On Tuesday, May 21, we'll have the next Xbox announcement. Nintendo has obviously already played their hand with the Wii U, an intriguing, but possibly failed gamble on a mix of current gen technology with tablet paradigms, and Sony has shown much of what they'll be offering with the PS4, a "social" next gen console that emphasizes its access speed for everything from updates to getting to play games/demos without much, if any, delay. Interestingly, Microsoft was first out of the gate this current generation, but will be last to make their announcement thanks to positive momentum in the past few years (everywhere except Japan, of course).
In any case, the rumor mill has been quite active, obviously, with the usual mix of thoughtful and not-so-thoughtful claims. You can read all about those elsewhere, but here are my thoughts on what is and isn't likely:
So, as the first day winds down, I thought I would toss out a few impressions of what I thought were the most significant announcements from the early part of the first day, which focused on Microsoft and the Xbox 360. Next, we should expect to see Sony's stuff and then Nintendo's major Wii U announcements, both of which I'll also discuss.
Bill does a quick unboxing of the Kinect Rush Xbox 360 House Party kit from www.houseparty.com. He also quickly mentions his latest book, My Xbox. Filmed by Christina Loguidice on an iPad 2, where it was also edited and uploaded via the iMovie app.
My new article for Que, Kinect’s Evolution: Then versus Now, has now been posted. In it, I discuss a brief history of Microsoft's Kinect and some of its latest uses. Finally, our new book, My Xbox: Kinect, Xbox 360, and Xbox LIVE, is now targeted for a February 2012 release, in order to incorporate all the latest and greatest information on the platform.
As you already know, after completion of Motorola ATRIX For Dummies, which comes out in July, I'm now knee-deep with Christina in writing and developing My Xbox: Kinect, Xbox 360, and Xbox LIVE, which comes out in October. The "My" series books are extremely colorful and visually oriented, with some of the chapters we've written thus far having more than 50 images (in fact, one has 73!). I thought I would briefly share how the development process works from the author side, with some accompanying visuals.
Making the rounds today is word that Microsoft's Kinect has sold over 10 million units since it had its worldwide roll-out throughout the month of November, 2010. Certainly an impressive feat in such a short amount of time and apparently worthy of the people at Guinness World Records, who have officially named it the "fastest-selling consumer electronics device" (faster than even the iPhone and iPad) by selling an average of 133,333 units per day for a total of eight million units in its first 60 days between November 4, 2010, and January 3, 2011. Congrats to Microsoft and I'm certainly a fan, but I have to say, now that there's no denying the device has consumer traction, where are the games? Dance Central and Kinect Sports are lots of fun, but we could really use some more quality titles to take advantage of the device, and sooner rather than later at that...
A short sequence from disc 1 of Cosmos: The Complete Collection, The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean (1980). Carl Sagan demonstrates a vision of a futuristic interface that involves simple hand motions, much like today's Microsoft Kinect. Just like the Apple iPad from 1986, it's just a matter of how long - not if - to make what seems futuristic or even impossible today a reality tomorrow.
Since other media outlets have had to fulfill their apparent obligation this holiday season like every holiday season to recommend what to buy and why, I thought I would join in on the fun, with the big difference with my guide being that I actually own and use all of the systems in question, so I'm not just talking out of a hypothetical butt like some others do. Allegedly. Now here's a bad cell phone photo of my three consoles as evidence (you're welcome in advance for the bikini snow angel):