kinect

We can’t help, but to love the United States Patent Office – it gives away too many good secrets. This week, a user at NeoGAF found a Microsoft patent filling for a pair of augmented reality glasses. The high-tech head mounted eye wear appears to be aimed at the gaming community and might just bring our favorite titles to the streets – literally.

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With the announcement of Microsoft’s Xbox One, there has been a collection of hatred focused on new video game DRM restrictions. Unfortunately many users don’t truly know the actual measures being put in place on Xbox One video games. In addition, there are a collection of new benefits that come with Xbox One games that are being overlooked. Let’s take a look and talk about how Xbox DRM licensing will actually work. My goal is to help you understand Microsoft’s decisions and see some of the benefits of the new DRM system. If you are still angry at the end of the article, which is fine – PlayStation 4 is a great alternative and I hope you enjoy it (Just let me know how good “The Last of Us” really is).

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At TechFair 2013 in Washington D.C., Microsoft showed off an abundance of high-tech projects; the company states that the technology being designed by its research division, allows a glimpse into the future of technology. World class scientists working on the Redmond campus showed off how they could be an asset to some of society’s biggest challenges.

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At Tuesday’s reveal of the Xbox One, Microsoft showed off their next generation Kinect sensor. Our friends up in Redmond don’t want you to forget that the new Kinect unit will also be heading to Windows.

Microsoft released the original software development kit (SDK) in the spring of 2011 for Windows 7. The goal of the program was to expand Kinect’s usage scenario through 3rd party and indie developers. That being said, we have seen some amazing uses of Kinect in the fields of consumer shopping and medicine.

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While the Kinect’s suitability for gaming is sometimes a subject of debate, nobody can deny that the Xbox 360’s motion peripheral is perfectly matched for workout games. Of all the consoles, only the Xbox 360 with Kinect can track a user’s entire body positioning with any real degree of accuracy. Gamers who aspire to get into better shape without leaving the home have many options thanks to these Kinect workout games.

Microsoft has thrown its hat in with Nike and developer Sumo Digital (makers of the awesome Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing Transformed) to produce the most definitive fitness game to date: Nike+ Kinect Training. We know they’re serious about it because they announced it on-stage at E3 (to a generally Kinect-apathetic crowd) and produced a terrific Windows Phone companion app to go along with it.

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Marc Edwards of Bjango, Guy English of Kicking Bear, Loren Brichter of Atebits, Sebastiaan de With of DoubleTwist, and Rene Ritchie of Mobile Nations talk human interfaces of the future, including Siri, Google Now, Kinect, Leap, MYO, Project Glass, iWatch, Oculus Rift, and more!

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Specifications have been leaked for the 360's successor.

With E3 approaching closer as each day passes, there's going to be more and more salt being thrown at consumers from sources who wish to either leak valid details about Microsoft's next generation Xbox console, or stir up false rumour. The latest information comes from VGleaks, who doesn't have a significant track record, but has published detailed articles surrounding the Playstation 4, WiiU and Xbox.

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We recently discovered that Crimson Dragon: Side Story has become Windows Phone 8 compatible, but it’s been a while since we had a chance to talk about the upcoming Xbox 360 Crimson Dragon game. Over the weekend a playable demo leaked onto the Japanese Xbox 360 Marketplace before being quickly pulled down. Thankfully we now have YouTube footage of Crimson Dragon to dissect, plus DLC news for the upcoming Kinect game.

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It might seem like only yesterday for some of us, but Microsoft’s Xbox Live service launched 10 years ago this month – a year after the original Xbox debuted. Xbox live was a major differentiator between the Xbox and the Playstation 2 and GameCube. Some PS2 games could connect to the internet via optional modem, but Sony’s console lacked a proper online system. Nintendo’s GameCube had only a handful of online games, something the big N did little (virtually nothing) to rectify with the GameCube’s successor, the Wii. Only the Xbox had a fairly standardized online system with each game required to support voice chat.

Ten years later, the Xbox 360 is the world’s most popular console (especially in North America) and the Xbox Live service extends to Windows Phone and Windows 8 games. Read on to discover Microsoft’s plans to celebrate the anniversary, including giving everyone a free XBLA game!

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While the Kinect has yet to win over a sizable portion of gamers, I’ve always been a fan. Anything that gets me off the couch and moving while still earning Xbox Live Achievements is okay with me! Of course, previous Kinect games have all been positioned as either entertainment or fitness products. Microsoft’s new Playful Learning initiative takes a new approach: making learning both fun and physical. Lofty aspirations!

I’ve spent some time with both Playful Learning launch titles, Kinect Nat Geo TV and Kinect Sesame Street TV. Check out my full impressions after the break.

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Let's file this under "rumors" for the time being. We know Microsoft doesn't have a great track record of keeping secrets, and China has been one major source of leaks. Combine the two factors, here comes another interesting leak.

The chaps at WPDang, the Chinese Windows Phone site who has been reasonably accurate on Microsoft leaks, state that the Redmond gang will be releasing the final version of Kinect for Windows SDK around September 15. Interesting timing, right after the Windows Phone 8 launch, and before the holy coming of Windows 8. What's most amusing is that according to WPDang's sources, Windows Phone division is involved in the development of Kinect for Windows SDK too...

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Microsoft’s Xbox 360 needs only one thing to make it happy, a Kinect sensor. The news announced today is that Microsoft’s 'eyes and ears' into your living room is now getting a permanent price drop to US $109.99 (previous price was $130 USD).

There is no explanation for the price adjustment though presumably it has to do with reduced production costs and slowing sales (see the AJC report on the slowdown in the gaming industry). We’re going take it the Major just wants to give more of us the chance to jump up and down and shout at our TV sets. What a nice chap!

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A little bit of a hubbub is making the rounds this morning of Nike+ supposedly "announcing" a companion app for Windows Phone for the new Kinect game coming this holiday October 30th.   

But of course we knew about this way back in June during E3 when Nike released the first trailer and literally showed a huge Nokia Lumia with the Nike+ app flowing through the pivot screens.

So why the excitement? Blame it on the internet's short-term memory and a slightly revised ad coming out last week.

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We're in Washington this week for Casual Connect Seattle, one of the country's largest game developer-centric conferences. As you might know, Redmond is only a stone's throw away from Seattle. As such, we threw our own stones over to Microsoft headquarters (also known as the Microsoft campus) for a little visit. The campus consists of over 40 buildings spread across 300 acres - a lot to take in! In the interest of time, we focused on Studio C (home of the Windows Phone game marketing team) and the Visitor Center. Lots of pictures follow the break!

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It’s time for another installment of Windows Phone Central’s Xbox Live Developer Interview series! We jumped at the opportunity to speak with Chicago-based Iron Galaxy Studios, developers of the upcoming Ms. Splosion Man for Windows Phone (based on Twisted Pixel's XBLA hit), Wreckateer for Xbox Live Arcade, and many other fine titles. CEO Dave Lang fills us in on the challenges of developing fighting games, working with the Kinect, bringing the same game to both Windows Phone and iOS, and much more.

Head past the break for our lengthiest interview yet, filled with brilliant concept art and exclusive Ms. Splosion Man screens!

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