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Input Devices

Microsoft Kinect With World of Warcraft 80

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies have developed software that enables control of PC video games using the Microsoft Kinect sensor. Their toolkit, known as the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST), emulates custom-configured keyboard controls triggered by body posture and specific gestures. This video shows a user playing the online game World of Warcraft using the Kinect. Potential applications of this technology include video games for motor rehabilitation after stroke and reducing childhood obesity through healthy gaming."

Comment Re:APB, Fallen Earth... (Score 1) 157

There have been a few MMO attempts on consoles. Final Fantasy XI and Phantasy Star Online come to mind. Both are very Japanese, not very well suited to interaction, and otherwise built for a niche audience. Blizzard so totally owns the MMO mindshare that no one wants to make a subscription game for console players, who in my opinion are notorious cheapskates, children, or both. I've been meaning to set aside some time to get into the iPhone MMO "Pocket Legends" from Spacetime Studios, but haven't quite gotten the courage to plunge into that kind of time sink.

Comment Why is this "news"? (Score 2, Insightful) 209

It's not a hack, it's only indirectly related to Apple (despite Gawker's attempts to paint it otherwise), and the government email addresses that were "exposed" are public anyway. It's not difficult for me to send email to Rahm Emanuel. Goatse's brute force script isn't that interesting (see http://praetorianprefect.com/archives/2010/06/114000-ipad-owners-the-script-that-harvested-their-e-mail-addresses/) so why are we wasting so much time on this non-story?

Comment Re:Because... (Score 1) 303

I think this is an excellent point. Visit the forums on www.toucharcade.com and you'll see legions of kids with iPod Touch devices (no phone contract, the other obstacle to a different widespread mobile platform), but no money to spend on games. There are literally thousands of neat pick-up-and-play games in the App Store for no more than $10, but a large portion of the potential market bitches and whines when anything costs more than 99 cents. I'm no kid and the money is not my primary concern, but the little microtransactions do add up!

Aside from the Sony/Nintendo duopoly, the iPod Touch and iPhone are as close as we get to a mainstream mobile platform. Personally, I'm fine with that, because each device has a distinct personality and unique games suited to its hardware.

Comment Re:Social Gaming (Score 1) 33

Clearly, you have never read any iTunes reviews for AppStore games. The amount of bitching over any program that costs more than 99 cents is eye-opening. There appear to be legions of whiny, broke kids using the iPhone (or perhaps more likely, iPod touch) as a game machine.

Comment Re:Umm (Score 1) 503

They did. See http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/04/amazon-does-the-right-thing-on-orwell-mess/

Bezos said âoeOur âsolutionâ(TM) to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism weâ(TM)ve received.â

Then they sent a legit copy of the affected books to everyone, along with a $30 gift certificate.

I think it's safe to assume they will never, ever do anything like this again.

Comment Could the article be more annoyingly pedantic? (Score 1) 104

If these guys are trying to sell a book, this isn't the way to do it. The article really turned me off because of their writing style. Barely relevant references to Karl Marx, Star Trek, Red Dwarf are annoying enough, but inserting them as footnotes is beyond pompous. I suppose I got some pleasure out of the juxtaposition of Loguidice's typically purple prose next to Atari VCS screenshots, though.

Comment Re:Poor gamestop! (Score 5, Interesting) 134

Are you sure it's *not* Gamestop's fault? Sony has certainly blundered a lot this year, but EB/GS has turned into a very nasty little retailer lately and this seems consistent with my experience with them.

For example, every time I go into an EB/GS store around lunchtime on a Tuesday (release day for new games), the salesnerd has yet to open his shipment for the day. After he pauses his video game or stops gossiping with his friends, he recommends that I preorder next time.

Give them an interest-free loan on a readily-available item? No thanks!

I walk across the street to Toys R Us and buy it off the shelf, often for $5 less. It's sad when a crappy box store like TRU beats out a specialty shop in terms of service and early availability.

I understand that hardware is always scarce at launch, and the retailers don't make any profits from selling it, but if you're going to sell games, it seems to me you should take an interest in your customer's needs. If I were burned by EB/GS in this way after giving them a pre-order for PS3, I would resolve never to shop there again.

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