News Posts matching "Kinect"

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Xbox 360 250 GB Sold for $99, Too

In May, Microsoft sent ripples down the gaming industry by launching a subsidized $99 Xbox 360 + Kinect bundle. The bundle included an Xbox 360 4 GB console, Kinect, and "Kinect Adventures." The company applied a similar subsidy plan to the 250 GB HDD-equipped variant of the console, priced at the same $99, but which lacks Kinect bundle. One can now get a 250 GB Xbox 360 + Kinect bundle for as low as $149. Under Microsoft's subsidy plans, full-featured consoles are sold at low prices, in exchange for customers subscribing to Xbox Live for at $15 per month for two years.

Source: The Verge

Microsoft Rolls Out 2012 Xbox LIVE Update

Today we’re starting to roll out the official release of the update to Xbox LIVE subscribers around the world. To ensure a stable release, this will be a gradual deployment across subscribers and regions over the course of the next week. Our initial deployment will reach approximately three million consoles worldwide, with additional users being updated over the course of a couple weeks. Don’t panic if you don’t see an immediate update, just keep checking back in.

Microsoft Appoints Stephen Schueler as Corporate VP of Retail Sales and Marketing

Microsoft Corp. today announced that Stephen Schueler will join the company as corporate vice president of Retail Sales and Marketing. In his position, Schueler will be responsible for driving demand through global retail partners and ensuring customers receive a great service experience.

Schueler joins Microsoft from Procter & Gamble, where he most recently served as general manager for the Global Retail Operations Group responsible for global merchandising, promotion, and the third-party selling organizations. He will report to Chris Capossela, Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft.

Diablo 3 Tops Sales Charts for May

The games market went to Hell in May. Diablo III topping retail software sales for the month, according to the latest sales figures from NPD, and helped fuel a resurgence in the PC games space. Other top performers included Max Payne 3, which launched the same day as Diablo III, as well as Sniper Elite V2 and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
While action titles continued their dominance of the top 10, 2K Sports' NBA 2K12 held the fifth spot for the second straight week. Blizzard continued to show its impact in the PC market with Diablo III at number 1, the first time since July 2010 that a PC-only title has accomplished that feat. The game that did it in 2010? StarCraft 2, another Blizzard mainstay.

Total video game sales continued to shrink, down 28 percent from last year. However, the PC market jumped 230 percent from the same time last year to $80 million, fueled by Diablo III sales. The overall spend in May, including digital sales and microtransactions was estimated to be $1.17 billion.

Xbox Makes Entertainment More Amazing on Phone, PC, Tablet and TV

hat if your tablet or phone knew what you were watching on TV and presented bonus features without you having to lift a finger? What if you could use your tablet to draw up a play in EA SPORTS' "Madden NFL" and then perform it to perfection on your TV? What if you could control your favorite websites on the TV with a simple swipe, pinch or zoom on your tablet's touchscreen?

To kick-start the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a bold new vision for enjoying entertainment at home and on the go with Xbox SmartGlass. Launching this year, Xbox SmartGlass is an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that connects phones, PCs and tablets with your Xbox 360 console to make your entertainment smarter, more interactive and more fun.(1) The intelligence of Xbox SmartGlass makes your entertainment more engaging, Web surfing more effortless, and playing games more immersive by delivering companion content and control to enhance your TV experience.

Microsoft Readies Limited Edition Xbox 360 Forza Motorsport 4 Bundle

The latest in Microsoft's string of exclusive/limited-edition Xbox 360 bundles is one for Forza fans. It includes a standard Xbox 360 250 GB console with a standard wireless controller, which lacks Kinect, but includes a wireless racing wheel (Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel), and of course, a copy of Forza Motorsport 4. The bundle is priced at US $299, which is just a $50 premium over the standard Xbox 360 250 GB.

Source: Major Nelson

Microsoft Prepares a $99 Xbox 360 + Kinect Bundle, But There's a Catch

An Xbox 360 with Kinect bundle for the price of a new PlayStation 2 is simply too good to be true, but it's real, at least partially. Microsoft is adopting a new sales model for its Xbox 360 which will let customers pay just US $99 for the console (Xbox 360 4GB with Kinect), but put them on a 2 year subscription plan that costs $15 a month. The subscription would give customers Xbox Live Gold membership, and some additional streaming content from cable or sports package providers. On top of this, customers will also get a 2 year warranty cover for the console and its accessories.

With this bundle, Xbox is looking to compete with the likes of Apple TV and Roku. Why them? Because according to Microsoft, Xbox 360 is used more for content consumption than gaming. Just like with contract-bound cellphones, there is a fee for early opt-out of the subscription's 2 year period. Let's punch some numbers: Microsoft is giving you an otherwise $299 product for $99, with $15 per month over 2 years (that's $360 worth subscription). At the end of two years, you end up spending $459. In comparison, with the $299 bundle and the cheapest Xbox Live Gold option, you would be spending $420 by the end of two years. So while there is a small catch, you get to take home a nice game console with Kinect for cheap. Choose with your wallets.

