Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Xbox

Microsoft used its E3 press conference to unveil its new SmartGlass technology that will u...

Microsoft used its E3 press conference to unveil its new SmartGlass technology that will use handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets as both an Xbox control device and as a second screen for the display of dynamic, rich information. Head of Xbox Live, Marc Whitten, confirmed that in addition to working with Windows 8 phones and tablets, SmartGlass would be compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The technology will also finally see the arrival of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser to the Xbox 360 before the end of the year.  Read More

There's no mistaking the Micro-Stang

What if you take the world's most iconic jock and install the brains of some of the smartest tech nerds on the planet? Well, you get the Micro-Stang by West Coast Customs (WCC) and Microsoft. The custom car is the epitome of old meets new, taking the timeless looks of a 1967 Mustang and updating it with all kinds of cutting edge technology that the average Mustang - whether from 1967 or 2012 - will never have.  Read More

A screenshot from Epic's Unreal 3 Engine Samaritan demo, which is what the company 'wants ...

The rumor mill has been spinning about the next-generation XBox for some time, but Tuesday and Wednesday of this week saw first IGN, and then Kotaku, reveal what appears to be the first non-gaseous (if not concrete-solid) information from inside sources as to the machine's spec. It seems that the console (not officially called the 720, but the placeholder is convenient) will, IGN reports, be approximately six times as powerful as the current generation of consoles. Kotaku says the device will play Blu-Ray discs, and herald the arrival of Kinect 2. Worryingly, it also reports that there's a possibility that the machine will prevent owners from playing pre-owned games.  Read More

The Xbox Kinect turns an ordinary sandbox into a thriving interactive environment.

The Xbox Kinect has certainly become a useful tool for innovation, with modders finding applications in medical imaging, robotics, and even aids for the visually impaired, to name just a few. Now it looks like you can add "topography" to that list with the development of the SandyStation. Created by two students in the Czech Republic, the SandyStation projects a realistic ecosystem over an ordinary sandbox, which can be altered in real-time.  Read More

Microsoft Avatar Kinect virtual chatroom service is now available via Kinect Fun Labs

Utilizing Kinect's motion tracking and facial recognition, Avatar Kinect takes ordinary video calls into a fully virtual environment giving each user a facial expressions and gestures-reproducing avatar. First unveiled at CES 2011 in January, Avatar Kinect is now available free to try until September 8, while later it will be available to Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers only.  Read More

Kinect for Xbox demos in Tokyo, we talk with a skeptical expert

All eyes were on Microsoft at the Tokyo Game Show at Makuhari Messe this weekend, as the company was featuring the new Kinect for Xbox motion controller system, formerly known as Project Natal. The Xbox booth occupied a mammoth chunk of real estate on the show floor, with multiple demonstration areas set up to give Tokyo a look at this fancy new toy.  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

The patent application shows the controller and console setup (left) and different button ...

According to a patent recently filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Sony is working on a universal game controller that could be used with competitor consoles from Microsoft and Nintendo. The proposed controller would see an LCD touch screen positioned on the front of the controller to replace the controller's face buttons, directional pad and thumb-sticks.  Read More

Dr Simon Scarle used the processing power of the Xbox 360 to conduct scientific simulation...

Finally, video-gamers whose parents told them that playing games would never help them get a job can point to research that proves them wrong – well, sort of, anyway. A new study by a University of Warwick researcher has demonstrated that scientists trying to model a range of processes could ‘borrow’ an Xbox chip to get all the power and capabilities they need, saving thousands of dollars on parallel processing hardware and/or countless man-hours.  Read More

The Sony PS3 Slim is lighter, smaller, and cheaper than its predecessor
 (Images: Sony)

In a move set to shake things up in the ongoing gaming console war, Sony has unveiled the overhauled Playstation 3. Dubbed the PS3 Slim, the unit features a revised cell processor, 120GB hard drive and is smaller, lighter and – yes – cheaper than its predecessor.  Read More

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