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Fidgeting in front of the flat panel display

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Ein Mann testet auf der Gamescom in Köln die neue Xbox: Microsoft bringt Ende des Jahres die Bewegungssteuerung Kinect für die Spielekonsole raus. Quelle: dpa

A man tests on the Gamescom in Cologne, the new Xbox: Microsoft brings the end of the motion control Kinect for the game console out. Source: AP

COLOGNE . Cologne , volcanic hall. One of the more challenging days in the life of gaming journalists. Microsoft has sued the Gamescom in the old factory building in the suburb of Ehrenfeld. Who goes, who knows what to expect. Herumgezappel ecstatic with his hands and feet on a circular plastic mat in front of a flat screen. As a reward moves on the flat screen TV , a ball or drive a car around a curve. And before all the people’s eyes . Embarrassing, embarrassing.

Kinect is the new control of the game console Xbox 360 – a video camera combined with an infrared motion and distance sensor and can locate a microphone, the voices in the room. Everything is controlled by software and recognizes the face , body and the position of the player in real time in space. No matter if I hand side or moved forward and back : The games console, it detects and converts the gesture in a command. My body as a joystick.

Kinect is from 10 November will be available in Germany and matches any Xbox360, Microsoft In reply to Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3 Around € 150 will cost the high- tech toys and Oliver Kaltner , responsible hardware manager in Germany is almost euphoric. "This is something very big , "he had said weeks ago in Los Angeles at E3 . "The coming months will be decisive for us. "

Microsoft Games division is at a crucial period of change : only a few months ago , the world’s two top managers of the division fired. On the one hand, there is a successful online service Xbox Live with millions of members, on the other hand, the Xbox is almost at Sony Playstation with its BluRay drive for movies up . So far stood Microsoft Box only for wild first-person shooter games , action games and sports games. Now Kaltner makes a family – and Kinect is a ticket into the living room with dancing and party games for large and small.

Before, gaming fairs pretty simple. They went loose from stand to stand in back rooms , there was the remote control in hand and was allowed to plop into a chair. When Coke and chips was then declared for hours , behind which button is which concealed weapon , why this time the monsters were green instead of blue -gray. A world for guys – no doubt.

In contrast, the volcanic hall rather disorientation. A lost generation of gaming journalists marodiert aimlessly through the game stations like mercenaries scattered through Europe after the end of the 30 -year war. Looking for a new job. For years she had steeled her thumbs , joysticks flipped back and forth , slide finger virtuosity via controller buttons, they were unbeatable quick. And now this? Am I the puppet from the service ? 18- year-old experiencing their first mid-life crisis . They have become cautious, since the testosterone -packed gaming and blogosphere Nintendo explained with the Wii controller Zappel first product had a loser – and was completely off . Nintendo is a world leader .

I do not trust me, racing is not as hard (and embarrassing ) be . I put on , the dark eye of the camera fixed Kinect me mercilessly as Street View my living room. Seconds later, I am saved, I can get started . Arms outstretched, fists in the typical steering wheel position , I’ll give gas. Or rather , I move to accelerate his fists toward your chest – . Now a narrow curve , the steering wheel with his fists to the right and courageous swing the butt thrown to the left. The racer drifts now with smoldering tires across the road. It’s all funny. The home with a few mates and a can of beer? This can bring a party to swing.

Microsoft wagered in Germany, the future of its gaming division to the fact that the players discover the fun factor at the Kinect . The Thursday of this week, when the trade visitors flock to the simple gamer in the Cologne Exhibition Center , is the first litmus test for Kaltner and his team. Will they accept the new game experience? If the run on Microsoft Stand – mounted and the Kinect from game stations , it might be tight for the holiday season . And then in 2011 the cards will be reshuffled again .