kinect

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Disney and Harmonix’s has released that date for when Fantasia: Music Evolved will come to Xbox One and Xbox 360 on 21st October. It will require the Kinect for both platforms, as you use your movements in the game to influence the notes.

fantasia performance mix choice

With the announcement today, Disney and Harmonix revealed six more tracks for the game.

  • Depeche Mode – “Enjoy the Silence”
  • Drake – “Take Care” (ft. Rihanna)
  • Tchaikovsky – “The Nutcracker Medley”
  • Police – “Message in a Bottle”
  • MIA – “Galang”
  • The Who – “The Real Me”

Microsoft just done a new major reversal comes today in the form of a Kinect-less Xbox One. This comes after Microsoft repeatedly said that Kinect is an “integral part of the Xbox One experience”.

Xbox One without Kinect

The announcement is made in a post on Xbox Wire titled “Delivering More Choices for Fans.” Beginning 9th June, users in all markets will be able to purchase the Xbox One without the Kinect at £349 / €399/ $399.

Microsoft will sell a standalone Kinect sensor for Xbox One later for people that want a Kinect in the future.

What do you think about Microsoft doing Xbox One without the Kinect.

Today Microsoft has started to roll out another system update for the Xbox One. But new update is unlike the last two updates in the past, this one doesn’t add many major new features, but it does tweak some that are already there.

For a start the new update, adds 50Hz playback capabilities to the Blu-ray application, and also improvements to voice and motion controls on Kinect.

Xbox One update

The Kinect update adds some fine tuning, which includes some of the gesture functionality to reduce false positives on non-hand objects triggering gesture commands.

Video quality for Game DVR recordings has been improved. And there is now a game save progress bar to give you an idea of how long it’s taking. You can also now tell what apps and games are being updated or have been recently.

Notifications to tell you when your friends and favourites sign in to Xbox Live have been added. While firmware for the controller and headset adaptor has been updated to reduce audio static and wireless connectivity.

Here’s the final breakdown of the features rolling out to Xbox One systems starting today and over the next few days:

  • Game and app saves and updates. A game save progress bar will show you the status of your game saves. You will also be able to easily tell what games and apps are being updated or have been updated recently.
  • Friends improvements. Notifications will be added to see when favorites and friends sign in to Xbox Live. This was one of the most frequently requested features, so we made it a priority to include it in this update. Also, friends who are in multiplayer will be identified in the friends list.
  • Kinect voice and motion improvements will continue to be fine-tuned for quality and reliability of Xbox One commands. For example, we’ve updated some of the gesture functionality to reduce false positives on non-hand objects triggering gesture commands.
  • Improved GameDVR video quality through compression algorithm improvements.
  • Blu-ray player supports 50 Hz video output for content recorded at 50 Hz. We’ll also be updating the Blu-ray Player app in the coming days to round out these improvements.
  • Controller and headset adapter firmware updates will reduce audio static and improve wireless connectivity.
  • Silent reboot after system updates and system update on demand now available. If your console is in Instant On mode, the update will happen automatically and return to standby upon completion. This means you won’t need to power on your console after an update moving forward. If you want to take future updates when available without waiting for your console to do it on its own, we’ve added this option under system settings and you’ll be able to use it next update. It will only show as available when there is an update to take.

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Xbox announced the kick-off of the “Kinect Sports Rivals World Championship,” the first ever global motion-sports competition. The “Kinect Sports Rivals World Championship” will challenge players from around the world who have honed their “Kinect Sports Rivals” gameplay skills and award the grand prize winner with $10,000 in cash and a trip of a lifetime to one of four amazing destinations: a water sports adventure in Bora Bora, walking the Great Wall of China, trekking to Machu Picchu, or skiing the Swiss Alps.

Flag_Paintover_Bowling

Additional prizes include:

  • 2nd Place:  USD $5,000
  • 3rd Place:  USD $2,500
  • 4th Place:  USD $1,000
  • 5th – 11th Place:  USD $500 each

The “Kinect Sports Rivals World Championship” will begin online on 11th April in the U.K., France and Germany (8th April in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Brazil) as competitors go head-to-head in the semi-final round of the global competition online.

