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Microsoft has announced its hands-free motion controller Kinect just broke the 1 million units sold milestone. Not bad for an Xbox 360 accessory that costs almost as much as the console itself. The $150 camera device landed on U.S. store shelves just ten days ago and Europe on November 10, while a launch in Asia and Japan is scheduled for later this month. According to the company, by the holiday season, Kinect will be available in 60,000 retailers in 38 countries and it is already on pace to break the five million mark by the end of the year. Seems like motion control is here to stay.
For now Kinect is aimed mostly at the mass market with titles such as Kinect Adventure and Dance Central. However, Microsoft recently announced that the next Star Wars and Forza games due for release later in 2011 will both be fully Kinect-compatible. Hardcore gamers can also look forward to some motion-controlled chainsaw action in a new version of Gears of War coming straight from Epic Games, according to an IGN source.
Kinect has also grabbed the attention of the hackers trying to enable its motion-sensing capabilities on desktop PCs. Just last week a guy named Hector Martin cashed in on a $3,000 bounty by creating the first open source drivers for the peripheral. Another user demonstrated a Minority Report-style user interface where you can manipulate objects with your movement, while most recently a researcher from the University of California figured out how to use it as a 3D video camera. This is all just a week-and-a-half after its release, so imagine the possibilities a few months from now.