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    Entries in kinect (9)


    Fus-Ro-Damn! All 200 of Skyrim's Voice Commands

    Click the image for more helmet

    I don't know about you guys, but tonight I plan on getting drunk and screaming at my TV until the wee hours of the night. Until either I lose my voice, my neighbors complain, or my roommate tells me to "shut the fuck up!" I can't wait. If you, like me, plan on screaming at Skyrim via your Kinect-powered Xbox 360, here is a handy list of all 200 voice commands in one nice little pdf, courtesy of our friends at Bethesda.

    In completely related news, Skyrim's first downloadable content, Dawnguard, has been officially revealed with an image. Yes, the image that you see in part in this post's header. No other information has been released aside from said image. Except for the fact that it will be available this summer on Xbox 360 before any other platform. Aw yea, more drunken screaming. Let's see your PlayStation Move do that.

    Skyrim Kinect Voice Commands


    I Gots an Itch for Diabolical Pitch

    My love for the craziness that comes out of Grasshopper Manufacture is no secret. God-among-developers Suda51 has a knack for pushing creative envelopes, taking risks and creating games that other studios couldn't even concoct during the high of a peyote trip. 

    Suda and Grasshopper have spoken about the super-secret Codename D for a while now, but only recently have they shed more light on the Kinect driven project named Diabolical Pitch. It's a basebrawler: a mashup of baseball and, well, brawling. A marriage so ridiculously insane, only the very lofty Ninja Baseball Batman has made a go at the genre. As I enjoy both baseball and beating the living hell out of things, I am very excited for this game, within reason. As much of a hoot as it looks, I'm not sure whether it's been planned as retail or arcade release, but I'm 90% sure I wouldn't want to shell out fiddy bucks for it, fusion dance or not.

    The Kinect platform has tons of silly exercise and dance games to entertain casuals, it's titles like Diabolical Pitch and The Gunstringer are  the meat and potatoes for gamers like you and I. Stay tuned for more info.


    REVIEW: Fruit Ninja Kinect

    Before you even begin to read this review, I want to tell you right up front that it is a severely half-assed piece of work. Transparency is where it's at, homey. The reason is simple: there was never supposed to be a Fruit Ninja Kinect review. A downloadable throwaway of 800 Microsoft Points, meant to do nothing but kill a few hours, turned into something far more engrossing than I expected.

    Click to read more ...


    Fable: The Journey; The Kinect Leftovers of Fable III?

    Not too long ago, I used to love me some Fable. Regardless of how much of a jackass Peter Molyneux is, Fable and Fable II were solid games, even if they never delivered on everything Petey Hype promised. Then came along Fable III to ruin everything the first two games built. 

    So here's the Kinect entry in the series, Fable: The Journey. Hey Petey Hype, wasn't Fable III supposed to have Kinect support? Is this the component that was cut out? The bad part of The Journey is that it appears to be an on-rails shooter, where your hands are the gun and magic are your bullets. I won't lie, it looks kind of cool to actually be able to use your hands to cast a plethora of spells, but I'm keeping my expectations tempered. And by tempered, I mean I'm expecting Fable: The Journey to be just better than terrible.

    Though on the positive side of things, without the controller there will be no way to hold A to become king and win the game. Cup half full, people.


    Zoom is Nyko's Brilliant Answer to Kinect Space Issues

    It's been a well publicized complaint that Kinect requires a huge chunk of room real estate to operate at its best. Unfortunately, we don't all live in mansions, leaving many of us with our backs pressed uncomfortably against walls to fully fit into the Kinect's field of vision, which is a recommended 8 to 9 feet away from the device. It was a huge pain in the ass for us with smaller living spaces, and pretty much made the Xbox motion device an impossibility to use in the limiting confines of Japanese households. As an answer to Kinect's greedy requirements, Nyko has created the simplest yet most ingenius peripheral; a pair of clip on glasses. 

    Zoom is a set of lenses that clip on over the Kinect's sensors and effectively reduce the required area by 40 percent. 9 feet becomes approximately 4 feet, which is a prayer answered for those who wanted in on the body-flailing fun, but don't have the suggested space, and are unwilling to move around furniture like Microsoft suggests. Feng shui is more important than motion gaming, isn't it? 

