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.
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?
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.
With all the recent hubbub about Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s PlayStation Move, you’d be excused for thinking that motion control is some new phenomenon. In reality, it’s a technology that’s been around on the PC for years. Head tracking allows you to control your PC with your head. Mostly used in sim games, head tracking lets you move and tilt your head to control where your character looks. There are, of course, some excellent commercial head-tracking systems available, but it’s possible (thanks to free software called FreeTrack) to build your own head tracker with just a webcam and a few dollars worth of electrical supplies. We’ll show you how.
Speaking of waving things around in your hand (see previous news post), Microsoft has made official the rebadging of Project Natal to Kinect.
Details are still pouring in as E3 gets set to kick off, but a little more was revealed during a Kinect-themed 45-minute theatrical performance by Cirque du Soleil. Most of the new info involved upcoming game titles which, according to USA Today, will include:
Kinectimals: train and play with 20 different types of virtual cats, includng a lion, cheetah, and tiger
Joyride: a racing game where users will position their hands around an imaginary steering wheel
Kinect Sports: six sports games to choose from, including boxing, bowling, volleyball, track and field, soccer, and table tennis
Kinect Adventures: river rafting game
Dance Central: an MTV Games project involving full-body dancing without the need for a controller
Star Wars: probably will involve light saber duels
"For lots of people, that controller is a barrier," says creative director Kudo Tsunoda. "We set out to make a new control paradigm where anybody can get in and play, without having to read the instructions or learn a complicated set of controls."
Kinect's built-in camera will employ facial and voice recognition. You'll be able to control Netflix menus with hand gestures, as well as fast forward though a recorded TV program just by waving your arm about.
Pricing, release date, and other details have yet to be disclosed, though we suspect to know a lot more as the day goes on.
Nintendo's Wii was fun, for about a week. And while we admit there are still some Wii remote controlled games that still capture our attention, Nintendo hasn't delivered that knockout punch in motion control. Can there even be such a thing?
Razer and Sixense think so, and two have collaborated to bring motion sensing controls to the PC platform.
"Razer is extending its vision for PC gaming by partnering with Sixense on this exciting new endeavor," said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "The magnetic motion sensor technology combines precision and speed with the freedom of other motion sensing technologies to fill the gap between consoles and PC in terms of human interface devices."
The controllers use electromagnetic fields to track movement along all six axes and, according to Razer, the absolute controller position is tracked within a millimeter for positioning and to a degree for orientation.
Razer and Sixense have also been working with Valve, who has signed on to support the technology and was showing off a special version of Left 4 Dead 2 programmed specifically with the motion controller in mind.