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XBox (Games) E3 Input Devices Microsoft Games

Microsoft Unveils Smaller Xbox 360 Model, Kinect Details 277

Posted by Soulskill
from the might-as-well-call-it-a-slim dept.
E3 kicked off today, and Microsoft took advantage of its early keynote presentation to show off a ton of new games and features for the Xbox 360. The biggest news for the very near future is that they're releasing a smaller, revamped version of the console, with immediate availability. It's black, it comes with a 250GB HDD and built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi support, and it's priced at $299. Microsoft also put a release date on Kinect, the motion control scheme formerly known as Project Natal: November 4 in the US. It will launch with 15 games, mostly casual-oriented, several of which were demonstrated on-stage. Many new Kinect features were shown as well, such as the dashboard interface, video chat (with support for playing movies both parties can watch), and a partnership with ESPN to provide live and on-demand sports, all controllable with hand gestures and voice commands. (It presently includes college football and basketball, soccer, the NBA, and MLB.) Also notable is a partnership with LucasArts for a Kinect Star Wars game, a fitness game from Ubisoft, and a Forza racing game that uses Kinect and allows players to inspect the cars with an impressive level of detail. Engadget's liveblog of the event has a bunch of pictures from the demonstrations, or you can read a more detailed play-by-play at Ars.
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Microsoft Unveils Smaller Xbox 360 Model, Kinect Details

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  • Re:ESPN (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:25PM (#32570158) Homepage

    the biggest announcement had to be the ESPN agreement.

    It doesn't include NHL support (at least, they didn't mention it during the keynote.) It's useless -_-;;

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:33PM (#32570314) Homepage

    The Falcon's ran quite stable, and the Jasper units are nearly 100% stable. My own Jasper runs perfectly fine, despite the fact that it is kept in an enclosed space (inside my tv stand with glass doors, next to my PS3 Slim...sometimes with both on at the same time.) The red ring problems were a very huge issue for a long time, but with the Falcon revision they were vastly reduced, and with the Jasper release they are pretty much entirely fixed. This smaller unit is only going to increase the stability even more.

    I smell a shill.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:36PM (#32570364)

    Damn, wikipedia is fast

    Kinect [wikipedia.org]

    Connectivity USB 2.0 (type-A)

    I'm sure it will attach via usb

  • Re:ESPN (Score:3, Informative)

    by Killer Orca (1373645) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:39PM (#32570412)

    Kinect is exciting and I'll get it but the biggest announcement had to be the ESPN agreement. That's a cable killer right there depending on how blackout/regional rules apply.

    I got bad news for you, it appears that the service is still dependent on ESPN having an agreement with your current ISP in place too. Not an ESPN friendly ISP account holder and no others available? Too bad for you.

  • Re:Reliable? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:43PM (#32570486) Homepage

    The primary cause of the old RRoD problem was excessive heat. The Falcon revision released a few years ago made great strides in reducing red rings, and the Jasper revision that came out about a year ago all but eliminated the red ring issue.

    Considering this new version has better cooling and is based on 45 nm production, it will generate even less heat than the Jaspers. The chances of it having the same problems are practically nonexistent.

  • by zaffir (546764) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:45PM (#32570520)

    Yes. It'll connect to any 360. However, the custom port on the new XBox will also provide power to the Kinect, so that you don't have to have a separate power adapter for it.

  • by kidgenius (704962) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:46PM (#32570544)

    Yep, pretty much. But sony is still king of the "custom connector,"

    Really?? PS3 uses standard USB cables for its controllers. It uses a standard harddrive inside you can easily upgrade. It uses standard bluetooth to connect any headset you want? Custom connector? More MS than Sony from a console standpoint

  • Re:nice...mostly (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:54PM (#32570656) Homepage

    You've got it all wrong. Kinect will be compatible with every version of the 360. The difference is, if you don't have a slim version, you need to hook it up via USB for the data and then a seperate power connector to plug into the wall. The "Kinect Socket" on the new revision would provide data and power, negating the need to plug the hardware into the wall.

    That being said, I personally don't see myself spending the money on it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:57PM (#32570700)
    I'm very curious as to what CPU/GPU config this thing has. The original xbox360, while being quite dated now by chip standards, still has amazing graphics due to it's gpu capabilities. I wanna know what's under the hood. More cores? Radeon HD? Gimme specs!!!

    I can tell that you don't understand hardware very well (which just makes the fact that you're asking for hardware specs that much funnier). With any console revamp like this, the specs are the exact same, just done with a reduced die for lower power consumption and less heat dissipation. There might be other tweaks to the board design (possibly slightly different controller chips, etc), but as far as speed and polygon count, etc, they're essentially the same. That's the entire point of having "locked in" hardware designs for things like consoles.
  • Re:Reliable? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:58PM (#32570708) Homepage

    Speaking from personal experience, my Jasper revision 360 sits in an enclosed space next to my PS3 Slim (inside my entertainment center, behind a glass door that stays closed unless we're changing discs.) I haven't had a single problem with it, and it gets at least 2-4 hours of use a day, either through gaming or Netflix. I've had my Jasper for a little under 9 months at this point, sitting in that enclosed space. ::shrug::

  • Re:nice...mostly (Score:4, Informative)

    by kjart (941720) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:58PM (#32570710)

    That's all fine and well, except the new revision won't be compatible with external hard drives. Sooo...yeah.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure you can just transfer your profile, saved games, arcade games to a regular old USB flash drive and then transfer all that stuff to a new console.

