Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Details and Launch Date

By on June 14, 2010

Microsoft’s answer to Nintendo’s Wii motion gaming is now called the Kinect. I’m glad they went away from the Natal name, it reminded me too much of birthing. Ew. Microsoft has announced the launch date for Kinect. Kinect will launch this November 4 2010 with 15 launch titles and it will be compatible with every Xbox 360 out there. Rumor is out that the unit will retail for $149.99. Kinect can track you as you move and it does this automatically. No adjustments necessary. The unit also recognizes your full body and tracks it completely.

They demoed the interface aspect of Kinect. The unit will recognize the player and you can sign in just by waving at the camera. It will then sign in the player’s avatar. The unit also has voice recognition and you can select things to do just by telling the console. No control, no headset, just your sweet voice! Want Netflix? Say “Netflix”. Browse through your music library and and movie library.

They showed how Kinect will work with media. You can scrub through timelines with your motions or your voice. Just say “pause” and it will pause your media. Play and stop also work of course.

Kinect will also come with a video chat program called videokinect. videokinect integrates your Xbox with Xbox Live and Windows Messenger. You can control the interface with the usual Kinetic motions. You can chat, watch movies together, news and sports.

Kinect will launch with the following games:

-Kineticimals: a play with your pet game, the girl played with her tiger named Skittles. Where are her parents? Doesn’t anyone remember what happened to Siegfried and Roy? The animal followed her directions and played along with her. Adorable? Yes. Creepy? Kind of. The game reacted pretty well to what was going on but it’s definitely a casual thing. You can adopt 40 unique animals and you can do

Kinect Sports: is Wii Sports but with the Kinect. ‘Nuff said. It comes with Soccer (presented by a British guy of course), Track and Field (hurdles and javelin and others) bookended by Chariots of Fire, Bowling, Ping Pong, Boxing and Volleyball.

Kinect Joy Ride is a racing game. You stick up your hands like you’re driving and use your foot like on an accelerator. You can go stunts in the air and boosting and whatnot.

Kinect Adventures! is a party game that totally reminds me of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge but without the awesome announcers. It’s a game that utilizes your whole body to control your avatar as you run around tracks and collect coins avoiding obstacles. Also shown as a white water rafting level where two girls controlled a raft collecting coins for something. The game also had photo opp moments where it captured a moment in time and showed these to you at the end of the level. You can share those photos with family and friends via Facebook and the web.

Third Party Launch Titles:

Ubisoft is doing an exercise game called Your Shape Fitness Evolved. It looked like it tracked your progress and compared your stats with your friends. The demo’er took off her sweater and the game reflected it! Kind of cool! The game scans your body and tracks your different body parts. It will then tailor menus and fitness routines to your needs. You can chose a personal trainer or take a class with certain fitness goals like martial arts. The game also had a “Zen Energy Class”. It was yoga and you followed along with a trainer. The game gave you instructions and judged your performance based your stance and ability to hold certain yoga moves. The feature was distinctly lacking a combo system.

Harmonix will give us Dance Central. Kinect will track your body and you will dance along with the game. The demo showed a girl dancing along to Poison by Bel Biv Devo and doing dance moves that were queued up on the screen. The game comes with a special White Boy Mode that will teach you how to dance. Of course, knowing the dance moves are nothing close to looking good while doing them. Our call? White Boys stick to the One-Two and let the girl do all the work.

Lucas Arts has the obligatory Star Wars game. The game was an on rails of sort action game. You control an unnamed Jedi, swinging your lightsaber around, destroying Storm Troopers and some mech thing. The trailer ended with a ship landing and Darth Vader jumping out. He dashes at you and the video cuts to white. The game has promise but so far it looks to be a casual approach to what could be a great concept.

Turn 10 is developing a Forza version that will integrate with Kinect. The game will have head tracking and runs in 1080. The game is an arcade approach that awards points based on performance. The game also features a car gallery in which you can walk around the car and check out things in detail. They demoed a Ferrari Fsomething. They checked out the engine, the rims and the interior of the car.

Wrap Up:

Microsoft looks to have a strong entry in the motion gaming scene. However, the one thing we are noticing is a distinct lack of what gamers would call “hardcore games”. Everything debuted was very casual. Party games and/or gimmicky games. Depending on what third party games come out could make or break the Kinect.

About David Scarpitta

I am a critical guy, and love to review and give my professional opinion on just about anything. Though have a love for tech/gaming and music alongside the cinema. You can catch me consulting and developing the net any day of the week.
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