Project Natal blew our minds yesterday during the E3 2009 Xbox Media Briefing. Project Natal is a new method of playing Xbox 360, with no controller required. Instead, it “sees” your entire body, and tracks your movement in 3D, and even responds to voice commands, directions, and even your face. We’ve got a video demo for you above, which you should take a look at, as well as a bunch more info on this exciting product. Read on.
In addition to Twitter, Facebook is also coming to the Xbox 360 this fall. You’ll be able to update your Facebook status, browse your news feed, view photos, and more, all from the Xbox 360. Even better? Games can take advantage of Facebook Connect, to publish screenshots and other details directly to your Facebook account, if you so choose. You’ll also be able to send Facebook friend requests to those in your Friends list on Xbox Live, if they’ve linked their Facebook and Xbox Live accounts. Get a look at the Facebook on Xbox 360 screenshots that we’ve put together, so you can get a better idea of how it will all work.
Gallery: Facebook coming to Xbox 360
Microsoft has launched Bing, a search engine tested under the code name Kumo, that replaces Live Search. Bing will supposedly make purchasing online easier, will be handier for finding medical information, and should facilitate travel arrangements. Besides searching, the engine retrieves and processes data, monitors history and displays it, and should be easier to read. Frankly, we were never all that fond of Microsoft Live Search so anything would be an improvement.
1 vs 100 on Xbox Live finally has a date, and you’ll be able to take part in the madness starting June 1 at 7:30pm PST. The 1 vs 100 beta is open, and free, to all Xbox Live Gold members, and you can actually win real prizes during the beta. Here’s a look at what you can win:
- One (1) Grand Prize : A Samsung 52” plasma HDTV and surround sound/receiver bundle. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of Grand Prize: $3000
- Two (2) First Prizes : An Acer Aspire laptop computer. ARV: $500
- Two (2) Second Prizes : A Microsoft Zune 120GB music player. ARV: $200
- Thirty (30) Third Prizes : A Microsoft Xbox Live Arcade Game of Sponsor’s choosing. ARV of Third Prize: $15 each
Do note, these are the prizes available during the beta period. The actual skill-based prizes, where you can win Microsoft Points and all that, aren’t up for grabs until the beta period ends.
Read More | 1 vs 100
The Zune is available in multiple colors already, so it should be no surprise that the Zune HD will follow suit. In our post yesterday where we shared the Zune HD announcement, you got a look at what appears to be a platinum Zune HD. Here in this post? The black Zune HD. Here’s hoping they keep the blue and red versions around as well…but in all honesty, we just want this thing to launch already.
Microsoft has finally unveiled the Zune HD. The touch-screen Zune is set to take on the iPod touch this fall, when it debuts. The Zune HD will feature an OLED screen, HD radio receiver, and a version of Internet Explorer specifically formatted for the Zune screen, and is based on Windows CE. The Zune HD will also play HD content on televisions using a dock.
Plans for the future involve the Zune ecosystem coming to the Xbox 360 for purchasing movies and television shows, as well as Zune showing up on other devices. Microsoft specifically declined to go into the gaming capabilities of the Zune HD, since E3 is happening next week. We should expect to hear about any portable Zune gaming news at their Xbox Media Briefing. Expect the Zune HD to replace the current line of flash Zunes, while the hard drive-based Zune players will remain. “This device is created to go head to head with the iPod Touch,” Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Microsoft Zune, said in a telephone interview.
We can’t wait to get our hands on this one.
Read More | CNET
Netflix continues their push for dominance today with their integration into Windows Media Center on PCs running either Windows Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate. If your Windows machine runs either of those operating systems, all you have to do is pull up Media Center, and in the TV + Movies section, you’ll now see a Netflix tile, powered by Silverlight. The cool thing here is that, unlike on some other devices, you can browse and search the entire Netflix library, manage both your Instant and DVD Queues, and even sort search results to just show titles available to watch instantly. I must say, we are loving how aggressive Netflix is being about getting their Watch Instantly service on more and more platforms. Wanna bet they soon appear on Apple TV?
Microsoft is definitely looking to bring it with the Zune in recent weeks. You just know that they have to have something, like the Zune HD, up their sleeves. I mean, they must have something going on, because all of a sudden they are getting bold with their advertising and claims. First came Wes Moss, their smarmy financial planner who explains why the Zune Pass is the best deal in music (even though it truly is.) Now, they’ve set up a section within the Zune Player itself that let’s you grab all the top songs from the top 100 offerings on iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, and even File Sharing (how would they know)?
What do you think? What would it take to get you to consider Zune as a music service, if not as a device?
If you’re an NBA fan, then this HP Take All the Action With You contest is going to be right up your alley. Even better? We are partnering with about 24 other sites to bring you some exclusive prizes as well. We will go into all the details after the jump, but here it is in a nutshell:
By entering the HP-Microsoft contest, you are entered to win a grand prize that allows you to see Kevin Garnett and the Celtics play a home game in Boston, and an away game in a West Coast city. That’s right, coast-to-coast baby! That includes VIP tickets to the games, airfare, hotel, and some HP gear as well. At the very least, check it out. So, that’s one contest. But the real deal is that we are having our own giveaway with 24 other sites, with the prizes being 2 trips to the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas, TX, including travel, accomodations, and a ticket to the game. The winners will be accompanied by the site owner. In other words, if someone from Gear Live wins, I’ll be personally going to the NBA All-Star game with them.
Now, there are a bunch of runners-up prizes as well, so jump down for all the details, including how to enter.
We’ve waited for ages for Microsoft to give some answers on when they expect Windows 7 to launch, and they are finally talking. While they didn’t get too specific, they have officially confirmed that Windows 7 will be available for purchase by December 2009. Hey, at least it’s something, right?