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Kinect

Xbox One photo
Xbox One

There's going to be a Fruit Ninja Kinect 2


Sure, why not?
Jul 11
// Jordan Devore
A ratings board listing has outed the existence of Fruit Ninja Kinect 2. You cool with that? Fruit Ninja was one of the rare titles for Xbox 360 that made decent use of the motion-sensing device, so it makes sense that the ne...
$200 Windows Kinect v2 photo
$200 Windows Kinect v2

You can buy PC compatible, standalone Kinect v2 for $200


Releasing next week
Jul 06
// Steven Hansen
As the Kinect is wrest free from the Xbox One, it will be available for standalone purchase directly from Microsoft.  This is meant to serve as a development tool, not something you should buy for your Xbox One -- that's...
Microsoft photo
Microsoft

Microsoft's Phil Spencer on Kinect: 'consumers love the device, they'll buy it'


We'll see I guess
Jun 24
// Chris Carter
As much as people make fun of Kinect, it sold a lot of units on the Xbox 360 as an add-on. On the Xbox One -- they didn't have a choice -- they had to buy it. But as of a few weeks ago Microsoft had a change of heart, and dec...
Kinect photo
Kinect

Microsoft executive: Kinectless Xbox One SKU is the best thing for Kinect


It's all about more options
Jun 10
// Brett Makedonski
Approximately a month ago, Microsoft revealed that it was releasing a new Xbox One SKU -- a package that was $400 and didn't include a Kinect. A lot of people interpreted this as the beginning of the end for Kinect, a sign th...

Swery65's D4 is all about finding D, dodging weirdos

Jun 10 // Steven Hansen
[embed]276379:54404:0[/embed] D4 (Dark Dreams Don't Die) plays like an adventure game with motion controls. It's a lot like the recent The Walking Dead, except without free movement. You can reach out towards footprint icons on screen with an open hand and effectively "grab" them (close your hand) to move spots. You can also swipe away left or right at the screen to rotate perspective. You can at times move your head and torso to adjust the camera as well, like while you're looking in the mirror. I was started in protagonist David Young's home. You have a stamina meter in the top left corner and interacting with things, like flushing toilets, uses up some of the gauge. In a pretty lengthy examination of his abode, it didn't seem near to running low, so I'm not sure if the cap will become strenuous at all. You can also put both your hands to your head to activate an internal monologue which acts as a sort of hint system and will direct David to something he needs to interact with to start pushing things along. In this case, it was a file on his wife's murder. He can't remember all the details around it, only that his wife told him to search for "D." 4D also references time, and the trauma has given David a limited time-hop ability that activates under certain conditions. All of that is the sort of set up. The rest? The rest is Swery. He has said that his main inspiration for his games are his own life and experiences. Later in the demo I met Amanda. The heterochromatic, bunny-eared blonde was frantically trying to (and successfully does) break into the apartment. The game goes into a combat scenario as she bursts in and you do various swipes and movements to try and corral her, which was surprisingly trying for me only because I made the ill-advised decision to try and spend the day before E3 playing pick-up basketball. After you catch all the dishware thrown at you and the "fight" winds down, I realize Amanda has had a mouse in her mouth all this time. She "just started living with us one day," David's internal monologue explains. "Sometimes she helps with the groceries." The text under her name reads "Freeloader/Grocery Shopper?" Once you get over the weird barrier of remembering how the Kinect and motion controls work, D4 is actually surprisingly polished. In what I played, the motion controls also felt a bit more interesting for the otherwise mundane actions the game wants you to be a participant in. It gives it a little more energy than, say, the simpler Walking Dead interaction mechanics. For all the flying coffee mugs, there are also prompts to draw a line with a pen or grab a remote to turn on the TV. If D4 is going to live in this minutia and be more about the story, I think I'd be fine with playing with the Kinect. But if not, controller support is there now, too.
Hands-on D4 photo
Unfortunately, weirdos abound when you're looking for D...
Swery65 brought us Deadly Premonition, so you know D4 is going to be weird. In fact, Swery told me that he drafted six or seven different stories to work on next and in his partnership with Microsoft, went with the "most biza...

