Microsoft makes big push for new game audience

Microsoft Corp. wants to build on the success of the Wii’s motion-capture wand—by getting rid of the wand entirely, reports the Associated Press. On June 14, Microsoft detailed its new Kinect game technology, coming this fall for the Xbox 360 game console. Once known as Project Natal, the Kinect system recognizers users’ gestures and voices, so you can control on-screen avatars in racing, action, and sports games just by moving your body. Microsoft showed off a “Star Wars” game, coming in 2011, that will use Kinect to let players swing virtual light sabers in their living rooms, and a dance title from the makers of “Rock Band” that eliminates the need for controllers and high-tech mats to get moving. Kinect’s voice feature also means you can say “pause” or “play” when watching a movie on the Xbox instead of reaching for the remote. And, it has a video chat function that can connect people from different locations. Kinect will launch Nov. 4 in North America, Microsoft said. Prices were not disclosed, and it’s not clear whether Kinect will come with new Xboxes or only be sold separately. The technology works with existing systems, as well as a new version of the Xbox console that goes on sale next week…

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