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!
- 17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R-2nd Gen Core i7-2630QM 2GHz Quad-core "Sandy Bridge" Laptop w/8GB RAM, 640GB HDD, 2GB GeForce GT 525M & Blu-ray for $900 with free shipping (normally $1,444 - use coupon code 4J4XPNDZ1PKR2B)
- 17.3" Dell Vostro 3750 Core i5-2410M 2.3GHz "Sandy Bridge" Latpop w/6GB RAM, 320GB 7200RPM HDD, Backlit Keyboard & Fingerprint Reader for $649 with free shipping (normally $899 - use coupon code R975$?FPRF?31X)
- 17.3" HP Pavilion dv7t Core i7-2630QM 2GHz Quad-core "Sandy Bridge" Laptop w/4GB RAM & 500GB HDD for $700 with free shipping (normally $999 - use coupon code NBP61449)
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.
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.
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.
Microsoft will purchase the company from investor group Silver Lake, which—along with Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz Ventures, and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)—acquired a majority stake in Skype in December 2009.
Microsoft said the deal will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications across its products, while expanding Skype's reach. Skype will be available on Microsoft products like Xbox, Kinect, and Windows Phone, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live, and more.
Microsoft said it will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.
Earlier today we brought you the news that Hulu Plus will launch on the Xbox 360 tomorrow morning, noting that it will be free for all Xbox Live members (Gold or Silver) for a full week, even for those without a Hulu Plus subscription. After that, you'll need both a $7.99 per month Hulu Plus membership as well as an Xbox Live Gold account. Well, we've had access to a Hulu Plus preview on the Xbox 360, and we've put together a tour through the service and interface so you'd know exactly what to expect. We even give you a look at the (somewhat limited) Kinect support for Hulu Plus as well. Hit the play button above, or grab the download from one of the links below!
January has just not been a pleasant month for video game sales. At least, that's according to new numbers released by NPD. Total January 2011 sales for gaming accessories, portable systems, and games for PCs and consoles fell to $1.16 billion from last year's total of $1.22 billion. And the $1.22 billion figure for January 2010 is itself a decrease from January 2009 figures, or $1.33 billion in total sales.
Breaking that number out a bit, hardware sales took the biggest year-to-year hit, dropping 8 percent from $353.7 million in January 2010 to $324 million in January 2011. NPD no longer splits this number out into publicly available data for the various console manufacturers; however, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that Microsoft was the only big player to experience year-to-year growth on hardware sales.
According to Pachter, Microsoft sold approximately 332,800 Xbox 360 units, representing a year-to-year growth of 14.4 percent for the company. More than half of the systems sold were also bundled with Microsoft's Kinect accessory.
Nintendo, on the other hand, found its sales down 31.5 percent compared to the same period of time last year. That's a drop from 465,800 Wii consoles sold in January 2010 to 319,000 sold in January 2011. The company still leads the current console market with 34.5 million Wii units sold in the U.S., in total, with Microsoft's Xbox 360 coming in second place at 25.8 million, followed by Sony's PlayStation 3 at 15.7 million.
Microsoft Kinect allows you to maneuver your character and navigate compatible games simply by using hand gestures and body movements – at least that’s how Microsoft intended it to be. Researcher Evan Suma and his team at University of Southern California, have found a way to use Kinect is a somewhat unusual way. OpenNI, hacked programs (FAAST), and some tech voodoo, have allowed this team of masterminds to plug in Kinect to their computer’s USB port, and use it to play World of Warcraft. The software translates real-world gestures into in-game commands that allows for the player to level-grind with their fists.
Read More | Game Life
Read More | Kinect on Amazon
Since Kinect came out there have been some pretty interesting hacks of the technology. The latest one is a retro reprogramming that allows “Yankeyan” to control NES classic Super Mario Bros. using his body as the controller.
“I programmed it to recognize my motions and passed the virtual button presses to the NES emulator," says Yankeyan. "I could have placed a simulated keypad right in front of me that I can press with my hands, but I thought full body gestures were more in the spirit of Kinect. Of course, Mario isn't designed to be played like this, so this is really really hard."
If you listen closely you can hear the sound of Shigeru Miyamoto’s Wii controller hitting the floor.
One of the software engineers for Sony’s PlayStation Move, Anton Mikhailov, soke with EuroGamer on the topic of Kinect’s upcoming Star Wars game. "There's no way Kinect can do a good light saber game. Just never,” said Mikhailov.
Mikhailov then went on to brag about how a Move-compatible Star Wars game would be “damn better than Kinect’s,” even though no such game for Move has been announced.
“Technologically it's 100 per cent feasible,” continued Mikhailov on the subject of a Move Star Wars game. "We can overlay objects over the controller in AR. You've seen that in Start the Party, and swords are a really popular one. The fidelity is certainly there to do all sorts of Star Wars kid-style action. You can very well do the light saber."
As if comparing a game in development to a theoretical game wasn’t bold enough, Mikhailov then questioned the integrity of the Kinect Star Wars demo: "I've seen the demo but it's so scripted, and wasn't it like, faked?”
Kinect’s outspoken guru Kudo Tsunoda was reportedly last seen lobbying Nintendo for the right to make the Move-Kinect rivalry “on like Donkey Kong”.
Read More | Eurogamer
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