Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Xbox Kinect Makes Huge L.A. Debut

After months of anticipation, Microsoft unveiled its new controller-free Xbox 360 device, Kinect, and Cirque du Soleil was along for the ride.

Yesterday, CC and I had the opportunity to once again explore the innovative venture formerly known as "Project Natal" and take in a performance by the Canadian-based troupe that, ahem, connected technology with the unfettered freedom of movement.

Our first stop was a penthouse in downtown Los Angeles that showcased many of the games on offer for Kinect, an accessory composed of a camera and depth sensor to tie players' movements to that of the video game characters.

Let's just say that CC was not shy about showing off her own moves for games such as "Kinect Adventures" (the only time this 3-year-old will come close to white-water rafting), "Dance Central" (yes, my child rocked out to Lady Gaga) and the adorable and interactive "Kinectimals," in which players can mimic the motions of cuddling with a baby tiger or lion.

It's pretty stunning.

Also stunning was the Cirque du Soleil performance at the Galen Center. CC and I enjoyed seeing "Kooza" last October, and this engagement did not disappoint.

When I first heard that Cirque and Microsoft were teaming up for this unveiling, I'll admit I was a little dubious. What did one have to do with the other?

But the concept -- a movement-based gaming system that gets players off the couch -- blended nicely with the imagination and agility of the troupe.

The performance will be televised commercial-free today at 6 p.m. PT on Nick at Nite, mtvU, MTV Hits and Logo.

Kinect hits shelves in November.

Photo courtesy of Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect

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