Ubisoft photo
Ubisoft

'Vaporize aliens with your abs' in Ubisoft's Shape Up for Xbox One


An attempt to make workouts fun
Jun 09
// Jordan Devore
Ubisoft is the latest company to make use of the Kinect for its fitness game but rather than strive for realism, Shape Up tries to be wacky in the hope that you'll work out harder if you're having fun. Squat into outer space...
Bungie photo
Bungie

Bungie to forgoe Kinect on Destiny to improve resolution


Yes!
Jun 09
// Chris Carter
It's crazy how much Microsoft changed their stance in the infamous "Xbox 180" debacle, and how much they've changed in the past month or so. The latest development is the decision to sell a Kinect-less Xbox, which has had a b...

Fantasia: Music Evolved introduces partner apprentice Scout

Jun 06 // Dale North
A new hands-on (hands-off?) session had us playing a newly revealed area called The Neighborhood. The scene features urban street art, psychedelic colors, and has a bit of a comic book vibe. Harmonix said that it was inspired by artists like The Who, and by songs like Cee Lo Green's "Forget You," among others. The area starts out pretty quiet, but as you move the Muse 3D cursor around to manipulate zones, it starts to come alive, first with radio signals, and later with music that you've unlocked. A play through of "Forget You" had us layering rock guitars and keyboards with Cee Lo's original vocals from the hit song. Later, we chopped up drum loops in a composition spell, and created a keyboard solo by waving hands in another.  After this, a diversion into a subway stop of The Neighborhood had us doing a freestyle sequencing section with singing vegetables. A turnip and beet had their own vocal tracks, while a carrot dropped a beatbox track. By moving between the vegetables, the player can jam out to create their own loops, making their own track. This performance is then added back into The Neighborhood as background music. In this case, the trio was added to a train that came back around to the scene regularly. A few new tracks for Fantasia: Music Evolved were announced during our session. Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" will be a part of this stage, as will The Police's "Message in a Bottle." On the classical side, "The Nutcracker" was pulled from the original Fantasia. I tried my hand at Drake's "Take Care." Things got pretty interesting with alternate music tracks that underscored the entire song with acapella background vocals and beatbox rhythms.
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Hands-on with new Neighborhood level
Harmonix has thought a lot about how they'll welcome players to Fantasia: Music Evolved and they've decided to add a partner apprentice that will serve as a sort of game guide. Her name is Scout, a talented but impatient appr...

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Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved dated: October 21, 2014 for Xbox One and Xbox 360


New tracks revealed
Jun 06
// Dale North
Harmonix sends word that Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved finally has a solid release date: October 21, 2014, for Xbox One and Xbox 360. We have a brand new preview for you to check out this morning. For now, here are the new ...
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Creating an out of body experience with an Oculus and 3 Kinects


Kinect is useful for SOME things
May 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Kinect may suck for gaming, but it sure is a great piece of tech for everything else. Take for instance this 3D recreation that involves three Kinects, and an Oculus Rift. One of the cool takeaways from this demonstration is...
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Xbox One interface will be updated now that Kinect is being ditched


Well good
May 13
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The big story of the day is how Microsoft will be selling the Xbox One without the Kinect starting this June. Good! But what about the user interface? The Xbox One's UI was designed to be "best" used with Kinect, and thankful...

Playing catch up: It's about time the Xbox One dropped the Kinect

May 13 // Steven Hansen
The hubris Sony carried into the PlayStation 3 launch -- $600 US dollars, et al -- was understandable. It was coming off of the PS2's ludicrous success. It cost Sony short term, but that stress benefited consumers as Sony played catch up. It bore PlayStation Plus, set up to ease users into eventually paying for multiplayer as it was. Even if you're clinging to Live membership to play with your friends, I think Sony ended up with the better console and library, while its sales caught up over the year. This shaming also shaped the PlayStation 4's presentation. It was pared down. Not a multimedia device. It was for games. Sony lumbered like a defensive lineman running back a fumble to get to the point of outclassing the 360 during the waning years of that console life cycle and continued it into the new launch. That's why Microsoft's hubris with the Xbox One was so surprising and why there has been such a backlash.  Let's not forget the "always online" debacle. And that's without even owning the market at the point. Sony encouraged owners to rush out and buy a camera with the novelty of Twitch and that Playroom. Microsoft shipped with a mandatory camera and got Twitch support months after launch and just today took Twitch (and Netflix, Hulu, etc.) out from behind the Xbox Live pay gate It's obvious the Xbox One is shaping itself in the PlayStation 4's image to make it seem comparable, to make it seem like a choice between the two. Media apps outside of the pay gate. $400 price parity (is the à la carte Kinect going to cost $100, or will it be less, upsetting early adopters more?) These moves are responses. Sony spent a couple years warming people up to the idea of paying to play online. You might even be inclined to consider it a fair shake on both sides. On Xbox One, Games with Gold will now require an active Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to continue playing any free games you've downloaded. It's taking cues from PlayStation Plus without having having built up the same good will. Microsoft's rare willingness to dial it back here, to not stick its fingers in its ears and go, "la la la the Kinect is great," is good for us. It's not great for early adopters, from whom they've extracted that Kinect tax in droves while assuring everyone else would have to pay it, too. Like putting games-man Phil Spencer as the new Head of Xbox, the Kinect-free Xbox One is part of a new, conciliatory business strategy to try and make amends to the markets Sony is winning with. Microsoft is a company that deals in hundreds of billions of dollars and the Xbox division is a small part of that, a part some major shareholders want to do away with completely. It was never going to be a Nintendo, obstinately sticking to its guns. It's going to find and choose whatever identity works. Right now, that means no mandatory Kinect. It's all about choice.
Unboning the Xbone photo
Unboning the Xbone
The official line on the Kinect-free Xbox One model will be about choice. Giving consumers choices. This is a lie, of course. More blatant than, "As excited as we are about the new Xbox One option, clearly if you use Xbox One...

