Microsoft releases slim new Xbox 360 videogame console

Microsoft on Monday began shipping a slim, more powerful version of its Xbox 360 videogame console to US stores.

The announcement came as the US technology giant announced that its hotly-anticipated motion-sensing "Kinect" controllers for Xbox 360 consoles will be available in the United States beginning November 4.

"Kinect" is the name for the new game technology developed by Microsoft under the code name Project Natal.

The potentially revolutionary device uses a 3-D camera and gesture recognition software to let people play videogames using natural body movements instead of hand-held controllers.

The new slim Xbox console features a 250 gigabyte hard drive, built-in high speed wireless connectivity and is priced at 299 dollars, the same as its predecessor.

During a press conference held on the eve of the start of a major Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Microsoft showed off an array of games for its new Kinect system.

At least 15 titles for play using Kinect will be available when the hardware add-on to Xbox consoles becomes available, according to Microsoft.

No price details were disclosed at the presentation, which provided glimpses of how Kinect lets players control on-screen characters with natural gestures instead of hand-held controllers.

"You interact with things the same way you would in the real world, with your moves and your voice," said Kinect creative director Kudo Tsunado. "Anyone can jump in and play."

Players can tell consoles what to do with simple commands such as "Xbox play music."

Microsoft games tailored for Kinect include "Kinectimals" that lets children play with and train virtual wild animals and a sports game with sprinting, the javelin throw, the long jump and more track events.

A Kinect "Joy Ride" game features car racing and stunts while an "Adventures" game which includes virtual river rafting is designed to "get the group off the couch and using the entire body to play."

Kinect cameras can take pictures of players at various points during game play and those images can be shared online at social networking service Facebook and other websites using Xbox Live Internet connections.

"Kinect recognizes you," said Marc Whitten, vice president of Xbox Live. "It responds to your gestures and it listens to your voice. There is no learning curve."

Kinect is going to be available in every country where Xbox 360 consoles are sold and will also synch with smartphones running the latest version of Windows mobile software, according to Whitten.

Kinect will also enable people to have online video chats during which people could even watch the same film.

Microsoft has a partnership with sports cable network ESPN to bring matches to Xbox using Kinect technology.

Third party studios are also tailoring titles for Kinect, with French videogame titan Ubisoft showing off a "Your Shape" exercise game in which players are immersed virtually in gyms or yoga studios.

MTV Games and Harmonix have developed a game in which players have to follow along with realistic dance routines crafted by top choreographers.

"For years we've been eager to develop a dance game but the right technology didn't exist," said Harmonix chief executive Alex Rigopolus. "As soon as we saw Kinect we realized the technology we had been waiting for had arrived."

Lucas Arts is making a Kinect videogame that will transform players into virtual Jedi knights battling Darth Vader and the evil empire made famous by Star Wars films.

"This year's E3 gives the gaming industry the first real opportunity to prove that it's not just about making shoot-em-up games for testosterone-fueled boys," said Forrester media analyst James McQuivey.

"The secret to the gaming industry's future is the realization that game consoles are the most powerful device in the living room, ready to provide many of the interactive experiences of the future."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    ***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

    £30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    ***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    Senior Software Engineer - C#, VB.Net, ASP.Net - Kingston, Sur

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior Software Engineer - C#, VB.N...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker