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Survey says Xbox 360 failure rate falls to 10 percent

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Hardware, Microsoft, Xbox 360

Xbox 360 RROD

Improvements to the Xbox 360 have apparently cut down on the number of "red ring of death" reports, but the console still requires more repairs than its competitors, according to data from PCMag's Readers' Choice Awards.

Approximately 10 percent of those polled for the survey reported having to take their Xbox 360 in for repairs over the last year, which was twice the rate of its competitors. However, that was a significant improvement over last year, when that number was 23 percent.

Many Xbox users are familiar with the console's "red ring of death," which replaced the glowing green center on the device's power button when the Xbox was on its last legs. Last year, former PCMag Editor Lance Ulanoff experienced the phenomenon after his son completed a Red Dead Redemption marathon on his Xbox 360. Though some Twitter users helpfully suggested that placing it in the freezer for a few minutes would solve the problem (really), he opted to send it in for repairs.

Last year, Microsoft unveiled a "slim" version of its Xbox 360 console at E3, which featured a redesigned case with a bit more ventilation than the original console. It included built-in 802.11n networking and a 250GB hard drive for $299.


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Microsoft’s living room vision includes apps, Mediaroom, and Xbox

Microsoft showed off the future of the living room on Wednesday, and it appears to be a combination of Bing, Kinect, and the Mediaroom IPTV technology that forms the foundation of the Xbox.

Oh, and it seems to be taking place first overseas.

In a video embedded below, Microsoft's Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox Live (identified as a corporate vice president of ISS Experiences) showed off short clips of how the living room, as exemplified by the Xbox 360 and Kinect, continued to evolve. The demonstration placed a premium on natural user interfaces, identified by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as one of the most significant advances in personal computing.

"Our goal is really, really simple," Whitten says in the video. "It's about how we make this effortless, intuitive and delightful. And that starts by making the technology fade out of the way, getting it all into the background."

Click to continue reading Microsoft’s living room vision includes apps, Mediaroom, and Xbox


Avatar Kinect now available, Kinect Sparkler arrives this Thursday

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Kinect, Microsoft, Xbox 360, Xbox Live

Avatar Kinect

Avatar Kinect, the Xbox 360 app that captures your facial expressions and maps them right onto your avatar, is now available as the newest gadget in Kinect Fun Labs. You can invite friends into a session, and communicate using your avatars in one of 24 different virtual stages. Things like a performance stage, talk show, and even a tailgate party. The sessions are recorded so that you can upload them to KinectShare.com, where you can download them and send them to the Twitters, Facebooks, and YouTubes of the world. You need an Xbox LIVE Gold membership to use Avatar Kinect, but Microsoft is opening it up to all members from now through September 8th.

On July 28th, Kinect Sparkler will appear in Kinect Fun Labs as well, showcasing the Kinect's new ability to do finger tracking. You use your body as a stencil and paintbrush, creating works of art in 3D, and uploading them to KinectShare.com. This one will cost 240 Microsoft Points.


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We've got your latest list of items that fall under the best tech Deals of the Day for you, separated out into laptops, desktops, monitors, gaming, and home entertainment. The laptop deals are right here, but be sure to click through to get a look at all the rest of what we determined to be today's top 10 deals in tech, including that Kinect for Xbox 360 up there!

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Star Wars Kinect bundle features R2-D2 Xbox 360, C-3PO controller, 320 GB hard drive

R2-D2 Xbox 360 and C-3PO controller

What you see here is an R2-D2 inspired Xbox 360, along with a C-3PO Xbox 360 controller, and you'll find these as part of the Star Wars Kinect bundle that was revealed by Microsoft at Comic-Con. Also included in the bundle is a white Kinect sensor, Star Wars Kinect, and Kinect Adventures. The console also includes a 320 GB hard drive, which is a first for the Xbox 360 line. The console itself has custom R2-D2 sounds rather than the standard Xbox 360 chimes. You can pre-order these now, and they'll be shipping in the fall for $449.

Read More | Star Wars Kinect Bundle

Gallery: Star Wars Kinect bundle features R2-D2 Xbox 360, C-3PO controller, 320 GB hard drive


Top 10 Tech Deals of the Day

dell vostro 3750 saleWe've got your latest list of items that fall under the best tech Deals of the Day for you, separated out into laptops, desktops, monitors, gaming, and home entertainment. The laptop deals are right here, but be sure to click through to get a look at all the rest of what we determined to be today's top 10 deals in tech, including that lovely Xbox 360 Kinect bundle up there!

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Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread. Oh, and if you're on Twitter, be sure to follow @TechPromos for the latest deals, or you can Like TechPromos on Facebook.

Click to continue reading Top 10 Tech Deals of the Day


Top 10 Tech Deals of the Day

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We've got your latest list of items that fall under the best tech Deals of the Day for you, separated out into laptops, desktops, monitors, gaming, and home entertainment. The laptop deals are right here, but be sure to click through to get a look at all the rest of what we determined to be today's top 10 deals in tech, including that lovely Xbox 360 Kinect bundle up there!

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Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread. Oh, and if you're on Twitter, be sure to follow @TechPromos for the latest deals, or you can Like TechPromos on Facebook.

Click to continue reading Top 10 Tech Deals of the Day


Nyko Zoom lets you stand closer to Kinect

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Accessories, E3, Kinect, Microsoft, Xbox 360

Nyko Zoom

One of the biggest complaints with the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 is its space requirement. For the depth-sensing cameras to function properly, Microsoft recommends a good eight feet between the Kinect sensor and your body. That's a lot of space, especially for all the apartment and dorm room dwellers out there.

Nyko might have fixed that problem with the Zoom, a surprisingly simple and affordable Kinect attachment that seriously cuts down on its need for room.

The Zoom is a wide-angle lens attachment that fits over the Kinect, changing how it sees the room. With a wider angle, it can see more laterally, but doesn't have as much depth. According to Nyko, this means the Kinect needs up to 40 percent less space than without the Zoom. Because it's just a set of lenses that fit over those on the Kinect, it doesn't need any power or complex installation; it just slides on.

The Nyko Zoom will retail for $29.99 when it ships later this year.


HTC Trophy hits Verizon Wireless on May 26 for $149, includes free Xbox 360 game

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Cell Phones, Handhelds, Microsoft

HTC Trophy WIndows Phone 7

Verizon's first Windows Phone 7 device, the HTC Trophy, goes on sale at Verizon's online store on May 26 and in retail locations on June 2.

The 3G device costs $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and two-year contract. If you buy one before July 15, Verizon will throw in a free Xbox 360 game: either Halo: Reach, Kinect Sports, or Lode Runner.

The media-centric device features a 1-GHz Snapdragon processor, surround sound through SRS WOW HD, 3.8-inch WVGA touch screen, 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and 720p HD video capture, 16 GB of storage, Wi-Fi connectivity (802.11 b/g/n). It's also quad-band and will work in more than 200 countries, Verizon said in a press release.

Click to continue reading HTC Trophy hits Verizon Wireless on May 26 for $149, includes free Xbox 360 game


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