Microsoft has debuted a slimmed down version of its popular Xbox 360 console at E3 2010 in Los Angeles. The $300 system features integrated Wi-Fi, a 250 GB hard drive, wireless controller, headset, HDMI input, USB flash drive storage capabilities and a one-year warranty.
The redesigned console – which MS described as “sleek, silent, sexy and whisper quiet” – ships today and is expected to hit North American stores this week.
The company also showed off its Kinect platform (previously Natal), which boasts audio/video sensors and eliminates the need for a traditional controller or joystick.
Players use body motions to play games, pan through entertainment options and interact with other Xbox Live subscribers.
“Kinect is different than anything else in the gaming market because it makes the user the controller,” explained MS spokesperson Mike Delman.
“Kinect makes the gaming and entertainment experience more organic and free flowing. It doesn’t have the barriers that can sometimes keep people from participating.”
Delman noted that going hands-free will transform how “you and your friends experience entertainment.”
“[New hands-free] games include Kinect Animals, Kinect Joyride, Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports.
“Players can do things such as build friendships with tigers, knock in winning soccer goals with their heads and use their entire bodies to steer racing carts around turns and over jumps.”
Marc Whitten, corporate VP of Xbox Live, added that Kinect’s hands-free capabilities is likely to “redefine” the way non-gaming experiences happen on Xbox.
“With Kinect, a person can simply wave at a TV and Kinect will recognize them and their preferences. That makes it easier to find entertainment. Users will be able to launch or control things with the wave of a hand or using their voice.
“If you’re watching a movie in Zune or Netflix and you want to pause or fast forward, you just say ‘Xbox pause’ or ‘Xbox fast forward’…It’s really that simple.”
Microsoft’s Kinect platform is currently scheduled to launch on November 4th, 2010.