This Day in Entertainment History: Microsoft Xbox Kinect Released in US (November 4th, 2010)

By: Sean Sporman
By: Sean Sporman

It was an add-on that allowed gamers to control their characters without the need for a physical controller—the Microsoft Xbox Kinect.

With the runaway success of the Nintendo Wii, the Microsoft Kinect took motion control in a different direction by using a pair of cameras to track the movement of a player. The Kinect add-on also offers voice control through a microphone.

The motion control sensor was released as a piece of add-on hardware in the United States on November 4th, 2010 for the Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console.

The unit gained praise for its ease control, but also faced some criticisms such as sensitivity to sunlight and inability to play in small spaces. That was because the sensor requires the player to stand back a certain distance for the most accurate detection.

Some games specifically designed for the Kinect include Kinect Sports—a collection of sporting events from Goldeneye developer RareWare, Star Wars Kinect—which includes various modes from jedi battles to dancing, and the Dance Central series, which is a fully motion-controlled dancing games.

Other games have optional Kinect controls such as Madden NFL 13 and The Price is Right Decades. These games do not require the sensor.

A newer version of the Kinect will be bundled with the X-Box One video game console that is releasing in November.

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