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.
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.