Microsoft and LucasArts have collaborated to to announce “Kinect Star Wars” and the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” console bundle. The new console bundle features a distinct Star Wars styling with a gold Xbox controller which will enchant Star Wars fans. Star Wars fans of all ages will soon be able to bring the Star Wars universe home and become part of the films like never before with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360.
With five dynamic modes – Jedi Destiny: Dark Side Rising, Podracing, Rancor Rampage, Galactic Dance Off and Duels of Fate – “Kinect Star Wars” makes it possible for Star Warsfans of all ages to delve into immersive Star Wars experiences. In addition to the previously announced Jedi, Podracing and Rancor modes, Xbox 360 and LucasArts have today unveiled new additions to the game, including:
New experiences within Jedi Destiny Mode, including:
Space battles: As you travel the Galaxy to face an evil that threatens to undermine the fabric of the Republic, you’ll engage with forces of the Empire in intense space battles
Speeder Bikes and Landspeeders: Pilot iconic Speeder Bikes and Landspeeders on your epic journey
New duels: Battle opponents like Count Dooku and Darth Vader on your journey to become a Jedi
New Duels of Fate mode, a battle-by-battle experience to sharpen your Jedi skills against the Dark Side
New Galactic Dance Off mode loaded with Star Wars-themed pop tunes where those still honing their Jedi skills can take a break to battle Darth Vader on the dance floor or bust a move “Solo style.”
Additionally, the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” console bundle will feature an exclusive C-3PO unlockable for Dance Mode. With these new reveals and the ability to play in 3D, “Kinect Star Wars” adds to the growing popularity of the family-friendly gaming portfolio for Kinect for Xbox 360. Both will both be available on April 3, 2012 in South Africa for a recommended retail price of R399 and R 4699 respectively.
Microsoft is slowly but surely starting to cater for people who use Apple’s devices – and the latest app from their stable is the My Xbox Live app. If you are a big online game player, and you hate tearing yourself away from your Xbox, the Xbox Live app will keep you posted on all the activity in your Xbox community. The app is beautifully made, and gives you a very special preview to how apps look on Windows Phone – it feels a little strange having a Metro interface on your iDevice.
Here is the feature rundown: (more…)
Mark your calendars for a bullet-slinging, fruit-slashing party this September because Twisted Pixel’s Kinect-enabled action shooter “The Gunstringer and the highly anticipated “Fruit Ninja Kinect” will be bundled together at retail for R399.00. (See our review of the Kinect here)
Whether you shoot-em-up or slice-em-up, YOU are the controller in these two fun, action-packed titles. The retail bundle will be available in South Africa from 16 September 2011.
In “The Gunstringer”, you control a fiery gun-toting marionette through his adventures, combining solo platforming and shooting mechanics into fun, competitive action with a full suite of collectables, unlockables, abilities, rewards and more. Plus, as a special bonus to celebrate the release of “The Gunstringer,” players can also download a free add-on pack for the game at launch called “The Wavy Tube Man Chronicles” which pits players against the time-traveling son of Wavy Tube Man, the first boss players battle in the game. In this add-on, Wavy Tube Man Jr. steals a time machine to prevent his father’s death at the hands of “The Gunstringer,” and it’s up to players to battle classic western cowboys and futuristic warriors to save the world from destruction.
Along with the disc for “The Gunstringer,”the retail package will include a token code for the full downloadable version of “Fruit Ninja Kinect” via Xbox LIVE.
“Fruit Ninja Kinect” is an amazing evolution of the slice-em-up genre created by Halfbrick, which brings the worldwide mobile gaming phenomenon to Kinect so you can use your arms as blades in an epic battle against the world’s most delicious produce is just beginning.
Last year’s E3 belonged to Microsoft – they showed off Kinect, and people went nuts for it. However this year they showed off a few new games to use the Kinect, and also the new user interface which focusses on the Xbox’s “center of your livingroom” strategy. Good on them, but clearly people were not impressed. Webtrends, an online analyics firm did this great infographic showing off what people spoke about online during E3:
While I am not quite sold on the new Wii U controller, it seems to have gotten people excited. Maybe it is just one of those things you have to use to get a better idea. After the success of the original Wii‘s with a reasonably simple control system, and then the massive success of the Kinect accessory which does away with the controller (our review here), why on earth would Nintendo go for a more complicated control scheme for its upcoming console? Clearly people want less complicated gaming, right? Sure, there is a market for hardcore gamers who will always want their peripherals, but Nintendo grasped the “non-gamer” market, which was very lucrative market. But judge for yourself – if you have not seen the new Wii U, here is a demo video:
So what do you think? Do you see the Nintendo Wii U being a success?
