Kinect Archive

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April Xbox One system update will begin rolling out tonight

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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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Kinect-based system being used to protect the Korean DMZ

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South Korean programmer Jae Kwan Ko has developed a Kinect-based software system that is being used to monitor the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea.

Its existence has only recently been made public but has been in use since last August. Hankooki also reported that the Kinect-based system can tell the difference between animals and humans. It has been used to identify objects that cross the border, and if a human is detected by the system, the nearby outpost will be alerted.

Jae Kwon Ko has said that in the future the sensor will detect heat and heart rates. This could potentially mean that they may upgrade to the Xbox One’s version of Kinect at some point in the future, as Microsoft’s next-gen console has not yet been released in South Korea.

He has also said that, “[He's] never even thought of a game system performing national defense tasks”.

Source: Hankooki via Kotaku

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Does Kinect justify the Xbox One’s $500 price tag?

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There has been a veritable whirlwind of excitement, controversy and anticipation surrounding the release of Microsoft’s latest video game console since it was unveiled back in May. Microsoft has had to backpedal on unpopular policies regarding digital rights management and limitations placed on used games, but the electric feeling that surrounds every console launch has truly never wavered.

Despite some of the unpopular choices made by Microsoft, the Xbox One remains at its core not only a capable gaming machine, but also an all-around entertainment hub. The real question, then, is how to justify its $500 price tag: a $100 premium over the PS4.

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Xbox One: Should you wait or should you buy?

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With the Xbox One set to launch in only a few days (November 22, 2013), it’s time to take a deeper look at what the console offers at launch and whether its initial wave of features and games makes an immediate Xbox One upgrade right for you or if you should hold off for a while until the console’s feature set and game library has grown. To do so, XBLAFans will look at what the console will have to offer on November 22 and attempt to determine whether or not that launch offering makes sense for you.

Do you consider yourself a tech trendsetter?

Are you one of those people who always have to have the newest tech? Do you constantly upgrade your phone to the latest version in order to stay up to date with ever-changing technology? If so, then the Xbox One is for you. After eight long years with the 360, the next generation of living room gaming is truly about to commence (sorry, Wii U, we still love you for what you are) and you shouldn’t let yourself get left behind. If the console’s recently updated specs weren’t enough to convince you, then the new UI walkthrough might be the final push you need. The video will show you how the Xbox One will change not just your gaming experience, but your overall home entertainment experience for years to come.

Microsoft has done with the Xbox One and Kinect what no other console has been able to achieve: it has solved the problem of navigating a UI on a TV from the comfort of a couch. From the very inception of consoles, it was evident that a mouse and keyboard were awkward to use while sitting on a couch, which led to the introduction of the controller. For many years the controller was a brilliant way to game, and it’s still an integral part of today’s gaming experience. However, as consoles have grown from pure gaming systems into entertainment hubs, current-gen console UIs have grown clunky, their menus becoming unmanageable. With the Xbox One, all of that clunkiness is gone; you can switch from app to game to TV to Skype within seconds all with the power of your voice. Nothing about Microsoft’s incoming console says next-gen more than its new UI.

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Xbox One’s Kinect camera can scan Xbox Live QR codes in seconds

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The aggravating days of slowly typing in 25 digits in order to redeem Xbox Live Arcade games, Xbox Live subscriptions and other downloadable Xbox items may be ending for those gamers who purchase Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox One console when it goes on sale starting November 22. Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb showcased on Vine today the Xbox One Kinect camera’s ability to scan Xbox Live membership cards in mere seconds through the use of QR codes.

In the video, which can be seen here, Hryb tells his Kinect to “use a code” and holds an Xbox Live 14-day trial card in front of the camera. The code is processed rapidly, with his Xbox asking him in about two seconds if he wants to redeem the XBL code it’s just scanned.

The technology and speed at which it operates is hardly new, as smartphone users have been enjoying such functionality for years now. It is, however, new to Xbox, and it’s an additional feature that is sure to be welcomed by a community that’s spent the Xbox 360′s life cycle begrudgingly growing accustomed to typing in lengthy codes in order to redeem codes for games, XBL subscriptions, DLC and more.

Though Hryb’s video demonstrates QR code-scanning as the new standard for XBL subscription cards, it isn’t clear at this time whether or not QR codes will be printed on all Xbox One game and item download cards. Microsoft’s Xbox Support account tweeted a nebulous response to a gamer’s question about the possibility of all cards featuring Kinect-scannable QR codes. “We don’t have that information to share at this time,” stated Xbox Support.

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Xbox 360 holiday value bundles announced

Xbox 360 Holiday BundlesNext-gen consoles like the Xbox One will no doubt be big sellers this holiday season, but current-gen is where you’ll find the better bargains. Major Nelson has revealed three new Xbox 360 bundles being released just in time for the shopping season. The three bundles are:

  • 250GB Kinect bundle including Kinect Sports: Season 2, Kinect Adventures, and Forza Horizon
  • 4GB Kinect bundle including Kinect Sports: Season 2 and Kinect Adventures
  • 250GB bundle including Halo 4 and Tomb Raider

Every bundle will come with a free one-month Xbox Live Gold subscription. Retailers in the US are having a holiday 2013 price promotion, which will save you $50 on any console bundle. The promotion has already started and will last until January 4, 2014. More information on the bundles, including pricing, can be found at Xbox.com.

