The Goog keeps tweaking search. Latest update: Full previews in results pages. Also, instant banking (of a sort) coming to PayPal; URL shorteners may face shutdown; and Darren books his 180,000-year trip to Gliese 581gSubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
I'll be the first to admit I'm a complete skeptic when it comes to motion control in games. I like controllers. A lot. And it's going to take a lot to sway my opinion on that.
Microsoft's upcoming Kinect accessory is the farthest you can get away from a controller and still have control of what's happening on the screen. Unlike Sony's and Nintendo's offerings--both of which can be had right now, Kinect, which becomes available at the beginning of next month, uses no controller. Instead, it tracks your body movements with its … Read more
Microsoft is using this November's release of the company's motion-sensing initiative to revamp the Xbox 360 dashboard. The new update, due out later this fall when Kinect hits stores, gives the dashboard a complete cosmetic upgrade, zippier navigation, and more features and functionality. We should note that Zune, ESPN, and Netflix features require an adult Gold membership on Xbox Live.
You'll notice the change right away, as the opening splash screen has a different look and welcoming sound byte. Mostly all of the current dashboard's sounds have been disregarded, save for the iconic "pop-up." Instead, the interface now carries with it more soothing sounds. Visually speaking, Microsoft has opted for a minimalistic and angular presentation, with more concentration on grays and whites.
Performance-wise, there have definitely been a few tweaks under the hood. The Xbox Guide is definitively faster--absent now is the lag the previous version suffered from when launching the Guide mid-game. Browsing through the Game Library seems quicker too, and items installed on the hard drive populate the screen with ease.
Among the updated features is a new version of Netflix. Most notably, the option to now search the entire Netflix library has been added, and items not available for instant streaming can now be added to your traditional queue with the click of a button.
ESPN makes its debut on the Xbox 360 with the fall update, but users with an ISP (Internet service provider) that has not signed a contract with Disney won't have access to ESPN3 HD content, which includes the streaming of out-of-market sports. We experienced this issue firsthand as Cablevision in Northern New Jersey has yet to agree to terms that allow for such services. There's better news for customers in New York City as Time Warner has come to an agreement with Disney, but there has yet to be anything signed. You can check to see if your ISP has a deal in place by heading over to ESPN3.com.
If you're among these unfortunate souls like we are, the ESPN on Xbox 360 experience is a bit watered-down, but does include plenty of streaming highlights and clips from ESPN's various networks and items appear to be frequently updated.… Read more
Microsoft is looking to take advertisers for a ride.
The software maker on Monday announced plans to offer new kinds of interactive ads that tie into Kinect, the soon-to-debut Xbox attachment that lets gamers take action without the need for a controller, thanks to a motion sensing camera.
Redmond announced three initial advertisers--Chevrolet, Sprint, and T-Mobile--that will advertise within the Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures, and Kinect Joy Ride games. With Chevy, for example, users will be able to test-drive a car from within Kinect Joy Ride.
"With Kinect for Xbox 360, we are removing the last barrier to interactive … Read more
Sony has a problem with Microsoft's decision to control all on-screen action via player movement with its Kinect motion-gaming peripheral. And it wants to world to know.
The company has quietly launched its YayButtons site that details why Sony believes the use of buttons, which are found on the upcoming PlayStation Move controller, makes for a better gaming experience.
YayButtons includes an image of the PlayStation Move controller. People can click the buttons on the device to see why Sony believes they are necessary in motion gaming.
"It turns out that buttons are pretty important," one of … Read more
The PlayStation Move might not be a huge success without the help of big name, hard-core games, Heavy Rain creator David Cage said in a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz.
Cage told the publication that the success of Sony's motion controller, announced at E3 in June, will depend on software "because the hardware works really well." But he cautioned that a focus on casual games could marginalize the impact the PlayStation Move could have on the market.
"If it's only about casual entertainment and casual games, I don't think it's going to play … Read more
Microsoft plans to offer a Kinect bundle for $400 when its motion-gaming peripheral launches on November 4.
The bundle includes a 250GB Xbox 360 Slim, the Kinect peripheral, and video game Kinect Adventures. Microsoft plans to release the bundle on November 4, the same day it will launch the Kinect peripheral.
For the price, consumers are getting a decent deal. The 250GB console retails for $300 without the extras, and the Kinect on its own will sell for $149.
I was already planning to spring for an Xbox 360 and Kinect add-on, when it comes out this holiday season. I've even been trying to figure out which messy room in my house is best suited to give me the space I need to move around.
I've been wanting something like Kinect since I played with an early precursor a few years ago and used GestureTek's setup early last year. I love sports and games, but am not much for having to map natural actions to a couple buttons on a controller. Traditional console gaming held little … Read more