KSR Flag_Paintover_Climbing

It will culminate with a live, in-person final championship this July at the San Diego Comic-Con, where top finalists from each participating country will battle for their country’s glory and the grand prize.

Flag_Paintover_Wakerace

Starting today, players who want to enter the “Kinect Sports Rivals World Championship” can register here. Additional details, including rules and restrictions, about the “Kinect Sports Rivals World Championship” can be found on Xbox.com.

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Microsoft today has shared the next wave of features that we will begin to roll out, on your Xbox One. These features will become available to members getting the early previews in the coming days and weeks and will be available to the full Xbox Live community in April.

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  • Game and app saves and updates. A game save progress bar will show you the status of your game saves. You will also be able to easily tell what games and apps are being updated or have been updated recently.
  • Friends improvements. Notifications will be added to see when favorites and friends sign in to Xbox Live. This actually was one of the most frequently requested features from the first preview wave and we made it a priority to include it in the April update. Also, friends who are in multiplayer will be identified in the friends list. We’ll also add the ability to view friends’ most popular apps.
  • Kinect voice and motion improvements will continue to fine tune the quality and reliability of Xbox One commands.
  • Improved GameDVR video quality through compression algorithm improvements.

We’re also extending more invitations to Xbox Live members around the world in our current 13 Xbox One markets. New invitees will be sent an Xbox Live message to register. Once registered, you will be able to test the early features included in the update and provide feedback on a private forum.

The external hard drive storage feature is still no in this update, is still a big one and Microsoft have promised it on the to do list.

Today Mircosoft have announced that the first proper update coming to the Xbox One next Tuesday the 11th February.  This update will features many new improvements, including lots of behind-the-scenes updates for developers building apps and games for Xbox One, several new features that Xbox One fans will love, stability and product updates to improve the customer experience, and continuous improvements to the quality of Kinect voice so commands become more fluid and responsive over time.

Some of the features you can expect to see on February 11 include:

  • The ability to see and manage your storage space. With this update, you will find it easy to find how much space your content takes up and better manage your content. You can also control your install lineup and more easily manage your download queue. We’ve separated My Games and My Apps into separate lists, so you can easily create separate queues for both. Now you can pick the order in which you want your content to load and we’ve added a boot progress indicator so you can better track updates while they load.
  • The battery power indicator is back! You can see it right on the home screen, so you can easily track how much battery life is left on your controller.
  • And, you will be able to use your USB keyboard with your Xbox One.

But this update next Tuesday isn’t the last one with a second update coming on the 4th March to get ready for Titanfall. This update will contain  many new features and improvements, most significantly to Xbox One party and multiplayer systems.

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Today Rare introduced the “Kinect Sports Rivals” Preseason International Champions, a global wake racing contest where players can compete on behalf of their country to see which player deserves to take home the gold. Since the launch of “Kinect Sports Rivals” Preseason (which includes the free wake racing trial experience) last November, nearly 1 million fans have downloaded the game and taken to the open waters to earn their stripes. Now, those fans can put their skills to the ultimate international test against the best in the world. Kinect Sports Rivals is out this spring only on Xbox One.

World Champions

“We’re blown away with the amount of downloads and the great feedback from gamers ‘Kinect Sports Rivals’ Preseason has seen so far,” said Danny Isaac, executive producer for the game. “I’m so excited to see which country has the best players and who will ultimately be crowned the world champion.”

Starting Saturday, 1st February, players can compete to represent their country on the in-game national and international leaderboards by setting the best race time for their country and the world. When the challenge wraps on Friday, 28th February, the best contestant will be crowned the world champion and will receive an in-game gold-encrusted wake racer.  Additionally, everyone who sets the best time in their country will be rewarded for being a national champion and will get a silver-encrusted wake racer as a runner-up prize. Finally, to honour the nation that the world champion competed in, all the players from the winning country can celebrate by unlocking a special wake racer inspired by that country’s flag. There are also daily challenges for everyone to earn points and unlock prizes that are only available during February. All prizes will lead to eternal bragging rights when the winner takes these exclusives into the full game of “Kinect Sports Rivals” when it launches.