Today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Microsoft announced new game titles from blockbuster franchises like Halo and Gears of War 3, and unveiled a flood of new Kinect games and entertainment experiences.
The company also introduced voice search with Bing on Xbox and Kinect that will enable people to use their voice to tell their Xbox what entertainment content they are looking for, which will give them faster access to the ever-expanding universe of entertainment available right in their living room.
“Last year, Xbox 360 changed the game with Kinect (see our review of the Kinect here). This year with the power of Xbox, the simplicity of Kinect and the intelligence of Bing, Xbox 360 will change living room entertainment forever,” says Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business. “Combine all that we offer with great partners and a growing audience, and Xbox is poised to register another record year. This year Xbox 360 will go from being the number one selling console in North America to the number one selling console globally.”
At last year’s E3, Microsoft introduced the world to Kinect, which went on to become the fastest-selling electronic device in history. Though Microsoft doesn’t have a singular star like last year’s Kinect to showcase at E3, the so-called Super Bowl of the electronic entertainment industry, Molly O’Donnell, Xbox 360 director of marketing integration, says the company will show competitors, the media and fans that Xbox 360 “has a deep bench.”
“It’s not just winning the Super Bowl,” O’Donnell says. “A great team looks to the future and builds franchises, not just one-hit wonders. We’re going showcase the fun that Xbox 360 is delivering thisholiday and paint a vision of what the future will look like. (more…)
Xbox fans have been jumped at the Kinect peripheral and games, and so Microsoft have been quick to roll out new challenges to keep the hype up. Available for 320 Microsoft Points exclusively on Xbox LIVE, the “Calorie Challenge” game add-on offers 250 new Achievements Points, and two new Avatar Awards. Whether you’re swinging a punch at Mighty Milk in Boxing, or racing against Steady Celery towards the finish line in Track & Field, bring your A-game for healthy fun with the “Kinect Sports: Calorie Challenge.”
“Kinect Sports: Calorie Challenge” Calorie Rivals
If you do not know about Kinect Sports, check the video below:
So with “Kinect Sports” you’re not only the star player, you are the controller — through the magic of Kinect for Xbox 360. See a ball? Kick it. Spike it. Bump it. Even give it a little topspin. Simple, intuitive and instantly fun, “Kinect Sports” delivers the ultimate party experience — whether you are trying to outmaneuver the goalie to win the soccer match or cheering on your friends at ringside.
The first full-body, controller-free sports game that lets you physically compete with friends over Xbox LIVE, “Kinect Sports” is so real, you will almost feel the wind in your hair as you fly over hurdles and the sand in your toes as you set, bump and spike your way to volleyball victory.
Get your calendar out, get a pen, and mark the 20th September 2011 as the day when Gears of War 3, one of this year’s biggest blockbuster titles, launches worldwide.
Gears of War 3 is the glorious conclusion to one of the most memorable sagas in video games’ history and this is a date you certainly don’t want to miss.
The story takes place eighteen months after the events of Gears of War 2 and the loss of the human stronghold of Jacinto. Marcus, Baird, Dom and company continue their fight to save human civilization, as they battle the Locust and face new threats from within the planet throughout the campaign mode.
Here is what else you can expect from 2011’s most highly anticipated game:
Stay tuned for more updates, and keep your eyes peeled for more news on the Official Multiplayer Public Beta coming soon!
Guest Post: With many people getting their hands on the Kinect this past holiday, we decided it might be a good idea to get some hands-on experience with the device. Is it worth it? Is it kids only at this point? Hans Haupt will be helping out Bandwidth Blog in future with some gaming related reviews... Expect to see some more in future! You can follow Hans on Twitter at @hanshaupt .
The simple truth is that the Microsoft Kinect is a winner. It is also remarkably addictive. From the moment you turn the device on, you will not want to put it off. It usually performs so well that extended periods of use make other methods of controlling media feel instantly dated. In addition to offering you a new way to play games and interact with your television, the device is also a great showcase for the latest in facial recognition, voice interaction and motion tracking technology. That is, when it works.
