The next major Xbox 360 dashboard update happens on December 6th, and we’ve got a look at all the new changes and additions in this episode of Bleeding Edge TV. The Fall 2011 Xbox 360 Dashboard Update is the official name of this release, and we show you the update process, and then walk you through the new interface. We give you a look at new features like Bing, Cloud Storage for games and profiles, the new Social, Games, Movies, and Music channels, and more. Expect good things from Microsoft's latest update, including full Kinect integration. This is a big update that brings another big redesign to the Xbox 360, similar to what they did a couple years ago with the New Xbox Experience. Things are a lot more flat...even boxy. It's somewhat similar to the Metro UI that you’d find on Windows Phone 7 devices or Windows 8, and the synergy is understandable…plus, it makes things a lot more user-friendly as it pertains to Kinect.
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like.
Microsoft is adjusting firmware and optimizing certain hardware components to ready its Kinect motion-sensing input device for PCs running Windows, the company said Tuesday. Microsoft currently sells Kinect as a peripheral for its Xbox 360 game consoles, but has announced a Kinect for Windows commercial program that begins in early 2012.
"Coupled with the numerous upgrades and improvements our team is making to the Software Development Kit (SDK) and runtime, the new hardware delivers features and functionality that Windows developers and Microsoft customers have been asking for," Craig Eisler, general manager of Kinect for Windows, wrote in a blog post.
"Simple changes include shortening the USB cable to ensure reliability across a broad range of computers and the inclusion of a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals," Eisler elaborated. "Of particular interest to developers will be the new firmware which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters. 'Near Mode' will enable a whole new class of 'close up' applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360. This is one of the most requested features from the many developers and companies participating in our Kinect for Windows pilot program and folks commenting on our forums, and we're pleased to deliver this, and more, at launch."
The announcement comes the same day that Microsoft acquired VideoSurf for $70 million with an eye towards integrating the San Mateo, Calif.-based company's online video search technology into its Xbox Live ecosystem.
Sears is looking to bring the heat on Black Friday 2011 with a sale that begins at 4:00 am the day after Thanksgiving. We've got the highlights of the sale for you after the break, which include a $99 Kinect sensor, some cheap digital photo frames, and a $30 HD camcorder.
Amazon has a great deal on the Kinect going today. While supplies last, you can get the Kinect sensor with three games included for $125 - that's $25 less than Kinect sells for without the extra games. The titles are Kinect Adventures, Fruit Ninja Kinect, and The Gunstringer. Go and grab it now!
RadioShack's Black Friday 2011 sale looks enticing, and we rarely say that kind of stuff about The Shack. Doors open at 5:30 am the day after Thanksgiving, but you can get the Black Friday prices a day early by shopping on radioshack.com. We've got the highlights of the sale for you after the break, which include a $300 15-inch Toshiba laptop, a $99 7-inch Velocity Micro Cruz tablet, 20% off Beats by Dr. Dre Solo headphones, and more.
Black Friday 2011 is near, and we've been collecting the best ads we can find, highlighting the good stuff. Here we've got the best from what Toys R Us will have to offer. Interestingly enough, Toys R Us isn't even waiting for Friday to arrive, as their sales start at 9:00 pm on Thanksgiving, three hours before other stores will be kicking off their midnight Black Friday sales. Some highlights include a free $50 gift card when you buy an iPod touch, as well as great discounts on games for Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, DS, PS3, Wii, and Kinect.
We've been busy posting some of the tech-heavy Black Friday 2011 sales that we're finding, and up next is GameStop. We don't particularly enjoy the GameStop shopping experience throughout the year, but they definitely have some good stuff planned for Black Friday with their midnight open. We've got the list for you after the break, where you can expect deep discounts on a bunch of new Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, DS, PS3, and Wii titles, as well as cheaper hardware like the consoles themselves and the Kinect sensor.
Walmart's Black Friday 2011 ad is live, and for ambitious shoppers who venture out at midnight, the store will have a number of deals on TVs, PCs, and gaming consoles. We've listed the highlights after the break.
On the TV front, Walmart will have discounts on Emerson, Samsung, and LG sets. Samsung LCD TVs will start at $98 for a 19-inch 720p model, followed by a 32-inch 720p version for $278. The 40-inch and 46-inch 1080p models will retail for $428 and $598, respectively. Finally, a 51-inch 720p Samsung LCD TV will be on sale for $498.
Looking for a PC? Walmart is offering a 15.6-inch, dual-core HP laptop with a 320GB hard drive and 3GB of memory for $248. An HP laptop with a 500GB hard drive and 17.3-inch screen will be $388. An HP dual-core 500GB desktop with 18.5-inch monitor, integrated speakers, mouse, and keyboard will also be available for $298. A 15.6-inch Compaq Presario laptop with a 250GB hard drive will be on sale for $198.
For the gamers, an Xbox 360 4GB console bundle with Gears of War 3, Xbox Live three-month membership, and a $50 Walmart gift card will be $199. An Xbox 360 4GB bundle with the Kinect sensor, Kinect Adventures, and a one-month Xbox Live Gold membership will be $199.96, while a Kinect bundle with Kinect Adventures, The GunStringer, and Fruit Ninja will be $99.96. An Xbox Live three-month subscription card will also be $12, while an Xbox 360 wireless controller will be $49.96.
Details of Best Buy's Black Friday 2011 sales have just been released, and we've got a list of all the highlights you can expect to see after the break. Doors will open right at midnight on October 25th, and tickets for the doorbusters will be handed out as early as 10:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day. Click through for a look at the goods.
Microsoft's been hyping up Kinect for over a year now, and we've been enjoying the motion sensing Xbox peripheral for just as long. Our verdict? We love it, and it feels like the future. This is why we're adding it to our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. If you know anyone with an Xbox 360 console who doesn't have Kinect, then we'd recommend putting this one on your gift list. The Kinect sensor costs $149.99, and includes Kinect Adventures, a disc full of mini-games that let you try out a bunch of Kinect's features.It also includes download token codes for Fruit Ninja Kinect and Gunstringer, two Xbox Live Arcade Kinect titles. You can also do video chat with other Kinect users and Windows Live users as well, and you get voice control over your Xbox 360. Seriously, this is the video game accessory to have this holiday season--especially during your holiday parties with friends and family around.
Aside from the sensor itself, here are a few Kinect games that we think are worth picking up as well:
- Dance Central 2
- Kinect Sports Season 2
- Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster
- Forza Motorsport 4
- Your Shape Fitness Evolved
Read More | Kinect
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