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Plethora of XBOX News

Posted by: , 09:15 AEST, Wed June 3, 2009

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Microsoft releases several new features to the XBOX console this week including the much anticipated motion controller and 1080p video streaming

From the highly anticipated small black motion controller codenamed "Project Natal" to having the ability now to stream instantly in 1080p with 5.1 surround sound, Microsoft held nothing back at the E3 convention this year.

First up is Project Natal.  Microsoft claims the new wireless controller is revolutionary but, I can't say I agree.  Sure its a new exciting feature but, they basically built off of Nintendo's ingenuity. Then you have the streaming in 1080p, which is great if you have an internet connection speed of 8 Mbps or more.  I'm not sure how easy it is for some people to get that speed unless they live in a major metropolotain area.  I live on the outskirts of town and the highest I can get is 3 megs down.   Anyways, enough of my opinion, lets explore these new features.

Project Natal is a full-body motion control that doesn't require a controller of any kind and will work with every 360 when it launches. It has full body motion control by tracking 3D movement and responds to voices totally involving you in the game.

Project Natal is a bar that sits above or below your TV, much like the Wii's sensor bar but, instead of sensing controllers, this thing has a camera, sensors and a microphone inside that lets it get an accurate sense of your space and you in it.

There is no doubt this will be fun and entertaining for the whole family!

Coming this fall is the revamped video service relaunched as Zune Video that will allow you to stream instantly for users of the Xbox Live social network with consoles connected to compatible HDTVs.

There will be no discs, no waiting for downloads and no delays. You will get a major selection of all the best movies/TV shows at the best video clarity available and the convenience of on-demand.

Microsoft is also expanding the number of markets where Xbox Live offers its TV shows and movies, growing from eight to 18 by adding Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

Microsoft laid out the requirements for a typical user that would require a 1080p/24 compatible HDTV, HDMI cable and broadband speeds greater than 8 Mbps.

Xbox Live also has added connections to Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm networking sites.  Last.fm will give Xbox Live subscribers access to millions of streaming songs.

Last but not least, XBOX Live subscribers will be able to buy and download full Xbox 360 titles with real money (not Xbox 360 points).

The service will premiere with 30 games to start with and will add new titles weekly that will coincide with retail release.  Oh yeah, the games aren't the cheesy stripped down downloadable versions either, there are the same as playing it off the actual disc.

Microsoft said Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Bioshock, and Lego Star Wars will be some of the first titles to be available for download.


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