Codemasters have just announced the new GRID 2, a racing game that will challenge players to be fast, be first, and be famous as they enter a stunning new world of competitive motorsport. With the new game, Codemasters are setting new standards for damage, AI and visuals, but will also raise the gameplay and technological bar for motorsport gaming. GRID 2 will be released in the summer of 2013 for Xbox 360, Microsoft, Playstation 3, and PC.

The new GRID 2 racing game

"GRID’s back and we’re going to make street, track and road racing exciting again," said Clive Moody, Executive Producer. "The core design philosophy for GRID 2 is that we treat the race as a character, not a consequence of simply putting cars on tracks. Everything that goes into the game impacts on that second-to-second, in the moment, blockbuster drama – the feel and personality of the race."

Smart TVs, as well as the Xbox Kinect, PlayStation Move, and the Nintendo Wii have already mastered the art of taking hand and body gestures, and translating them into functions. Now it looks as if this same technology may make it to the automotive realm.

Rumors began swirling a few months ago when Microsoft placed a help wanted ad that alluded to the use of body movements for various automobile controls. Now there is actually a little confirmation that at least one company is actually working on this technology. Harmon, creator of automotive audio systems and other aftermarket electronics, released a concept car that actually uses various body motions to control different features.

You want to turn the radio on, simply wink, adjusting the volume is as easy as tilting your head slightly. You can even skip tracks on a CD or change stations on the radio by tapping your hand on the steering wheel. Oh, and if you want to make a Bluetooth hands-free phone call, just make the universal hand signal for a telephone – you know, thumb to the ear with your pinky extended.

This technology isn’t completely new, as Cadillac’s CUE system uses some of this technology, but you still have to contact the screen, much like a Smartphone or tablet. The full use of gestures and infrared sensors to control a car’s various features is supposed to help avoid driver distraction by eliminating the need to search for buttons to press or knobs to turn.

Where we see this failing is the fact that the learning curve on most gesture-based systems is typically very steep and requires a ton of memorization. We can see new owners reaching for their car’s manual to see how to turn up the volume and putting their car into a ditch.

To say the least, this will definitely require some very intense planning to accomplish. Harman claims that the system should be ready for production in about two to three years.

Source: Recombu

There’s a reason Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest people in the world; he takes ideas and runs with them until they make him so much cash, he can start to work on something else. As co-founder of Microsoft, one would expect Gates’ expertise to stick strictly to computers, but the company as a whole has found another way to roll in the profit: a West Coast Customs collaboration on an all-American Ford Mustang . Their project is appropriately called the Microstang and it’s a Mustang equipped with Windows 8 and Kinect.

The Microstang has received Dynacom’s 1967 fastback replica body and plenty of Microsoft’s latest technologies. We’re not very sure about those shiny wheels, but the interior is what makes this car really cool. Microsoft has fitted it with cool gadgets like an Xbox 360 with Kinect, a Windows operating system, a Windows Phone, Windows Azure, Bing, Ford Sync, and a rear windshield projector screen. There is also a Viper SmartStart app that can help the driver remotely start the car via the Windows Phone.

The Ford Microstang by Microsoft and West Coast Customs will officially be presented on March 25, 2012 at 6 PM Pacific (9 PM Eastern) on the Discovery’s Velocity Network during the Inside West Coast Customs show.

Hit the jump for a short video on the MicroStang.

Source: The Verge

We already know that the fourth installment of Forza Motorsport - Forza 4 - is already scheduled to hit the shelves sometime in October. Today, Microsoft is giving us even more reason to be excited for the month of Halloween to come.

In a move that is curiously close to the launch date of Forza 4, Microsoft will also be introducing its new Wireless Speed Wheel for the Xbox 360 . The new device is compatible to all racing games and not just Forza 4, but it does seem like Microsoft is pegging their new device to be purchased as some sort of ’package deal’ together with the game.

Timely marketing and a stroke of genius, if you ask us.

