Kinect Archive

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Slice Zombies for Kinect review (Xbox One)

Slice Zombies for Kinect was developed and published by MADE on Xbox One. It was released on May 7, 2015 for $9.99. A copy was provided by MADE for review purposes.

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"I don't want to play this anymore." Those are the words of disillusion I started to utter within 30 minutes of playing Slice Zombies for Kinect. This is a painful reminder that for every game that tries to raise the bar from its contemporaries, others are happy to coast along as a sub-par, unoriginal effort. It’s not fun to rate a game poorly, but what else can you do for one that aims to be nothing special?

If you've ever played Fruit Ninja Kinect's classic mode on any platform, you’ve seen most of what Slice Zombies game has to offer. For the rest of us who have not, the one game mode available in this title features players slicing up zombies. Shocking, I know. The player is given three lives (a fourth is available as an upgrade), and each time a bomb is sliced or a zombie is missed, a life is taken away. When all lives run out, the current game ends. Once the round is over, the player is given the option to play again or to go to the shop to buy upgrades earned from playing. In the store, you can buy power-ups to make the experience easier as well as view the modifiers that make the game slightly more challenging. Unfortunately, that’s all there is to the game. For the sake of this review, I decided to play longer, but after an hour I couldn't take it anymore. It's the same thing over and over. No more, please.

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Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 review (Xbox One)

Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 was developed and published by Halfbrick Studios. It was released on March 17, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided by Halfbrick Studios for review purposes.

Fruit Ninja Kinect 2

Who knew fruit could be so fun? Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is the follow-up to the popular Fruit Ninja Kinect on Xbox 360. As an avid Xbox 360 Kinect user experienced with games such as The Gunstringer and Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, I was used to the usage and limitations on the last-gen device. Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 was my first Xbox One Kinect-only game (Blue Estate being my first Xbox One Kinect-optional game), so I was eager to experience it.

The gameplay is very simple. Slice, dice, chop and cut up fruit to gain high scores. Along the way, different obstacles will attempt to impede your path to success. With the power of Kinect, players will feel like they are in the moment on screen and look good in the process. But can such a simple concept carry a second game in this franchise?

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Rhythm Party disappears from the Xbox Live Marketplace on February 1

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Konami Japan has announced that the Xbox Live Arcade title Rhythm Party will be taken off the marketplace on February 1, 2015, but the DLC music packs will continue to be sold for the known time. The removal arrives on the third year of its release on the marketplace.

Rhythm Party, also known as Boom Boom Dance in Japan, is a title that uses the Xbox 360 Kinect.

Speculation: The author of this article expects the title to be removed before February 1, most likely sometime mid-morning EST on January 31. Trends point to After Burner Climax which was pulled earlier than announced and Marvel vs. Capcom Origins which was removed a day early as the most recent examples of announced delistings. Don't take this as a definitive time but rather as a cue to buy the game sooner than the end date if the reader is interested.

Source: Konami JP

(Thanks, @lifelower)

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Boom Ball for Kinect review (Xbox One)

Boom Ball for Kinect was developed and published by Virtual Air Guitar Company on Xbox One. It was released on November 28, 2014 for $9.99. A copy was provided by Virtual Air Guitar Company for review purposes.

Boom Ball For Kinect

Raise your hand if your favorite Kinect-based experience was the “Rally Ball” game in the original Kinect Adventures on Xbox 360. Me too! Well, good news — now we’ve got that same idea expanded into a full ID@Xbox game in the form of Boom Ball for Kinect.

If you’re like me, the idea of a first-person, 3D, motion-controlled Brick Breaker sounds like an absolute blast. Indie studio Virtual Air Guitar Company seems to agree and created 55 levels of brick breaking to satisfy that craving. The only question: is it any good?

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Microsoft announces blue Xbox 360 as part of its 2014 holiday bundles

Xbox 360 Holiday Bundles

If blue is your favorite color and you've always dreamed of having a blue Xbox 360, then you're in luck. Microsoft's Major Nelson has announced three new holiday bundles that will be available during the 2014 holiday season, and one of them includes a new special edition blue Xbox 360. All three bundles will sell for $249.99 and include an Xbox 360, at least two games and a month of Xbox Live Gold membership.

The three bundles to choose from are:

  • Xbox 360 500GB Holiday Value Bundle
  • Xbox 360 Special Edition Blue Bundle
  • Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Bundle

With the holiday bundle you get a 500GB Xbox 360, a month of Xbox Live Gold membership and copies of both Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Those who opt for the Special Edition Blue bundle will get all of the Holiday Value Bundle items, but with a special edition arctic blue console and controller. The standard bundle is available now at retailers nationwide. The special edition bundle is exclusive to Wal-Mart and will be in US Wal-Mart stores starting October 7.

If you're like me and you can't wait to try out the recently released Dance Central Spotlight game, then the Kinect bundle may be the bundle for you. This bundle includes a 4GB Xbox 360, a Kinect, a month of Xbox Live Gold membership and copies of Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports, and Forza Horizon. This bundle is exclusive to Target and will be available in stores starting September 30.

