Microsoft this week announced that strong demand over Black Friday weekend helped bolster retail sales of its Kinect motion control platform to more than 2.5 million units since launching less than a month ago.
"We are thrilled about the consumer response to Kinect, and are working hard with our retail and manufacturing partners to expedite production and shipments of Kinect to restock shelves as fast as possible to keep up with demand," said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "With sales already exceeding two and a half million units in just 25 days, we are on pace to reach our forecast of 5 million units sold to consumers this holiday."
By comparison, the Sony Move sold just 1 million units during its first month of sales, while it took Apple's iPad two months to record 2 million units sold.
Kinect hacks seem to be showing up all over the place, but lets face it, using it to control Super Mario pretty much tops the list of what everyone was waiting for right? The proof of concept video which can be found after the jump is an impressive demonstration, even though it looks nearly impossible to accurately control.
The short clip makes for an interesting conversation piece, but after watching it you really have to wonder if Kinect is the gaming controller panacea Microsoft makes it out to be. The launch titles seem to cover off all the most basic mechanics that come to mind, dancing, sports, driving, etc, but is it really useful for anything else? After all, sometimes it really seems like the games are just playing themselves anyway.
I think most Maximum PC readers would agree that it has serious potential as a UI input method, but would anyone really rather play Mario this way? Let us know what you think after the jump.
A group of hackers have garnered a lot of support on “crowd-funding” site Kickstarter for their proposal to develop an open-source hardware-based USB analyzer, which could shorten the time to market of third-party drivers. A joint effort of hackers “bushing” and “pytey” of Team Twiizers and iPhone DevTeam fame, the proposed “OpenVizsla” open source, high-speed USB sniffer had received $28,802 from 251 backers at the time of writing. The team is already well past its original funding goal of $17,500, with 25 days still to go before the project is closed for funding.
“Hardware based protocol analyzers are expensive and are usually out of the reach of most independent developers, hobbyists and hackers. The most popular products cost $1400+ and, with few exceptions, use proprietary Windows-only client software, proprietary protocols, and proprietary data formats that are hard to export for use with other software,” reads OpenVizsla’s funding pitch.
“OpenVizsla will be a completely open design of a device that can capture USB 1.1/2.0 (high-speed, full-speed and low-speed) traffic passively between a target USB device and the connected host (usually a PC, but potentially anything that has a USB host port -- think Xbox 360 and PS3). It will be controlled by any computer using open-source client software or potentially in standalone mode (where captured traffic is stored onto an on-board SD card).”
According to the team behind the project, they have been working on the device for past two years and plan to use the funds to order components for initial prototypes.
If you pay attention to technology in any way whatsoever, you've heard of Angry Birds. This smash hit mobile game is available on Android, iPhone, Symbian, and WebOS. But developer Rovio has announced that the game will be arriving on full game consoles in the near future, the BBC reports. The game will be distributed through the online markets on the Wii, Xbox, and PS3.
The shift from touchscreen input to controller input will be interesting for Angry Birds. In the game, players pull back a slingshot to launch birds at villainous, egg-stealing pigs. We imagine the game will have support for the motion control accessories on the various consoles. That would only make sense, and might end up a bazaar selling point of the Kinect. Would you play Angry Birds on your console?
Remember how last time we said it had been forever it'd only been 10 days? Well, now it's been longer. Though we're very busy and frantic people, we scraped together a few spare minutes we found between the couch cushions, and came up with this very special episode of the Maximum PC No BS Podcast.
This week Gordon, Nathan, Alex and Andy discuss Kinect and Facebook Mail. Then Editor-in-Chief George Jones phones in with a Windows Phone 7 rundown. Plus a super-serious discussion of stormtrooper armor, the winner of our limerick contest, and a new contest with new cool gear and a new arbitrary task for entry!
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
Whether or not you view motion controlled gaming as a gimick is almost irrelevant, because either way, it's also a cash cow. Case in point -- it took Microsoft just 10 days to record 1 million Kinect sales for Xbox 360 units worldwide, the Redmond outfit announced.
"We are appreciative of the response we have seen from consumers that has culminated in sales of more than 1 million units in the first 10 days on the market for Kinect for Xbox 360," said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "This is a great start to the holiday season, and we will continue to work with our retailer partners to keep pace with high demand and deliver against our plan to sell more than 5 million Kinect sensors worldwide by the end of this year."
Given the Kinect's strong start and the holiday season launch, we won't question Microsoft's ability to reach 5 million units sold by the end of 2010. That's an impressive number, even before you consider that Microsoft was originally forecasting 3 million Kinect sensor sales by year-end.
Microsoft's Kinect uses an RGB webcam of sorts outfitted in a motorized bar to track full body movement. It's available as a standalone accessory ($150) or as part of a bundle with the Xbox 360 4GB ($300) and 250GB ($400).
Microsoft is riding high on the recent release of Windows Phone 7 and Kinect. But if you thought the Redmond company was all through jamming their collective feet in their mouths, think again. Microsoft's Dennis Durkin made some rather interesting comments at a recent investment summit. He told investors, in part, that Kinect could be used to determine who is in the room, what they're doing, and even what they are wearing. All this to more effectively serve up ads.
Microsoft has denied that these statements in any way outline their plans for Kinect. However, it would seem someone at Microsoft has at least been kicking around the idea. Do you think this is an inevitability, or just tinfoil hat fodder?
The story is rarely entirely in the headline, but this is pretty straight forward, and really awesome. This guy created a fully open source Kinect driver that loads directly onto his PC. He even links to the code he used! Check out this video below.
Pretty cool right? This promoted a massive in-office conversation as we discussed all of the potentially awesome possibilities that could come from this. What would you play with a Kinect-tified computer?
Motion controlled gaming is all well and good, and sometimes downright hilarious (for the spectators). Remember all those reports of Wii remotes being flung through LCD TV sets? That'll ruin your afternoon.
Microsoft just launched its Kinect device, which uses a camera to capture your body movements rather than rely on a controller like Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PlayStation Move. Surely nothing bad can come of this, right? Not so fast. Check out the Xbox Kinect Fail video below, and then keep the comments section rolling with your own favorite motion controlled fail vids.
Adafruit Industries lit a fire under the hacking community's feet when it announced a chance to win $2,000 to the first person to deliver open-source software drivers for the Kinect, and it looks like a winner has emerged.
Nothing has yet been verified, but NUI Group forum member "AlexP" posted a couple of videos showing the Kinect merrily communicating with Windows. Microsoft, as you might imagine, probably isn't going to take the news well and was never in support of the contest to begin with.
"Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products," a company spokesperson told CNet. "With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant."
AlexP has been down this road before. In addition to hacking the Kinect, he also modified Sony's PS3Eye Camera to run under Windows.