Source: The Verge

Xbox 360 Kinect Dons the Union Jack

To celebrate the 2012 Summer Olympics hosted by London, Microsoft came up with a new limited edition variant of its Xbox 360 Kinect game console, which dons the Union Jack. Officially, it is called the Xbox 360 Special Edition 4 GB Kinect Celebration Pack. The pack includes an Xbox 360 4 GB console, a Kinect sensor, a wireless controller, and two games: Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports. It also includes a 3-month subscription of Xbox Live Gold. The bundle will be priced at £249.99 (US $405.8).

Source: Slashgear

NBA Baller Beats Changes the Game, Coming This Fall

Majesco Entertainment Company, publisher of the wildly successful Zumba Fitness video game franchise, today revealed plans to release NBA Baller Beats, a fun, high energy and first-of-its kind participative basketball video game launching this fall exclusively on Kinect for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Developed by HB Studios, NBA Baller Beats gets players on their feet mastering mad ball handling skills using a real basketball while playing to the beat of an eclectic soundtrack. The Kinect motion sensor captures every movement of both player and ball to create an entirely new basketball gaming experience.

Xbox Durango Packs 16-core PowerPC CPU

A report in the the latest issue of Xbox World print magazine suggests that developer kits (devkits) of Durango (next-generation Xbox console), were implementing a "state of the art" 16-core IBM PowerPC CPU, its companion graphics processor is AMD-made, spec'd equivalent to AMD Radeon HD 7000 series, as previously reported. The 16-core CPU is said to have been implemented with a far-sight on the platform's longevity. "It's a ridiculous amount of power for a games machine - too much power, even. But remember, Kinect 2 could chew up four whole cores tracking multiple players right down to their fingertips, so it'll need a lot of power," the Xbox World article commented.

Source: CVG

Microsoft To Launch $100 Xbox Lite Before Moving to Durango

Shortly before launching its next-generation game console (codenamed "Durango"), Microsoft is said to be working on a new product (SKU, rather), called Xbox Lite. This new console will cost as little as $100. According to a source, Xbox Lite will be ARM-based, and scheduled for "late 2013 which does Arcade-style games & all the current & future media apps with Kinect (with near-mode)." What makes the rumor plausible is that ARM chips advancing faster than ever, and so is the ecosystem of casual games on Xbox Live Arcade, which don't have very high graphical detail (and hence, aren't resource-heavy). Many of these casual games, along with Kinect-enabled games, could make up the ecosystem around Xbox Lite.

Source: BGR

Connect Pritect to Protect Kinect

When the Kinect for Microsoft Xbox 360 launched in 2010 the world was so captivated by this exciting new way to play video games via motion control that it became the Guinness World Record holder for fastest-selling consumer electronic product. With over 18 million sold to date, that's great news for Microsoft, but questions of in-home security and privacy have continued to plague the platform ever since. Now Catalyst Components has launched the Pritect Sensor Cover, the first and only product designed to address these security issues surrounding the Xbox 360 Kinect and Kinect for Windows.

Paul Harper, Pritect's inventor and the President of Catalyst Components, comments: "For the first time ever, we have invited into our living rooms a technology which can not only capture video and sound data, but can also identify specific individuals using advanced biometrics, or 3-d facial recognition. The Kinect can see everything when powered on and for most users, has a direct connection to the internet. It's like a giant window into your home, but you can never know who might be looking in. With Pritect, you can now close the blinds."

All White Xbox 360 Kinect Starts Shipping

Microsoft started shipping a special-edition white Xbox 360 4 GB Kinect, which is a return to the console's original colors, but on its new chassis design. The bundle includes a white colored Kinect, and white colored controllers that aren't completely lifted from the classic Xbox 360 design (the back side is white instead of gray). The bundle also includes copies of Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports, and a 3-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold. The bundle is priced at US $299.99.

Source: Major Nelson

Next-Gen. Xbox Codenamed "Durango" by Microsoft

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox game console, which has been unofficially referred to as "Xbox 720", has been reportedly given a codename by Microsoft so industry partners could use it, instead. It is now codenamed "Durango". The working-name "Xbox 720" has been received negatively by some quarters, that felt it implied 720p (1280 x 720) display resolution, which is not a big departure from the present-generation. 1080p (1920 x 1080) is expected of this console, as it's also reported to feature Blu-ray disc support. Durango will focus on improving human-interface, by creating a combination of Kinect and a newer gamepad with a touchscreen.

Sources: Kotaku, VR-Zone

Next-Gen. Xbox Controller Similar to WiiU's

An article in the latest issue of print magazine Xbox World claims that the controller of next-generation Xbox console will be similar to that of Nintendo's WiiU, in that it will feature a high-resolution touchscreen as an added layer of interaction. The article states that the new console "will be a matt-black media hub with a mission to bring games to life in your living room with augmented reality, directional sound, and a four-player, finger-tracking Kinect."

The article goes on to describe the controller as having "an HD screen surrounded by the traditional 360 buttons and sticks." It continues, "That touchcreen will be second only to Kinect in how you operate your console, it could be a remote control when you're watching TV, a browser when you're on the internet, extra buttons and information when you're playing a game or a portable display when you want to take your game with you."

