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Kinect mods are just about as common as Minecraft mods these days. I've yet to see a mod that allows you to control a helicopter though. until today. A Kinect has been modded to let you control a quadrotor vehicle, or specifically, a quadcopter. I don't know exactly how this will have a real life purpose but I like where this is going. I like it a lot.

Source: Flying Machine Arena

Dance Central 2 E3 Preview -- This Is How We Do It

Dance Central 2 by Harmonix is gonna make you throw your hands up in the air and wave 'em around like you just don't care. But don't worry, you won't need to be alone. The game has been expanded in numerous ways, pushing it towards the mark of perfection missing from the original Dance Central. Our own Dana Vinson checked the game out at E3, and she dares you to step up with your crew.

"Harmonix has done a lot to polish the gameplay this time around, and their efforts seem to be pushing the game more towards that mark of perfection. For starters, two players will be able to dance and compete simultaneously. Before, you could have more than one person dancing, but the game would only score one player. In order to go head-to-head, you had to do a Dance Battle, which involved switching off with the other dancer. Now, both dancers will be able to dance at the same time, with the game scoring them at the same time."

If you think you're ready to take on Dancing Queen Dana, be sure to check out Dana's full Dance Central 2 E3 2011 preview.

Personally, I think she's got some stiff competition. I already made a fool of myself playing the game at E3 2011 for your entertainment, and I promise that trend will continue.

Looking for family-friendly video games to bring the gang together for a fun time everyone can enjoy? Host of X-Play Adam Sessler has got five great suggestions for you, with titles from all three major consoles. Kids grab your parents, parents grab your kids, because things are gonna get fun.

Great Family Games »

Have any other suggestions for video games to play on family night? Let us know below!

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Fable: The Journey Inspired In Part By Black & White Creature Relationships

Fable: The Journey continues the tradition of creature interaction Lionhead Studios and Peter Molyneux started a decade ago with god game Black & White, Molyneux said in an interview with Gaming Union. Specifically, in case you're wondering, we're talking about the horse.

"There was a bond we built up over the course of that game, and a lot of it was about rewarding and punishing your creature. People built up strong bonds with their creatures, and the one thing we learned from that is you've got to allow time for that bond to build up," Molyneux said before explaining that it's a difficult concept to relay in brief snippets, which might explain why that wasn't the focus of The Journey's E3 2011 presence.

Read More »

Preview: Child of Eden

Child of Eden, a sort of spiritual sequel to Rez by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, is a stunning blend of visual, audio, and (with Kinect) movement experiences. And while you might not think much of an on-rails shooter these days, the truth is it's far more than that. For one, it's got an engaging - yet minimalist - story that feels like a cross between The Neverending Story and anime Serial Experiments Lain. Not sure what I'm talking about? Here's a taste for you, courtesy reviewer Adam Rosenburg:

"At the center of the narrative is Lumi, a beautiful, young woman who was in fact the first human to be born in outer space. The game opens long after Lumi's life has ended, though her consciousness still exists in digital form on the Internet, which is now referred to simply as Eden. That consciousness, which is broken into five "archives" (levels) for the purposes of the game, is now in danger being destroyed by invading viruses.

It is your job then to protect Lumi from the attacks and restore her digital being to its preserved form. You do this by flying through each archive along a set path, blasting bad code with your two weapons, a multiple lock-on laser and a rapid fire "dumb" laser. The combat, which the game calls "purification," is central to what you're doing, and it can be managed using either a standard Xbox 360 gamepad or your Kinect camera."

If you've ever found yourself in need of losing yourself in a game, breaking down the boundaries between yourself as a controller and yourself as an extension of the game, it looks like Child of Eden is just your game. And if all that sappy, romantic view of gaming doesn't interest you, don't worry: there's a quality shooter in here too. But don't take my word for it, check out the full Child of Eden review and see for yourself!


Microsft Unveils Kinect, Formerly Project Natal

At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity today, Microsoft introduced a new kind of Kinect-powered advertising to the marketing world. "NUads," short for natural user-interface ads, allow consumers to yell and/or wave at advertisements and affect what they do.

In the brave new world of NUads, when you see a commercial for a particularly fly pair of sneakers, you can be like, "Damn, those kicks are hyper-double radical to the max!" and you'll say, "Xbox Tweet!" and all your twitter followers will know that you think the hypothetical tennis shoes are the bomb. Or even the bomb-diggity!

"Simply put, NUads break down the barriers between consumers and content on the TV screen. NUads make traditional linear content— like a 30 second TV spot— irresistibly interactive," Microsoft advertising GM Mark Kroese said in a blog post.

Read More »

Rise of Nightmares is a Kinect-only survival horror game coming out from Sega, so obviously you'll want to see the trailer. It's a bit of an outlier, in that it will be (I believe) the first game in the horror genre that depends on the Kinect.

As you'd expect, the trailer below is not for the faint of heart. It's full of blood, ghouls, evil and even a frightening clown! Boo! Scary!

Rise of Nightmares "Welcome To The Nightmare" Trailer »



Nsst nsst nsst nsst nsst. Break out the glow sticks and cotton candy neon stockings, because I've got a rave you won't want to miss. First, a little background. So there's this game called Dance Central, right? You may have heard of it. And there's this singer named Rihanna. You might have heard of her, too. What you may not have heard is that by combining these two cosmic powers, you wind up creating superhuman dance machine children. Need proof? Watch the video below:

Now tell me. You look me in the eyes and tell me that's not a tiny little Skynet robot, wearing a cyborg child mask to hide its intention of destroying us all. Oh sure, it's cute now. But how cute and adorable will it be when we've lost all confidence in our own dance abilities and the machines challenge us to a dance-off for the fate of our world?

