Video Chat: Can Kinect Connect Kin to the Xbox 360?

image Microsoft’s got its own emerging chat tool, though it’s not on a mobile device, or even a phone for that matter. The new video chat integration comes on the newly revealed Kinect, Microsoft’s latest announcement regarding its Xbox 360 game system.

Unveiled at the E3 Conference this week, Kinect is one of the major announcements at the event, coming after months of anticipation for the new Xbox 360 feature. It’s full-body motion control system gives you control of your game character without the need for a hand wand. Building on the physical interaction game trend, Microsoft has been hinting towards Kinect, formerly known as Project Natal, for some time.

Even after today’s debut, featuring a demonstration by Cirque Du Soleil, the details on exactly how Kinect’s game console will work. Its motion control operates through a web-cam, which senses your body

movements. The web-cam will also be enabled for video chat, which introduces a range of options for how the Kinect system could eventually work.

Video chat in front of your television screen may not seem all that exciting, but integrated into game play is something that has a growing interest. Finding ways to socially enhance video gaming systems has been a unique and potentially thriving opportunity, especially as game consoles are taking on more features and capabilities in order to appeal to a wider range of consumers.

Towards reaching more consumers, it’s still uncertain if Microsoft is looking to create a brand around the word "Kin" and its related terms. It’s been a few weeks since Microsoft launched a widespread campaign for the Kin mobile device, which has a series of personalized social components built into it.

Should Microsoft continue towards down this path, we’re likely to see a top-down approach towards including social features in many of its products. On the one hand, it positions Microsoft to better contend with Apple’s and Google’s well-integrated mobile platforms. On the other hand, such mentality around pre-installing a system’s feature set has also been an obstacle for Microsoft in Windows’ later days.