  • Re:No blu-ray (Score:3, Informative)

    by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:59PM (#32570734)

    Call me crazy but I'd say built in wireless N, smaller form, and quieter (claimed) cooling/running are new features especially when it's being sold at the same price even though you don't have to buy some wireless adapter for ~$60 (for MS's version?).

    I also don't think it's positioned as a must buy for current owners so much as, if you're going to buy a new 360 to get into console gaming or replace and old one you'll want to get this one.

  • Re:ESPN (Score:2, Informative)

    by jittles (1613415) on Monday June 14, 2010 @05:03PM (#32570802)
    That's because those jackass*s at ESPN don't cover hockey. It's a sad world. :(
  • Re:Reliable? (Score:4, Informative)

    by adbge (1693228) on Monday June 14, 2010 @05:17PM (#32571020)
    On one hand, I own a release model 360 that is still running fine and has yet to RROD on me. Admittedly, I don't use the console nearly as much as hardcore gamers (or even casual ones, for that matter), but I don't typically take any special precautions with it other than keeping it in an open area and not leaving it on top of carpet.

    I also have a part time job fixing 360s and, in my experience, the failure rate on the newer models is still significant. Probably not as high as the originals, but I wouldn't go pushing my luck by keeping the newer models in enclosed spaces. For every Wii or PS3 we get in, we get about 4-5 360s.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday June 14, 2010 @05:43PM (#32571404) Journal
    Support varies by manufacturer and model; but it is quite common for laptops to have a designated "charge" usb port that is powered any time the laptop is on, or if the laptop is off; but on its AC adapter.

    Some; but by no means all, desktop motherboards energize one or more USB ports from the +5 standby rail.

    It certainly isn't required by the USB spec or anything; but it is doable enough, and would have been a pretty reasonable move.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday June 14, 2010 @05:55PM (#32571588)

    LANs do not have a significant amount of latency compared to an Internet connection. While wireless does have a bit more latency than wired, you are talking differences in microseconds. If you have DSL or cable, your very first hop probably has a latency in the 10-40 millisecond range.

    So if you've got lag, it is a net issue, not a LAN issue.

  • Re:ESPN (Score:3, Informative)

    by Killer Orca (1373645) on Monday June 14, 2010 @06:12PM (#32571830)

    Can you post a link to where it says that in detail? Having data dependent upon the ISP for a feature on a console seems like a very convoluted chain, likely to enrage a lot of people (and ISP's).

    Sorry it took a while, here is the link http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/14/espn3-comes-exclusively-to-xbox-360/ [engadget.com]

  • Re:yes (Score:2, Informative)

    by CityZen (464761) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:11PM (#32573130) Homepage

    Many motherboards I've seen have a jumper than controls whether or not banks of USB ports get power when the computer is sleeping (S3). In addition, there is a BIOS setting that describes the HW sleep mode (S1 or S3) used when the software requests sleep. (In S1, a lot of stuff is still on, while in S3, much more stuff is really off.)

    In addition to that, the amount of power the MB (and thus USB stuff) can draw while in sleep mode depends upon what the power supply provides when it is "sleeping" (how much "standby" power).

    So indeed there are lots of variables in play here.

    And technically, the Xbox 360 doesn't charge controllers over USB when it is off either. It's just that, if you request it to turn itself off while charging, it stays on, just turning off the display, until the controllers are charged.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:26PM (#32573280)

    No, it isn't fixed. They probably work fine in the US and other temperate countries, where half of the year it's cold and the other half the AC is on; but in a warm country (like here in Brazil) the problem is still very much alive. My cousin went through three 360s; the newest, a Jasper, didn't get the RRoD but is showing Error E74 even after replacing the whole cooling solution and adding huge heat spreaders to the NAND and other hot chips.

  • Re:Kinect demo faked (Score:5, Informative)

    by fcrick (465682) on Monday June 14, 2010 @11:41PM (#32574516) Journal

    I also work at M$ (contractor!) but not on Kinect and those demos were definitely legit. My office happens happens to be near where it's worked on, and I've playtested it briefly on several occasions. I think today's demo and the hype doesn't nearly do the platform justice - I've already gone to GameStop to (try to) pre-order...it's frikkin' amazing.

    If you watch the video carefully, you'll notice there are are essentially two types of use of the platform:

    1. Most games seem to have a delay between when you move and when that movement shows up on screen. These games are either ones where you notice something you have to react to, you react, and then you see something happen after a delay, or ones where you sorta 'pre-act' moves you know are coming. If you watch the video where they are avoiding things on the track, you can see them move their bodies early, anticipating that the game won't get the move in time if they jump in time with what they see.

    2. The dance game seemed to do a kind of post-analysis to see if what you did is correct - I think this is very similar to existing singing games out there - you calibrate it so you can sing with the music as you hear it, but the scoring mechanism doesn't come back with how well you're doing as fast as you're doing it. I'm pretty sure they must be doing the same thing here - you dance to what you see, and the scoring chimes in a moment later with "yup, that last move was great" or whatever. If you look on the right side you can see the upcoming moves - that's how you know what to do next - also you can see yourself moving on the right in a small box - i think if you look there you'll see yourself delayed.

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