The best of 2014

Motion Controller

iCam uses a webcam and colored controllers for motion controlled learning fun

Motion controlled videogaming, ushered in by Nintendo’s Wii and joined by the PlayStation Move and Kinect, has opened up a whole new market of casual gamers – not least of all because of the ease with which previous non-gamers can get into the action without the need to learn complicated button layouts on a traditional controller. Educational toy company Comfy figured that such ease of use is ideal for its target audience of kids aged four to eight and has released a motion controlled education game console called iCam that has been dubbed “the baby Wii.”  Read More

Sony NGP

Sony unveiled the successor to the PSP at its PlayStation Meeting in Tokyo today. While Sony spokespeople continually referred to the device by its codename of Next Generation Portable (NGP), it's not yet clear whether this will be the name of the device when it is brought to market.  Read More

Hector Martin shows off the Kinect drivers that pocketed him US$3,000

The race to claim the bounty offered by Adafruit for open source drivers for Microsoft’s Kinect has been run and won. The winner is hacker Hector Martin whose achievement of producing drivers to pull depth and RGB camera data from a Kinect is made even more impressive by the fact that it came just three hours after the European launch of the device.  Read More

Motus allows users to act as a cameraperson  inside existing 3D models, such as video game...

In the creation of the film Avatar, director James Cameron invented a system called Simul-cam. It allowed him to see the video output of the cameras, in real time, but with the human actors digitally altered to look like the alien creatures whom they were playing. The system also negated the need for a huge amount of animation – every performance was captured in all its blue-skinned, pointy-eared majesty as it happened, so it didn’t need to be created from scratch on a computer. Now, researchers from the University of Abertay Dundee have built on the techniques pioneered by Simul-cam to create a new system, that lets users act as their own cameraperson within a 3D environment.  Read More

A bounty has been placed on open source drivers for Microsoft's Kinect motion controller

It’s only just been released in North America and already there is a move to hack Microsoft’s Kinect motion controller to allow it to be used on systems other than the Xbox 360. As part of its Open Kinect (OK) project, New York-based open-source hardware developer, Adafruit, is offering a US$2,000 bounty to anyone who can produce some open source drivers capable of getting the RGB out and distance values captured by the USB device.  Read More

PlayStation Move review (PlayStation 3)

Sony's motion controlled gaming setup, PlayStation Move, has arrived in stores, and if you believe the hype, it's everything we wanted the Wii to be...and more. Is this the future of gaming or just another expensive set of peripherals that will be buried in the back of a cupboard by the end of the year? Read on for our review.  Read More

Microsoft announces 4GB Xbox 360, gives Kinect a price

Microsoft has just announced the successor to the storage-less Xbox 360 Arcade, the creatively-named Xbox 360 4GB, which features 4GB of internal flash memory, built-in 802.11n WiFi and a casual-friendly price of US$199.99.  Read More

Kinect is slated for release in November for US$150

Nintendo has done very well out of its innovative motion controllers but maintaining its spot at the top of the console sales charts was always going to be an uphill battle once rivals caught up (or overtook) with their own brand of fully-interactive gaming. Project Natal seemed a little ambitious when it was first demonstrated last year, but 12 months and a rebranding later, Kinect appears to be ready for pre-order and most importantly, we have a price.  Read More

Kaz Hirai, Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc....

Looks like Sony has been saving up announcements for E3 with the company revealing a number of PlayStation-related nuggets at the annual computer and video game trade show in Los Angeles. The announcements included the details of a premium subscription service for the PlayStation Network (PSN) called PlayStation Plus, release details for Sony’s motion controller, the PlayStation Move, and a list of upcoming games, including 3D compatible titles, headed for the console.  Read More

AIWI turns your iPhone into a wii-like motion controller ... and more

Computex Taipei 2010 is the biggest IT show in Asia and one of the most important such shows in the world and we'll be there next week to report on the hundreds of new products. One Computex new release certain to cause a stir is ASROCK's AIWI, an Apple app which turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a Nintendo Wii-type motion controller for computer games, and maybe more importantly, using the touch screen as a touch pad for controlling the cursor and keyboard functions of a computer. It's not just very clever and very cool – it might just have some serious implications for the future of the Computer (and TV) Human Interface. Our esteemed colleagues at Tweaktown.com have released a sneak peak video demonstration which is well worth a look.  Read More

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