The writing has been on the wall for some time, but now Microsoft has officially rubber-stamped it: Kinect is dead.
Scott Henson reveals Microsoft's motion-sensing strategy.
10th January 2013
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Microsoft has pledged to support UK developer Rare after a round of layoffs hit the studio and Microsoft decided to sell Xbox One without the Kinect sensor.
Microsoft-owned developer Rare wanted to make another entry in the Kinect Sports series for Xbox One because it felt it had "unfinished business" with the sensor.
Rare veteran George Andreas has left Microsoft to join Sony.
Microsoft has announced Lift London, a new developer focused on creating new IP for tablets, mobiles and TVs.
Ex-Rare developer Lee Schuneman is running the developer, which was created by top Microsoft Studios exec Phil Harrison as a "21st century studio" that will build experiences only for the cloud.
"We're here to deliver entertainment as a service," Schuneman said at a Microsoft briefing held in London this afternoon, "where, when and how you want it. We're going beyond the box with great games and experiences on tablets, mobiles and TVs, powered by Microsoft."
Microsoft-owned developer Rare is sticking with motion sensor Kinect for its next, unannounced project.
Before it became Microsoft's Kinect Sports team, Rare was prototyping another way to use the Xbox 360's motion-sensing camera.
Savannah was one of several game prototypes created at the studio after its ownership was transferred from Nintendo.
Savannah's concept was to create a realistic-looking wilderness where players would help raise a lion cub from birth to adult life, ex-Rare staff member Donnchadh Murphy told NotEnoughShaders.
Natural speech recognition is the next big challenge for Kinect, a Rare developer has said.
Kinect Sports Ultimate Collection has been revealed by two recently published Xbox videos.
Following yesterday's revelation that Fable studio Lionhead is making an "MMO-like" RPG for the next Xbox, it has now emerged that Kinect Sports developer Rare is working on a raft of Durango games.
An upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update will add support for Joule, a new wireless heart rate monitor which will track your exercise across most Kinect games.
Microsoft has pressed its official stamp onto the Union Jack Xbox 360 that popped up on a shop's website last week.
The Xbox 360 Special Edition 4GB Kinect Celebration Pack is a "celebration of all things British", and launches on Friday 25th May in the UK.
The grisly details: the Celebration Pack features a special edition white Xbox 360 4GB console, Kinect Sensor, wireless controller, and, crucially, commemorative Union Jack skins to decorate your console with. On top of all that you get Kinect games Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports, and three months Xbox Live Gold subscription. All for £249.99.
Amazon has leaked a 25th May release date for the Xbox 360 4GB Celebration Pack.
It's identical to the Xbox 360 Family Kinect Bundle that was announced back in February.
Bar for one thing: a Union Jack skin for console, Kinect and controller.
Former Sega design chief Simon Woodroffe is the new creative director of Kinect Sports developer Rare.
Through a locked gate, down a winding path and by a still pond a few miles outside of the leafy village of Twycross, England, a bonsai tree stands. It was a gift given to Rare by Shigeru Miyamoto, the most famous game designer in the world, as a thank-you for the game developer's critical and commercial success in creating games for Nintendo, the most famous game maker in the world.
The future for beloved British developer Rare lies in creating "fun innovative games that can be hugely successful".
Scott Henson is serious when he talks about Kinect creating magic. He believes that for its target audience, that's what it does. And as boss of famed UK developer Rare, that's the direction he is going in.
A US company has sued Microsoft because it believes motion-sensing add-on Kinect infringes its patents.
Rare boss Scott Henson has explained why the Microsoft-owned UK developer is squarely focused on the Kinect Sports franchise and not hardcore genres such as first-person shooters.
Rumours abound that Microsoft may be preparing to unveil the next Xbox at E3 2012, but according to Kinect Sports developer Rare, the next-gen is already here.
UK team: "It's really realistic."
Microsoft has registered Fablethejourney.org as a domain name, along with three other phrases which seem to suggest a bunch of Kinect titles is on the way.
Microsoft is working hard to improve 10-million selling motion sensing add-on Kinect so that the games you play feel and control better.
At least 10 non-sequel Kinect games will be announced at trade show E3 next month, Eurogamer can reveal.
For most of us, playing games using motion sensing Xbox 360 add-on Kinect is about waving your arms about and jumping up and down.
Kinect Sports will appear in the pre-title sequence of sports comedy panel show A League of Their Own as part of Sky's first product placement deal.
Craig Duncan, a developer who has worked on the Colin McRae and Sonic and SEGA All Stars Racing games, has joined Kinect Sports studio Rare.
The threat of redundancies looms large over Kinect Sports developer Rare, but owner Microsoft has insisted the studio's future is bright.
Staff at Kinect Sports developer Rare are under threat of redundancy, Microsoft has confirmed.
42 per cent of all games sold for Xbox 360 motion-sensing add-on Kinect since launch were created by UK developers, new figures from UKIE/GfK Chart Track show.
MPs, including Cabinet Minister Ed Vaizey and controversial industry critic Keith Vaz, turned out to show their support for gaming at an event in Westminster.
Pinvaders! Target Smash! Fruit Splatter!
The emergence of new Achievements has confirmed downloadable content for Rare's Kinect Sports.
Update: Number cruncher GfK Chart-Track has explained to Eurogamer why sales of Kinect Adventures - the game the Kinect camera is bundled with - haven't been included.
A Kinect Sports Facebook app that sorts times set in the main Xbox 360 game into online leagues has been released.