New players can join the “Kinect Sports Rivals” Preseason International Champions fun by downloading the free trial experience through Xbox Live Dashboard on your console or via hitting this link.
To participate in the “Kinect Sports Rivals” Preseason International Champions and claim your place on top of the leaderboards, you must download the “Kinect Sports Rivals” Hub, a companion app that features these challenges, leaderboards, and prizes via this link.

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Today Major Nelson posted on Vine just how quick the Kinect on the new Xbox One can read a QR code for a the console. It redeemed the 14-day trial code almost instantly in the vine video. All you have to do now to redeem a code is mutter “Xbox, use a code” and Kinect will pull up a video camera.

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The Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten is back answering questions on IGN again like last week. But what news will Marc Whitten bring this week?

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Posted from IGN

Can you organize your now-expanded Friends List into categories? i.e. “College buddies,” “Friends from work,” etc.

MARC WHITTEN : You’ll see us add more in this area in the future. At launch, you’ll have your expanded list of friends and the ability to mark favourites so that it is fast and easy to play with the friends you care about most.

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Is there cross-console Party Chat? i.e. since it’s all “Xbox Live,” can people on Xbox 360s Party Chat with their friends on Xbox One?

WHITTEN: For a variety of technical reasons – including the sound quality that I talk about below – we don’t support voice chat between the two systems. You will still be able to send and receive text messages to friends on both systems, however.

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OK, so we can’t chat across systems. But can I at least see what my friends are doing on either console?

WHITTEN: Yes – you see your friends on both systems, including their rich presence. My friends that are still on Xbox 360, for example, might see that I’m on Xbox One, playing Ryse. Since I can have more than 100 friends on Xbox One, if I go back to Xbox 360 and I have more than 100 friends, it will only show me the subset of my friends who are friends with me on Xbox 360.

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Since Kinect must be plugged in for the Xbox One to function, what happens if your Kinect breaks? Like if it falls off the top of your TV onto a hardwood floor or something? Will the console cease to function?

WHITTEN: Xbox One is designed to work with Kinect plugged in. It makes gaming better in many ways – from the ability to say “Xbox On” and get right to your personalized home screen, to the ability to control your TV through voice, Smartglass and more. Kinect allows you to search for your content, instantly move between games and your personalized dash and more with just your voice. Kinect helps you pick up and play by automatically knowing which controller you have in your hands. No more need to interrupt your friends game or navigate through multiple UI screens to sign in and tell the system which controller you are holding. It will even bind the controller to the console if its currently unbound – no searching for special buttons! Of course – these are just a few of the system wide benefits of having Kinect. Games use Kinect in a variety of amazing ways from adding voice to control your squad mates to adding lean and other simple controls beyond the controller to full immersive gameplay. That said, like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor.

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How “off” can Kinect be when the system is in use?

WHITTEN: You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings. When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information. Any functionality that relies on voice, video, gesture or more won’t work. We still support using it for IR blasting in this mode. You can turn the sensor back on at any time through settings, and if you enter into a required Kinect experience (like Kinect Sports Rivals for instance), you’ll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.

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So Microsoft has again done a U Turn on what it has said from the beginning when there said that the Xbox One wouldn’t work with out the Kinect plugged in.

What can Microsoft do now to fix all the problems that it has made for itself in the Next Generation console wars?

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Inon Zur Takes The Stage and Performs Music Featured in

“Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” for First Time at Disney’s D23 Expo

Disney Interactive and Harmonix Music Systems has teamed up with award-winning composer Inon Zur to develop original music for the game “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved,” a breakthrough musical motion video game inspired by Walt Disney’s classic animated film “Fantasia.” To celebrate this announcement, Zur conducted some of the orchestral classics that will appear in “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” with the Disney Chamber Ensemble at Disney’s D23 Expo, the ultimate Disney fan event, and Disney Interactive released ‘The Evolution of Disney Fantasia’ trailer that can now be seen at http://youtube.com/FantasiaGame.

