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Microsoft is working to improve the accuracy of Xbox 360 motion-sensing add-on Kinect so that it could detect finger movement and hand rotation, Eurogamer understands.

Microsoft’s Kinect team is said to be working “very hard” on a switching or compression technology that will allow a greater amount of data to pass through Kinect to the Xbox 360 console.

Kinect features are dictated by firmware so that they can be added and upgraded over time.

The depth sensor used by Kinect is also dictated by firmware – it is currently set at a 30 frames per second limit and a 320×240 resolution limit.

At a 640×480 resolution, however, Kinect could begin to detect fingers and hand rotation – an effective quadrupling of its accuracy.

Read More: EUROGAMER

 

What? It took two full months for someone to make a Kinect sex game? C’mon, porn industry — you generally move faster than that!

Joking aside (or maybe not), you read that right: There are sex games in the works for Kinect, Microsoft’s new motion sensor for the Xbox 360. ThriXXX, maker of such titles as “3D SexVilla2,” “Fetish 3D” and “3D Slut,” is working on technology for its games that allows people to, um, interact with virtual women through motion gestures and voice commands via Kinect.

“The Kinect controller is astonishing new technology that allows users to experience cybersex like never before!” Brad Abram, ThriXXX’s vice president of business development, said in a news release. “It’s novel, sexy, social, age-spanning, crazy, and a rush to have virtual control at this level.”

The technology should be completed next year, making all ThriXXX games compatible with Kinect, according to the news release.

Read More: Seattle Pi

According to internal VGChartz estimates, sales of Microsoft’s Kinect sensor passed the 4 million unit mark as of last week (week ending December 11th). This puts Kinect on pace to sell over 6 million units by the end of the year. Xbox 360 hardware sales have seen a significant lift since the launch of Kinect with around 40% of all Kinect sensor sales worldwide coming via units bundled with Xbox360 hardware – clearly showing that Kinect has been selling outside of the existing Xbox360 userbase.

In the same timeframe from launch, Nintendo’s Wii managed to sell 2.9 million units and Sony’s PlayStation Move sold just over 900,000 units (camera + at least one Move controller) – less than 1/4 of the sales of Kinect. Despite the shortages experienced by Nintendo in 2006 and despite a far more aggressive marketing push than Sony had with Move and the effect of holiday boosts (which Move did not have in the initial 6 weeks), Kinect still looks to be the clear winner of the “motion wars” at this early stage. A fairer analysis will be available after 3-4 months from launch (when the effect of seasonality and shortages will even out) and we will revisit these comparisons at that point.

Read More: VGChartz

Microsoft is saying that its Bing search engine now has more than 90 million users and has grown by nearly 50% since its launch a year and a half ago.

At its Bing Summit in San Francisco, Microsoft Senior Vice President of Research and Development Satya Nadella provided an audience of journalists with an overview of the search engine’s current state. He started by pointing to a recent comScore report concluding that BingBing now commands 11.8% explicit market share, up 48% since its launch in June 2009. Specifically, Bing claims it has seen 72% growth in “heavy and medium users.”

One area Nadella made sure to highlight was “vertical” growth. He said that the growth of specialized searches in areas like music, travel and shopping have been phenomenal. He cited music specifically as experiencing “8x growth.”

Read More: Mashable

 

The first turn-based multi-player Xbox LIVE enabled game recently showed up in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Search for “Game Chest: Logic Games” and you’ll find it. It’s not just one game either. The $2.99 pack includes Chess, Sudoku, and Minesweeper. Chess is the only multi-player game, however. It’s a turn-based game, so what you need to do is send an invitation to a friend. This will send them an email where they’ll be able to start a game with you. The graphics look great and the music is cool. If you want to try out some mobile multiplayer chess gaming with Xbox LIVE acheivements and leaderboards, head on over to the Marketplace right now.

Source: PocketNow

 

We’ve talked a few times about how important it is for you to be able to connect your Windows Live experiences to the other great services you use.  You can connect connect Messenger to Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, Hotmail lets you bring in your email from Gmail and Yahoo! Plus, and  WordPress.com powers a great blogging experience for Windows Live customers.

This week we are introducing a new Windows Live plug-ins website, which allows you to download and submit plug-ins for Windows Live Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, and Writer.

Windows Live Plug-ins website

Read  More: Windows Team Blog

 

In addition to talking up Windows tablets and slates at the January Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft execs also are expected to use the conference to give another push to Windows Phone 7. But the first “major” update to the WP7 platform may not hit until August or September of 2011, my sources claim.

In recent weeks, there have been rumors of both January and February “minor” Windows Phone 7 updates. I’m also hearing talk of a major fall update (codenamed “Mango”), which will precede Windows Phone 8 (codenamed “Apollo”), slated for late 2012.

The Mango update is supposedly bigger than the January and/or February update, according to my sources. Mango is more like a Windows Phone OS 7.5 — and may even be named that when it debuts.

Read More: ZDNet

 

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