Tag - Project Natal
Microsoft's patent application for its Kinect motion controller has recently gone public, giving everyone an inside look at how the technology works. The system uses software called PrimeSense to detect the user's movements thanks to a webcam. The camera detects human targets and compares them to a stored pattern of a human body model.
(Updated with price leak) Microsoft at its E3 conference put a date on the Kinect motion controller. The add-on will ship on November 4 and will be accompanied by 15 games when it launches. Some of these are first-party games such as the virtual pet Kinectimals or the multi-game Kinect Adventures, but others will be third-party titles such as Ubisoft's Your Space exerciser and Harmonix's Dance Central; Konami's Metal Gear-themed Zan-Datsu and a Star Wars game are also in the works.
Microsoft held its E3 press conference today in Los Angeles. It provided more details of the Kinect controller and the slim Xbox 360. Visit our live coverage page for updates as they happened.
Microsoft very early this morning confirmed the first details of Kinect, the new name for Project Natal. The Xbox 360's motion controller add-on will be useful for games like a Star Wars Jedi title and the pet play game Kinectimals but will also be useful for large parts of the console's interface. A video chat app is new and will let users share photos, and much of the Xbox Dashboard will be controllable with hand gestures.
Microsoft may have let slip some of its E3 plans early, including a redesigned Xbox 360, through a series of posts and ads. International gaming sites such as Console Tribe briefly showed ads this evening of the rumored slim Xbox 360. Apart from being smaller, the new design has an angular shape reminiscent of the X logo and is more than just the smaller, cooler-running model hinted at earlier. The ads point to it having built-in Wi-Fi for the first time, saving a costly adapter, and making 250GB the standard capacity.
Microsoft's often rumored slim Xbox 360 may be close enough to launch at E3, sources said Thursday. It would have the smaller chips expected to reduce the heat and cost of the console as well as extra steps to keep the price down. Its design might be timed to coincide with the launch of Project Natal as it could help spark interest in a combination of the two.
Microsoft hopes to sell "at least" five million Project Natal controllers this year, two insiders said late Thursday [subscription required]. The sources didn't provide the exact launch date or price but implied to the WSJ that the target was aggressive, as the motion controllers would only ship late in the year. Microsoft has publicly touted Natal as one of its most important launches.
More photos of what is believed to be Microsoft's Project Natal full body controller have surfaced, thanks to Engadget. The expected retail version was being demonstrated at the D8 show, which is where the photos were captured. Unlike the previous leaked photos, this version is white, to match the Xbox 360 Arcade's standard color.
Microsoft's Project Natal could be an expensive peripheral if a rumor from a "trusted" insider is true. The device could cost as much as $149 by itself and might make the most sense only as part of an Xbox 360 bundle, where it would cost $299 for an Arcade console with the motion controller. The Edge source added that it was targeted for an October 26th launch, consistent with earlier rumors, but that it could move weeks forward or back depending on conditions.
Microsoft's full-body motion controller Project Natal, has been on track to come out in time for the Christmas holidays, but the latest news from the software and hardware giant places it at an October release. Microsoft's Saudi Marketing Manager Syed Bilal Tariq claimed during a presentation that nothing was official but was confident that the launch had been narrowed down to the one-month window.
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Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX