Microsoft is being sued for patent infringement over motion-sensing technology used in its blockbuster gaming accessory, the Microsoft Kinect. Ohio-based Impulse Technology has filed a complaint alleging that Microsoft’s Kinect controller infringes on seven of its technology patents. One patent referenced in the lawsuit covers “wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions…and certain exercise games where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by the use of a camera.” A separate patent describes an “education system challenging a subject’s physiologic and kinesthetic systems to synergistically enhance cognitive function.” Impulse Technology is seeking a permanent injunction to block the import and sale of Microsoft’s Kinect, and it is also suing Electronic Arts, Konami and Sega for developing Xbox 360 games that utilize Kinect and infringe on its patents. Impulse is seeking damages, treble damages, interest, and attorney fees from Microsoft as well. The Kinect motion-based video game controller has been a smash hit for Microsoft, having set numerous sales records since its launch. This past March, Microsoft announced that it had sold 10 million Kinect controllers since the device’s launch just before the holidays last year. More →
Microsoft released its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday and noted that its revenue of $17.73 billion was greater than any other fourth quarter in the company’s history. The Redmond-based firm also reported $69.94 billion in revenue for the fiscal year — also a record — up 12% from 2010. The company’s Entertainment & Devices division was particularly successful, reporting 30% growth in revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter and 45% for the entire year thanks to Xbox Live, the Xbox 360 game console, and the Kinect controller. “Throughout fiscal 2011, we delivered to market a strong lineup of products and services which translated into double-digit revenue growth, and operating margin expansion,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “Our platform and cloud investments position us for long-term growth.” Read on for Microsoft’s full press release. More →
Windows developers around the world had cause for excitement Thursday afternoon as Microsoft finally released a beta version of its Kinect for Windows software development kit. As the name might imply, this new SDK will allow developers to build Windows software that makes use of Microsoft’s popular motion-based controller as a peripheral. The SDK obviously opens the door for Kinect-controlled Windows PC games, but we’re sure Windows developers will find plenty of creative ways to make use of the great technology. Developers can download the SDK beta immediately via the read link below. More →
Looks like the weekend’s going to start a bit early. Hulu’s subscription-based Hulu Plus service will launch for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 on Friday, and here’s the best part: it’s free for Xbox Live (Gold and Silver) users until May 6th. After that you’ll have to drop $7.99 per month to kick back and watch your favorite shows from ABC, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC, MTV, and others. Hulu’s even adding Kinect support, which means you’ll be able to play, pause, fast forward, or rewind whatever you’re watching with your voice or with a gesture. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
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 →
Strong demand in the U.S. means strong revenue in Taiwan, and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., parent company of notorious manufacturer Foxconn, saw revenue continue to climb in February. Hon Hai pulled in NT$152.9 billion (almost $5.2 billion) in the shortest month of the year, Taiwan Economic News reports, up 25.9% over the same month in 2010. Over the first two months of 2011, Hon Hai’s revenues sit at NT$339.1 billion ($11.5 billion), a 31.5% increase over January and February 2010. Growth has slowed, however, as outlined in an earlier report. The company is continuing to increase revenues despite skyrocketing labor and material costs, however, and the growth is attributed to high demand for popular gadgets like Apple’s iPad 2 — which is currently sold out across the country — as well as the original iPad and Microsoft’s motion-based Xbox 360 controller, the Kinect. Sales of the Microsoft Kinect sensor recently passed the 10 million mark, making it the fastest-selling consumer electronics device of all time. More →
The U.S. retail video games market grew 3% in February, up from the same time period last year, to $1.36 billion, according to new figures from NPD Group. Video game hardware sales were up 10%, but software revenue fell 5% during the month. Microsoft’s Kinect controller for the Xbox 360, which Microsoft recently said passed 10 million unit sales, helped drive the 22% jump in sales of video game accessories. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console rocked the top sales spot in the console market, with 535,000 consoles sold in February. Nintendo sold 454,000 Wii units, and Sony has not yet disclosed sales figures for the PlayStation 3. More →
The milestones just keep on toppling… Microsoft on Wednesday announced that its popular Kinect motion controller for the Xbox 360 has sold 10 million units since its launch ahead of the 2010 holiday season. On top of accessory sales, Microsoft has also sold 10 million stand-alone Kinect games. The company announced its first Kinect sales milestone — 2.5 million units — just after Black Friday, and it sold over 8 million Kinect units in its first 60 days of availability. And now… the 10 million-unit milestone has been achieved. The numbers are beyond impressive, of course, but they’re also world records as it turns out. Guinness World Records has decreed that the Kinect now holds the title of “Fastest Selling Consumer Electronics Device.” Hit the break for the full press release. 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.
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.
The hottest gaming accessory of the 2010 holiday season, Microsoft Kinect, is now available across the globe. Microsoft’s new motion-based video game controller for Xbox 360 is set to take the world by storm. Analysts almost unanimously expect it to be one of the best-selling accessories this holiday season, and Microsoft recently raised its holiday sales projections from 3 million to 5 million units. Here’s what you need to know: if you have an Xbox 360, you need Kinect. If you need Kinect, you also need to get moving because purchasing one will be increasingly difficult as we approach the holidays.
One of the most highly anticipated accessories among gamers may now be one of the most highly anticipated accessories among Microsoft investors as well. Microsoft’s Don Mattrick told Bloomberg News in an interview that the company is raising its holiday season Kinect sales projections from 3 million to 5 million units. According to the executive, that would make Kinect Microsoft’s biggest Xbox product launch in company history. Microsoft Kinect, which goes on sale November 4th, is a new type of gaming accessory that will allow players to use their bodies to control functions within a video game. Kinect’s sensor bar includes a series of cameras that observe players’ movements and then translate those movements into commands. The sensor will be sold as a stand-alone accessory or as part of a bundle with either a game or the Xbox 360 console itself. More →