With Kinect, Skyrim’s Dragon Shouts are easier to bellow (hands-on)

Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing system is making its way into hardcore games, but not in the way everyone thought. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one of the hottest-selling games from the fall, will exploit the voice-recognition feature in Kinect so that you can more easily navigate through the game’s complex interface. And you can cast spells more easily by shouting them.

GamesBeat Weekly Roundup

Here are some of the stories that ran on GamesBeat this week. We’re running more articles exclusively in the GamesBeat section of VentureBeat, particularly when they’re mainly of interest to our game readers. The broader-interest posts will continue to run on VentureBeat as well. Please visit the GamesBeat section to catch up on the latest game news. We’re ramping up our game coverage, so you’ll find a larger amount of deeper news at GamesBeat.


Angry Birds gets gesture controls

Not content with being flung into space, the Angry Birds behemoth is evolving alongside the popularity of motion control. SoftKinetic, a leading developer of gesture-based platforms for consumer electronics, showed off a tech demo showcasing this experience in full flight.

Microsoft launches Kinect for Windows aimed at developers and businesses

Microsoft today launched the Kinect for Windows commercial program, bringing the Xbox 360 motion-sensing peripheral’s hardware and software to the PC platform. The company hopes businesses around the globe will take advantage of the Kinect to improve internal operations, build new customer experiences, and potentially revolutionize their respective industries.

Use voice commands to play better in Mass Effect 3 (video)

Mass Effect 3 is one of the hot new video games coming this spring from BioWare, whose previous two installments have sold millions of copies. For the third time around, there’s always a risk that it could be boring. But BioWare’s team found a way to innovate using the voice commands in Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing system for the Xbox 360.

SoftKinetic brings Kinect-like controls to the PC (video)

SoftKinetic is one of many sensor companies promoting 3D cameras in the wake of Microsoft’s success with the Kinect motion sensors for the Xbox 360. But while Microsoft has already sold 18 million Kinect system, Michel Tombroff, chief executive of SoftKinetic, says motion-sensing technology is just getting off the ground.

Board of Awesomeness uses Kinect to power a skateboard

In what can only be termed awesome, the folks at Chaotic Moon Labs decided to prove how much smarter they are than the rest of us by connecting a Kinect–Microsoft Xbox 360’s motion sensitive gaming controller camera–to a specialized skateboard body. In what looks to be a cross between a itty bitty dune buggy and a Segway, the Board of Awesomeness appeals to young skater in all of us.

Xbox 360 surpasses 66M sold and Kinect passes 18M units

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said tonight that the Xbox 360 video game console has sold more than 66 million units since it was launched in 2005. In his final keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show, Ballmer said that the Xbox Live online gaming and entertainment service now has more than 40 million users, and he said Microsoft has sold more than 18 million Kinect motion-sensing systems.


Kinect’s first year Japanese sales are disappointingly low

Despite being the fastest selling consumer electronic device of all time , Microsoft’s Kinect gaming device has struggled to make an impact on the Japanese market during its first year on sale. Japanese sales to date have totaled only 114,000 units, according to figures reported by Andriasang. This represents less than a 10 per cent uptake on the device amongst the Japanese Xbox 360 user base.

Xbox 360 dashboard update coming December 6

Microsoft has announced that a significant service update for the Xbox 360 will arrive on Dec. 6, bringing with it a newly designed user interface, cloud storage, expanded voice control with Kinect, and more.

Microsoft and TechStars launch Kinect startup accelerator

Microsoft has welcomed with open arms the hackers and academics who are tinkering with its Kinect motion-sensing system for the Xbox 360. Everyone from students to researchers are finding new uses for the technology beyond the game console. Now Microsoft and TechStars are teaming up to create an accelerator that will promote startups using Kinect for commercial applications.


Review: Kinect Sports Season 2 feels like a fumble at the goal line

When it was released alongside the Kinect last November, Kinect Sports was one of those easy purchases for a good majority of the peripheral’s early adopters. It was easy to jump in, fun for the whole family and a good display of what the 3D camera motion-sensing system could do. It was also filled with flaws and glitches that affected the game’s visuals and gameplay. Now, one year later, Rare and Microsoft return with Kinect Sports: Season 2.