Xbox One without Kinect photo
'Delivering more choices'
In a post on Xbox.com this morning, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has announced that Microsoft will begin selling Xbox One without the flagship motion-sensing, voice-controlled device Kinect. This new option brings Xbox One's pri...

Lords of the Fallen photo
Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen dev faces challenges with 1080p on Xbox One


1080p wonít let me be
Apr 23
// Brittany Vincent
The struggle of next-gen developers seems to be that of “Should it be smooth, or pretty?” CI Games executive producer Tomasz Gop has stated that with Lords of the Fallen, he's confident that his team will be able ...
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Soda Drinker Pro goes next-gen


Xbox One version coming
Apr 15
// Dale North
You wanna talk next-gen? The next generation of games isn't about graphics or motion control or laser beams or whatever. It's about soda. Sweet, sweet b-b-b-b-bonus soda. And that soda is coming to Xbox One later this year. S...
Dumb Idiot Ideas photo
Slow news day?
This week, we filmed a wonderful short piece in which Bill and I discussed the lack of video games that let us play as actual animals. Unfortunately, Bill's microphone cut out mid-discussion, and the camera's face-tracking started focusing on an animated GIF of some dogs having sex I had up on my monitor behind me. So, here's what we did instead. 

Kinect photo
Kinect

Molyneux says that a Kinectless Xbox One is an inevitability


'It feels more and more like a joke'
Apr 08
// Brett Makedonski
Despite strong sales numbers, Microsoft's Kinect has always been a contentious piece of hardware. Even though the iteration that comes bundled with the Xbox One is more functional than the original for the Xbox 360, it still ...
Kinect Sports photo
Kinect Sports

Kinect Sports Rivals has a Battletoads reference in it


I'll hold your hand while we cry for Rare
Apr 07
// Chris Carter
As the sands of time continue to drop in this hourglass called life, it's easy to forget things -- even major elements of our childhood. For instance, I completely forgot Rare was responsible for the amazing Battletoads ...

