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Kinect 2.0 finds a home on PC July 15

The Kinect 2.0 may have split from the Xbox One, but it will be ready to find new love with PC partners soon. A Microsoft Store listing highlights a July 15 release date for the Xbox logo-less, PC-compatible 3D camera, meaning we can put Xbox head…
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Save $120 on an Xbox One, Kinect, Forza 5, a game you pick

Wal Mart is offering $ 119 of savings on an Xbox One bundle: You can grab the console (with Kinect), a digital copy of Forza 5, and a choice of whatever game you want for $ 500. There are 18 Xbox One games to choose from for the free option, including…
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Xbox One kicks Kinect to the curb, becomes $399


Ask and ye shall receive. One of the main pillars keeping Xbox One in second place to the PS4 is about to disappear. Starting June 9th you will be able to purchase an Xbox One for $ 399. How did they do this you ask? They are accomplishing this by removing the Kinect. Yes it is true, if you don’t want a Kinect you no longer have to buy one.

When the Xbox One was announced Microsoft made a big deal about how Kinect would greatly improve the next gen gaming experience. Fast Forward to six months post launch and there is only one game that uses it and the controls are not very good. The overall mood in that gaming community is that Kinect is just an unnecessary accessory and Microsoft is finally listening to its fans.

The new Xbox One is available for pre-order on Amazon and ships on the same day as their E3 press conference. You can of course still buy an Xbox One with Kinect if you want, but why would you do that?

That VideoGame Blog

Dragon Age: Inquisition Will Have Kinect Voice Commands

Skyrim proved that people like shouting at dragons, now you'll be able to use the Xbox One's Kinect to give out commands in BioWare's upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition.

In an interview with the game's creative director Mike Laidlaw in the Official Xbox Magazine, he confirmed that the game will use Kinect voice commands. Laidlaw said, "We're expecting that Xbox 360 and Xbox One editions will ship with a Kinect-enabled voice command feature, just like Mass Effect 3 did."

He also said that SmartGlass features that "make sense" are being considered, commenting, "We want Inquisition to be an experience you can take with you everywhere – to work, the commute home, the living room, bed."

[Source: TotalXbox via Eurogamer]

Our Take:
I'm not a huge proponent of Kinect, but I already have one hooked up and I wouldn't mind having some actual in-game uses for it. However, I assume that BioWare has the good sense to make these features optional. What do you think? Do you want Kinect in Dragon Age? Did you like the voice commands in Mass Effect 3? – The Feed

Joystiq Streams: Picking a fight with Kinect Sports Rivals

Joystiq’s Jess Conditt did not much care for Kinect Sports Rivals. “The biggest challenge in gameplay is often hassling with the Kinect,” chided Jess in her two-star review, “Overall, the games themselves are insultingly simple.” Everything’s worth a…
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Kinect Sports Rivals review: The crowd goes mild

Kinect Sports Rivals looks like a mobile game for the new, hit reality sports show that all of your friends will be watching, according to its prime time commercials. The game is crowded with bright colors, an excitable narrator, a hard-ass trainer,…
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Kinect For Windows v2 Detailed By Microsoft

Windows PCs are going to receive their own version of the Xbox One's Kinect, and a few details were recently revealed by Microsoft. One of the most immediately noticeable is the omission of the console version's glowing "X" logo on the right side of the face. In its place on the Windows version is a simple glowing dot.

Among the other minor changes is the word "Kinect" on the top of the unit in the bottom-left corner. The device requires a hub that connects the Kinect sensor to the power supply and the PC's USB 3.0 port. The post on the MSDN blog indicates that the device is getting "closer and closer to launch," but no specific timeframe was mentioned.

Our Take
It appears that this v2 of Kinect won't make any drastic changes to the device. Hope you enjoy a bunch of buttons showing up over your desktop whenever you need to scratch your head! – The Feed

UK agency violated privacy of webcams, explored Kinect surveillance

Classified documents published by The Guardian reveal that British surveillance agency GCHQ surreptitiously gathered webcam images from more than a million Yahoo user accounts, while also evaluating the surveillance potential of the Xbox 360′s Kinect…
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Report: British Government Considered Spying Using Xbox 360 Kinect

Update: Microsoft has responded to our request for comment.

“Microsoft has never heard of this program," a Microsoft representative told us via email. "However, we’re concerned about any reports of governments surreptitiously collecting private customer data. That’s why in December we initiated a broad effort to expand encryption across our services and are advocating for legal reforms.”


Original Story:

New documents disclosed by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden accuse the British Government of spying on Yahoo users through their webcams. The materials also suggest that the GCHQ, the UK’s surveillance agency, considered Microsoft’s Kinect for use in monitoring and would have had assistance from the NSA.

The interest in the Kinect stems from its capabilities to provide “fairly normal webcam traffic” according to the materials. The device was being considered for a wider surveillance program. There is no explicit mention that the Kinect was used in a program similar to the GCHQ’s monitoring of Yahoo users, which reportedly included 1.8 million users’ webcam chats in one six-month period in 2008. The documents directly referencing the program, "Optic Nerve," date from 2008 to 2010.

Gaming and privacy matters have intersected numerous times in recent months. Microsoft was criticized for the Xbox One’s required use of Kinect before that technology was altered. Additionally, reports surfaced that the NSA considered spying using Rovio’s Angry Birds on smartphones.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update should we receive a response.

[Source: The Guardian]


Our Take
Privacy issues aren’t about whether you are doing something you wouldn’t want the government seeing. They are about the government even having the ability to co-opt technology in your home to find out. In cases where surveillance is happening without cause or warrant, the contract between the people and those elected by them has been broken. – The Feed