While Sony had very little to say about their involvement in the video game market at the company’s Consumer Electronic Show 2011 keynote speech — other than a tease at the obviously real, but not yet announced PlayStation Phone, and stats about how many users are currently registered on the PlayStation Network (60 million) — Microsoft, on the other hand, at least dropped a few interesting tidbits about their controller-less motion control peripheral, Microsoft Kinect, during their spotlight.
FIrstly, it’s shocking to see that the Kinect has exceeded Microsoft’s own expectations for the device. Kinect has now sold 8 million units worldwide in the six months its been available. Microsoft originally predicted 5 million Kinects sold within six months. It looks like we’re going to have to eat crow on this one. We thought the thing was going to be a bomb. People must really like their Kinectiimals and Dance Centrals.
Secondly, Netflix and Hulu will get full Kinect support later this year in the Spring. Right now the Kinect menu functionality is pretty limited, but this update will help strengthen the value of Kinect for those interested in the new tech but aren’t huge gamers. Now we just need to see Minority Report become available through instant watch on Netflix so we can select to watch it with Minority Report-style moves of our own. It would be a trip, you know it to be true.
Finally, in Kinect-related news, Microsoft announced a new social gathering "game" for Xbox Live that lets friends with Kinects group up and interact with their Avatars. The Avatars will mimic the movements of their real-life counterparts, with facial recognition getting a boost for this title. That way you can really emphasis and enunciate all those expletives when describing how much you hate the Twilight saga to your friends in a virtual avatar hangout joint.
Yea, we’re not so sure about this one…
The final news bomb Microsoft dropped during their keynote speech was that the popular Diablo-esque title on Steam, Torchlight, will be coming to Xbox Live Arcade. The XBLA-specific version of Torchlight will be completely reworked and tailored to play on the Xbox 360, while also including new armor, weapons, quests and a new pet. The game will be part of the Xbox Live "House Party" line-up in February. Other titles included in the latest XBLA spotlight series are Beyond Good and Evil HD, Hard Corps Uprising, PopCap’s Bejeweled Blitz Live, and Full House Poker.