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Avatar Kinect

Avatar Kinect Ready For Download

Jonathan Lester
Avatar Kinect, Kinect, Microsoft, Xbox 360
Xbox 360

Avatar Kinect, the Xbox 360 application that lets users control their avatar's movements and expressions via the Kinect sensor, is now available to download from Xbox Live. According to a new bulletin from MS publicity guru Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb, you'll be able to access the program from the Games tab or from within Kinect Fun Labs.

Queue it up here.

After making some movies, you'll be able to hit up Kinectshare to view the film or upload it to social networks - and apparently 8 achievements worth 50G are up for grabs (if that floats your boat). As always, let us know what you make of it - and whether you actually decide to use it.

Smile! Microsoft Unveil Avatar Kinect

Felix Kemp
Avatar Kinect, Games news, Kinect


Microsoft isn't resting on their laurels - and by laurels, I mean piles of cash - when it comes to Kinect. Hot off yesterday's news that the Redmond giant is preparing to unveil no less than ten new Kinect titles at E3, they've just announced Avatar Kinect, a new feature owners of the peripheral can enjoy, which scans and then projects your face and expressions into a virtual environment where you can invite up to seven friends to make faces at.

Click here to

CES Keynote Blowout! - News Roundup 6th January 2011

Jonathan Lester
3D, Avatar Kinect, Beyond Good & Evil HD, CES, Fable Coin Golf, Game Room, Intel, Kinect, Microsoft, News, Portal 2, PS Phone, PSN, Sandy Bridge, Torchlight, Windows Phone 7
Portal 2

CES Blowout: Microsoft Vs Sony

ces logo

Microsoft and Sony have given their keynote speeches at this years Consumer Electronics Show... and there are a few little announcements hidden behind the usual posturing and posing. For your delectation, here's the whole shebang in digestible bitesize form.


  • Rumour Controlled: Avatar Kinect is real. The rumours (reported yesterday) have been confirmed. Microsoft will be rolling out Avatar Kinect this Spring, allowing our virtual caricatures to mingle and chat in themed environments with gesture support and the ability to record our own podcasts!
  • Torchlight and Beyond Good & Evil HD confirmed for XBLA. The downloadable port of Runic Games' loot grinder has been confirmed as a full Xbox 360 exclusive- and the reskinned classic Beyond Good and Evil will remain exclusive to Microsoft's console for an as-yet undisclosed period of time. They'll form part of the XBLA House Party promotion that kicks off February 16th. We'll have full reviews next month!
  • Game Room & Fable Coin Golf Headed To WP7. Game Room's decaying bloated carcass is a mockery of its incredible potential- but the news that arcade games (and achievements) can be shared across the  PC, Xbox and Windows Phone 7 should help to rejuvenate the service. Oh, and a Fable-themed coin golf game will also let you... well... play golf. For coins.
  • Kinect has sold 8 million units in 60 days. That's actually very impressive for a risky new peripheral. Hopefully this user base will warrant the creation of more innovative games as well as better integration into Xbox 360 dashboard operation. 2011 promises to be a great year for Kinect, and we're looking forward to seeing what the next few months have in store.


  • New Prototype 3D Headset Revealed. Basically it's a virtual boy for the new generation. Executive deputy president Hiroshi Yoshioka introduced the new tech, which is a closed visor with integrated headphones. Seperate displays for each eye should cut down on headache-inducing interference, though since it's a prototype, no details on performance or pricing have been announced. We'll keep you posted.
  • Playstation Phone tacitly confirmed. Again. Oh, you coy little tease. We already know that the Zeus Z1 smartphone with Playstation emulation functionality is a very real proposition, but SCE CEO Kaz Hirai has dropped a few more hints that they'll be "integrating into mobile the assets [they've] collected in the Playstation family." Yes, we know that the PS Phone is happening. Hurry up and showcase the damn thing already before we get bored!
  • PSN Subscribers reach 60 million. Which is almost enough for a small game of MAG. All joking aside, this is an impressive achievement made possible by their innovative freemium sales model. To put this in perspective, Microsoft has hit 30 million users. Take from this what you will.