    Zoom for Kinect requires no installation, no batteries, no power cord, or anything else. It just clips onto your sensor and is ready to rock. Kudos to Nyko for making something so simple yet so useful. Of course, there's no guarantee that the thing will actually work, or if we'll have to pay $50 for piece of plastic, but the idea is promising. We'll give you more news as we get it. 


    Xbox LIVE Updates, Moves to Outer Space

    Well, not really outer space, but close. Microsoft has chosen to take Xbox where many companies have been going as of late; to the cloud! During Microsoft's E3 2011 press conference, it was announced that Xbox LIVE will begin implementing cloud features such as game saves and profile recovery. This means traveling with your Xbox LIVE profile will be easy-peezy, and much less of a hassle than either dealing with the dreadful 'Gamertag Recovery' or saving your profile along with all of your game data onto a dedicated USB stick.

    I'm loving this direction, as I have two Xbox consoles in my house I play on, and carting profiles/saves back and forth is a huge pain in the red ring. Also, friends will now have easier access to their accounts without junking up my consoles USB ports with portable media. Everybody wins!

    In addition to the knockout cloud announcement, Microsoft was getting busy in other ways. Like introducing another dashboard update?! That's right kids. It seems like Xbox LIVE gets a visual makeover every year, so why not another this fall? Long gone are the days of the blade, replaced now with a nice and simple interface reminiscent of the Windows Phone OS or the newly announced Windows 8 look. Microsoft seems to be following the footsteps of Apple by creating one unified look across all of its platforms, which ain't a bad thing, especially considering that this new look is actually quite snazzy.

    Also announced are Xbox Live Beacons. It's an odd sounding feature that lets your network know what game you want to play. Then, you'll receive an instant notification when one of your friends has fired that game up. Sounds kind of silly, but sure, whatever. Must be useful if your friend list is at max capacity. Then again, if you're maxed out on XBL friends, you're probably exclusively playing one of either Halo, Gears of War, or Call of Duty. Beacons don't sound as awesome as bacon, but really, what does?

    Expect more, such as YouTube and Bing search (through Kinect voice commands), increased Kinect support, and many more additions that have either flown under the radar, or I don't feel like writing about. Don't judge me, I'm pressed for time dammit. The latest Dashboard update will go live later this year, giving you plenty of time to save up for a Kinect.


    15 Minutes of The Gunstringer is Oddly Fantastic

    Let me admit, when I first read about The Gunstringer, a Kinect title where you play as a skeleton cowboy, shooting stuff with your fingers, I promptly went to my toilet to drop a deuce, finished up, and went on with my day. 

    I should have given more credit to Twisted Pixel. 

    As more media for The Gunstringer has made its way out I've warmed up to it a bit. After watching a full 15 minutes of the game, I'm 90% sold. While the premise is weird, and the gameplay doesn't seem incredibly addictive or complex, Twisted Pixel's trademark style and humor shines through to give this Xbox LIVE Arcade title a bit of a 'DO WANT' edge. 

    The question is, how does one price a Kinect XBLA game?


    CES11: Kinect Gets Busy at Microsoft's Keynote

    Photography by Mark Hagan

    What better way to open CES weekend than with a keynote by Microsoft, led by the magnificently mad bull named Steve Ballmer. Microsoft has performed well on most notes, especially so with their gaming division (in the States, anyway). Mr. Ballmer wasted no time christening this CES 2011 with words of the Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE.

    After an initial introduction, the lovable mad man turned things over to Kinect hot-shot Ron Forbes, who gave us some old and some new. As this is a weekend about making news, let's not concern ourselves with the old stuff, instead focusing on what we can look forward to for Microsoft's gaming juggernaut: a lot of Kinect integration, specifically to Zune, Netflix, and Hulu Plus.

