Kinect for Xbox 360 to do ‘Oprah,’ ‘Ellen’ Shows

Microsoft's Kinect will get the Oprah treatment when the Queen of All Media features Xbox on her Oct. 19 show.

There's a new trend in daytime talk: Tech gadgets. Last month the "rugged" Motorola Defy smartphone made its public debut on the 25th season premiere of "The Oprah Show." And now Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 is traveling the TV talk circuit, appearing Tuesday, Oct. 19 on "Oprah," and later this month on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Will Kinect be ready for its close up? And what can we expect to see? We'll have to tune in to find out, of course, but it's a safe bet that somewhere between the sycophantic celebrity interviews and frequent commercial breaks, Oprah and Ellen will chat nice with a Microsoft rep about Kinect's gee-whiz capabilities. A wacky demo will ensue.

Kinect, which launches Nov. 4, is Microsoft's new Xbox 360 motion-sensor add-on that lets you play games and watch movies without a controller. A standalone Kinect sensor, designed for gamers who already own an Xbox 360 console, will cost $150. A Kinect bundled with the Xbox 360 4GB console is $300.

So why would Microsoft pimp Kinect on daytime talk? On the surface, the decision is a head-scratcher: Oprah and Ellen both appeal to a mostly female demographic, and the Xbox 360 skews young male. But with the holiday season approaching, moms everywhere will be looking for a hip gift for their tech-savvy kids-and Kinect fills the bill. And like the Nintendo Wii and its Wii Remote wireless controller, Kinect's controller-less design may appeal to more mainstream consumers who often shun conventional game consoles.

Personally, I'd like to see a tech gizmo debut on "Jerry Springer." Talk about ratings gold: Two tattooed skinheads, one obese, toothless girlfriend, and a pair of next-generation iPads. The trigger: A meth-fueled love triangle made possible by the iPad's new front-facing camera. When the violence kicks in-and it always does on "Jerry" - something magical and revolutionary might occur. Jerry Jerry JERRY!

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Jeff Bertolucci

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