Smaller living spaces may now function well with Kinect
Back in August we reported that Microsoft had done an early unboxing video to showcase its latest Xbox One console. Now that we're less than a month away from getting our hands on the piece of new tech, new details are surfacing left and right, like manual leaks (via ExtremeTech) that offer insight into how the console and the Kinect peripheral must be set up.
Flicks with a pulse on where technology was headed
You can yell, "Beam me up, Scotty!" all you want, the only thing that will happen is you'll elicit a bunch of bemused stares from passersby wondering if you've bonked your head recently. The sad fact is human teleportation devices don't yet exist in 2013, and even if they did, the tremendous lag would make it extraordinarily impractical. Such is the reality of science that it doesn't always mesh with our fantastic visions of fictional futures filled with flying cars and other implausible technologies. In other words, reality sucks compared to what we've grown up watching on television.
It's tough to understand what Microsoft is thinking sometimes, isn't it? Take for example the decision to bring back the Start button in Windows 8.1, but not the Start menu. Decisions like that border on being belligerent, and now we've learned that you won't be able to plug the second generation Kinect sensor that ships with the Xbox One into your PC because it's packing a proprietary connector.
Gamers have been eagerly anticipating the launch of Microsoft's next generation Xbox console, and today they finally got what they've been waiting for. Microsoft's next console, previously referred to as Durango and Xbox 720, was introduced to the world as Xbox One, a name that underscores Microsoft's intent to rule the living room with an all-in-one entertainment system that's equally adept at playing games as it is for watching live TV, chatting on Skype, browsing photos and videos, and more.
The flash drive-sized device, it is claimed, is the “world’s most powerful 3-D motion controller”
Even as Microsoft lets Kinect for Windows wither on the vine, San Francisco-based startup Leap Motion, Inc is gearing up to launch its first product: an eponymous motion-control device the size of a flash drive. Capable of accurately tracking finger movements to within a hundredth of a millimeter, the Leap Motion controller will begin shipping in May.
Nearly two years after it made its debut, Kinect finally received its first price cut on Wednesday. What’s more, Microsoft has knocked off as much as $40 from the motion-sensing peripheral’s original price tag of $149.99, which was considered a bit too steep back when the peripheral first hit the market. But as we all know, the Kinect became an instant hit, selling over 10 million units in just 60 days. That being said, it was probably becoming increasingly difficult for the Redmond-based outfit to justify the original price tag, given the seemingly irredeemable lack of quality titles.
Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold is kind of like Hulu Plus in that even though you pay a subscription fee for the service, it still dishes up a heaping of ads for your viewing displeasure. Thus far, they've mostly been unobtrusive and ignorable, but a recent announcement heralds a whole new era of advertising annoyance: Microsoft has sold its first NUAds, clips that bug you to utilize your Kinect to talk or shake your fist in response to the product plugs.
Kinect’s launch in late 2010 was accompanied by a lot of fanfare and excitement, all of which seemed justified initially as the motion-sensing Xbox 360 peripheral quickly became a huge sales success. Then millions of Kinect owners began waiting en masse for some top-drawer titles to come along and proverbially slap Kinect’s critics smack in the face. Sadly, those AAA Kinect titles, especially the much sought-after “hardcore” ones, never really arrived. But if you haven’t given up on your Kinect and are looking for fresh excuses to use it, Microsoft has just the thing for you: Internet Explorer for Xbox 360 with Kinect-enabled voice and gesture controls.
Seemingly since the beginning of time, man and woman have been willing to paying discounted prices for subsidized hardware with long-term service agreements. It's how the majority of smartphones are sold, and in the dial-up era, you could snag a low-cost PC if you were willing to pay out the nose for blazing fast 56K Internet service. Could the same principle drive Xbox 360 sales? Get ready to find out.
Xbox 360 gamers will soon have reason to rediscover The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Bethesda today announced plans to release a free title updated later this month that will integrate Kinect support, allowing gamers to yell out over 200 voice commands, including dragon shouts. From bartering to battling, the Kinect update adds a new dimension to Skyrim that previously didn't exist, and there will also be a handful of new functionality to go along with the voice commands, such as special map features, additional hotkey options, and the ability to sort items by name, weight, and value.