Does Microsoft Kinect have a problem in identifying dark skinned users? A few reviews from early adopters show that Kinect – the new webcam based motion controller for XBox 360 – may not be correctly identifying the facial patterns on dark skinned users.
At the outset, this does not seem to be a major issue. If you are a dark skinned user (possibly includes blacks, hispanics and Asians – non-Caucasian, basically), then the only area where you may hit trouble is in getting Kinect to automatically sign you in. Instead the user may have to manually login. The motion controls during gaming do not seem to be affected. Nevertheless, it is likely that Microsoft may issue a software update to the Xbox system to rectify this issue (For other recent updates on the Kinect front, click here).
Have you purchased Kinect motion controller? Do let us know if you see the issue on your gaming system.
Zynga is making its foray into the Android platform. And it’s not Farmville that will be the first title to make it to this new space. Instead, Zynga Poker, the second most popular title from Zynga will launch as an Android app soon. The reason for the move is not known. Perhaps, Zynga sees Texas Hold’em based games as more profitable for the company. Also, while it is not known outside Zynga, it is likely that the Farmville charm is already on the decline. How long do you expect users to keep liking their virtual harvesting and egg farming businesses?
Either way, it is a great choice to offer to Poker fans. It is said that Zynga will make use of the new single sign-on feature from Facebook to make it possible for users to register and login instantly.
Related news from across the blogosphere
The holiday shopping season may not have started as yet, but Amazon is already getting into the swing of things with their latest offer. Gamers looking at Amazon for purchasing video games are now in for a treat with the etailer’s new ‘Buy two get one free‘ offer. What is exciting is that most of the games in the list are already marked lower than their original retail price which means this is quite a deal.
However, this is apparently for a limited time only. Amazon has noted that the deal will only last through November 6. But be sure for some extension or resumption of sorts as the holiday shopping season peaks. This might just be the perfect teaser ahead of the main shopping season.
Nevertheless, let that not slacken you off. Head over to Amazon
Let me start with the usual disclaimer that this is a rumor at this stage and so you will need your salt ready. Sony is apparently bringing the Google TV to its gaming console, the PlayStation 3. According to people “close to the project“, this offering could roll out early spring next year.
What this could mean is that Google TV, that Sony already offers over their Blu-ray players could now also be connected with the gaming console to let users stream television content over their PS3. The PlayStation is already compatible with Hulu and Netflix apps and an integration with Google TV could make the PlayStation a full fledged media and entertainment consumption device. Also, since Google TV is integrated with Android apps, an integration would mean PlayStation users can soon begin accessing their favorite apps like Last.Fm, Facebook and Twitter over their PS3 – something that XBox users have been enjoying for a while.
The integration is also seen as a way to counter Microsoft’s recent announcement to bring U-verse streaming to XBox. Anyway, with the partnership between Sony and Google having grown stronger in recent times with the launch of Google TV, this was quite evidently the next step and was always on the cards.
Sony is expected to make an announcement in this regard soon after the holidays in order to keep their sales afloat post the hot shopping season.
Microsoft has rolled out a new version of the XBox 360 dashboard update that, apart from some interface level changes, also introduces users to some new features. Primarily, users can now watch ESPN over XBox Live. Besides this, users also have access to over 3500 live sporting events through the year. On-demand action is available too and along with this, users also get access to a number of out-of-market games.
Other features included in the new release include compatibility for Zune Pass, a smart DJ device, better track searching tools and also an improved Netflix search service that makes it easy to streamline all the movies and TV shows that the user wants to watch. Additionally, the update brings improved sound quality on voice chat, a streamlined in-line virtual keyboard, improved Gamertag, an enhanced Live Marketplace interface and easier access to a wireless network.
This is not a geographical update and users should be prompted for an update when they login to the Live service. While there are several enhancements, is it really better than the older interface? Here are some reactions
“First and foremost with the old dashboard update you gave us a choice on what we wanted our dashboard to look like…with this update no such thing! you have made the panels too big on which i have read many people stating they will get motion sickness from and i 100% agree that it has already given me a headache for using it in the last 5 minutes.”
“I have to pay $10 extra dollars so some guy “can” watch football on his xbox? I say “can” because if he is going to watch football, he is probably going to watch it on his big screen tv with beer and friends, and not on his xbox. Yet I have to pay extra money for it when I will NEVER use that service?”
“Not as clean as the last Interfce running at 1080p this one looks like a kid did it more pixelated. and the EULA was in French.”
