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Kinect to hit PC February 1

CES keynote outlines next steps for motion control, forces gospel choir to sing tweets

Last night, to the distant jangle of coins falling into the slots of the Venetian Casino, Microsoft outlined its plans for the next year - in what was its last ever keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Gaming didn't get much of a look-in, sadly, but Kinect PC made its presence known, with the announcement that this new iteration will launch in 12 countries (UK, US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain) on February 1. It'll cost $250 a pop in the States.

The message was that Kinect isn't just for games. As keen viewers of adverts during X Factor and the CES keynote now know, it's also great at playing invisible instruments and defusing bombs (bombs!).

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Microsoft stated that it's working with 200 different companies on applications to give life to Kinect on PC, in the realms of music, health, fitness and the like.

A statement of intent was also made in terms of merging the world of television with the powers of Kinect via the Xbox - its demonstration coming from a deal recently signed with Sesame Street. A girl came on stage and threw coconuts at Grover, counting along with him as he caught them. Had the girl refused to play, the system would have introduced another character, but in the event, both child and worrying blue-thing walked away happy.

Elsewhere, the first Samsung Windows mobile was shown off, The Windows Store showcased its app distribution services, Ryan Seacrest from American Idol looked hunky and a choir sang along to the least offensive tweets sent in from a worldwide audience.

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