Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinetic is 1 year old

Microsoft’s Kinect system was designed simply to be a way for the Xbox 360 games console to compete with the Nintendo Wii for a family audience. But one year on it is among the fastest selling consumer gadgets ever as well as being adapted for a wide range of non-gaming uses.

Kinect, originally known as Project Natal, came about after Nintendo revolutionized the gaming industry with its Wii motion control system that brought a whole new meaning to “pick up and play.” Suddenly TV news reports on gaming were no longer of stereotypical greasy-haired teen loners mastering intricate control systems: instead we had families playing together and even nursing home boxing contests.

Microsoft wasn’t alone in wanting to target the Wii-market: Sony came up with its own system for the PlayStation 3, known as Move, with the selling point being more accurate controllers that could be used in traditional gaming. Microsoft didn’t try to create a better controller however: instead it decided that “you are the controller” with a hands-free gaming experience.

The Kinect system is a single horizontal bar that contains a wealth of technological features. As well as a full-scale video camera and a microphone with voice recognition technology, there’s also an infrared projector that is able to detect 3D images and thus track the player’s movements.

The system proved a major hit with players and Microsoft’s investors alike. Within five months of its debut, Kinect had sold 10 million units and was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the “fastest-selling consumer electronics device” in history, pipping even the iPad and iPhone. Revenue in Microsoft’s gaming and gadgets division rose by 60 percent year-on-year, which was enough to boost the company’s overall takings despite a drop in PC sales and thus potential Windows customers.

Kinect hasn’t been without its controversies though. Within weeks of its release enthusiasts were adapting the technology to work with computers, coming up with uses as diverse as motion-controlled Internet surfing to even Kinect-powered banking. At first Microsoft appeared unhappy with the amateur adaptations, citing licensing restrictions and threatening to involve police. Later it decided to go with the flow and made the technology behind the Kinect officially available for non-commercial adaptation.

In another incident, a Microsoft executive appeared to suggest the company might be able to offer advertisers the opportunity to deliver targeted ads based on what the camera could see of the players, specifically giving the example of showing ads to viewers wearing a particular American football shirt. Microsoft later denied it used any of the data collected by Kinect for advertising targeting purposes.

Despite the controversies, the Kinect system remains a confirmed success. It remains far behind the estimated 88 million sales of the Wii, but has truly wiped the floor with the PlayStation Move. It appears to have pulled off the tricky task of attracting new “casual” gamers with interactive sports and dance games while also appealing to the hardcore Xbox audience. One year on there are more than 100 Kinect titles either available now or scheduled for release, and if Kinect achieves nothing else, it will always be remembered for making it possible to play Hole in the Wall in your own living room!

Related Posts:

ASUS reveals the motion-sensing experience for PC

Asus motion sensor for PC

An exciting new approach to PC entertainment on show at CeBIT 2011. WAVI Xtion (pronounced “way-vee action”) comprises two components – the WAVI wireless media streaming device, and the Xtion motion sensor. It streams high definition media wirelessly from a PC located in one room toa TV in another, while infrared gesture-based multimedia playback, games and applications introduce the first ever officially-supported motion-sensing PC interface.

Motion-sensing PC entertainment on big screen TV

WAVI Xtion integrates motion-sensing technology from PrimeSense® with the exclusive ASUS Xtion Portal user interface to bring consumers closer to technology through intuitive interaction with applications. Connections to both PCs and TVs via wireless HDMI(WHDI technology) deliver smooth transfers of high definition content such as movies, games and photos in 5GHz with a range of up to 25 meters.

Software products available on launch include MayaFit Cardio Lite, a motion-sensing fitness training game and BeatBooster™, a multiplayer racing adventure game where users maneuver jet aircraft with their body movements. Enjoying PC games on the living room big screen TV is possible; the proprietary Xtion engine supports the remapping of keyboard controls into motion gestures for a variety of popular third party games.

Online store offers diverse choice

WAVI Xtion enables a wide selection of multimedia content and entertainment applications, working seamlessly with the ASUS vibe online store to deliver music, games and apps, all through the cloud.

Xtion Pro developer kit

Developers interested in creating gesture-based PC entertainment content can make use of the ASUS Xtion PRO developer pack, the world’s first professional PC motion-sensing toolset. It opens up new opportunities for cost and time-efficient development of various applications, including games of every genre. ASUS plans to launch the Xtion Pro Developer Challenge in March, with attractive prizes and publishing deals for winning developers. Selected apps will be placed on the ASUS vibe online store. Further details available at www.asus.com.

Related Posts:

Stay in touch with Soft32

Soft32.com is a software free download website that provides:

121.218 programs and games that were downloaded 237.780.356 times by 402.775 members in our Soft32.com Community!

Get the latest software updates directly to your inbox

Find us on Facebook