Some users though seem to be finding great improvements in performance,
“I really like this update because it’s made my system run a lot faster and smoother. So far since the update, I haven’t had a single crash in Fable 3 where I was getting them often before the update. Also my load times have been shorter while playing my WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011. Unfortunately, my friend has not had the same luck with the update that I have. We both have came to the conclusion that this update was probably only tested with the latest generation of the Xbox (I have a slim, my friend has the previous version)”
Do you like the latest XBox 360 dashboard update? What are your complaints and wishlists? Tell us in the comments.
Facebook is said to be getting ready to launch a new feature rich gaming portal that will offer a centralized place for all Facebook gamers to find and play all their favorite games. The social network has close to 200 million monthly gamers and the new portal will have Facebook partnering with a number of developer partners in this launch.
This news is still a rumor and although Facebook has not completely denied it, they have said that the games team is “working on building features to make it easier for people to discover and re-engage with games”. That definitely sounds like a rational explanation for the resources being put into this new portal.
The games portal shall be an extension of the gaming dashboard that Facebook launched in September of this year. This upcoming launch should centralize the whole gaming experience. The portal is rumored to launch by mid-November.
Microsoft Kinect does not launch until November 4 in the United States. But a select few customers who have already received their goods ahead of the launch day are complaining that they are noticing an error while updating the software. Users connecting the new Kinect to their XBox are prompted with a message that says that an update is required. Apparently, the update file being pushed is not the latest version and misses key components thereby temporarily making access to XBox Live unavailable.
In a statement acknowledging the issue, Microsoft has noted,
“Due to a retailer error, a very small number of customers were shipped copies of a Kinect game ahead of launch. Since Kinect does not launch until Nov. 4 in the United States, customers who insert the game into their console before then will be temporarily unable to access Xbox LIVE. The retailer is contacting affected individuals directly to warn them of this situation.”
Sony has announced a new program for loyal PlayStation gamers – the PlayStation Rewards program that will offer exclusive status and extras to PSN members who have been around for long periods of time. In the initial invitation-only beta stage, the PlayStation Rewards program will be targeted at the US members of PlayStation Plus and Gamer Advisory Panel.
Once into the Rewards program, users need not do anything different and all of their activities including playing games, purchasing and downloading content, answering marketing surveys,etc. will be counted towards building the loyalty that shall be ultimately rewarded with additional benefits. Sony notes that the Rewards program will begin with things like
- Exclusive PSN avatars that display member status in the program
- Exclusive dynamic themes and PlayStation Home content
- Opportunities throughout the program year to participate in members-only sweepstakes and giveaways for experiences and merchandise you won’t find elsewhere (The first of which is an all expenses paid trip to the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, as PlayStation’s guest)
The invitations to select members to join the new rewards program is noted to be already on the way. Continue reading »
Sony has announced a massive price cut for the PSPgo portable gaming console for consumers in the United States and Japan. The discounted price in Japan looks all the more sweeter with a drop of ¥10,000 off the original price. That is roughy $124 in USD terms. American buyers will now see the device selling at a $50 reduction in price.
So what does all of this mean? If you are in the USA, the new PSPgo will now cost you $199 instead of the original $249. And if you are in Japan, the PSPgo will sell for ¥16,800 ($208) instead of the older ¥26,800 ($332) price. The new discounted prices are expected to be available starting October 26.
Since its launch, the Sony PSPgo has been constantly criticized for its high price. The company had in February this year announced that they may be relaunching the console in the future due to a lack in consumer interest and poor sales. Let us hope the discounted prices now will help resuscitate the sales of this wonderful console.
Do people still play Farmville? It has been a while since I saw a Farmville update from friends on my Facebook profile. Apparently, a lot of people still do and are looking forward to tend to their farms from multiple platforms. So developer Zynga has taken note of this and has now brought the FarmVille app to the iPad platform. The updated iOS app is marked by “HD” indicating that this includes support for the iPad. You may be aware that the company had released a FarmVille iPhone app earlier this year.
In a statement marking the announcement, Zynga’s president of studios, Steven Chiang has said,
“We want to reach people wherever they want to play the games they love, and deliver the most fun and social experience on every platform. The iPad is a spectacular gaming device, and the new FarmVille app leverages its larger touch screen interface and enhanced graphics. FarmVille on the iPhone was an instant hit and now we are giving people another Apple device to play on.”
If you can barely wait, click here to go ahead and download the app for your iPad.