Regardless of success worldwide, Kinect suffered a less than rosy reception at its release in Japan last weekend. Microsoft was only able to shift 26,000 units, only slight contributing to its overall million plus sales. According to Media Create, that is both bundled with 360’s and individual.

According to UBM TechInsights, Microsoft’s brainchild Kinect has had an estimated $56 manufacturing cost per unit. You have UBMs teardown research to thank for this, as after strip searching the glorified eye-toy in depth, they came up with a base cost for all of the materials used.

Microsoft has finally spilled the beans regarding information on the new dashboard update. The upcoming software promises increase audio quality in mic chat, alongside changing how you can browse your complete achievements easier.

Tired of the same old white/black/red/blue/green coloured controllers? Is your controller just not as aesthetically pleasing as it once was?  Well, prepare to be amazed, Microsoft is launching a matte silver controller with grey face buttons! Wait, what?

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This week’s podcast is full of new releases and our listener’s emails. Alien Swarm, Limbo, and Medal of Honor just to name a few of the games we talked about. We of course always welcome listener emails, and this week we answer what our favorite type of music/band is as well as detail our thoughts on downloadable distribution, and our favorite games of all time. Also we talked about Mass Effect 2 again. Here’s the show notes:

 

You all remember Peter Molyneux’s brainchild right? The little British boy in orange who captivated our hearts and minds at last years E3? (ha.) Well due to some misinterpreted mumbo-jumbo, Aaron Greenberg stated that Milo was purely a tech demo, and Microsoft had no intention of bringing it as a ‘video game’ to market. Shortly thereafter, Greenberg has revoked his claim, and indeed confirming the release of Milo to the market.

Those interested in the Kinect motion controller will likely be interested in the full specification and requirements of said device. Thanks to the Play.com listing, we have a large list of the technical aspects which have enabled the camera to come to fruition. So without further ado, here they are:

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Another week goes by which means another episode of TalkGames has been made. This week is full of GAMES TALK, but not necessarily new releases. After all it is the week post-E3 so almost nothing has been going on, and it’s probably better that way. Although we did get our hands on a few upcoming releases including Crackdown 2, and Raven Software’s Singularity. If you like hearing about Ps1 and N64 games, this is the podcast for you:

 

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Ubisoft has officially announced their development of a Michael Jackson video game that will be fully Kinect-capable. This game will allow you to re-live his most iconic performances step-by-step and feel like the “King of Pop” himself. It will also feature plenty of tracks from his extensive catalog such as “Beat It” and “Billie Jean”. Not only will this game let you execute a ton of Jacksons’ dance moves, but you’ll be able to sing along as well.

Yesterday kicked off possibly one of the most historic gaming events we’ve seen in recent years. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is the biggest annual event in the video game industry and for 2010 it is aiming to surpass new boundaries. With the competition so fierce between Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, they’ve always got something to prove. This year is certainly no exception.

At the forefront of the day, we had Microsoft’s press conference where there were plenty of big announcements. The official unveiling of “Kinect” (aka Project Natal) was probably one of the biggest, as Microsoft is looking to set a new standard in the market of motion peripherals.

The show began with a previously released trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops, and was shortly followed by the head of Treyarch, Mark Lamia, giving us a live demo of the game. Maybe it’s the beginning of over-saturating a franchise, maybe it’s that the demo didn’t show off anything new or maybe it’s all of the above. In all honesty, it wasn’t that exciting. Everything shown was typical of what you’d expect from the Call of Duty franchise except surrounded by a jungle setting. Microsoft Senior VP Don Mattrick hit the stage following the demo to announce an exclusive partnership with Activision. He stated that all Call of Duty map packs and add-ons would be released “first” on Xbox 360 until 2012. A bit anti-climactic, but there you go.

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"I'm in a jungle now..."

After a short rant by Mattrick to tell of the event’s proceedings, he brought out Hideo Kojima to introduce the producer of Metal Gear Solid: Rising to discuss the game. This is where the show really kicked off with some amazing gameplay footage featuring Raiden and some incredible swordplay. The demo began with an intimidating cybernetic robot, complete with giant gun-arm, creeping through a factory warehouse. A few seconds later, Raiden assaults the unsuspecting bot and literally cuts him to pieces like a knife through hot butter. After witnessing this section of the demo, you realize that you’re not just seeing a cool cinematic, but they’re actually introducing a new gameplay element.

The demo proceeds with in-game footage of Raiden slicing through enemies, brick pillars, iron bars and an entire van with the greatest of ease. There was a section of the video that showed the player’s ability to slow down time and control a 360-degree blue slicing arc for a more controlled kill. At this point, you can methodically cut an enemy into tiny pieces without hesitation. There was even a short clip at the end showing off an in-game Raiden cutting up a watermelon like he was about to serve it at a picnic. It was an impressive showing to say the least, and one hell of a setup for Cliff Bleszinski to take the stage.

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"Ooh, I'm sorry...did you want your spine back?"

This showing was largely based around the new four-player co-op in the campaign of Gears of War 3. The game, of course, looks as incredible as ever and commenced with some fresh gameplay additions. At the onset of the showcase, Marcus executed a new impaling finishing move on an unsuspecting locust. He used what appeared to be a new Hammerburst assault rifle with a bayonet attached to the end. A few seconds later he planted a grenade on a meat-shield hostage and proceeded to boot him into another locust for a pretty gruesome kill. There was also a moment where the main player swapped weapons with one of the three other co-op partners to mix up the assault.

For the most part this is familiar territory to Gears fans, but there were also new enemy types that might throw you for a loop. There was a new locust being birthed by a large worm-like creature that sprung from the ground. It looked somewhat normal at first, but then morphed into a multi-limbed abomination that resembled something out of the Alien films. Another similar creature followed, but this one dispensed a horde of what looked like Tickers. The biggest threat was a giant mutated version of a Berserker. It was far more agile, leaping great distances and would charge anyone unlucky enough to be near it. It was all pretty intense action that ended with a cutscene of Marcus and his crew being trapped by the giant beast. It was definitely a cliffhanger ending, and just before Cliff left the stage he announced that they would be showcasing a new game mode called “Beast” later in the week.

Watching the Microsoft Press Conference, with all the Kinect voice activation, got me thinking about what other commands they should have available for the device. I mean if this is future tech, we’re going to have to start thinking about future abilities right? Anyway, here’s what Kinect should have installed come this November, some are practical, others are… not.

The Microsoft Conference just ended with big news, a new sku of the Xbox 360 is shipping to retailers today and will be on sale for consumers later this week. Everyone in the audience was lucky enough to get this new model for free, but the rest of us schmucks will have to buy this new model for $299 dollars. Here are the details of what this new console will have:

Microsoft just finished up their huge Kinect section of the press conference. After showing a bunch of games (shown below) they announced that Kinect will be launching November 4th 2010 with 15 unique games. There were a few games shown off, but more importantly there was a bunch of nuances about the device itself that were very impressive:

UPDATE: GameTrailers is showing the pre-show since the conference was delayed 30 minutes. Lookie here.

Not everyone gets to go to E3, but thanks to the internet you can live the experience vicariously through live streams. There are several places where you can watch Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference for free. GameSpot has their stream up with a constant countdown timer, G4 is handling the conference through UStream (and built in chat functionality) and finally Major Nelson seems to have an HD stream of the conference up for when it begins. As of right now the conference is scheduled for 10:30am PST, which is about 40 minutes from now. SO GET IN ON THIS QUICK!