Microsoft unveils Xbox 'Kinect' motion controller

The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones plays X-Box's Kinect controller

Microsoft has revealed final details of its Xbox 360 hands-free motion control system, which it has rebranded Kinect.

The device, which was originally codenamed Project Natal, was showcased ahead of the opening of the E3 games expo, which starts on 15 June in LA.

Microsoft has said Kinect will hit shelves before the end of the year.

It will face competition from Sony's PlayStation Move controller and Nintendo's upgraded WiiMotion Plus.

Both are expected to feature at the E3 expo, which runs from 15-17 June.

Start Quote

I was not quite convinced that Microsoft's technology would deliver for hard-core gamers”

End Quote Rory Cellan-Jones technology correspondent

Kinect was shown off at a glitzy event alongside compatible games, which support the new hands-free interface and, in some cases, the facial and voice recognition capabilities.

These ranged from jumping and flying games to a yoga simulator and Star Wars shooter, in which players control a virtual light sabre and use hand gestures to control action on the screen.

There was also a virtual pet, which can be controlled and played with using Kinect. Microsoft says it will release the full details of its games at another media event on 14 June.

Another Kinect game that was demoed on the night was Dance Central from MTV Games which allows the player to coordinate their dance moves in time to an on-screen prompt.

Stars review new X-Box controller

Although less than two minutes of it was shown, with No Doubt's Hella Good track thumping in the background, it illustrated the various new markets that Microsoft hope its new controller will expand into.

Although an exact release date for Kinect has yet to be announced, some retailers have already published web pages in anticipation.

Game says it will be available on pre-order from 13 June 2010.

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