Xbox 360 Kinect Star Wars Arriving in April

Microsoft is ready with a new limited edition Xbox 360 Kinect system bundle for all you Star Wars fans out there. The bundle includes a copy of Star Wars Kinect, which lets you take advantage of Kinect to slash your lightsaber away. The hardware itself is themed around two of the most lovable characters of the franchise, the console is R2-D2 themed, and the main controller C-3P0. The Kinect module is white colored. The system packs 320 GB of local storage. The special bundle is listed on Amazon for US $449, and is up for pre-orders. It will start shipping on April 3.

Source: Major Nelson

Microsoft Launches Kinect for Windows Device and SDK

Microsoft today launched Kinect for Windows, a unique gesture-recognizing input device it launched for the Xbox 360. Kinect for Windows enables a whole new kind of interaction with the software that's three dimensional and spatial, compared to the two dimensional input of mice, tablets, and trackballs.

Along with it, version 1.0 of the Kinect for Windows SDK (stable) was launched, enabling organized software developers to start working on applications right away. The new SDK also features several feature additions and improvements over previous beta versions. The general pricing of Kinect for Windows device is US $249, but it is also available at US $149 for qualified educational users.

Source: Kinect for Windows Blog

Microsoft Kinect Technology En Route Laptops

It's no secret that Microsoft's proprietary gesture-recognition technology it originally launched on the Xbox platform, is making its way to PCs, as software developers have access to Kinect for Windows SDK. What's interesting, though, is that soon people won't need a creepy-looking three-eyed device facing them to recognize their gestures. They will, instead, be embedded into notebook display bezels the way web-cameras are.

The Daily reports that it has seen a pair of notebook prototypes that appeared to have been "ASUS notebooks running Windows 8," with their web-cam replaced by a row of optical sensors on top of the screen, and a row of LEDs said to be at the bottom. Some might think that this is ASUS' very own Kinect-alternative WAVI Xtion, but The Daily also confirmed with a source at Microsoft that these prototypes are indeed of notebooks that are Kinect-enabled.
Sources: The Daily, Engadget

Microsoft Works On Star Wars-Style 3D 360-degree Holographic Interactive Displays

No, you're not dreaming. The flickery 360-degree 3D displays envisaged in the Star Wars movies now exists as a prototype project from Microsoft. Called the Vermeer Interactive Display, the research project combines Microsoft's Kinect motion sensing technology to allow you to directly 'touch' and interact with the virtual image being projected, which Microsoft describes as a '3D volumetric/light field display'. In essence, it works by creating an image between two facing parabolic mirrors, which then creates the optical illusion of a colour 3D image floating above them, which can be viewed all the way round. So, could this technology eventually be applied to PC gaming giving an immersive interactive experience not seen before? What kind of graphics power would be needed to drive it? The video below gives a fascinating demonstration of this new technology.

Microsoft Working On Not One, But Two New Xbox Product Lines

Finally, next generation gaming consoles are around the corner. It will have an uplifting effect on the entire gaming industry as it will raise the bar for visual and technical detail in games. Many of today's games are designed keeping consoles in mind, and so their PC platform versions don't look much more than what has come to be known as "console-ports". There are a few exceptions to this, but it would be refreshing to see most game developers move on to creating games that take advantage of today's insanely powerful PC platform, because the console platform will have caught up technologically.

Rumors have it, that Microsoft will be developing not one, but two product lines that succeed the Xbox 360, and we're not talking about product variants here, but two distinct lines. The first of the two will be an entry-level console designed more like a set-top box, designed around the Kinect controller (perhaps something to compete against Nintendo Wii U). The second product line will be the one that will be supercharged with the latest technologies that will raise the bar in graphics. It will compete with whatever succeeds the Playstation 3. There is talk that it will pack a 6 core processor, an AMD-made GPU, and 2 GB of fast DDR3 memory. This console could be unveiled to the world (although not launched), at the CES event held in January. Meanwhile, Microsoft is allowing TSMC some time to refine its 28 nm bulk process.Source: TechSpot

Kinect for Windows, Gesture-recognizing UI Around the Corner

After Microsoft's evolved game controller the Kinect for Xbox 360 came to the fore, speculation among tech circles saw a future for the device in the PC platform right away, beyond being just a game controller. It looks like Redmond is taking steps in that direction, with the groundwork for Kinect's arrival on the Windows PC platform underway. Microsoft will release the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) this spring, so developers can start work on it right away. This could include giving Games for Windows applications Kinect support which they enjoy on the Xbox 360 platform.

The possibilities are endless for non-game applications to make use of Kinect as a gesture-recognizing, and face-recognizing device. Gesture recognition UI and face-recognition are pitched to be some of the defining features of Microsoft's next version of Windows. Kinect for Windows SDK will be released on a non-commercial basis. "The hope is that the SDK will unleash a wave of creativity to add to the already exciting developments we’ve seen on top of Kinect. The SDK will provide access to Kinect’s sensor as well audio and system API’s," the company commented.

Source: Next at Microsoft (Technet Blog)
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