Developed by Rare and Nzime, the Kinect Sports Facebook app uses your Xbox Live gamertag to compare your results with those of friends and randoms in Kinect Sports leagues.
You can join a weekly international league, create your own league and watch videos of your performances uploaded from Kinect Sports.
Back of the net?
It's here. Finally. We won't bore you with the palaver involved in bringing you this bumper presentation of Kinect launch coverage – let's just say it's been an interesting, and exhausting, few days.
But even if you knew the story, it wouldn't explain why the eventual arrival of Microsoft's magic camera was met with such drama and excitement chez Eurogamer. Nor would the level of hype whipped up by the ringmasters at Microsoft, although that certainly helped (it's not every day we feature an Oprah clip on our website).
Maybe it's the large and lavish line-up of launch software. Maybe it's the contrast with the softly-softly approach Sony took for PlayStation Move. But the fact is, this doesn't feel like a mere peripheral. It feels more like a new hardware launch than anything we've seen in years.
Once the king of core, Rare's latest incarnation in a turbulent existence is as standard-bearer for the Xbox casual revolution Microsoft hopes will be ignited by the arrival of Kinect.
The British studio's first offering for the device is a game that owes not just its existence but many of its ideas to the release that defined motion-control gaming four years ago: Wii Sports.
Making no attempt to disguise its influences, Kinect Sports features six main activities: Football, Bowling, Track & Field, Boxing, Volleyball and Table Tennis.
Rare's next game is Kinect Sports and the studio is one of the motion-sensing add-on's most vocal supporters, but new boss Scott Henson has denied the famed UK company has become a Kinect-exclusive developer.
However, Kinect development is the "centrepiece" of Rare's strategy, Henson, who Microsoft has just announced as Rare's new studio manager, told Eurogamer.
"Kinect will be a key part of the studio's future," he said. "I'm not suggesting it's going to be exclusive, but it will be the centrepiece of our strategy for sure, because there is a lot of opportunity there."
One of the chief architects of Xbox's success and development has taken over Kinect Sports developer Rare as studio manager, Microsoft has announced.
Ed Fries, the former Microsoft man instrumental in Rare's acquisition, has revealed how, from his perspective, the deal was Activision's to lose.
"No more gadgets, no more gizmos."
Studio jumps the couch.
It will be at least five years before we can have proper conversations with AI-driven on-screen characters, according to Rare.
Microsoft's next big thing, Kinect, will be on show and playable at the Eurogamer Expo 2010 this weekend.
Run Forrest run!
Modes, Live features and potential additions.
Usain in the mainframe.
Microsoft's decision not to have a gamescom press conference may have robbed us of the sight of Kudo Tsunoda doing stage demos by leaping around like a lunatic, but the mile-a-minute spokesperson for Xbox 360's new control system was still buzzing around the "Play Day" the platform holder organised on the edge of town - and still had a lot to say about Kinect ahead of its 10th November launch.
Kinect Sports developer Rare has moved to quell concern over the amount of space required to use Xbox 360 add-on Kinect.
Rare's Kinect development director Nick Burton has encouraged core gamers to try Microsoft's new controller technology rather than dismissing it out of hand.
Uninterested? Sceptical? Cynical? Outright angry? It's fair that Rare, the creator of Kinect launch game Kinect Sports, is yet to convince all core gamers, and indeed many old school Rare fans, to dump their Xbox 360 controllers in favour of... Well, themselves.
UPDATE: Microsoft has confirmed that Kinect WILL launch with voice control.
In a statement given to Eurogamer Microsoft said: "Voice control is an exciting part of the Kinect for Xbox 360 controller-free experience and we can confirm that it will be available at launch in November 2010.
"Only on Xbox 360 will you be able to navigate the Kinect Hub using your voice to control your movies, TV shows and music. We do not have additional details to share about local voice availability at this time."
UPDATE: Microsoft has confirmed Kinect will be released in the UK on 10th November. Glad that's cleared up.
ORIGINAL STORY: Xbox 360 sensor Kinect will be released in the UK on 10th November, Microsoft has announced.
Or is that 17th November? We're not entirely sure.
Fable III and Project Milo head honcho Peter Molyneux has told gamers to judge Xbox 360 motion sensor Kinect not on its launch titles but what follows.
Kinect Sports developer Rare has offered its best wishes to a long-running fan site that blamed the Microsoft-owned developer for its closure.
Rare's Nick Burton has hinted that fuller, more traditional games may be developed at the studio for Kinect.
Is lag a problem for Kinect? Not according to Rare, the studio tasked with producing one of its flagship launch titles, Kinect Sports.
It's the day after the night before, and a chance to reflect on our hands-on playtest of the new Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 platform, contact our sources and attempt to put together some semblance of the technical picture behind the device formerly known as Project Natal.
Microsoft has announced that Kinect for Xbox 360 will launch on 4th November "starting in North America". According to the press release that accompanied the news, "Kinect will roll out to the rest of the world thereafter."
We're on our way to the conference... Not long now!
New name, new games, and a new beginning for Microsoft's motion controller: Kinect. In the immediate aftermath of the Cirque de Soleil "Project Natal Experience", we had a chance to get hands on, or hands-off as it were [we did that joke last year - Ed], with a small selection of titles set to launch with the camera.
Microsoft has been showing off the Xbox 360 add-on previously known as Project Natal at a pre-E3 event in Los Angeles. No date or price was discussed at the event, although marketing materials pointed to a November launch.
Update: Check out Ellie's report on Kinect's unveiling for more details.