Microsoft's Zune music service is finally on its way to the Xbox 360. Announced today at E3 2010, a catalog of 7 million Zune Marketplace songs will be available for streaming on the Xbox 360 later this year, complementing existing Zune movie, TV, and music video content.
As shown during the E3 210 on-stage demo, Zune content will be compatible with the new hands-free Kinect accessory (formally known as project Natal), allowing users to navigate menus and control playback using their hands, as well as voice commands. The Kinect is not required, though, as users can still use the … Read more
LOS ANGELES--Microsoft on Monday gave its Kinect for Xbox 360 motion control system its coming out party, and there's a lot to be excited about.
The device will be released on November 4 in North America, but the company has not yet announced pricing. Rumors have the price in the $100 to $150 range, and Microsoft clearly wants to make Kinect accessible to the mass market so it can successfully take on Nintendo's Wii in the coming battle for the whole family.
The company hasn't talked much about its specifications, but it has unveiled the first six … Read more
Let's be honest for a moment. The Wii didn't become successful because of its motion controls--it became successful because of its controls and Wii Sports.
If games make the platform, then the launch titles for Microsoft's Kinect are even more important than the technology itself. Will they be worth the Kinect's likely $150 investment? At its E3 press conference, Microsoft announced that 15 titles would be available at launch and proceeded to briefly demonstrate a handful. Here's the rundown, and our knee-jerk response to each.
Kinectimals: Hereafter to also be remembered as "Skittles: the game" by those who saw the keynote, the demo consisted largely of a little girl playing with a tiger named Skittles. This is Microsoft's virtual pet game: 40 animals, 30 "unique activities," and a lush landscape that looked a little bit like Viva Pinata, but more realistic. Virtual hand motions can pet the animal and interact. This seems to make more sense as a download than as a more expensive disc-based game.
Kinect Sports: A shameless mimic of Wii Sports, Microsoft's will feature soccer, bowling, track and field, ping-pong, boxing and volleyball. The 200-meter hurdle event seemed impressive, but only required running in place. How will other sports work without a controller?
Kinect Joyride:: Last year's free racing game became this year's Kinect kart racer. Virtual car controls seem like a challenge to do well, but the rest feels like Microsoft's version of Mod Nation Racers.
Kinect Adventures:The demo featured two players cooperatively steering a raft down arcade-like rapids, standing, leaning and jumping to collect coins. That seemed amusing, but who knows what the rest of the game consists of? … Read more
If you're like me and were wondering why Kinect sounded slightly familiar when Microsoft announced the name for its new motion-sensing game technology/platform, it's because about five years ago Sony put out a PS2 EyeToy game called Kinetic. No, the two words aren't the same, but only one letter is different, which has a few bloggers wondering whether Sony will put up a stink about it.
We assume that someone at Microsoft's crack legal team vetted the name properly, but it all seems a little odd considering Microsoft Kinect seems to share a lot in … Read more
The Microsoft E3 2010 press conference has just wrapped up and the company finished things with a bang, debuting a brand new slimmer and edgy all-black Xbox 360 with a 250GB hard drive and built-in Wi-Fi.
More shocking, Senior Vice-President Don Mattrick announced that this redesigned Xbox 360 will be available in stores this week for $299. Also noteworthy was the mention of a "whisper quiet" operation, which is an acknowledgment to the current 360's loud jet-engine fan system.
Judging from our product shots, the slim Xbox 360 features an on-board digital optical audio out; a standard … Read more
Besides directly taking on the Wii with Kinect, how else can Microsoft hope to compete with Sony and Nintendo--not to mention Apple--this holiday season? With its big guns, literally.
Microsoft's focus at this year's E3 was, not surprisingly, on its biggest franchises. The company's boast was that the 360 is the only place to have these experiences--which all involved gunplay--although one, Call of Duty: Black Ops, is multiplatform.
Metal Gear Solid Rising: Hideo Kojima's sword-based Metal Gear action game was shown briefly, with a heck of a lot of slicing to pieces and a requisite fruit-slicing … Read more
Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with commentary from our readers and CNET editors Daniel Terdiman and Josh Lowensohn. For those of you who just want the updates, we've included them in regular text here.
Ready to get your E3 news fix? CNET is there, live in Los Angeles, to cover the biggest show in videogaming. We'll be using Cover it Live to bring you photos and news as it happens at each of the big three's press conferences.
First up is Microsoft. The company teased its newly named Kinect peripheral (formerly known as Project Natal) at a Sunday night launch party, and we expect it to remain a focal point at today's press conference (10:30 a.m. PDT/1:30 p.m. EDT).
10:09 a.m. PDT: Good morning, everyone. We're here at the Microsoft Xbox 360 E3 press conference. Everyone's still filing in, so it will be a little while before this thing gets going. So please stay tuned.
10:10 a.m. (from reader TyFrank): How many people are at this press conference?
10:11 a.m.: It's hard to say how many people are here, but I'd say right now there are probably about 2,000...And I can't see the upstairs seating. So probably half again that many. … Read more
Microsoft should start working on a good line of sports bras to bundle with Kinect, the motion-controlled gaming system formerly known as Project Natal.
I'm sorry if that sounds crude but someone's got to say it.
Microsoft showed off the system at an E3 press event in Los Angeles on Sunday night. Impressive but high impact, ladies. The event was produced by Cirque Du Soleil, although none of the circus performers did any contortionist performances on the gaming system. They mostly just rallied the crowd in preparation for fantasy. The system itself was played by a family of … Read more
No one is more surprised than I am that the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo is looking like it will be a highly popular media event in its 2010 incarnation.
After all, it was only a couple of years ago that everyone--including myself--had essentially written off the long-running show. At the same time, my video game industry contacts are telling me there's still a sense of nervousness among those who actually have to sign the checks to pay for the event.
What are the reasons for the negative vibes over the past few years? Costs are increasing and the bombast in the first half of the last decade led game publishers--which would spend millions building essentially small walled cities inside the Los Angeles Convention Center--to conclude they simply weren't getting their money's worth from the show. Especially, because unlike traditional trade shows, the focus of E3 over the years shifted away from deal making between publishers and buyers, and it became strictly a media event that was designed to generate headlines and feed a voracious public appetite for video game news.
Having attended the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show since 1999 (back then as an editor at gaming site UGO.com), we've seen trends, consoles, and even entire game companies come and go.
Preparing for the 2010 edition of E3 gave us a chance to go back through the hundreds of photos we've snapped over the years and pick out a few highlights (and maybe a couple of lowlights), which are presented in the slideshow below.
The majority of these pics are from 2002-2005, and include some noteworthy moments in gaming history, including our first look at the … Read more