It appears that Microsoft may have a new beta test on the horizon soon for the Xbox 360. Some gamers have already received an invitation to the “Xbox Live and Kinect Beta Program”. This invite was sent through Microsoft Connect, a service Microsoft describes as “your feedback improving Microsoft products.” Though the message reveals little about the beta, it states participants will be provided with “a unique opportunity to see pre-release software.”

This opportunity does not come without its sacrifices, however. Apparently an “audio change” in the beta will not allow participants to use individual or party chat with anyone that is not also included in the beta. This could indicate that the beta might include the upcoming Kinect dashboard. Featuring a new video chat application, this new dashboard was first seen at E3 earlier this year.

This potential beta begs a number of questions. First off, seriously? Microsoft used a service called Connect to send invites for Kinect? Really? I would think a multi-billion dollar corporation could use a little more work in the naming department. Second off, it is not known at this time if they will be shipping out hardware to participants as well. Also, will full retail games be a part of this beta, or just some mini-games from the new dashboard (or something of the kind)? If Microsoft is shipping out hardware, software, and a copy of Dance Central, let’s hope they include some adult beverages in there as well. In any case, it sounds like a good opportunity for some lucky gamers to get an early look at a product that will be making a lot of noise this holiday season.

After all the hoopla of the reveal at E3 this year, of course the nitty gritty of it all is that some actual testing needs to be done at the user level. We don’t really know enough about Kinect to even know what the kinks are, but let’s hope that they get it all worked out. We all want to see if Microsoft can revolutionize gaming and bring it to another level. Here’s to hoping they can.

Well, Ranters, did any of you get an invite to the Kinect beta test? If not, is this something you would want to be a part of?

Microsoft’s Kinect ships on November 4, 2010.

Source: Joystiq

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