the 360 a very compelling product, but the proof will be in the pudding.
I dont think it'll replace the Wii though…
Trig;1937610']I dont think it'll replace the Wii though…

I think all three major consoles are pretty well established now and adding the capabilities of Kinnect to the 360 won't stop the others being succesful but it will certainly broaden the appeal of the 360. But it will require a good execution in terms of hardware and also games that take advantage of the technology.
Trig;1937610']I dont think it'll replace the Wii though…

Ninetendo have seen sales of the Wii drop alot over the last 12 months. The Wii does not have the raw power to compete with the PS3, 360 or PC in the gaming world anymore - and the public have noticed the limitations of the Wii. There are two selling points to a Wii, 1 - Nintendo games, 2 - Motion sensor controllers.

There are only so many variants of Nintendo games (Mario, Donkey Dong etc) that people are willing to play , and the Wii has exhausted these quite well.
The motion sensor control is all very good, but the Xbox is now taking this technology and applying it a machine which offers alot more options because of its power.

The Nintendo Wii's days are numbered, just like the N64 and cube - it will be the first of this generation of consoles to fall and fall quite a bit before the others are replaced.

The wii has enjoyed a good spurt of life and has paved the way to how people interact with consoles. but it was never a powerful machine and never going to keep pace with the 360 or PS3.
I'm not so sure about that analysis of the demise of the Wii. I think it appeals to a different type of gamer, and for different reasons. It's more targeted at family and fun that at the more serious or hardcore gamer. Sure, there's an overlap, but there's differentiation too.

As for “Kinect”, I'm in wait ‘n’ see mode right now. I'm waiting on :-

- price
- reviews of effectiveness … just how good is it, or how good is it not?
- the level of gaming support it has, both on release and over time.

I'll buy (assuming it's available as an upgrade, not just as a new system) … if the price is right, and if there is either a broad enough range of supported games, or a “killer” game that justifies it on it's own. But if they price it too high, I might just get a Wii instead. ;)