Big news today: Microsoft Kinect(previous named Project Natal) is the next trend in consoles. The new Microsoft sensor was announced at Los Angeles during E3 and claims to be an entirely new way to experience entertainment in the living room.
The sensor connects to any Xbox 360 device and through it’s camera, audio and motion sensors tracks 48 points of body movements.
With this new add-on you have the ability to control every move inside the game: “You simply step in front of the sensor and Kinect sees you move, hears your voice and recognizes your face.”
A demo of Project Natal has been announced last year during E3 and everybody was eager to see if this was as Microsoft promised. We were able to see Milo being raised in front of the TV or a family which could play a Formula 1 game.
Starting today, Kinect is the official name of the sensor and some of the details can be seen directly from the games that were featured during the event:
- Kinectimals is a pet simulator that let’s you interact with over 20 virtual animals(cats, lions, cheetah, tigers).
- Joyride is a racing game that can uses your hands to control the steering wheel.
- Kinect Sports is a new sports game(remember Wii Sports) that includes boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, track and field, soccer and table tennis. Every game action is controlled with the move of your body. For instance in the demo, we could see 2 players during an obstacle course that were running and jumping with their own bodies in front of the Kinect sensor.
- Dance Central is made by MTV Games and seamed to be one of the most entertaining game featured at E3. From the demo we could see that you can dance and perform at guitar same time with two more players. Looks like a Guitar Hero/ Rock Band futuristic style.
- Star Wars is a game still in development, but looked quite interesting. We could see a Jedi handling the laser sword with his both hands.
- Kinect Adventures featured a demo with a river rafting game that could be played by four people.
- Your Shape: Fitness Evolved an advanced Ubisoft fitness game.
As we saw last year from the demo of “Project Natal”, the Kinect sensor will also feature a Menu interface and at the E3 event we could see Twitter, Facebook, Zune and Netflix icons there and also a movie playbacked and skipped with user own hands.
Microsoft Kinect will be release at November 2010 and has an estimated price close to $150. Remember, this is just the motion sensor, an Xbox 360 console is also required.