Heart rate, temperature, respiration, and perspiration: These are our autonomous functions-our core physiological processes-that signal stress or arousal and can betray our otherwise cool exteriors. Stanford researcher Gregory Kovacs is reading these signals through a modified Xbox game controller. By adding a new, sensor-laden back plate, he can measure heart rate, blood flow, rate and depth of breath, and how hard and fast the user shakes the controller. In response to these measurements, Kovacs has designed a game that can maximize excitement by adding more stimulus (like bad guys or explosions) whenever a gamer’s heart rate drops. Or it could do the reverse, ramping down the zombie factor for someone who wants to take it easy (but insists on playing zombie games to do so).
Read the full story at Fast Company Design.
Xbox Live is set to get a major televisual revamp before Christmas with all the major programming players in the UK due to launch Xbox based entertainment services.
Everything from 4oD and the BBC to Lovefilm and even Blinkbox and Channel 5 will be arriving on Xbox Live. This brings a total of more than 40 entertainment providers now involved globally with Xbox.
Sky already have a significant and highly successful presence on Xbox but expect the new 4oD and BBC offerings to offer some potential competition.
Channel 4 will launch a 4oD app for Xbox Live that will operate largely like its desktop client, allowing you to catchup on tv shows as well as watch older content.
The LoveFilm app should behave largely like that of the PlayStation 3 s, allowing members to stream on demand video to their console.
Microsoft went a bit entertainment partner mad, so much so that there are just too many to list here. If you fancy seeing a full list of Xbox Live entertainment providers then head over to the Xbox website.
North Korea and South Korea are separated by the most heavily armed border on Earth. But rest easy, there’s a new guard on the lookout: Kinect. Self-taught South Korean programmer Jae Kwan Ko developed a Kinect-based software system to monitor the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), which separates the two countries. It was deployed at the border last August, but its existence wasn’t made public until recently. According to news site Hankooki (via tipster Sang), the Kinect-based system identifies objects crossing the DMZ. It can discern the difference between animals and humans. If the system detects a human, it will alert the nearby outpost. Further details are sparse-probably, because this involves national security. “I’ve never even thought of a game system performing national defense tasks,” Ko is quoted as saying.
Read the full story at Kotaku.
More than one million units of Sony’s latest gaming console, the PlayStation 4, were sold within 24 hours of its Friday debut in the U.S. and Canada.
The company had previously said that about a million of those units were preordered before launch day. The number makes it seem likely that Sony will meet its year-end goal of three million units sold worldwide – a marked contrast from 2006, when manufacturing problems kept a large number of PlayStation 3s out of consumers’ hands.
Some early adopters have reported problems with overheating and TV connectivity, with both problems already receiving derisive nicknames online: The “Red Line of Death” and the “Blue Light of Death,” so-called after the “Red Ring of Death” that plagued early owners of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console.
We’re awaiting comment from a Sony representative reached via email about the hardware glitches. No clear answers to these problems and no estimate of just how many people are affected have yet emerged.
Since Friday, the company line has been that 0.4 percent of the consoles (or 4,000 out of a million) are potentially defective, “which is within our expectations for a new product introduction.”
With just over a month left until the Xbox One launch, the rumors about as-yet-unannounced details continue to fly.
Two weeks ago, the word was that the Xbox One’s bundled Kinect camera could be used to harvest lucrative data about console owners and their homes – a claim that Microsoft vehemently denied – while leaving the door ever so slightly ajar in case its policies change.
There appears to be a larger morsel of truth to the latest rumor, sparked by the Dell website and noticed by Engadget yesterday. “With all your favorite Windows 8 apps able to be run on and synced to your Xbox One, now your phone, desktop, tablet and TV can all give you a unified web and entertainment experience,” the page still reads.
A Microsoft spokesperson said that’s not quite true: “The suggestion that all Windows 8 apps run on Xbox One is not accurate,” they wrote in an email.
That’s not a confirmation that any specific apps will work across both devices without additional fiddling on the developer’s part, of course. And the company has said in the past that the similarity between the Windows and Xbox operating systems should make it possible to write Xbox apps that strongly resemble their Windows counterparts. But it leaves open the possibility of universal apps that could help prop up the Windows 8 ecosystem with Redmond’s robust gaming brand.
Rumors are abound that Sony is set to reveal more details about the much-anticipated PS4. It was widely believed that they would use E3 to finalize details or at least give us more info but now speculation is that Sony will make an announcement as early as this month. Sony likely wants to keep the hype train rolling in their favor after the not so surprising PS4 announcement this past February.
My own personal opinion is that Sony wants to have all details available and perhaps even start taking pre-orders before Microsoft announces their next console. In January Microsoft posted a countdown to E3 on its blog which most people assumed was to be taken as a countdown to the NextBox. However there’s still a chance Microsoft will also preempt E3 with their own standalone announcement. Both consoles could possibly release by the end of 2013.
Eventually I will own both consoles but my first choice and the console I will pre-order in hopes of getting my hands on at launch will be the PS4. I think a lot of gamers have similarly made up their minds regardless of announcements. So geeks, what’s your thoughts on the impending next console generation? We’d love to hear your thoughts on what will undoubtedly be a competition that in the end can only end in a win for us gamers.
It’s been a mess of rumors and angry gamers since the first hint of the next Xbox, code-named Durango, would require a constant internet connection. A connection not only for online multiplayer, not only for updates but also to play games. Of course the cynic in us felt it was also a way to block used games, the “always on” component either way has been an irritating thorn in all our sides.
Thanks to recent reports at The Verge and VGLeaks, we’re now hearing that the constant connection will be only for the push of media content. Durango will still play games offline, without the need for the internet. It also seems the likelihood of Microsoft using this as a means to slit the used games market’s throat is pretty low.
The origin of the rumors seem to stem from the already out there dev units needing the connection. There was some mention of a possible second Xbox device needing a full-on connection. Of course we don’t know anything for certain as Microsoft won’t respond to rumors. We just have to wait until the alleged unveiling in May.