According to Microsoft, the Wireless Speed Wheel can be controlled intuitively with precise steering, standard controller buttons and triggers, and feedback vibration when things go awry out on the track.

In a press release, Microsoft described the Wireless Speed Wheel as a new innovation that balances the realism of a wheel with the feel of a controller for greater user edge in game play.

“With trigger buttons for gas and brake, combined with a rumble feedback, the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel provides intuitive standard controller buttons that immerse the driver into the game, whether you like to white knuckle it down the race track with your hands at “10 and 2” or “9 and 3.”

The new device is expected to begin shipping to retailers all over the world on September 26 at a cost of $59.99. Something tells us that the sales of this new wireless steering wheel will go hand-in-hand with the volume of sales for Forza 4.

There’s no question that the biggest threat to Gran Turismo ’s throne in the pinnacle of automotive racing video games is the Forza franchise for the Xbox 360. So you can imagine just how left out Xbox owners must have felt when just about every Playstation 3 owner on the planet was scooping up Gran Turismo 5 a few weeks ago.

Well, we have some very good news for you Forza-playing gamers out there. The next installment of the highly-successful racing franchise – Forza 4 – is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2011. Unlike the gap between GT4 and GT5 – about five years – the gap between Forza 3 and Forza 4 is a mere two years!

The countdown to the release of Forza 4 has officially kicked off after the Forza website released a teaser video of the upcoming Xbox-exclusive video game. Other than this video, details are still scarce about what’s going to be included in the game, but at the very least, Xbox owners won’t have to suffer the same excruciating wait Playstation owners had to go through with GT5.

While most of us who own a Playstation 3 are still waiting for the release of Gran Turismo 5, those people with an Xbox 360 are probably making fun of our misfortune.

Microsoft to release Hot Holidays Car Pack for Forza 3

Forza Motorsport 3 – GT5’s counterpart for the 360 – is already running on full throttle and already has an early Christmas present for its users. The next downloadable content (DLC) car pack from Turn 10 studios is coming to the Xbox 360 on December 8. The Hot Holidays Car Pack will feature some of the newest and fastest supercars in the game and will be downloadable for a meagre 400 Microsoft Points.

Among the cars included in the Car Pack are the Ferrari FXX , the Audi S4 , the Porsche Panamera Turbo , the Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss , and the Ferrari 458 Italia .

Until Sony finally decides to release Gran Turismo 5, then we can just look at our friends with Xbox 360’s and watch them enjoy Forza Motorsport 3, including those ten new raging machines.

When you wake up every day, it’s safe to say that one of the first things you’ll probably do is to turn on your computer.

Ferrari, Porsche, and Infiniti tie-up with Microsoft for desktop themes

How would you like it when the first thing that greets you is a sparkling and awe-inspiring Ferrari ? The supercar of our dreams, together with Porsche and Infiniti , has partnered with Microsoft to introduce a new Windows 7 Desktop Theme Gallery. While it’s not really a ground-breaking technological feature – especially since there are thousands of wallpapers on the Internet that are centrally themed around these three brands - the program does come with a number of features that normal desktop wallpapers can’t boast of; these include special backgrounds, slide shows, screen savers, and color customizations.

The agreement is a landmark in the sense that this is the very first time Microsoft has made specific packages for their respective companies. The Ferrari Ferrari , Infiniti Infiniti , and Porsche packages are just three of what is expected to be a growing list of partners that will have their very own desktop theme galleries in the near future. As it stands, the computer software company also has an available theme for Ducatti, Coke, Pepsi, Zune, and Gears of War 1 & 2, to name a few.

Downloading these packages comes free of charge so to all those Ferrari, Porsche and Infiniti enthusiasts out there, now’s the time to spice up your desktop and download any one of these three mind-blowing theme galleries.

Source: Microsoft
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I am already spending 10 hours per day in front of a windows logo but I have been enjoying my peaceful ride home each day without thinking that they also wanted a piece of that! A car heads up display patent under the name of Microsoft has been released today and they go in details about how they’re going to get into your car.

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