One of the updates you can expect when the Fall Xbox Dashboard Update drops is the addition of a web browser. That's right, after seven years, the Xbox 360 will finally be getting Internet Explorer. During the Microsoft E3 Media Briefing, it was mentioned that a browser would have been cumbersome previously, but with the introduction of the Xbox SmartGlass app alongside Kinect integration, users will be able to easily browse the web on their Xbox 360 console.
During the Microsoft E3 Media Briefing today, Nike took the stage to announce Nike+ Kinect Training for the Xbox 360. As avid FuelBand users, we're excited about the possibilites this one brings. With Nike+ Kinect Training, you get a fitness game that ties in to your Nike+ account, your Nike+ FuelBand, and that provides a level of social competition with your friends to keep you motivated. Nike made sure to tout that, with Kinect, Nike+ Kinect Training is able to get precise measurements of both your fitness level and athleticism level. Look for Nike+ Kinect Training in stores this holiday season. Check out the video trailer after the jump.
Microsoft's E3 2012 Xbox 360 Media Briefing kicks off this morning at 9:30 AM PDT, and we're here to bring you the news as it happens. Keep it locked here for our live coverage of the event, which is set to kick off with Halo 4, with a new Gears of War title to debut, and the secretive SmartGlass feature as well!
If you're an Amazon Prime member who also owns an Xbox 360, listen up! Amazon has just announced the launch of its Instant Video platform for the Xbox 360 for those who are both Xbox Live Gold members and also belong to Amazon Prime. The Amazon Xbox 360 app gives users access to the 17,000 movies and television episodes available on the service, and even those who aren't Prime members can still access the video-on-demand purchase and rental service. The Amazon app also includes support for Kinect. If you're in the US, you can download it now. Check out a video of how it all works after the break.
Remember that $99 Xbox 360 Kinect bundle we mentioned last week? Well, Microsoft has just launched it. You can now buy a 4 GB Xbox 360 with Kinect sensor for $99 with two-year Xbox Live Gold contract, paying $14.99 per month for the course of the agreement. If you cancel early, you'll pay an early termination fee, which starts at $250 and decreases each month after the third month. Just head on over to your local Microsoft Store to make it happen.
Read More | $99 Xbox Offer
In its neverending quest to get the Xbox 360 to be the entertainment hub of as many living rooms as possible, it appears that Microsoft has come up with a new tactic to move units. The Verge is reporting that the company is set to launch a new 4 GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle that'll cost just $99. The catch? You'll have to agree to a two-year contract at $15 per month, giving you access to Xbox Live Gold service, and possibly other streaming features (maybe the rumored music service set to launch at E3?) It's certainly an interesting move that hasn't been tested before, which could be why the report claims that the specially-priced bundle will only be available in US Microsoft Stores.
Read More | The Verge
Kinect and Star Wars, a perfect match some might say. George Lucas has teamed up with Microsoft to bring us the wonderful and whimsical Star Wars Xbox 360 Kinect bundle. The bundle includes a custom painted R2D2 themed Xbox 360 with matching Kinect sensor. The Xbox itself also has custom R2D2 sound effects when turning the console on or off or, as well as when ejecting a disc.
That’s not all; the bundle also includes a copy of the game Kinect Star Wars and a C3PO-themed controller. On the front of the console it can also be noticed that the standard green LED lights that make up the iconic XBOX 360 face have been replaced with blue LEDs to match the whole R2D2 thing. Finally, the Xbox 360 comes equipped with a massive 360 GB hard drive, the newest and largest drive to date available for the console. All of these wonderful treasures are available for pre-order now, and will be available for purchase on June 1 of this year for $449.00.
We're back with another edition of Ask Andru - this time we're focusing on the wildly popular Kinect add-on, and how useful it might be for Xbox 360 owners who primarily use their consoles for watching streaming video. On to the question:
My family has an Xbox 360 but we end up using it primarily for Netflix, not games. I've read that the recent Xbox Live update added more ways to navigate menus and content using voice and gestures with Kinect. Is it worth buying a Kinect just for those controls, if we don't use it to play games? Is talking and waving at the TV better than using the controller?
It's true--Microsoft recently released an update for the Xbox 360, known as the Fall 2011 Dashboard Update, that has fully optimized the console's interface for use alongside the Kinect add-on. Many early adopters of Kinect complained about how clunky and tacked on the experience felt when trying to navigate menus while using the Xbox 360 outside of gaming, and the update pretty much solved all of those problems. Now, it's easy to "grab" something on screen, swipe through menus, and make selections using hand gestures. Even cooler, though, is that the dashboard is now pretty much fully navigable using just your voice. Simply say "Xbox" and all your options for where you can go are displayed on the screen. If you can see it, you can pretty much say it. Here's a video I made that looks at the features you'll find in the latest update:
Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360, it seems, keeps getting bigger and better as developers have more time to play with it. Some believe that the Kinect’s abilities can go far beyond that which was defined by its initial title releases. Bioware, the makers of the Mass Effect series, is no exception to this belief. Adding Kinect voice capabilities, Bioware promises Mass Effect 3 will be their most immersive game yet.
On the whole, this seems like a really good move for the franchise. The ability to interact with other characters, not only in conversation, but combat as well will leave many with a better impression that what they say and do in real life matters a whole lot more in game. With the Mass Effect trilogy coming to an end, Bioware is pulling out all the stops to make sure the fans have the best experience in the final chapter.
Microsoft also announced a significant number of related content partnerships, bringing most major services to the Xbox platform this week or by early 2012. On Dec. 6, Starting Dec. 6, a free Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone will let also let users find, learn more about and control content from popular entertainment services on Xbox LIVE.
Shortly after midnight on Sunday night, Microsoft said that the "Bing on Xbox" update would arrive on U.S. consoles beginning "tomorrow," and roll out to U.S. console owners over the coming weeks. Those without a Kinect peripheral will be able to search using Bing text search.
The voice search capability, first revealed in June, will work with both the Xbox Live Marketplace, Zune Video, and selected content partners. On Dec. 6, presumably the date of the update, Microsoft plans to add content from new entertainment partners, including apps, from EPIX, ESPN, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and MSNBC's Today.
Microsoft's vision for the Xbox platform, including voice search via Kinect, probably was more significant six months ago before Apple's Siri began dominating headlines with its ability to naturally search and interact with the user and a variety of apps. Nevertheless, it allows users to interact with a growing sea of content as simply as possible.
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