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New Xbox Kinect: What you need to know from E3 2010

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Microsoft

(Read caption) Kinect for Xbox 360 soaked up the lion's share of buzz as E3 2010 kicked off Sunday night.

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Project Natal is dead. Long live Kinect, the official name for Microsoft's new Xbox motion controller.

The new video game peripheral, due out in November, enjoyed the limelight Sunday evening as Microsoft kicked off the annual E3 conference in Los Angeles with an all-Kinect event.

If you haven't seen Kinect in action, imagine the Nintendo Wii sans remote. Kinect consists of two cameras that capture the movements of the player. Much like human eyes, the twin cameras allow for depth perception, so Kinect can pick up on a wide range of motion without the aid of a video-game controller. This lets gamers shake their hands, feet, or booties and watch their character do the same.

At last night's Kinect event, Microsoft unveiled the new name and demonstrated several motion games. Upcoming titles include an athletics mini-game collection called Kinect Sport, which looks surprisingly similar to Wii Sports; a full-body rhythm game named Dance Central; and Kinectimals, which lets you train a virtual pet.

Microsoft also showed off new motion controls for videos purchased through the Xbox marketplace. (This time, imagine "Minority Report" instead of the Wii.) Hand swipes allow viewers to stop and fast-forward through the movies.

The Xbox crew promised more information about Kinect at Microsoft's E3 keynote Monday. Check back with the Horizons blog throughout the week for new details from E3 2010 and how Kinect stacks up against the Wii and Sony's upcoming motion controller, the PlayStation Move.


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