The Wanted and Leona Lewis perform at Kinect launch event

Xbox 360 heralded the start of a revolutionary new era in controller-free entertainment with a star-studded event last night at the iconic Natural History Museum Ice Rink, celebrating what is already being dubbed this year’s ‘must-have’ Christmas gift -Kinect for Xbox 360.

Hordes of screaming fans lined the streets outside the Museum as celebrities, media and lucky competition winners were treated to exclusive performances from hot new boy-band The Wanted and global super-star Leona Lewis. After the main stage entertainment, celebrities, together with other invited guests, all enjoyed time with Kinect playing Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures and Dance Central.

Rounding out an evening of star-studded Kinect highlights, thousands of people also queued at over 300 retailers including GAME as the first Kinect sensors went on-sale. Those who queued for hours outside GAME’s flagship store on London’s Oxford Street were additionally treated to a special guest appearance by The Wanted, who manned the counters to serve the first lucky Kinect purchasers. The band also took part in a live Video Kinect call between GAME’s Oxford Street and Leeds in order to demonstrate yet another of the new platform’s extraordinary capabilities.

Neil Thompson, General Manager of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division (UK & IR), said of last night’s launch activities: “We are delighted to put Kinect into people’s living rooms and turn science fiction into science-fact. Kinect transforms games and entertainment experiences, offering an intuitive and simple way that everyone will enjoy.”

The ‘count-down’ to Kinect’s launch began this past weekend with Samsung our official screen partner for the Kinect for Xbox 360 launch in the UK and Ireland. People were given the chance to experience Kinect for themselves at in specially-commissioned windows at Selfridge’s on Oxford Street. People had their experiences filmed, with the footage set to be screened on Samsung’s digital Jumbotron in London’s famous Piccadilly Circus in the week ahead.

Kinect for Xbox 360 brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways without using a controller. In a world-first, Kinect lets consumers of all ages enjoy games using your whole body or play movies, listen to music, and video chat simply with a wave of the hand or the sound of your voice.

Kinect launches in the UK today at £129.99 ERP for the stand-alone Kinect Sensor and “Kinect Adventures” game, or £249.99 ERP for the all-in one Xbox 360 Kinect Console Bundle including the new Xbox 360 4GB console and “Kinect Adventures”.

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