Source: Major Nelson

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Phil Spencer changes Kinect outlook

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When the Xbox One was originally debuted the Kinect was stressed as an integral part of the system and was required to even be able to run the console. However, after a year has passed and Stephen Elop has been replaced by Phil Spencer the outlook towards Kinect has been changed.

"This might seem backwards, but I believe the decision we made to allow people to buy Xbox One without Kinect included, in the end, will actually lead to more Kinects in the market," he said. "I believe that you've got to sell the console before you can sell Kinect.”

This decision was clear based on their E3 presentation, where Kinect wasn’t stressed and rarely mentioned so that the games on display could be given their time in the limelight. He also believes that this choice is better for the developers, "Developers will choose when Kinect is part of the experience and when it's not, and that's the way it should be."

Even with this change in philosophy Phil Spencer still says he is constantly being pitched Kinect games, "I think it's great because people see it as an outlet for creativity, whether it's immersion, whether it's voice integrated in some interesting way, whether it's gesture," he said. "I think that the creative conversations I'm having with studios are more about, what is the core of what your game is, and then the studio actually usually comes to me and says, ‘Here's how Kinect's going to make that better.'

"In terms of a specific focus to say, ‘Hey, you guys, you have to do something that requires Kinect.' I'm not doing that. I'm saying you need to go make games that are great. We think Kinect adds functionality to the platform that makes games better, and developers will use that when they think it will make their game better."

Source: Polygon

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Phil Harrison: Kinect-free Xbox will lead to a 'virtuous cycle'

Xbox One Kinect

In the wake of the recent announcement that Microsoft will soon begin selling Xbox One consoles sans packed-in Kinect sensors for $399, gamers and the media have wondered aloud what this means for the both Xbox One and Kinect. Speaking with Total Xbox last week, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Phil Harrison attempted to paint a rosy picture for both console and peripheral.

Harrison recapped his company's "very significant" decision to offer gamers two choices for acquiring an Xbox One and stated that "fundamentally that is good for opening up the Xbox One ecosystem – the more consumers who buy Xbox One, it's a virtuous cycle for more developers to make and more consumers to play games, and that is what we're committed to achieving and continuing.

"But we remain committed to Kinect as the premium way to experience the Xbox One vision," he insisted. "Over 80 percent of Kinect Xbox Ones are active, over 120 voice commands are issued per day on average by all users of the console, so when you have this premium experience that is where the Xbox One comes alive."

Harrison also took the opportunity to boast about Xbox One simultaneously being home to ID@Xbox titles like Strike Suit Zero and major retail releases Titanfall, calling the convergence "exactly our vision."

Source: Total Xbox

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$399 Kinect-free Xbox One coming June 9

Microsoft's Xbox One will achieve price parity with Sony's competing PlayStation 4 on June 9. It's on that date that a new One SKU sans Kinect sensor will become available for a $399 MSRP, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer announced today on Xbox Wire. This cheaper Kinect-free take on on the Xbox One will be sold in all markets in which the console is currently available.

Spencer noted the importance of fan feedback to the console holder, alluding to changes such as the elimination of the once-planned always-online feature of the Xbox One due to massive gamer backlash. "Today, we’re excited to share more ways your feedback is impacting the products we build," he added.

The Head of Xbox also took the opportunity to point out that Microsoft isn't forgetting about the millions of gamers who already have a Kinect sensor. "To be clear, as we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision," Spencer wrote. "Many of you are using Kinect for Xbox One every day. In fact, more than 80 percent of you are actively using Kinect, with an average of 120 voice commands per month on each console."

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Microsoft says Kinect could be used to measure TV audience reactions

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Polygon published an interview this week of Nancy Tellem, Microsoft’s entertainment and digital media president, about the possible benefits that Kinect could offer with the new Xbox Originals programming. Could Kinect be used to view you while you're watching television and send your viewing reactions back to Microsoft? The answer is yes.

However, before you get all paranoid of Big Brother watching over you, Tellem says that if this type of tracking ever became available it would be optional for the user whether they wanted to participate or not. At this time, Microsoft has no plans to employ this type of tracking, but if it or any other television network wanted to, Tellem confirmed that the technology to make it happen is already in place.

What Tellem and Microsoft really envision for Xbox TV and Kinect is providing users with a more “interactive” viewing experience. Imagine watching your favorite television show, while Skyping with your friends, checking sports scores and then getting in a round of Titanfall during commercials. That is the experience that Tellem and Xbox are striving to create.

The Xbox One was designed to eliminate the need to have a laptop out, your Xbox on one television and a separate television on for watching shows. Microsoft wants its next-gen console to provide all of those services for you simultaneously one handy device. The Xbox One already allows users to Skype while watching TV, but Microsoft wants to build upon this and offer users even more interaction options.

Source: Polygon

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April Xbox One system update will begin rolling out tonight

april xbox one system update

Major Nelson has just announced that the latest Xbox One system update will begin rolling out in a few hours. While we were already aware of some of the features coming with this push, his latest blog post details the full list of enhancements. You can check out the list, which includes friend list improvements, Kinect tuning, and automatic system updates, after the break.

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