Inon Zur pic

Zur, a Hollywood Music Award winning and BAFTA nominated composer, is internationally renowned for his emotionally dynamic orchestral music scores featured in film, television and interactive entertainment. Zur’s rich portfolio includes epic action/adventure and fantasy scores for major video game franchises including “Prince of Persia,” “The Lord of the Rings” (Classical MPR 2011 Best Video Game Soundtracks), “Dragon Age” (Hollywood Music Award Winner and Forbes’ Top Ten Video Game Soundtracks of All Time), “EverQuest” and “Fallout”, which earned him British Academy of Film and Television Arts and Spike TV video game awards nominations for Best Original Music (“Fallout 3”).

“Working with a versatile composer like Inon Zur was critical to developing the innovative type of gameplay we are introducing with ‘Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved’,” said Eran Egozy, co-founder and chief technical officer of Harmonix Music Systems. “Zur’s innate understanding of music’s role in gaming allowed us to create original arrangements that will let players experience music like never before.”

Zur composed, conducted and produced many of the original orchestral themes for the game and collaborated closely with Disney Interactive and Harmonix to produce innovative new recordings of classical symphonies by the great composers including Mussorgsky and Vivaldi. He also produced and arranged the orchestral version of Queen’s iconic rock opera “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the game. Zur recently recorded these classical songs for “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” with the London Symphony Orchestra and The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields at Abbey Road.

 

“Working with Disney and Harmonix on Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved was a great adventure for me,” said Inon Zur. “Recording and producing classical masterpieces, as well as writing original music that had to coexist with the works of the great classical composers presented exciting new challenges. The amazingly talented music composers and producers from Harmonix and Disney supported and guided me throughout this groundbreaking, creative process. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this world-class team and am extremely excited to share all that we’ve done together with you, the player.”

Using Kinect motion control technology for Xbox One,  and the Xbox 360, and natural, controller-free gameplay, players will control the music flow from some of the industry’s biggest acts. “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” gives players the creative power to change their favourite songs in real-time, combining the original recording and new remixed versions, or creating new layers of music via magical manipulators that allow them to change music in exciting and surprising new ways!

“Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” will feature over 30 tracks from leading artists and classical composers, each featuring two unique remixes in addition to the original recording. The current announced artists and songs, including the just-announced classical track by Vivaldi, that will appear in the “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” video game include:

  • Antonio Vivaldi – “Four Seasons: Winter: 1st Movement”
  • AVICII – “Levels”
  • Bruno Mars – “Locked Out Of Heaven”
  • Fun. – “Some Nights”
  • Kimbra – “Settle Down”
  • Modest Mussorgsky – “Night on Bald Mountain”
  • Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”

“Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved,” will be available for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Kinect for Xbox 360 in 2014. “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved”

More information is coming out regarding Xbox One policies, including the fact that you’ll need to install a day one patch.
Speaking to IGN, Mark Whitten has explained what will happen now that Microsoft has had a change of stance.
“There was always going to be a day one update on the console, and that’s frankly just a difference in manufacturing schedules versus software schedules,” he said.
“We just wanted to be clear that that hasn’t changed, that you have to go online to get the software update for day one, then you wouldn’t have to be connected after that.”
As far as always connected Kinect goes, it seems that’s still a large part of Microsoft’s plans.
Xbox One pic 2
“We still believe Kinect is a really critical part of the architecture,” Whitten said.
“We want game and interactive entertainment creators to be able to know they can take advantage of it, and we want it to be completely consistent for our users. So we still are very committed to how Kinect transforms that experience.”
In a separate interview with Kotaku, Whitten as discussed some of the things that will change now that there is no DRM.
“There’s a few things we won’t be able to deliver as a result of this change,” Whitten told the site. “One of the things we were very excited about was ‘wherever we go my games are always with me.’ Now, of course your physical games won’t show up that way. The games you bought digitally will.”

“You’ll have to bring your discs with you to have your games with you.”
“Similarly, the sharing library [is something] we won’t be able to deliver at launch,” he added.
“We believe a lot in this digital future,” Whitten concluded. “We believe it builds an amazing experience – the ability to have a broader sharing platform and my content coming with me, [but] what we heard is people still wanted more choice, they wanted the familiarity of the physical disc.”

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