Microsoft’s motion controller has broken cover a few hours ahead of its official launch at the E3 gaming conference. After going under the codename of Project Natal for over a year, it’s now been confirmed by US paper USA Today that it will be called Microsoft Kinect, as well as detailing new info on a handful of Kinect games.
While the design hasn’t changed as much as the name, seemingly launching initially in a black coloured model, the menu interface looks to be quite unique. Hand swipes and pushes will navigate what seems to be a stripped back Xbox Live dashboard, with controls to access Twitter, Facebook, Zune and Netflix.
Video conferencing will be available with up to 4 people through Kinect’s Video Chat feature, which will also allow players to share pictures and videos. Players looking to join a game in local multiplayer on the fly will be able to do so also; the sensor can recognise when more than two people are sitting in front of Kinect, and switches certain games to split-screen mode accordingly.
Details of new games have also been revealed. Kinectimals will let you rear and train 20 virtual cats, Joyride will let you steer and drive a car with an imaginary steering wheel, Dance Central will be a dance game with MTV’s “So You Think You Can Dance?” branding, Kinect Sports and Kinect Adventures seem a similar take on motion gaming as Nintendo’s Wii Sports, while there are also said to be Star Wars and Disney titles in the works too.
Still no news on an exact release date or official pricing, but we’re just a few hours away from that sort of announcement now. Keep your eyes on Tech Digest for any more E3 announcements.