Review: Kinect Sports Rivals

Apr 07 // Chris Carter
Kinect Sports Rivals (Xbox One)Developer: RarePublisher: Microsoft StudiosRelease: April 8, 2014MSRP: $59.99 Rivals begins with an interesting avatar creation process led by David Tennant of Dr. Who fame. It's a fantastic intro for any piece of entertainment, as Tennant has a perfect voice for it, especially when you consider the fact that this is his first foray into videogames. Kinect has come a long way since the original iteration, and now you can play closer to the TV as well as enjoy some of the enhanced scanning capabilities. The scanning module can detect glasses and facial hair, as well as your general physique. It takes a few minutes, but the results are pretty incredible -- at least, they were spot-on for me outside of a slightly bigger head than I would have liked. Against all odds this Kinect-only game allows you to control all of the menus from a controller -- additionally, you can fight with hand pointer motions, or employ the smooth voice controls to navigate the menu. Personally, I'm just glad they added options this time around, and this should be considered standard for all motion-based games. The theme of Rivals is decidedly contemporary, sporting licensed music for its soundtrack like Calvin Harris' "Let's Go" and "Feel So Close." It's trendy for sure, but not in an annoying or particularly dated way. It helps that the tunes are upbeat in general, making it a tad easier to get into the game. There's also a bit of advertising in the game during some of the events (mostly logos) -- just to warn you. [embed]272531:53287:0[/embed] Before you jump into the sport of your choice, you have to do a few wakeraces first, then climbing and so on until you unlock all six activities. In other words, it's a medium-paced trickle that doesn't take more than an hour to complete, and just straddles the line of frustratingly slow and acceptable crescendo. Similar to the middling pacing, Rivals attempts to build a world of strange characters and "teams" that litter the miniature story, which comprises of three factions: the Eagle Legion (spartan-like), the Wolf Clan (tribal), and the Viper Network (futuristic hackers). If you've played Dance Central before you'll have a clue as to what the characterizations are like. While the characters never really stood out for me, the world is convincingly beautiful. I love all of the vibrant colors used (particularly the neon green and bright blue hues for the water) in the game, and some of the events (like wakeracing) are particularly entrancing. Sometimes the universe is difficult to see during all the action, but similar to Nintendo's Wii Sport Resort island, I wouldn't mind visiting it myself. There are six sports included in all: wakeracing, rock climbing, target practice, soccer, bowling, and tennis (unlocked in that order). If you've been waiting for a follow-up to Waverace 64, the wake event in Rivals is similarly designed, and a ton of fun. The Kinect 2.0 actually works like a charm, allowing you to move your arms forward and backward to simulate the direction of handlebars. You can also lean to the sides for sharp turns, or lean forwards and backwards for flips. Speed boost power-ups are sprung by stomping or using voice commands (again, the option is great). That's pretty much it, and everything functioned as advertised without any frustration on my part. The track itself is also gorgeous and detailed, and even though I wish there were more power-ups and hazards outside of mines, it's fun to play based on the control scheme alone. Climbing is easily my favorite event, which I didn't expect in the slightest. All you have to do here is raise your arms above your head, and grab onto the appropriate hold with the correct hand, then pull down to raise yourself up. If there's a gap you need to clear, you can raise your torso or actually jump to have your character leap up the mountain in turn. You can also relive your most wildest American Gladiators fantasies by grabbing people and chucking them off the wall.  You'll look ridiculous doing it, but like wakeracing, the motion aspect actually works. There's a lot of strategic play involved, as only holding onto one hold will drain your stamina bar and cause you to fall, and sometimes you'll need to move fast to grab onto something. It's also extremely difficult to learn, and like playing Guitar Hero for the very first time, I legitimately felt like I was using a new control scheme and not just a gimmick. Target practice is also fun, and in an endearing move to lefties, you can use either hand for this one. All you have to do is point your finger or hand at the screen to move around an accurate reticle, and Rivals will automatically fire at targets. There's a light puzzle element involved, with numbers that you have to shoot in an increasing order for bonus points, or skull targets that cause a loss in score. You'll also have to occasionally dodge to the left or right to avoid turret fire. It's a simple, nuanced addition that makes everything feels more action-packed. Soccer, however, feels like a completely wasted opportunity by comparison. This is a one-on-one sport, involving passes and shots with your feet and head as you square off with a goalie, and on the other end, square off against a striker. While goal keeping is fun enough as you attempt to block shots with precision, shooting is a bit of a farce. You'll have to go through this elongated and boring process of shooting downfield against foosball-like defense, which just feels like a waste of time. The shots also aren't very accurate and not a good demonstration of the tech. For these reasons and more, I'll most likely never play it again.If you loved Wii Sports you'll love bowling, but it feels oddly out of place in an otherwise fast-paced sports title. It works as advertised, but it's very bare-bones, and also ridiculous to see a giant futuristic crowd cheer for a bowling match. In general, bowling feels like a completely underwhelming and throwaway (ha) addition -- like it was added in to pad the game. Lastly we have Tennis, which packs a lot more punch by comparison. Because the Kinect recognizes nearly every appendage, you'll be able to serve by throwing the ball up with your free hand, and whacking it with your dominant racket hand. The process is incredibly nuanced, as you can swing normally, or mix things up with top spins, backspins, and lobs. Even though you can't technically feel the impact of hits, contact has a definite weight to it, and the over-emphasized neon effects of slicing a ball help add more character to the proceedings. There's a limited amount of actual movement, but your arms will feel tired by the end. I got pretty into it in fact, sometimes swinging with two hands, which is by no means required. If any combination of those games sounds enticing to you, Kinect Sports Rivals offers up a ton of content to mess around with, including its own Hub app that collects all your scores, friendships, and leaderboard information. You can also submit photos, participate in ongoing challenges and events, start a rivalry, and customize your character with new clothing options. Local multiplayer will up your enjoyment considerably. Kinect Sports Rivals has an inexcusable amount of wasted space with bowling and soccer, but the other four activities are engaging, and the world is charming and appealing enough to win over most of the gamers who enjoyed Wii Sports. If you have a family who likes getting together and play games like this, go ahead and pull the trigger -- all other curious parties should wait for a sale to compensate for the weak activities.
Kinect Sports Review photo
A semi-middling rivalry
The original Kinect Sports for the Xbox 360 did exactly what it set out to to do. It didn't set the world on fire or reinvent gaming as we know it, but it showed that despite some gimmicky features, the Kinect actually w...

