Microsoft confirms UK Kinect price and launch date

After months of speculation, yesterday afternoon Microsoft finally announced the UK RRP for their revolutionary Kinect device. The peripheral will cost £129.99, comes bundled with the game Kinect Adventures, and the release date of November 19th 2010 has also been confirmed. Zavvi.com will be offering this bundle for £119.95, with various other packages available, all of them offering a saving of over 20%.

Ever since it was first announced back in June of 2009 under its code name “Project Natal”, Microsoft’s hugely ambitious Kinect add-on has become one of the most eagerly anticipated peripherals of the current console generation. Some cynical parties have been quick to dismiss it as an attempt to win over a more casual audience, many of whom have only recently been introduced to gaming by Nintendo’s DS and Wii platforms. But Kinect isn’t just about revolutionising gaming.

Kinect is a multi-functional unit that includes an RGC camera, 3D depth sensors, motorised tilt and a multi-array microphone. It can recognise you and your voice, is able to respond to your gestures, and will change the way that you not only play videogames, but the fashion in which you interact with all aspects of the Xbox 360 dashboard interface; in particular the way you watch movies and interact with friends via the console.

Microsoft clearly has genuine belief in the power of the project, and they aren’t alone. Some of the world’s most renowned and respected game publishers are all developing titles for the system, including Capcom, EA, Konami, Namco Bandai, Sega, Square Enix, Ubisoft and THQ.

Here is a brief look at some of the most anticipated titles due to launch alongside the device before the end of the year.

Kinect Adventures

Like Wii Sports before it, Kinect Adventures is included free with Microsoft’s new baby, and its aim – to show off the best of what Kinect’s technology is capable of – is coupled with a desire to compete as an absolutely belting party game. Accessible and packed with real variety, it looks like it could be the kind of game that people will be playing for as long as they play with Kinect itself.

Watch the Kinect Adventures trailer here…

Joyride

The kart racer is an extremely over-populated genre, and as excellent as many of those games are, the one thing that they don’t do too well is innovate. After seeing the demonstration of Joyride at this year’s E3, it’s hard not to wonder if it’ll even be possible to go back to using a standard controller after sampling Joyride with Kinect. By all accounts, it works perfectly.

Watch the Kinect Joyride trailer here…

Kinectimals

Clearly aiming for a similar audience to the one that became bewitched by Nintendo’s wonderful Nintendogs series on the DS a few years ago, Kinectimals is almost absurdly cute, but the astonishing graphics coupled with a surprising depth in its gameplay, means that it’s shaping up to transcend its status as merely “one for the kids”.

Watch the Kinectimals trailer here….

Dance Central

Harmonix are a development team that have nurtured a reputation for being a band of forward-thinking perfectionists, and their Rock Band series is a shining testament to that. After its hugely successful debut at E3, this looks like it could be something to unite the hardcore audience with the casual one. It’s on track to be the real “surprise” smash of Kinect’s November launch line-up.

Watch the Kinect Dance Central trailer here….

Kinect Sports

Kinect Sports was one of the first titles to be announced for Kinect, and whilst everyone may be expecting a lame re-hash of Wii Sports, the variety of activities offered is really very impressive, and hands-on reports have all been extremely positive. Some modes in the game can even accommodate a room full of people playing as two separate teams; the only restrictions will involve the size of your living room. And how forgiving your neighbours are.

Watch the Kinect Sports trailer here…

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