Like most new products, Kinect is not perfect. It has its kinks and flaws but when it works it generally does so with aplomb. Considering the device is only a few weeks old and has already sold well over 3 million units, not to mention the strides those in the open source community have made with hacking Kinect, we can give Microsoft’s latest gaming peripheral the benefit of the doubt. Although the steep price may keep some people away at first, Kinect is hands down the best option for motiongaming. Bar none!
In addition to the innovation Kinect brings to gaming, the device also changes the way you can interact with the Xbox dashboard. From subtle voice commands like “Xbox Open Tray” to “Xbox Recommend Movies” within the Zune interface, to waving your hands about a la Tom Cruise in Minority Report to navigate around menus, dress your avatar or view achievements; what Kinect does it does supremely well. In fact, prolonged use of Kinect began to make handling an Xbox 360 controller feel alien and unnatural. This is a great sign, for it means that Microsoft is on the right track with Kinect.
Several launch games are currently available in SA for Microsoft’s latest peripheral. However, because Kinect is new, game developers have yet to harness the obviously untapped potential of this new device. Therefore, although Kinect’s launch line-up does a fair job of offering a taste of what Kinect is capable of, there are no mind blowing titles on offer. With that said, the games which are currently available for Kinect are fun, easy to play and can be enjoyed by many.
So which games should you get? Here is a quick overview of some of Kinect’s launch titles:
Kinect Adventures is the game which ships with every Kinect unit and serves as a fantastic introduction into the Kinect universe. The set of games which make up Kinect Adventures are bright, well-paced, fun, easy to play and are surprisingly well polished. It is the perfect way to become acquainted with controller free gaming, which can take some getting used to depending on your level of coordination or fitness levels. The game is loaded with a variety of unique activities, each with four difficulty settings, multiple levels and the ability to earn a variety of interesting and interactive achievements. Surprisingly, Kinect Adventures is the kind of game that you will end up playing again and again, especially with friends and family!
Kinect Sports is very much like Wii Sports, only controller-less. The game offers a variety of sporting games to play, either alone, with friends or even via Xbox Live. Although not playing with a controller can be quite an odd sensation, it makes for interesting and intuitive gameplay. As fun and entertaining as this sporting game can be, and it is, it does suffer from the occasional motion tracking glitch. This is by no means a deal breaker but it is annoying none the less. However, the overall quality of the game does save it from the occasional glitches and, as a launch title, it is a worthy and enjoyable sports title to own.
There are no delusions that children were the intended audience for Kinectimals. Kids will love having their own cute panther cub to care for and literally play with, while they spend hours exploring all that the Kinectimal Island has to offer. With that said, the game does have plenty of extras to keep even the most seasoned of gamers entertained. It will mesmerise gamers of all ages and it will bring out the kid in pretty much anyone who plays. If nothing else, Kinectimals is a great showcase for all that is Kinect.
Kinect Joyride is a simple arcade racer at its core with the primary difference being that you use only your arms and upper body to play the game. Lean back for boost, push your arms out to activate boost, spin around or lean to your sides to perform tricks, and always remember to keep your arms out to hold the imaginary steering wheel. It is a simple game which offers only a few moments of pleasure throughout the games very short campaign. Sadly the game is a rather barebones racer and pales in comparison to the other much more accomplished launch titles on offer. If you are desperate for a Kinect inspired racer then give it a go, but it would be advisable to wait for future racing titles before ‘jumping in’.
Dance Central is probably one of the best and most polished games in the Kinect launch line up. Think of it like Rock Band, except you are the instrument. In addition to the game exuding graphical eye candy it also features one of the most intuitive and easy to use menu systems in a Kinect game. As good as the game is, however, it could have been so much better if the developers had just added a few additional modes, some extra features and more than just a handful of songs. Even so, the core mechanic of the game works flawlessly, making this a must have title for every Kinect owner or aspiring ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ competitor.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved:
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is basically your very own digital personal trainer. It aims to be your one stop home workout solution, which is able to track and audibly correct your movements as you progress through the various exercises and activities. The title is certainly innovative and offers a great showcase of the technology while implementing one of best interfaces for a Kinect game, but any fitness buff or regular gym goer will probably not really benefit from what this game has to offer. For everyone else, however, expect plenty of sweat and many sore muscles after each intense and fun workout or activity. The potential for a good home based video game gym solution is ingenious and is no doubt a sought after idea. Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is therefore a good indication of the future possibilities of the technology offered by Kinect.