Microsoft Kinect, Xbox 360 Slim Announced at E3

When first announced at the E3 2009 conference a little more than a year ago, Project Natal for the Xbox 360 captivated gamers and non-gamers alike. At E3 2010, Microsoft officially announced the renaming of Project Natal as Kinect. Along with this announcement, new game demos were shown, as well as new applications, and a new video chat client for the Xbox 360 called, videoKinect. In addition, Xbox 360 Slim was also introduced.

Kinect Features:

  • Wave to sign-in to your Xbox Live Account (Kinect uses cameras to identify the user)
  • Use waving hand motions to move the cursor and push forward with your hand to select.
  • In addition to hand motions, Kinect can be controlled through voice input. Say “Xbox” followed by a command to control the Xbox. (example “Xbox, pause”, or Xbox, play”)
  • Video chat without a headset using videoKinect
  • Bing integration allows the people video chatting to view various content together (News, Sports, TV, Movies, Music), which pops up in between the two live video feeds.
  • Kinect keeps the video subject in frame, thanks to pan/tilt functions.

Applications/Games Using Kinect (Note: Everything controlled via movement or voice input)

  • ESPN is free for Xbox Live Gold Members
  • College football, basketball, MLB, NBA, and soccer can all be viewed directly on the Xbox 360, in HD.
  • Interactivity is encouraged by allowing friends to choose what team they are rooting for, and by answering trivia questions, right below the game.
  • Saying “Xbox, replay” allows an instant replay to be viewed.
  • Kinectimals allows a player to interact and control animals on-screen. 
  • Kinect Sports looks to be a promising competitor to Wii Sports, enabling more life-life interaction without the use of any controls.
  • Kinect Adventures is another sports-like game that features rafting among other adventurous sports.
  • Ubisoft’s Your Shape: Fitness Evolved throws the you into a virtual world of fitness, creating an accurate avatar of you and coaching you on your way to becoming more fit. An obvious strike at Wii Fit, providing similar experiences without the need for a balance board or Wiimote/nunchuck.
  • MTV GAmes/Harmonix’s Dance Central is the Rock Band of dancing.

Kinect will be release in the US on November 4th, with a worldwide release this holiday season. No word on price yet.

Kinect Features and Games, Video Demonstration

Xbox 360 Slim

In a surprise move in Microsoft’s E3 2010 Keynote, they released the new Xbox 360 Slim. Microsoft claims that the new device is “Sleeker, smaller, whisper quiet with a 250GB hard drive and Wireless N WiFi” All for the same price as the old Xbox 360, $299.

The Xbox 360 Slim hits stores later this week. However, expect reviews to pop up all over the place, as everyone at the Microsoft E3 keynote received one upon exit today.

This a joyous day for Xbox 360 enthusiasts.

Via Engadget Liveblog, video from Engadget

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