Microsoft Kinect Motion Sensing Debuts at E3

This week is the annual E3 Expo in Los Angeles, where the world’s video game company’s demo their forthcoming projects, indulge in theatrics and hyperbole, and generally try to get the industry and the public excited about the products they plan to bring out in time for the crucial end-of-year buying season. And right out of the gate Microsoft has captured the spotlight, introducing Microsoft Kinect, its controller-free body-sensing gaming interface for the Xbox 360. Formerly known as Project Natal, Kinect is a low-profile sensor that connects to an Xbox 360 console and 9includes a camera, microphones, and motion sensors that can track up to 48 points on the human body, enabling players to interact with games just by moving, rather than by mashing buttons or wrangling joysticks on traditional game controllers.

microsoft kinect motion sensing debuts at e3  sensor w xbox 360 console

“You are the controller. You simply step in front of the sensor and Kinect sees you move, hears your voice and recognizes your face,” said Microsoft’s corporate VP of global marketing for interactive entertainment Mike Delman, in a statement. “Kinect makes the gaming and entertainment experience more organic and free-flowing, without any of the barriers that can sometimes keep people from participating.”

Microsoft showed several demo games at the Kinect announcement, including a Star Wars game where users take on the role of a Jedi confronting Darth Vader and an animated dancing title from MTV Games. Microsoft also showed volleyball, soccer, and cart games, a yoga game that used Kinect’s joint sensors to determine whether a player was in the correct position, and “Kinectimals” which let user simulate petting a baby tiger.

Kinect features a menu-based interface; users control a point with their hand, then push forward in the air to select from on-screen menus. Kinect also features a streamlined version of the Xbox 360 Dashboard.

Despite the lavish introduction—featuring an indulgent performance by Cirque de Soliel—Microsoft still has yet announced when Kinect will be available, or how much it will costs. Industry watchers still expect Microsoft to adhere to earlier plans to bring the system to market in time for the end-of-year holidays, meaning October or November of 2010. Microsoft also has a keynote at E3 today, and may take the opportunity to reveal pricing and availability information at that time.

Microsoft has been working on Project Natal for some time, and obviously hopes the control interface will give the Xbox 360 a new lease on live as it enters the long-in-the-tooth stretch of its life on the console market. If Kinect is successful—and garners significant support from game developers—it could also be the key to finally knocking Nintendo off its perch as the top-selling game console: with the right games, the Wii’s motion-sensing controller might look pretty limited compared to Kinect.


New Xbox consoles are reportedly code-named ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Lockhart’

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox plans reportedly consist of two separate consoles. One, called "Lockhart," is a more affordable machine, while "Anaconda" is designed with more horsepower.

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

‘Fortnite’ update 7.10 brings a rotating selection of modes big and small

The latest update for Fortnite introduces 14 Days of Fortnite, an event that brings back large and small battle royale modes as well as brand new ones to enjoy during the holiday season.