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Microsoft to Launch Election Hub on X-Box Live

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Microsoft has announced the launch of “Election 2012 on Xbox LIVE,” an interactive voting experience that merges the two worlds of video games and real-life American politics into one Xbox 360 console. Starting August 27, voters will be able to read up on the candidates and the issues, make an informed decision about the future of our country, register to vote, and then go back to playing “Call of Duty.”

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Kinectimals for Windows Phone: More Fun Than a Barrel of Lions, Tigers and Cheetahs

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How much fun can a game be that has no car chases, weapons fire, thrown birds or violence? The answer is quite a lot if it is the newly released version of a an Xbox 360 favorite Kinectimals. Kinectimals for Windows Phone costs $2.99 and doesn’t require the human player to jump and twist as required when using an Xbox 360 with Kinect. Your fingers, however, will get a workout interacting with the virtual big cat on the screen.
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News Windows Phone Xbox LIVE Features & Games in the Queue

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Windows Phone has the potential to be a great adjunct peripheral to Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Earlier this year, Microsoft demonstrated, but did not release, game play that combined an Xbox and a Windows Phone in real-time. There’s still no sign that this sort of game play is on its way. However, Microsoft is enhancing what is possible in game play for the upcoming Windows Phone “Mango” release.
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Windows Phone Mango Game Hub Improvements

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When Windows Phone 7 was released in October 2010 (November in the U.S.), one of its featured aspects was its Games Hub and its tie to Xbox Live. In Windows Phone “hubs” are collections of related content and apps. The Windows Phone display is a keyhole view of specific parts of a hub. The first major Windows Phone update is codenamed “Mango” and features a refresh of the Games Hub

Upping our game: What’s new in the Games Hub for Mango (Windows Phone Blog)

Some features which currently reside in the Xbox Live Extras tile in the games collection are being promoted to the top level of the Games Hub. This includes the user’s 3D animated avatar and achievements. The Xbox Live friends and messages sections are being integrated with the avatar view. Initiating Xbox Live messages and responding to friend requests can now be done directly on the phone. Multiplayer game requests and notifications are available right in Mango’s Games Hub.

Icons for games which currently dominate screen real estate are being shrunken to a list for easier navigation. There’s also a new “recently played games” list that shows the last played “tiles” (games) if you have more than 20 games on your phone.

One thing was not discussed in Microsoft’s post about the new Games Hub, however. Nothing was said about real-time gameplay between an Xbox 360 and a Windows Phone. This capability was demonstrated earlier this year. But, it is has not been discussed since that time.

Watch: XBox Live Will One Day Integrate Avatars with Facebook, Twitter, Kinect and Social Games

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300A new video from the Microsoft WGX team shows some intersting theories of how XBox Live could work in the future using Kinect and integrating with a ton of different technologies. The video demonstrates the ability to play games from work, and how players will be able to interact in a new, improved “Windows Gaming Experience” (WGX).

Although the video does not have details on how these will get implemented, if ever, it definitely opens the mind to considering new potential for the XBox Live service, which just yesterday was deemed by Zynga as “too small”. Check out the video below.

XBox Live of the Future

Zynga Designer: XBox Live Is Too Small for Us At This Point

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Zynga Chief Game Designer Brian Reynolds was recently quoted by Industry Gamers as saying that XBox Live had “too small a demographic” for Zynga games. This challenges the conventional wisdom that social gaming companies have been chomping at the bit to get their games to console. It looks like the games industry is in for a huge change over the next decade, because if a social games developer is scoffing at XBox Live, there’s the potential that console gaming and social gaming grow in completely separate directions.

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