by Erin Hogg, Daily Vidette Staff Writer

Kinect, a “controller-free gaming and entertainment experience” for the Xbox 360 console, is coming to ISU with free events for students to discover the ultimate entertainment accessory.

The system will be available for students to try out at no cost between 8 p.m. and midnight on Thursday, Nov. 18 during Reggie Nites at the Bowling and Billiards Center. Six games will be available for students to play.

In addition, coffee mugs will be given away on a first come, first serve basis. Drinks and snacks will also be offered. Three people in attendance will have a chance to win $20 Best Buy gift cards in several contests.

Unlike the Nintendo Wii, Kinect lets the player use their voice and body to play games and watch movies without a controller. Using a sensor, Kinect sees the player move and hears the player’s voice. Seventeen games are currently available that include dancing, fitness, sports, racing, and adventure, according to a Microsoft press release.

Kinect also offers video chat over Xbox LIVE and through Video Connect, according to the release.

Mr. Youth, a social media market agency, and RepNation, a marketing research firm, have partnered with Microsoft to bring the Kinect to campus. Joe Fairless, account supervisor at Mr. Youth, explained the events are to promote the Kinect to all ISU students, especially female students.

“We are focusing on ISU because of the student demographics. We are targeting female gamers because they usually don’t get targeted for video game launches,” Fairless said.

Mr. Youth uses experimental, word of mouth and social interactive marketing to bring brands to consumers through a network of ambassadors.

Sheryl Clark, solutions specialist at Best Buy, explained the Kinect has been a very popular item since its launch on Nov. 4.

According to Reuters, Kinect sold one million units 10 days after its launch. Microsoft, the maker of Xbox, plans to sell more than five million before the end of the year.

Ultimately, Microsoft is hoping the new technology will help extend the role of its Xbox 360, which has sold 45 million units, and introduce a concept that is expected to feature in forms of electronics and computers in the next few years, according to Reuters.

Kinect is an accessory for the Xbox 360 system and is sold separately. It costs $150 and games generally range between $30 and $60, but when one purchases the accessory, the game “Kinect Adventures” is included.

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