Source: Major Nelson

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Kinect wasn’t designed for ad functionality

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When the Xbox One was announced and it was confirmed that Kinect 2.0 would ship with it, players became skeptical of Microsoft’s intent with the new motion-sensing capture device. Many people, especially Xbox Live Gold members, are currently not happy with ads that fill up the Xbox Live Dashboard. With word quickly spreading that the next-gen Kinect could greatly outperform its current gen version, rumors started to circulate. One such rumor that got some legs was that the new Kinect would serve up ads based on what it could detect. Meaning that if could see the player eating, food ads would appear or if the player was wearing a sports company logo, maybe an ad for sneakers would appear.

Yesterday, Albert Penello, Microsoft’s Director of Product Planning, took to NeoGAF to dispel such rumors. Penello explained that the new Kinect could be used for advertising purposes but that Microsoft has no such plans to roll this feature out. He is quoted as saying, “First – nobody is working on that. We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I’m not aware of any active work in this space.” He went on to say that “if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn’t happen without the user having control over it. Period.”

It is refreshing to hear someone from Microsoft deliver such clear and articulate statements about what the plan is for the future. It seems with seven weeks to go before launch, Microsoft is still trying to dig out of the hole that it created for itself by having such a poor console reveal that was quickly cluttered with many mixed messages.

Source: NeoGAF via Polygon

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Crimson Dragon’s flight to Xbox One was not developer decision

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Grounding’s Yukio Futatsugi has revealed that it was Microsoft’s decision to move Crimson Dragon from Xbox 360 to Xbox One. Futatsugi told Eurogamer at the Tokyo Game Show that Microsoft made the decision to make the switch at E3 last year. “We were talking about these things in a hotel room and was [sic] told this news. I was shocked, but you know ultimately I think it’s worked out well – though I won’t forget that episode,” Futatsugi told Eurogamer.

Despite the initial shock, the change should largely please fans of the series. Since its move to the Xbox One the game has been significantly lengthened, with its RPG elements having been expanded upon to accommodate play sessions associated with a traditional gamepad. Futatsugi spoke of the addition of controller support: “When we announced the 360 version we had a lot of people saying why can’t we use the controller – so we could not ignore those fans.”

Kinect still remains a feature, however. In the Xbox One version of Crimson Dragon, players can guide a partner dragon by leaning their body, while elsewhere free roaming sections have been introduced for boss battles. Crimson Dragon will be a download-only launch title and is expected to cost $19.99.

Source: Eurogamer

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Newsbits: White Xbox One, Goodbye Zune, Hello Importing

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  • There’s some exciting news for achievement hunters. Microsoft has confirmed that all games released on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One will have separate achievement lists. That means you can play Assassin’s Creed IV on the 360, gain the full gamerscore, then replay it on the Xbox One to double up on the points.  There is some other interesting bits of information located in the IGN article, so be sure to check it out.
  • It’s a sad day for the few who have long been Zune supporters. Microsoft has discontinued the service as of the last console update, but all of your previously purchased material will still be available to you. Really, it’s just making the full change over to Xbox Music and Xbox Video, but it’s still noteworthy. For those wondering, your Zune music pass will still be effective!
  • If you are the type of person who was really hoping for an Xbox One in a different color other than black, you’ll be jealous to hear that the Microsoft employees will be receiving a white version instead.
  • Amongst all the policy and launch changing, you may have missed a few news stories. When Microsoft announced they were only launching in 13 countries, it was stated that Kinect voice command would only work in five of them. Updated news is now being reported that ten of the countries will be able to use this feature.
  • Some of the best news to come from all of Microsoft’s changes to the Xbox One may be the fact that games will no longer be region locked. Ever wanted to play a rare Japanese game, or collect all the different localizations of your favorite game? You’ll be able to this time around!
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Xbox One changes always on policy with Kinect

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The one sure thing about the Xbox One at this point is that any news about the system is fluid right up till launch day. Following several key policy reversals by Microsoft, they’ve switched things up with Kinect now. When the system was first announced in May, Kinect was supposed to be always on and plugged in at all times in order for the system to function. That officially changed when Microsoft announced that Kinect doesn’t even need to be plugged in at all. Mark Whitten, chief architect behind the Xbox One, confirmed it on IGN.

“You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,” Whitten said. “When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information. Any functionality that relies on voice, video, gesture or more won’t work. We still support using it for IR blasting in this mode. You can turn the sensor back on at any time through settings, and if you enter into a required Kinect experience (like Kinect Sports Rivals for instance), you’ll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.” Kinect will still be a mandatory and sold with every system, but there’s no reason to believe that couldn’t change at some point as well.

Source: IGN

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