Formerly known as 'Project Natal', Microsoft's interactive gaming device plays like a scene from Minority Report and sounds an awful lot like a more advanced version of the Nintendo Wii (but minus the controllers) launched today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles.
The biggest buzz for the show wasn't that Microsoft suddenly found a way to slim down the Xbox 360, but was instead reserved for the public demonstration of the 'Kinect' technology,a chocolate bar sized add-on avaliable to purchase separately for the Xbox 360. Microsoft is playing hardball with the release data, but a spokesperson did confirm to us that it will be avaliable during the Australian holiday shopping season at the end of this year.
Thanks to a very clever motion sensor, players need not worry about holding controllers in their hands to play the game: their body and the body's movements becomes the game.
A handful of Kinect-compatible games have been launched along with the console, including
- Kinetctimals: Imagine a virtual petting zoo, where your hand, head and arm gestures signal the animals affection.
- Your Shape: Fitness evolved: Much like Nintendo's Wii Fit, Your Shape is obviously an unashamed fitness genre rip-off. There are yoga and martial arts classes and given the extent of Kinect's unique motion processing capture technology, there's every chance you'll burn calories or look a fool in the process.
- Kinect Sports: features beach volleyball, boxing and table tennis, among others.
- Kinect Star Wars: budding Jedi's needn't get too excited just yet: the game won't be out till 2011.
In addition, Microsoft has also unveiled the new Xbox 360 will be available in Australia from July 1 for $449.