Microsoft CES keynote recap

Get all the gamer-relevant news from the Xbox 360 maker's final CES keynote address with none of the Ryan Seacrest!

While Microsoft's CES keynote address lacked a mammoth announcement, there were nuggets of new information doled out between extended demos of the new Xbox 360 dashboard, Windows Phone 7, and Windows 8.

Steve Ballmer presided over his final Microsoft CES keynote address (for now). Photo: James Martin, CNET

Foremost among the night's newsworthy tidbits was a February 1 release date for the Kinect for Windows package. But don't expect to be playing Kinectimals on the ol' desktop just yet. With a price tag of $250, the hardware appears aimed at software developers more than gamers; the Kinect sensor will only work on computers that already have the Kinect Software Development Kit installed.

Microsoft also released a few updated stats during its keynote address. Specifically, CEO Steve Ballmer said the Xbox 360 user base has exceeded 66 million users, with 40 million signed up for Xbox Live. As for the Kinect, Microsoft has shipped more than 18 million units of the peripheral.

Microsoft continued its push to make the Xbox 360 more than just a game console, announcing content partnership with News Corporation that will see the company's Fox TV and Wall Street Journal brands get Xbox Live apps this year.

Finally, Windows 8 was a focus of the keynote address, though little of the operating system's showcase was devoted to games. Microsoft will open a Windows Store marketplace in late February that will be used to download apps like Cut the Rope. That time frame lines up with the OS's next milestone on the path to its official launch, with Microsoft saying February will see a new version of the Windows 8 developer preview released.

For a full account of the keynote address, check out GameSpot's live blog of Microsoft's CES 2012 presentation.

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Discussion

13 comments
blackace
blackace

@TrueProphecy22 No one actually expected a 720 announcement, did they? ********************************************************************* No, that wasn't expected at all. Just like no one expected a PS4 announcement. If anything all announcements will happen at the E3. Only BIG announcement I was looking for was maybe some new IP's for the XBox 360 and maybe another 1st party company being acquired. Microsoft rarely has big news at the CES.

chyng85
chyng85

It is for portable device?

advocacy
advocacy

I still use Vista. Should I get Windows 8?

Icehearted
Icehearted

Ballmer is such an entertaining guy in photos. I don't know why but some of those those expressions he makes always crack me up. I'm curious about how Windows 8 will ultimately work with their console platform. If the OS will run their console games, why bother with consoles? As I remember things, they wanted the line between the two to be as clear as possible when they were working on their "DirectX box", and this seems contrary to that position.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

MS's Xbox folks need to start focusing a bit more on games and a little bit less on Kinectanimals and tv programming. And their new 360 dashboard is just "eh" at best.

Vodoo
Vodoo

I figured Microsoft would be focused on Windows Phone 7. It's not doing to well and they need to boost sales big time. It's a great OS but with no LTE, no support for dual-core processors ect... they can't compete with Androids high-end phones. But the WP7 OS is buttery smooth. It's just that they're lacking in the hardware dept. Forget the iPhone... the only people who buy that thing are people that either have no clue about the capabilities of smartphones or they just want a simple, easy to use smartphone. Right now, I have the Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket for AT&T. It has a 1.5ghz dual-core processor, 1gig of ram, and 2 forms of 4G (LTE and HSPA+) with a 4.5" super-amoled plus screen. There is nothing on Windows Phone 7 that can even come close to that. But as soon as Microsoft updates the software to support those features they should have a solid system in place. But right now, they're still playing catch up.

franzito
franzito

Windows 8 IS the next best thing for Microsft it seems

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Developers, developer, developers! :P

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

No one actually expected a 720 announcement, did they?

unreal_master
unreal_master

Excuse me while I.... Yawn its not like we didnt know about windows phone or windows 8

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Thanks for the article. It would have been great to see it live.