At today’s E3 event in Los Angeles, Microsoft revealed its new Xbox 360 dashboard, new Kinect titles, and popular online services YouTube and Bing are being added to the console.
Kinect Labs and Kinect
The main focus of the event was Kinect, the motion controlling peripheral that was launched last year. Microsoft revealed new tools and games for the device, as well as a new way to use it to interact with the Xbox 360’s dashboard.
Kinect Fun Labs, available via Xbox Live, demonstrates new functions available with the device. Also shown at the event was Kinect Me, software which takes a picture of the user, and creates an onscreen avatar based on their image. There was a demo of Object Capture, which scans in users objects and incorporates them into the game world. Kinect Labs goes live today.
Many Kinect devoted games were announced, including Disneyland Adventures and Kinect Sports 2. By far the biggest reaction from the assembled journalists was for Star Wars Kinect, which lets players swing a virtual lightsabre and use the force.
Bing and YouTube
Microsoft demonstrated the new dashboard for its console, dubbed the ‘Xbox Experience’. Heavily incorporating Kinect, the new user interface introduces Microsoft’s search engine ‘Bing’. The dedicated Xbox Bing service allows owners to search for content such as games, movies and music using voice recognition.
YouTube was revealed as a new feature of the updated dashboard, as well as the promise of more live TV, provided in the UK by Sky. All TV content will also be voice controlled, allowing users to pause and switch channel by speaking the command. Microsoft confirmed partnerships with 10 new entertainment providers, although further details of these were not announced at the event.
The new Xbox 360 dashboard will be launched this Autumn.
Microsoft announced a slew of new games for the Xbox 360, most notably fan favourite Halo, which will sees not just one, but two new games. Halo 4 is a brand new title, to be released in 2012, as well as Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a remake of the original title.
Another popular title amongst Xbox 360 owners was also shown. Third person shooter Gears of War 3 from Epic Games will be released in 2012 and will also feature Kinect Support.
In addition, one of the most popular independent PC titles, Minecraft, was announced for the console.
Other games shown today were:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Tomb Raider
- Mass Effect 3
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
- Forza Motorsport 4
- Fable: The Journey
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