I have seen the end of all things, my friends. And the end is tiny children dancing way better than me on Dance Central. Respect.

Forza Motorsport 4 To Include Kinect Support

Forza Motorsport 4 wants to be your racing game, even if you don't particularly like racing games. Or rather, even if the only racing games you like are ones with serial killer clowns, environmental devastation or sweet burnouts. And I have to say from my own perspective, it's got me raising eyebrows. Thankfully, our own Nikole Zivalich kept her hands steady at 10 and 2 during her preview at E3 2011, even if her eyes may have wandered or turned glazed:

"Since most people aren't car people, Turn 10 Studios made an advanced lighting engine and used special rendering techniques to make their cars look as appetizing as possible, and, at times, down right delicious. Seriously, they were so shiny it looked like they were coated with a layer of sugar, and maybe tears. During my demo, there was a constant emphasis on how advanced the lighting engine was. I can't speak for the mechanics of it, but it looked amazing. Again, sugar."

If you want to read more of what Nikole thought - and you do! - be sure to hit up our full Forza 4 E3 2011 preview.

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 Fruit Ninja Kinect

Fruit Ninja Kinect is only the first step in your journey. What's the final step? It'll be you, your sword, and your wits vs. the infamous fruit-cannon, the deadly device that has been the scourge of man and beast alike.

Okay, okay… while that's not exactly probable, what is probable is that you'll get a kick out of this game if you enjoyed its mobile predecessor. Adam Rosenberg tells us more:

"The popular mobile game Fruit Ninja, from Australian developer Halfbrick, requires that you imbue your finger with the grace and finesse of a trained dancer. Weaving complex patterns across the touchscreen on your device of choice, you skillfully slice your way through miles upon miles of airborne fruit, while avoiding the occasional bomb that gets chucked into your path. Your points score rises quickly as combos mount, and fruit starts to fly faster and more furiously. You're a Zen master though, quiet and patient, striking out with the tip of your digit only when the moment is right.

Summer of Arcade downloadable title Fruit Ninja Kinect is virtually unchanged from its smaller screen predecessor in terms of the gameplay, but in trading up from a touchscreen to a motion-sensing camera, the experience changes from an idyllic test of your concentration and patience to a muscle-straining workout of flailing arms and ridiculous posing.

It is, to sum things up simply, out of control fun."

Fruit Ninja Kinect will likely be invading countless living rooms when it gets released. See if it's worth inviting into yours by checking out our Fruit Ninja Kinect Preview!

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary -- What You Don't Know

According to Microsoft Game Studios boss Phil Spencer, upcoming reboot Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary will support Kinect Motion controls.

In an interview with GameSpot, Spenser said, "As a first party we believe that Kinect will be important to all genres of games, be it racing games with Forza, combat games like Ryse -- even games like Halo Anniversary has Kinect integration."

How that integration will actually work remains to be seen, but if I had to guess, I'd say it will probably not be a core part of how the game is played. I think it will be more like an option that is easily ignored if you choose to. Anniversary features the ability to switch to the visuals and gameplay of the original game at will, so obviously care has been taken for people who want the "authentic" Halo 1 experience.

Read More »


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Minecraft Sells 500K Copies, Now Has 1.6 Million Users

It would have been easy to miss the Minecraft announcement among all the huge reveals of ultra-hyped AAA games at E3 2011, but we love the little indie title Minecraft, and want to make sure you know that a 360 version is in the pipeline.

Here's what we know:

  • The 360 version of the game is in development at 4J Studios, the company that made the PlayStation 3 version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and the Xbox Live Arcade versions of Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie and Perfect Dark.
  • It's Kinect-enabled.
  • It will be out on Xbox Live Arcade later this year.
  • If you're of a creative mindset and a 360 gamer, it will suck your life away.

So who's looking forward to Kinect Minecraft?

Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Out Now -- Develop Your Own Kinect Game

Microsoft has released their Kinect For Windows SDK beta today. The Kinect is a motion based peripheral for the Xbox 360 that allows players to be the controller. The beta will allow anyone to plug their Kinect peripheral into a PC and use it to develop motion games. The SDK includes:

  • Raw sensor streams - Access to raw data streams from the depth sensor, color camera sensor, and four-element microphone array enables developers to build upon the low-level streams that are generated by the Kinect sensor.
  • Skeletal tracking - The capability to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view make it easy to create gesture-driven applications.
  • Advanced audio capabilities - Audio processing capabilities include sophisticated acoustic noise suppression and echo cancellation, beam formation to identify the current sound source, and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.
  • Sample code and documentation - The SDK includes more than 100 pages of technical documentation. In addition to built-in help files, the documentation includes detailed walkthroughs for most samples provided with the SDK.

    Read More »

Child of Eden is an anti-shooter shooter. I know that doesn't make sense but once you see the first 15 minutes of the game it will make sense. The basic concept is in the future humans have discovered a way to store store memories. The archives of memories have been infected with a virus that threatens all of the data the archives hold. You must "shoot" the viruses and save the memories. If you don't understand, that's okay. Just look at the pretty lights.

The First 15: Child of Eden »

Child of Eden is currently only available for the Xbox 360 and Kinect. In September it will be released on the PS3.

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Kinect Fun Labs

Have you downloaded Kinect Fun Labs for your 360 yet? It's a pretty cool collection of free tech demoes that use the Kinect. There's only a few toys to play with right now, but there are more on the way, and you can vote on which ones will appear in the game. Here are the candidates:

They're all pretty cool, and I hope they eventually all show up in the application, but, for me, I'd like to see "Keyboard Anywhere" appear in the Fun Labs, just so I could reenact my favorite scene from the movie Big. Make your voice heard, and vote right here.

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