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.
Well known game developer Peter Molyneux is leaving Lionhead Studios, which he founded 15 years ago in 1997, and is also walking away from his position as Creative Director of Microsoft Game Studios, Europe. He plans to walk away from both companies as soon as Fable: The Journey for the Kinect is finished in order to found a new company called 22 Cans.
Have you ever been browsing through your Windows Media Center library, stopped on your significant other's stockpile of Jersey Shore episodes, and wave your hands dismissively before continuing on to Netflix? Some new tech lets that disgusted gesture alone speed you away from Snooki's yawn-inducing antics. The straightforwardly named "Kinect for Media Center" software taps into Kinect for Windows and adds both voice and gesture controls to your Media Center browsing experience.
Get ready to wave at your PC and welcome the motion control revolution on the desktop, Microsoft just made available the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) version 1.0 for download. After shedding its beta tag, the Kinect for Windows SDK now supports up to four Kinect sensors on a single computer, skeletal tracking, a Near Mode feature that lets the camera recognize objects just 40cm away, improved stability and audio, and API updates and enhancements.
The thinking heads at Redmond envision laptop users shaking their rumps and gyrating in front of their notebooks in the not-too-distant future. Imagine being able to raise your hand and manipulate tiles in Windows 8 or moving around documents (insert inevitable comparison to Minority Report). That's the path we're on as Microsoft flirts with the idea of integrating Kinect motion sensors into laptops.