Today Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb, also known as Major Nelson, announced that Microsoft has added Netflix support to the Xbox 360 Kinect accessory. Using Kinect, you’ll be able to browse your Netflix queue by waving your hands or speaking out loud, which means you won’t have to go searching for your Xbox 360 controller just to watch a movie. Controls include the ability browse, play, pause, fast forward and rewind, and you can perform any of those actions using your voice or gestures. Hyrb said the update is available now and that Kinect users should expect to be prompted to apply the patch the next time they launch Netflix. More →
During Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show this evening, Microsoft confirmed some pretty outstanding sales figures for the Kinect sensor. The company’s initial projections at launch time set Kinect sales goals at 5 million units by the end of 2010. Today, Ballmer confirmed that Microsoft not only exceeded that projection — the company crushed it. Over the Kinect sensor’s first 60 days of availability, over 8 million units were sold. Xbox 360 users have spoken… Kinect is a smash hit.
According to analytics firm NPD Group, Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console has outsold Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PlayStation 3 for the sixth consecutive month. Microsoft moved roughly 1.37 million consoles during November, representing a 68% increase from the same period last year. Several weeks ago, the Redmond company announced that it had sold over 2.5 million Kinect motion-controllers since its November 4th launch.
“The 360 platform accounted for over 40 percent of total industry sales driven by the successful launch of Microsoft’s Kinect,” wrote Anita Frazier, an NPD Group analyst. “Xbox 360 accessories accounted for 60 percent of that category’s dollar sales this month.”
The gaming industry saw $2.76 billion in sales this past November; up 2% year-over-year. More →
A new video posted to YouTube Wednesday reportedly shows a man handling Sony Ericsson’s upcoming PlayStation Phone. While very little, if anything, can be gleaned from the video itself, the important takeaway is the very existence of this footage. The PlayStation Phone is now being demonstrated in various corners of the world, which means an announcement shouldn’t be far off. The blogger who played with the phone did have some interesting tidbits to share as well, such as specs that include a 4-inch touchscreen, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), a dedicated game store, a touch-sensitive control surface on the slider, an 8-megapixel camera and some special PlayStation-themed live wallpapers. He also says that the codename of the device is listed as Zeus, which jibes with earlier reports. More →
Following the biggest shopping weekend of the year, Microsoft announced Monday that it has sold over 2.5 million Kinect sensors in less than one month of availability. Shortly after launch, Microsoft announced that it had sold over 1 million units in under two weeks. Thanks to the Black Friday shopping weekend, Microsoft has increased its sales pace since then — the highly anticipated motion-based controller is now selling approximately 107,000 units per day, up from 90,900 per day during its first 11 days of availability. While the numbers are quite impressive so far, this does make us wonder if Microsoft’s goal of selling 5 million units by the end of the year is looking a bit lofty right now. With less than a month until Christmas and the biggest shopping weekend of the year behind us, Microsoft is only half way there. If the company can somehow manage to keep up its current sales pace, however, Microsoft will smash its projections along with even the most generous analyst estimates. More →
Is Kinect worthy of all the hype? That question was on everyone’s minds ahead of the hotly anticipated device’s launch earlier this month. As they say, money talks — and Kinect is speaking loud and clear. Microsoft said Monday that it has sold over 1 million Kinect units thus far. Microsoft Kinect, which launched less than two weeks ago on November 4th, is an Xbox 360 accessory that allows players to control games simply by moving their bodies. Microsoft said ahead of launch that it expects to sell 5 million Kinect units by the end of the year and with the holiday shopping rush still to come, the company is certainly on the right track. “It’s a strong start,” Microsoft’s head of gaming Don Mattrick told Reuters. “Consumers are loving it.” More →
We have played with Microsoft’s Kinect before, but now that we have it hooked up in our own living room, we dove a little deeper. Kinect launched today as we all know, and it’s destined to become one of the hottest buys this holiday season. The hype, to put it mildly, was absolutely off the charts leading up to today, so exceptions are sky high. Will Kinect rise to the challenge and deliver the revolutionary gaming experience we all expect, or is Microsoft going to have a millions of disgruntled gamers on their hands this holiday season? Read on, and see what we think after a day of action with Kinect.
