CES 2012 Gaming Report from the Microsoft Keynote

Posted January 10, 2012 by James Steel in Articles, Gaming News, Kinect, Microsoft, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox 360

While we don’t come to CES necessarily expecting big news in the gaming world, it’s hard not to look to the big reveals of previous years such as the NES and the original Xbox. You can’t help but hope for something big each time the annual CES press conferences come round.

Not to mention that this is Microsofts last year at CES so maybe the stakes are slightly higher this time since they may want to go out on a bang!

Here at Push-Start, we’re focused on the gaming side of CES 2012, so don’t come expecting to find out the latest on 3D Tv’s and HD Camcorders, instead come to read the content that matters to you, the gamer. You’ll find two articles, one for the Sony Keynote, and one for the Microsoft Keynote. Below, you’ll find the Microsoft wrap up, head over here for the Sony one.

Microsoft Roundup

Well, what an introduction. Featuring a remix (with added auto-tune) of shots from Microsoft CES Keynotes past, set the stage for a more laid back approach to the presentation. Kicking off with Ryan Seacrest joining Steve Ballmer on stage to discuss the overarching work of Microsoft through Windows PC’s, Mobiles, Tablets and the Xbox.

After first some discussion of Windows Phone 7 updates, with new devices heading into the family from Nokia and HTC, including the HTC Titan 2, Microsoft headed into talking about their work on Windows 8.

Cut the Rope made an appearance on the new Windows Store. Aiming to launch in late February, it will feature instant ‘Try Now’ functionality for demos. In addition to the paid apps, there will also be a number of free apps to further expand the audience, not to mentioned that it will be available in over 100 languages A new focus on touch interfaces will open up a new variety of applications and games for Windows gamers.

Image from http://www.businessinsider.com/

After an ‘interesting’ appearance from the Tweet Choir, it’s time for the Xbox section of the keynote. Discussing how far they have come in the industry in the last 10 years, with specific reference to the near 40 million Xbox Live Subscribers currently connecting and playing.

Moving onto the Kinect and talk of the Natural User Interface, they discuss the 18 million Kinect sensors which have shipped worldwide. After a demo of the new Kinect voice features available with the recently released Xbox 360 Dashboard Update last month, they moved onto noting the additions of Comcast Xfinity, Verizon Fios and News Corporation (Fox News, Wall Street Journal and IGN content) to further bolster the TV offerings for the Xbox 360.

Kinect Sesame Street TV, delivering two way TV in an interactive form. Working in collaboration with the Sesame Workshop, this new experience turns the TV show into fully interactive content. Using voice and gestures, you can interact with the TV content created specifically for the game. An example shows throwing coconuts to Grover, and later using Augmented reality to put yourself into Elmo’s Room. It is currently unclear if this is a retail title, or delivered digitally.

Kinect is heading to Windows on February 1st. Microsoft is working with a wide variety of companies including Mattel, Siemems and American Express to deliver content and applications for use specifically with Kinect with Windows.

So, what’s next? METRO, METRO, METRO, WINDOWS, WINDOWS, WINDOWS according to Steve Ballmer!

With not even a hint at the future of the Xbox brand or gaming in general, the Keynote was not of huge importance for gamers. With the majority of the focus on Windows Phone and Windows 8, it seemed Microsoft was reiterating their focus on all areas of the business as they bring their final CES presence to a close.

So, who’s looking forward to E3 2012?


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