Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

Microsoft Kinect – One month until the gaming & entertainment world changes forever!

imageOne month from today, November 4, 2010, the gaming and entertainment world will change in a fantastic way.  Why?  Because November 4, 2010 is the release date of Microsoft Kinect, formerly known as Project Natal, from Microsoft!    Now while this post is not directly related to business software or business computing, Microsoft Kinect is one of those items that will have impact and appeal broadly across all segments, because no matter what size company you are, it is filled with employees who are consumers.  Plus, those employees have families that are consumers.  Plus many of those consumers enjoy having fun and interacting with others and experiencing things that change the dynamic of the way people have fun.  Because of that, Microsoft Kinect will be that item that reaches across all of these people across all ages.

imageSome of you have seen the announcements, demos, and videos released from Microsoft over the past year while Microsoft Kinect was still known as Project Natal.  Some of you have seen and experienced Microsoft Kinect since it has been known as Microsoft Kinect through events like the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, where Microsoft Kinect was demoed for the whole audience (and became an instant hit!), or through the E3 announcement, or many other public venues where Microsoft Kinect has been displayed.  Hence the reason I thought I would put this post together to consolidate and call out a number of pieces of information available today on Microsoft Kinect into one place because:

  1. Many of my friends and family keep asking me about Microsoft Kinect or giving me feedback about it from things they have seen
  2. Many partners are inquiring about Microsoft Kinect for their friends and families
  3. There are many, many, many online discussions, comments, posts, etc. around looking for information on Microsoft Kinect
  4. I (like so many others worldwide!) am INCREDIBLY excited Microsoft Kinect and what it will do to the gaming and entertainment (and other) industry
  5. I have shown this information to so many people due to their questions on Kinect or my excitement to share when they asked about, “What’s coming out new for Xbox?” and this will make it so much easier to do so

So, what is Microsoft Kinect?

Kinect for Xbox 360 brings gaming and entertainment to life by eliminating the need for controllers and turning you into the controller with your whole body as well as your voice!  No need to worry about having to strap controllers to your wrists so you don’t throw them through your television set or pretending you are actually moving in a game through a simple flick of the wrist or waving some kind of handheld device that is supposed to translate into you “running.”  With Kinect, your actual full body movements become the movements of your characters in the game and your voice and body become the full controllers for the complete experience of gaming, communications, video, music, and more.

Don’t take my word for it though, check out some Kinect for Xbox 360 highlights from the E3 Media Briefing:

Now what about the ages that Kinect will address?  As I mentioned above, Kinect will change the world of gaming and entertainment for users of all ages.  As an example, take a look below at this video for Kinectimals, just one of the games coming out for Kinect for Xbox 360 (I can’t even tell you how many, “Ooooh, that is sooooo cute!” comments I’ve heard on this one already) that will appeal to even the youngest users of Kinect:

Oh, and before you think that Kinectimals is just for little kids, check out Kinectimals being shown at AdWeek 2010 where it is the grown-ups enjoying it (Note the integration with Microsoft Tag and what that could mean for businesses!):

You can find out more about Kinectimals on the Xbox website HERE.  This is one I think will be a BIG hit with many, many kids out there.  I know mine already have this on their Christmas list! image
image Maybe you are more of a sports person.  No worries!  Check out the Kinect Sports trailer available HERE to see what sports is going to bring to you, including: Soccer, Volleyball, Track & Field, Bowling, Table Tennis or Boxing – with Full Body Play.  Bound to be a full family fun game.
For those of you that want a variety of “get up and get going” type games, be sure to check out Kinect Adventures!  In this game, you will jump, dodge, and kick your way through 20 of pulse-pounding adventures set in exotic locations.  Again, fun for the whole family.  Check out the trailer and learn more HERE. image

And these are just a few of the games coming for Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360.  Want to see more (like Dance Central and others)?  Check out the Kinect Games page on the Microsoft Xbox site.  By the way, any Star Wars fans out there?  Here’s a quick preview of a game that may interest you:

Now don’t just take my word about the excitement about Kinect.  Take a look at the excitement and reactions from  some well known people at the World Premiere of “Project Natal” (just as the Kinect name was released):

Kinect for Xbox 360 doesn’t stop at just revolutionizing the gaming experience.  It goes far beyond that.  Check out the Kinect Entertainment page to learn more about Kinect and how it enables you to become part of the action through things like ESPN, Zune movies and music, as well as Video Kinect!

For instance, check out the ESPN demo from E3 2010:

Personally, I think it is such a nice gesture from Microsoft to release Kinect on my birthday as it makes the perfect gift and is just what I wanted!  (Yeah, I know they didn’t do it for me, but it sure sounds good)  Now while the Kinect for Xbox 360 release is just one month away, the good news for all of you is that pre-orders for Kinect are already available and many sites are offering launch day shipping so you get it on release day.  (I know this since I already have ours on pre-order for release day delivery and we have the spot in the room it is going already set and waiting.)  In our house, the debate continues to be, who is really more excited about the Kinect launch, the kids or the adults?  All I know is, it sure will be fun to find out!  So how many of you will be joining me in experiencing Kinect in the comfort of home on release day?

Now here are some popular questions I get when talking with people about Kinect, as well as their answers:

  1. Can you add Kinect onto an existing Xbox or is it an Xbox system in itself/only come with an Xbox system?
    • Kinect is an accessory that you can add onto an Xbox 360 system.  You do have the option to purchase a Kinect unit with an Xbox 360 system together if you choose as well.
  2. What Xboxes does Kinect work with?
    • Kinect works with the Xbox 360, so if you have an Xbox 360, you too can experience Kinect!
  3. How much does Kinect cost?
  4. Does Kinect work with Xbox Live?
    • Ooooooooooh yes!  Did you see the ESPN demo above?  Did you check out the Video Kinect info on the Xbox Kinect page?  Did you see the Zune movie and music information on the Xbox Kinect page?
  5. How many and which Kinect games will there be at launch?
    • Honestly, I have no idea.  Check out the Kinect Games page to see the ones listed there to begin with.
  6. Are you taking the 4th or 5th of November off to use your Kinect birthday present?
    • Hmmmm….  Great question and I’ll have to get back to you on that one.  Smile
  7. Where can I find out more information on Kinect for Xbox 360?

I am sure I have barely even scratched the surface on all of the fantastic things that Kinect is going to bring to life in November and I cannot wait to see what all it provides.  I hope the information above is helpful for you, whether you are familiar with Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 (formerly Project Natal) already or not.  All I can tell you for sure is, Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 will change the world of gaming and entertainment as we know it!

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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