AU Shippin' Out November 15-19: Kinect

Microsoft's camera peripheral launches around Australia with 15 games in tow.

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November is proving to be quite a busy month in the games industry this year, with Call of Duty: Black Ops smashing its way into the record books and news that Gran Turismo 5 is scheduled to launch in just under a week. Adding to the flurry of activity is Microsoft's entry into the motion arena, while both Ubisoft and EA release sequels for two of their most popular franchises.

After a year of building anticipation, it's crunch time for Kinect in Australia.

Though it was released in the US two weeks ago, Microsoft is rolling out the Kinect Down Under on Thursday. Combining a camera with 3D depth-perception sensors, the Kinect differentiates itself from the Wii and Move by allowing full-body control, and it can function without a controller. The technology doesn't come cheap, though. The standard Kinect camera and Kinect Adventures bundle will set you back A$198, while the basic Kinect and Xbox 360 console bundle goes for A$449. On Thursday there will be 15 games at launch that support the Kinect, four of which are from Microsoft while the rest are third-party titles. For a complete guide to the Kinect, be sure to check out our Kinect launch centre.

On the software side of things this week, Ubisoft has the third chapter in the Assassin's Creed series ready to be released on the 18th. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood marks a first for the main series as it introduces online multiplayer for console versions. One of the modes was shown off during a brief beta period on the PlayStation Network, which saw up to eight players hunting down a specific target, while avoiding being hunted themselves. Of course, the single-player side of the game continues the story of Desmond Miles, who is voiced by Nolan North, as he continues to uncover the secrets of his past using the Animus machine. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game all launch this week, while the PC version is slated for early next year.

Also taking to the track this week is Criterion Games' take on the Need for Speed franchise. Paying homage to the series' roots, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit takes the game back to its core elements and focuses on the basic principle of cops chasing illegal racers. The game is entirely open-world and introduces social media into the mix via a new system called Autolog. Dubbed as the "Facebook of the game," Autolog tracks your stats and tells you what your friends are doing in the game. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is due out later this week for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and PC.

To find out what else is out this week, check out the list below:

Releases for the week starting 15 November 2010
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (PS3, 360)
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (Wii)
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (PS3, 360, Wii, PC)
EA Sports Active 2 (PS3, 360, Wii)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (PS3, 360, PC, Wii, DS)
Dance Central (360)
Kinectimals (360)
Fighters Uncaged (360)
MotionSports (360)
Kinect Sports (360)
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved (360)
Kinect Joy Ride (360)
Sonic Free Riders (360)
Sports Island Freedom (360)
Dance Evolution (360)
Crossboard 7 (360)
Game Party: In Motion (360)
Brunswick Pro Bowling (360)
Dance Paradise (360)
The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout (360)
Marvel Super Hero Squad: Infinity Gauntlet (360, PS3, Wii)
Disney Channel All Star Party (Wii)

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