Microsoft officially unveiled their Kinect motion-sensing controller during the E3 conference. Previously known as ‘Project Natal’, the new controller pretty much lets you rest your thumbs but will give your whole body a workout—basically, instead of using your thumbs to move a Jedi warrior around a 3D game world, you’d be controlling the Jedi on the screen with your own body movements in the comfort of your own living room. Sort of like a Wii game that you can’t cheat through with cheesy minimal hand movements. Also, yes, they’re actually coming out with a Star Wars game where you play a Jedi, complete with light saber dueling action. It may or may not be as easy as it looks though. For all we know, it’ll probably depend on how much training you have with a light saber.
Kinect works by adding a dual-camera kit that recognizes and tracks your movements, which it then translates into the game world. The Kinect kit will also come with a built-in microphone that’ll provide voice recognition and a dashboard that will let you move around the menus and interface using hand movements. They also described a video chat app and some sort of social networking feature, but c’mon, we all spazzed out after hearing about the Star Wars game.
Here’s a sample vid of what to expect:
Kinect is due out by November 4th and is expected (but not yet confirmed) to cost around $150 on its own. 15 Kinect-specific games are also due to be released by then:
The new Xbox 360:
Microsoft also unveiled the new “slim” Xbox 360 during the E3 conference, featuring a larger 250GB hard drive, Kinect support, and integrated Wi-fi n connectivity inside a handsome new black shell. That’s pretty much it—it’s still an Xbox, but better in the sense that you won’t need to pick up a wireless module or external hard drive anymore (unless you fill up the 250GB on this one). The updated console won’t be any more expensive than the previous Xbox 360 though: it’ll sell for the same $299 price tag as the old 120GB Xbox Elite.