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Kinect for Windows looks just like the Xbox One Kinect


Sans logo
Mar 28
// Dale North
The newly revealed Kinect for Windows sensor looks just like the Xbox One Kinect sensor, save for the removal of the Xbox One logo and the addition of a power cord. Well, there's a hub box, too. It connects to USB 3.0 and pow...
Disney Fantasia photo
Disney Fantasia

Harmonix reveals The Hollow region of Disney Fantasia


Also announces multiplayer mode and more music
Mar 24
// Conrad Zimmerman
Harmonix has released this trailer for Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, highlighting a new region of the game, The Hollow, where players will bring a forest environment to life through playing songs and interacting in the wor...
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Play Kinect Sports Rivals and you may win $10,000


Plus a trip for two around the world
Mar 24
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
There's a big competition revolving around Kinect Sports Rivals, where the grand prize winner can win up to $10,000 in cash plus a trip to one of four destinations around the world: Bora Bora, China, Machu Picchu, or the Swi...
There Came an Echo photo
There Came an Echo

There Came an Echo set to bounce onto Xbox One


One reason to own a Kinect
Mar 01
// Darren Nakamura
You might remember There Came an Echo from its successful Kickstarter campaign about a year ago. If not, then here's a quick recap. Iridium Studios enjoyed one of the earliest Kickstarter videogame successes with its rhythm r...
Kinect Sports Rivals photo
Kinect Sports Rivals

Kinect Sports Rivals launches in April


From Rare
Feb 13
// Chris Carter
Microsoft has announced that Kinect Sports Rivals is coming this April on the Xbox One. The game will launch on April 8th in North America and April 11th in Europe, and it'll feature the following activities: Soccer, Tennis,...
Xbox One major update photo
Will let you manage storage space and show your controller's battery life
The first major system update for the Xbox One will arrive on February 11. It'll have a variety of feature improvements, a lot of which will be for behind-the-scenes stuff aimed at developers creating apps and games. For the ...

Harmonix photo
Harmonix

Rumor: Harmonix has a canceled Xbox One Kinect game


Corgi fighter?
Jan 20
// Dale North
Kotaku (well, Superannuation) did some digging and found that there is an unannounced Harmonix Xbox One Kinect game that probably is laying in some desk drawer somewhere. Their lead level designer, Rob Stokes, ...
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Pizza Hut made $1M in four months through the Xbox 360


What is wrong with you people
Jan 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Pizza Hut's director of public relations, Doug Terfehr, has told Polygon that they've sold $1 million in pizzas through the Xbox 360 in four months. Doug goes on to say that they're "not done in" the gaming space, and the company is having ongoing conversations with other potential gaming partners. I think you all know exactly how I feel about this news.
Xbox One trolling photo
You *will* believe what happens next
Okay, this is a fun little trick. YouTuber Master of Luck has taken to playing Call of Duty: Ghosts with the Xbox Live Gamertag "Xbox Sign Out." In a multiplayer setting like this where players are prone to shouting each oth...

Intel's 3D cameras photo
Intel's 3D cameras

Intel pushing Kinect-like 3D cameras with new computers


Let the NSA build 3D models of you!
Jan 06
// Steven Hansen
Intel is pushing a 3D camera as part of its focus on "perceptual computing," technology like voice recognition, facial recognition, and gesture control, CNET reports. Partnerships with manufacturers like Acer, Asus, Dell, Fuj...
Kinect Sports Rivals photo
Kinect Sports Rivals

Impressions: Kinect Sports Rivals Preseason


Surprisingly not terrible
Nov 28
// Chris Carter
It's a crying shame to see Rare reduced to producing Kinect games. With so much talent and so many IPs ripe for the taking, Microsoft has reduced one of the best retro studios of all time to a motion control factory. But ever...

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