We checked out Sonos’ Controller app for the iPad a little while ago before it was in final form, but last night, dear music lovers, the highly-thought out remote went live in Apple’s App Store. Pricing is set to free in typical Sonos fashion. Well, what do we think about the app? It is an incredibly rich remote experience that in some ways even performs better than the regular desktop application. The larger screen of the iPad means more information, more control, and makes using the music player and service incredibly easy and rewarding. Video of the app after the break! More →
Reuters is reporting that electronics company Sony is on pace to hit the PlayStation 3 sales target it set for itself (from March 2010 to March 2011) of 15 million units. The company reported that sales from April 2010 to September 2010 were above forecast and that the company is expecting strong holiday sales. Sony is hoping that its Move motion controller will be competitive with Microsoft’s Kinect motion system offered on the Xbox 360. Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, also noted that 80% of the 38 million PlayStation 3s in the market are connected to the PlayStation network; a number the company wants to bring to 100%. More →
The good folks at Sonos just stopped by our office to give us a preview of their brand new Controller application for the Apple iPad, and boy is it sexy. If you’re a Sonos fan (you know we are) and you have an iPad, this will be a no-brainer when it’s released within the next two months in the App Store for free. For starters, just by taking advantage of the extra screen real estate, the software guys at Sonos have masterfully developed a three column view that just looks incredibly slick and functions even better. We’re talking a completely new spin on the Sonos remote control experience, and we can easily see these things taking over living rooms, kitchen tables, and practically anywhere else music is listened to. More →
Nintendo’s got it, Sony should have it soon enough and now Microsoft is apparently getting ready to unveil its take on motion-controlled gaming. Unlike Nintendo and Sony’s solutions however, Microsoft looks to be taking an entirely different approach to the concept by removing a physical remote from the equation and using the actual gamer as the controller — at least where motion is concerned. The solution reportedly entails a sensor bar that observes gamer movement and uses it to control compatible games. You move, it moves. You kick, it kicks. You trip over your coffee table and bust your face, it… Well, we’re not sure what happens then. The bottom line is that this could very well be a tremendous leap where motion-controlled home gaming is concerned and from the sound of it, it could definitely eclipse Sony’s solution which sounds more like catch up than anything else. In both cases however, motion control will definitely be a nice value-add for PS3 and Xbox 360 owners. We just hope Sony and Microsoft aren’t viewing these solutions as game changers — especially where sales are concerned. Sure, the Wiimote might not be as unique once these new products hit the market but its just once piece of the equation as far as Wii appeal goes. Remember, the Wii isn’t stealing the market from Sony and Microsoft. It’s creating an entirely new and much broader market.
Tired of your bush league Wii-owning friends making fun of the lame Sixaxis motion-sensing technology in your PS3 controller? Hang in there as you may not have to endure their ridicule for much longer. The Cut Scene is reporting that Sony is planning to unveil a new and improved motion-sensing controller that will supposedly wipe the floor with the Wii remote. According to several sources, the new controller, as described in Sony patent applications, will utilize LEDs and a small camera to track the user’s movements. The remote will be able to read different color lights and detect the shape and angle of each light — making it much more accurate than the Wii remote. The new PS3 remote will also be able to track movement along the Z-axis (forward and backward) and measure velocity. A new remote is useless without supporting game titles of course, and Sony is reportedly reaching out to developers to enable motion control in future games. If this rumor pans out, the new PS3 remote system will make its debut as early as E3 2009 which runs from June 2-4.
Using a series of extremely sophisticated environments and 1,440 bit graphics, Sixense used CES 2009 rekindle interest in its next evolutionary step in gaming controllers. Okay, maybe the demo scenarios weren’t quite as impressive as that, but Sixense’s TrueMotion gaming controller is nothing short of awesome. Evolutionary is certainly the keyword here as Nintendo did the grunt work in terms of bringing motion-based game controls to the masses, but TrueMotion takes the concepts put forth by the Wiimote and other motion-based options and really moves them a giant leap forward. Using a base station that creates an electromagnetic field around the gamer, TrueMotion allows for a much more responsive experience that is infinitely more precise. The solution will be compatible with existing games along with games designed specifically with Sixense’s controllers in mind. We’ll let Sixense’s demo video, an oldie but goodie, do the rest of the talking. We do however, now finally have firmed up timing and pricing set by the company – expect TrueMotion to become available for PC by year-end 2009 for around $100 (one remote bundled with a game).