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CES 2011 Microsoft Announcements

For those that didn’t get a chance to checkout Microsoft’s CES 2011 keynote last night you missed out on a lot of information and I will just touch on a couple of the highlights that I found interesting.

First up is that Hulu Plus and Netflix will incorporate Kinect controls.  We did not get to see this in action but we did get to see a demonstration using gesture based and voice controls on the Zune Marketplace and if you are a Netflix user already this is a great feature heading our way.  No date was given as to when we will see the the Kinect controls for these but we do know they are on the horizon.

Speaking of the Kinect we were told that sales exceeded the 5 million units Microsoft was hoping for and they almost double that amount with 8 million units sold since launch.  Seems like Microsoft is cleaning up on the Kinect as 8 million units sold in as little as 60 days is quite impressive.

Now here is one that was rumored and in fact came to light last night and that was the Avatar Kinect.  At first I was impressed with it and than I thought about and really found no use for it unless maybe using it to tape a podcast or something of that nature.  This one seems more geared to the kids in my opinion, but I am not discrediting it by any means as your avatar will mimic your facial expressions and movements.  You will have to be an XBL Gold member to use this feature and this is one non-gaming parents should keep an eye on if your children are using this feature, because as we all know it wont be long before someone uses it for reasons it was not intended for.  Here is a trailer for Avatar Kinect:

Thanks to Game Videos for the trailer.

One more bit that might interest you is that the Windows 7 phone with it’s 5,500 apps currently and increasing everyday by almost 100 new apps, will be available to Verizon and Sprint customers sometime in the first half of 2011.

These are just my highlights and if you watched the keynote what news were you excited to hear about from Microsoft?

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  • just watched the Avatar kinect video. I cannot think of a more useless console update, well maybe Sony Home. Why would I want to watch my friends Avatar talk and move when I’m using an advanced camera anyway, why not just go with actual images for true video chat? And Microsoft has this as one of their highlights. I fear for where they are taking my beloved Xbox 360!