Hands-free console accessory gets release date for Europe, North Africa, Middle East

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The Independent Tech

The Xbox 360's new hands-free controller, Kinect, will be coming out in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East on November 10, a week after its debut in North America on November 3.

Along with countries in central Europe and Scandinavia, the Kinect camera is also launching in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

The kit, which lets users make their way around games and movies using movement and voice commands, plugs into existing Xbox 360s and Microsoft is hoping to use it in broadening the console's appeal.

After integrating Facebook and Twitter, adding an online movie rental service, and tying up deals with sports networks such as ESPN, Sky, and Canal+ in order to prove that it's more than just a games machine, the addition of Kinect means that the Xbox 360 can compete with the Nintendo Wii's raft of fitness games such as Wii Fit and EA Sports Active.

Seeking popular parity with Wii Sports, Mario Kart Wii, and Wii Fit are Kinect Sports, Kinect Joy Ride, EA Sports Active 2 and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. Kinect Adventures is another collection of mini-games that comes bundled with the Kinect device itself.

Also of interest is Dance Central, by the makers of the Rock Band games, a dancing game analogous to the Wii's breakout hit Just Dance, except without the need for hand-held controllers.

Sony, meanwhile, is concentrating on bringing to market its own PlayStation 3 motion control system entitled PlayStation Move. Launching earlier than Kinect on September 15 in Europe, September 19 in North America, and October 21 in Japan, Move opts for hand-held wands in conjunction with the PlayStation Eye camera, and emphasizes the importance of accuracy.

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