New Xbox 360 hardware announced

Kinect controllerFirstly the much anticipated new motion controller previously known as Project Natal has been given the name Kinect. Its going to be available in North America in November 2010 and I’m expecting it will be available locally soon after – stock dependent. Oh and before you get all worried about upgrades, etc., it will work on your existing console. Yes, how is that for good planning and design.

The controller totally revolutionizes the way games are played and opens up complete new game genres at the same time. I can somehow see myself doing yoga in front of my TV and getting achievements for doing so. There goes that image of the fat kid on the couch.

New Xbox 360 SKUNext off we have a new console SKU announced available immediately in North America. Its basically a slimmer, sleeker and might I say sexy new Xbox 360 console featuring a 250GB hard drive, 802.11n WiFi built-in and its whisper quiet. And no, no Blu-Ray player from what we’ve been told yet.

Good news is the pricing is supposed to be the same in the US, no idea when it will be available in South Africa but I’ll keep you posted.

From the game demos during the live E3 coverage, Kinect is going to ship with 15 titles from day one built specifically for the new Kinect controller – I can’t wait to get my hands on one. Its game changing… excuse the pun.

Xbox LIVE launches in South Africa Summer 2010

Hot off the heels of the E3 game conference in the USA, Microsoft South Africa confirms that Xbox LIVE is heading to South Africa.

South Africa – 14 June, 2010 – Microsoft today announces its commitment to launching Xbox LIVE in nine new countries – Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Russia and South Africa – delivering the core gaming and entertainment features that have made Xbox LIVE the world’s premier online gaming destination.

“Xbox LIVE is about building communities and connecting people to each other and to great content. This expansion is another step toward our vision for LIVE – to deliver the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, wherever you are in the world,” said Marc Whitten, General Manager, Xbox LIVE.

The service will be available this summer and will focus first on delivering the core gaming and community features that have made Xbox LIVE the world’s premier online gaming destination, including matchmaking, friends list, Achievements, Gamerscore, a tailored Games Marketplace and more.

“This is an exciting step forward in the experience we can deliver to our loyal and committed Xbox communities,” states Yvette van Rooyen, Product and Marketing Manager, Xbox 360 South Africa. “Xbox fans in South Africa will now be able play the best games in the industry with the 23 million other Xbox LIVE users across the world who have made this their online gaming destination of choice. “

Naturally this is fabulous news for South African gaming, but we all knew it was coming, just didn’t know when exactly. It makes sense though with the rollout of Windows Phone 7 using Xbox LIVE features. Now all we need to get is a firm date of when and what will happen with Xbox LIVE accounts for early adopters – will we need to/be able to migrate across countries for billing purposes or will the restrictions be lifted entirely.

I told you all Xbox LIVE will be coming to South Africa.