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Kinect for Xbox 360[2] (originally known by the code name Project Natal[2] (pronounced /nəˈtɒl/ nə-tahl)), or simply, Kinect, is a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game platform. Based around an add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller through a natural user interface using gestures, spoken commands,[3] or presented objects and images. The project is aimed at broadening the Xbox 360's audience beyond its typical gamer base.[4] As of June 2010, many US retailers believe the accessory will have an MSRP of US$150.[5]

[edit] HistoryEdit

The technology behind Kinect took Microsoft Research twenty years of development, according to Robert J. Bach.[citation needed] The product was first announced on June 1, 2009 at E3 2009 as "Project Natal". Microsoft said that over one thousand software development kits began shipping to game developers that same day.[1] Although official pricing has not yet been announced, one source claimed the price would be US$149 when purchased as a standalone accessory or US$100 when purchased as part of an Xbox 360 Arcade bundle (bundle price US$299).[6] Various other sources placed it at anywhere between GB£30 (~US$50)[7] and 1,499 SEK (~US$200)[8] for the stand-alone accessory.

It was rumored that the launch of Kinect would be accompanied with the release of a new Xbox 360 console (as either a new retail configuration[9][10] or a significant design revision[11]). Microsoft dismissed the reports in public, and has repeatedly emphasized that it will be fully compatible with all Xbox 360 consoles. Despite this statement, it was confirmed at E3 2010 that they, in fact, did release a new Xbox 360 variant. Microsoft indicated that it considers it to be a significant initiative, as fundamental to the Xbox brand as Xbox Live,[12] and with a launch akin to that of a new Xbox console platform.[13] Kinect was even referred to as a "new Xbox" by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at a speech for the Executives' Club of Chicago.[14][15] When asked if the introduction will extend the time before the next-generation console platform is launched (historically about 5 years between platforms),[16] Microsoft corporate vice president Shane Kim reaffirmed that the company believes that the life cycle of the Xbox 360 will last through 2015 (10 years).[12]

The skeletal mapping technology shown at E3 2009 was capable of simultaneously tracking up to four users for motion analysis,[12][17][18][19] with a feature extraction of 48 skeletal points on a human body at a frame rate of 30 hertz.[20][19] Depending on the person's distance from the sensor, Kinect is capable of tracking models that can identify individual fingers.[17][18]

According to a leaked instruction manual, the sensor contains a "motorized tilt mechanism" and requires more power than is available via USB.[21] On redesigned "Xbox 360 S" models, This is achieved via a special connector that combines USB and additional power.[22] On older units, an adapter must be used to split the connector into separate USB and power connections, with the USB connecting to the console and and the power being drawn from the mains by way of an AC adapter.[21] Kinect hardware is confirmed to be based on a reference design and 3D-sensing technology made by Israeli developer PrimeSense Ltd.[23]

On June 13, 2010, Microsoft revealed prior to its showing at E3 2010 that the device would be officially named Kinect. It will officially go on sale November 4, 2010.[24]

[edit] Code nameEdit

The code name Project Natal followed in Microsoft's tradition of using cities as code names.[3] Microsoft director Alex Kipman, who incubated the project,[19] chose to name it after the Brazilian city of Natal, as a tribute to his country of origin[3] and because the word natal means "of or relating to birth", reflecting Microsoft's view of the project as "the birth of the next generation of home entertainment".[12] Shortly before the Microsoft E3 2010 "Natal" press event, several weblogs stumbled across a purported leaked advert from Microsoft's Italian site that suggested the later confirmed title "Kinect" along with details about a new, slimmer, Xbox 360. [25]

[edit] Pre-E3 2010 eventEdit

On March 25, Microsoft sent out a save the date flier out for an event called the "World Premiere 'Project Natal' for the Xbox 360 Experience". At E3 2010. The event took place on the evening of Sunday, June 13, 2010 at the Galen Center.[26] The event featured a performance by Cirque du Soleil. It was announced that the product would officially be called Kinect. Kin- is used in many English words, most notably kinetic, which come from the Greek root meaning motion. -Nect comes from the Latin word Nexus, which means to connect.[27]

[edit] SoftwareEdit

Three demos were shown to showcase Kinect when it was revealed at Microsoft's E3 2009 Media Briefing: Ricochet, Paint Party and Milo & Kate.[28] A demo based on Burnout Paradise was also shown outside of Microsoft's media briefing. At the 2009 Tokyo Game Show, further demos involving adaptations of Beautiful Katamari and Space Invaders Extreme have also been shown. Project team members have been experimentally adapting numerous games to Kinect-based control schemes to help evaluate usability.[29] According to creative director Kudo Tsunoda, the addition of Kinect-based control to games through software updates is not likely, given the significant code alterations involved.[30]

As of September 2009, publishers collectively totaling over 70 percent of current generation third-party software sales, are working on games for Kinect.[31]

Although the sensor bar was originally planned to contain hardware that would process such elements as the bone system used to map player actions, this idea was later dropped in favour of a software solution owing to a desire to reduce Kinect's price.[32] Subsequently, processing that was originally intended to be done on this hardware will now be handled by the Xbox 360 console, resulting in an estimated usage of 10 to 15% of the Xbox 360's computing resources for Kinect-related processing.[33] Several commentators believe this will mean patching older games to use Kinect will be unlikely, with Kinect-specific concepts instead likely to be the focus for developers using the platform.[32]

[edit] GamesEdit

15 launch titles for Kinect have been announced, along with several other titles which have been confirmed to support the technology.[34]

This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.
Contents: 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z References External links
Title[1] Developer[2] Publisher[3] First released[4] Japan[5] Europe[6] North America[7] Exclusive[8] Kinect-only[9]
Adrenalin Misfits Konami Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Child of Eden Q Entertainment Ubisoft Unreleased TBA TBA Spring 2011[35] No No
Dance Central Harmonix MTV Games Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Dance Masters Konami Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Deca Sports Freedom Hudson Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Grand Slam Tennis EA Canada EA Sports Unreleased TBA TBA TBA No Yes
EA Sports Active 2 EA Vancouver EA Sports Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 No Yes
Game Party in Motion Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Kinect Adventures Microsoft Game Studios Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Kinect Joy Ride BigPark Microsoft Game Studios Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Kinect Sports Rare Microsoft Game Studios Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Kinectimals Frontier Developments Microsoft Game Studios Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Fable III Lionhead Studios Microsoft Game Studios Unreleased TBA TBA 26th October 2010 Yes No
Forza with Kinect Turn 10 Studios Microsoft Game Studios Unreleased TBA TBA 2011 Yes No
Michael Jackson The Game Ubisoft Unreleased TBA TBA TBA No Yes
Milo and Kate Lionhead Studios Microsoft Game Studios Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Motion Sports Ubisoft Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Sonic Free Riders Sonic Team Sega Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 Yes Yes
Star wars (working title) Lucas Arts Unreleased TBA TBA TBA Yes Yes
UFC Trainer THQ Unreleased TBA TBA TBA Yes Yes
The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout THQ Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 No Yes
YooStar 2 Blitz Games YooStar Unreleased TBA TBA TBA No Yes
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved Ubisoft Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 No Yes
Zumba Fitness Majesco Unreleased TBA TBA 4th November 2010 No Yes
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