    The oft overlooked Zune feature was made to look quite slick in its pairing with Kinect, both by way of gesture and voice control. Speaking in a fluid conversational tone to his Xbox (as many Kinecters can already attest to), Mr. Forbes was able to initiate a few awesome features. The combination of gesture and voice allowed him to quickly and effortlessly receive suggestions of new movies available in the Zune application, from there allowing him to watch trailers, then jump right into the movie from the trailer. In his horrible taste, Mr. Forbes happened to be in the midst of a Twilight: Eclipse viewing, which he was able to jump right back into and resume from where he previously left off, without ever picking up a controller. More of the same was done with Zune music, albeit not as impressively as the video function. We saw a little more of the same being done with Netflix and Hulu Plus, however not as in depth as what was displayed with Zune, understandably so.

    Digital Ballmer's hand movements are as convincing as the real thing

    Moving right along, Ballmer reclaimed the stage in avatar form, in his likeness with the same lack of hair, and a mysterious lack of girth. As he spoke, his avatar's mouth kept up with his words. Its facial expression changed to mimic that of its owner. A laugh, a frown, all portrayed convincingly by Ballmer's digital image, right down the the most minute detail; a wiggle of the eyebrows. The audience was then treated to the realization of this Avatar Kinect. A party chat, which seemed to be set at a tailgate, featuring half a dozen avatars talking to each other, interacting, seemingly living and breathing. An awesome next step for the technologies. This was mentioned to be free for all Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers, with no mention made of the elephant in the room, Xbox LIVE free memberships.

    More was seen and said, but none as important as Kinect's next steps. Did you know Kinect has sold 8 million units world wide? As of this writing, I am NOT a Kinect owner, but this presentation has intensified my necessity for one. And for my sports fans, the ESPN3 app that I labor over to keep you satisfied will see new social integrations, such as mini-games and added avatar interactions. Look for the College Bowl Showdown in your ESPN3 app to get a sneak peek at what to expect. 

    All in all a strong showing from Microsoft's gaming division. No groundbreaking revelations, but genuinely interesting advancements to keep current customers locked, and entice those who may have previously doubted Xbox and Kinect.

    Is Steve Ballmer gonna have to choke a b*tch?


    NYCC10: Look Ma, No Controller! Our Kinect Adventures

    Standing off to the side, we watched a couple play Kinect Adventures' River Rush while the possibly coked out Microsoft PR guy barked out commands and directed traffic with an unstable energy. He was a cool dude. 

    After almost being bored to death watching the team in front of us jump in place for the duration of the River Rush gameplay, without the very important peripheral mind you, it was our turn. I asked Honkey (this was the emcee's name, no lie) to let us get a crack at something a little more exciting. Unfortunately, Microsoft was limited to what they could let us play due to sponsoring (go figure) so we were stuck with Kinect Adventures, Kinect's very own Wii Sports. Like Wii Sports, there is nothing special to be seen, but it gives you the gist of how the system works.

    Team OBG had it's go at Rally Ball, a type of brick-breaker and soccer mash-up, that was a decidedly more exciting mini-game than River Rush. After a crash course in the controls, wait, what controls? Keeping 6-8 feet in front of the screen, leave the space of about one person between each other, and getting more points for using your head (such is life), we were ready to Rally Ball! 

    My reflexes were as responsive as a cat's, my movements as calculated as a ninja's, my strikes as precise as a surgeon's. If only the Kinect were able to detect them that way. Unfortunately, every move we made was a split second or more delayed on the screen. So while I was reacting to the ball at just the right time, my avatar was swinging and missing, badly. That ain't good.

    Once we took the lag into account, we got ourselves into a groove, albeit it a silly looking one. We were using our arms, legs, and yes, even our heads for extra points. I'll admit it was fun, but that's it. Kinect Adventures, like Wii Sports before it, is the girl (or guy) you hook up with for a night of anonymous fun. No long term potential at all, sorry. And that kind of sums up how I feel about Kinect in general. Milo looked awesome, until they dragged the poor kid into a back alley and offed him. Though even if Milo persisted, how long would you see yourself playing it? Me, not long at all. You gotta impress us, Kinect. Make believers of us, don't expect us to drink the Kool Aid

    Here's a protip, start off by making a zombie Milo game. I'm with that.