E3: Microsoft press briefing

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Microsoft started the day off with their press briefing on what you can expect from them in the coming year. And thanks to the miracle of streaming, everyone could catch it from any number of online channels. There was plenty to talk about. Literally.
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Review: Dance Paradise

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By Brittany Vincent
Contributor

I never thought I’d see the day where dance games would become so
popular. As a Dance Dance Revolution vet, I’ve gleefully accepted the
Kinect revolution with open arms. Dance Central, then Dance Masters, and
now Dance Paradise — it’s a regular fantasy land for those of us who
like to get our groove on.

Dance Paradise is the newest addition to the
Kinect library, though quite far from the best. It’s a light, fluffy
dance game with few complex elements and surely nothing that could give
Dance Central “hard” vets a run for their money…in fact, one might go
so far as to say that this is more like an Xbox Live Arcade offering for the Kinect, except is comes saddled with a hefty price tag and a “real” box.


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Candid Kinect

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Kinect came out yesterday amidst much hoopla and joy for those that managed to snag one. If you haven’t heard of what it is, it’s the motion sensing accessory for the Xbox 360 that essentially follows your body to do stuff onscreen – like control your dashboard or actually play games using it.

It’s got a leg up on the Wii and the Move by not forcing you to hold anything, but did you also know that it takes pics of you? That’s what Destructoid is reporting.

Apparently, someone “got too hot” while playing Dance Central and took off their clothes. What they didn’t realize is that Kinect randomly took pics of them and now they have no idea how to delete the potentially embarrassing album on their console.

So I guess the moral of the story is: Kinect is watching you? Play safe, my friends.

Staring down the new Xbox 360

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When I heard about the slimmed-down, redesigned Xbox 360′s unveiling at last week’s E3 in Los Angeles, one question came to mind — does a new design mean I won’t have to worry about it suddenly dying on me, like its predecessor?

Both critics and devout fanboys of the original 360 would acknowledge that the engineering of Microsoft’s vaunted console has always been an source of dynamic discussion, the kind that brings out sentiment ranging from typical nuts-and-bolts talk to the passionate (though sometimes wayward) deconstruction of Western and Eastern design philosophies. By now, even casual gamers or people asking about the Big Three systems (Wii, 360 and PS3) have heard about the 360′s famed “Red Ring of Death,” it’s penchant for overheating, the “towel trick” and other tales.

The new 360, armed with a few extras, is hoping to change some of that. So, as a shopper or a new gamer, you have a choice to make. If you’re looking to break in the family’s first game system, is this the time the 360 separates itself a bit more from the pack?

I’m going to share some of what I’ve seen in the new 360, and hopefully it’ll make that choice a little easier for you.
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