Did we miss anything important? Excited about this year's CES- or was it a bit of a damp squib? Drop us a line in the comments!

Intel Reveal "Game-Changing" Sandy Bridge Processor

sandy bridge ces reveal

This is probably the biggest news from CES 2011. Intel have revealed their new Sandy Bridge processor, which is the first 32 nanometer-based chip on the market. Apparently it will offer "a console-like experience on the PC," which means less messing around with graphics options and drivers before being able to play the games themselves. Sandy Bridge will apparently also provide lower manufacturing costs along with improved performance and cooling rates, which will hopefully guarantee a competitive launch price.

Valve's Gabe Newell stepped up to the plate and praised the new chip, stating that "it’s a real game changer." Portal 2 will apparently be optimised to run on the Sandy Bridge processor when it releases later this year.

From Declawed DRM To More CoD Subscription Rumours - News Roundup 4th January 2011

Jonathan Lester
Activision, Avatar Kinect, Call Of Duty, CES, iFling, iPad, Kinect, Microsoft, Pokemon Black and White, Subscriptions, Ubisoft DRM

Pokemon Black & White Gets English Trailer

Pokemon Black & White has finally received an English language trailer ahead of its March US release date... and it's actually a very interesting precedent. Previous videos suggest that the gameplay formula has remained unchanged, but this recent video seems to hint at a "new adventure" and storyline this time around. We've been clamouring for a more interesting premise and context for the poaching/inhumane bloodsports for years- and it seems that this latest iteration may be set to deliver.

On the other hand, all this coronation business is probably just going to release a legendary Pokemon that we'll have to catch before hitting Victory Road. With 150 new critters to catch, we probably wouldn't have time for the extra exposition anyway...

Ubisoft Declaws Evil DRM

One of 2010's biggest controversies stemmed from Ubisoft's 'evil' DRM. Sick of rampant PC piracy, the active Digital Rights Management system forced Assassin's Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction players (amongst others) to remain constantly connected to the internet... on pain of instant quitting and loss of progress. Despite adding cloud saving functionality and a few other upgrades, this state of affairs was a massive pain in the ass.

Thankfully, Ubi has announced that the DRM no longer requires a constant internet connection to function- just a valid connection during installation. It looks like not ragging on the disenfranchised PC crowd is one of their New Years resolutions... [PC Gamer]

Analysts Predict Incoming "Second Tier" CoD Subscriptions


Again with these rumours. Wedbush Morgan is still banging on about the possibility that Activision's set to monetize its Call of Duty multiplayer. This time, they suggest that a premium "second tier" will be imminently added  to Call of Duty: Black Ops (adding new features for a higher price) while leaving regular multiplayer free. This would be a sneaky way of getting around their promises to never charge for online multiplayer; akin to EA's Gun Club or BFBC2's VIP membership.

Activision remains a top pick, primarily due to the company’s potential to create and monetize a second tier of multiplayer online gaming for its Call of Duty franchise. - Wedbush Morgan January Newsletter

We'll keep you posted. [Kotaku]

Rumour Control: Microsoft To Reveal Avatar Kinect At CES?


Microsoft is set to deliver its Consumer Electronics Show keynote speech on Wednesday night... and a number of rumours are floating around regarding a new Kinect service. Entitled Avatar Kinect, this new software update will reportedly allow avatars to interact on Xbox Live as well as share social experiences such as ESPN. A few leaked presentation slides suggest that these rumours are probably right on the money, but it remains to be seen whether Avatar Kinect will be a single standalone download or part of a sweeping Kinect update.

Microsoft will be streaming their keynote speech live on their Facebook page- and we'll be keeping a close eye on what transpires. [Glimpsedog]

And Finally: I'm A Real Thumbstick!

As Matt mused in the 2010 retrospective, the iPad has become a legitimate gaming platform with one major weakness: the hateful virtual thumbstick. This has been a barrier to entry since the earliest days of iPhone gaming, but the new iFling suction cup peripheral is set to change the way we play forever.

You know, by sticking a thumbstick onto your iPad. We still can't quite work out whether it's complete genius or completely pointless, but I can't believe no-one thought of it sooner!