Avatar Kinect to be unveiled at CES?

Leaked slides appear to reveal new feature to be unveiled at this week's electronics convention; speculation indicates avatar control via bodily movements.

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Source: See below.

What we heard: Tomorrow night, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will show off his company's latest wares at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Though his emphasis is typically on the Windows operating system, there is a portion of the presentation dedicated to Microsoft's console gaming venture, the Xbox 360.

Xbox Live avatars may soon be ready to Kinect.  Image credit: Glimpse Dog.
Xbox Live avatars may soon be ready to Kinect. Image credit: Glimpse Dog.

Now, it appears that one of the surprises for the games section may have been blown. Gaming blog Glimpse Dog has published what appears to be a slide for a new service called "Avatar Kinect" being shown on a screen during a rehearsal for Microsoft's CES stage presentation.

Though no supplemental information was available, the slide does show Xbox Live avatars jumping and squatting, implying that they will be able to be controlled with bodily movements. Currently, avatars can only be controlled with Kinect inside games such as Kinect Adventures. Avatar Kinect may then be something much like PlayStation Home, where players' avatars can interact with one another outside of games.

The official story: Microsoft declined to comment.

Bogus or not bogus?: Likely not bogus. The photo of the stage setup is convincing, because it features a laptop-covered table similar to the centerpiece of Microsoft's stage show last year. Regardless, with Microsoft's presentation just over a day away, the wait to see what's in store shouldn't be too long.

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