Kinect for Xbox 360 Review

Read this tutorial to learn what is Xbox 360 video format, Xbox 360 supported video codecs

Remember console controllers? Those old things you used to make games work? Microsoft is hoping that you'll forget all about them this Christmas, as it's unleashing Kinect, a controller-free motion-gaming peripheral for the Xbox 360. The Kinect sensor bar plus the Kinect Adventures mini-game bundle will set you back £130, or you can buy Kinect bundled with a 4GB Xbox 360 Slim for £250. Is it worth splashing out?

Based around a webcam-style 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 and spoken commands.

Here's a collection of exciting news of Kinect for Xbox 360.

1. Shortages coming for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Kinect

Microsoft confirmed today that its Xbox 360 game console and Kinect motion-control system sold in such large numbers during the holidays that it expects shortages in the near term. The Xbox 360 sales were up 42 percent for the year, and in December the company sold 1.9 million consoles. It ended the year with 30 million Xbox Live members and 50 million consoles sold to date.

2. Michael Jackson dance moves hit Kinect in April

UBISOFT on Thursday announced an April 12 release date for a Michael Jackson video game that challenges Xbox 360 players to dance like the King of Pop. The game features Ubisoft technology that projects players into on-screen scenes inspired by Jackson's music videos and live performances.

3. Ballmer: Microsoft will eventually support Kinect on PC

Now that Kinect competitors have begun to spring up, Microsoft's tipped its hand -- CEO Steve Ballmer told the BBC that his company will officially support the depth camera in Windows PCs at some undisclosed point in the future, confirming earlier suspicions.

4. This Kinect Hack Lets You Chat With Holographic Friends

Video chat doesn't sound like a very sexy hack, but UC-Davis researchers might change your mind. They've used two Kinects to make a 3D video chat that's unreal. The project shown above, created by Oliver Kreylos, uses two Kinect cameras to capture someone's image, then streams the 3D image over the internet. The result? A (slightly choppy) 3D image showing up on your screen for a video chat. In an unholy alliance of motion gaming technologies, a Wiimote is used to control the program and navigate the virtual space.

5. Kinect Hacked to Play World of Warcraft

Kinect hacks are coming thick and fast, but here is one that will set millions of PC gamers' hearts a-flutter: A hack that lets you gesture control a game of World of Warcraft. The tech is coming from the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies. The code is free for non-commercial use, because the Institute has big plans for it -- including simple, medically inspired games for rehabilitation of motor-skills after a stroke, and even for reducing childhood obesity through "healthy gaming".

6. Avatar Kinect for Xbox 360 is official, smile like you mean it

Turns out the rumor was true, Avatar Kinect is coming to the Xbox 360 this spring (for Xbox Live Gold members, at least). Details are sparse -- a place where you can virtually hang out with your "friends" -- but Kinect is shown to now be able to detect facial gestures like eyebrows, smiles, and laughs. Impressive, but after all we've seen with the Kinect hacks, can't say we're too surprised the camera's capable of such detection.

7. ASUS Wavi Xtion motion sensing control system demoed at CES

ASUS may not be anywhere close to ready for its Wavi Xtion to hit retail shelves (we're hearing Q2 of 2012), but that didn't stop our brethren over at Engadget Spanish from stopping by for a hands-on demonstration at CES. We'll spare you the details on how it works, but in practice, we learned that it's quite similar to Kinect.

8. Utility Lets Kinect And Flash Play Nice

If you’re a Flash developer who’s been dying to get a little Kinect love, raise your hand! Yes! Look at all those hands. You guys are awesome. We’ve seen a lot of Kinect hacks, but so far (they tell me) they’ve all been pretty much put together in C, and while we do talk trash about Flash a lot, I can see it working as a great rapid-prototyping option for a UI designer looking to put together something in Kinect, or a game developer wanting to try out a concept before coding it up from scratch. And Blitz has put together a tool for doing just that.

9. Avatar Kinect Promises Second-Life-Like Thrills Through Your Xbox

Someone sneaked past security and took a picture of something called Avatar Kinect, a system for XBox Live avatar interaction in a separate “chat room” where players talk to each other outside of the games. Considering the 3D scanning capabilities of the Kinect, it’s a pretty cool idea.