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Microsoft taps Kinect for hands-on ads

Redmond uses Advertising Week to announce the first advertisers who will tie-in to the new controller-free Xbox add-on.

Microsoft has lined up several advertisers, including Chevrolet, to create interactive ads that tie in with the new Xbox Kinect controller-free interface. Microsoft

Microsoft is looking to take advertisers for a ride.

The software maker on Monday announced plans to offer new kinds of interactive ads that tie into Kinect, the soon-to-debut Xbox attachment that lets gamers take action without the need for a controller, thanks to a motion sensing camera.

Redmond announced three initial advertisers--Chevrolet, Sprint, and T-Mobile--that will advertise within the Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures, and Kinect Joy Ride games. With Chevy, for example, users will be able to test-drive a car from within Kinect Joy Ride.

"With Kinect for Xbox 360, we are removing the last barrier to interactive television--the controller," Microsoft general manager Mark Kroese said in a statement. The campaigns will kick off when Kinect hits the market on November 4.

Kinect will sell for $149 and Microsoft and retailers will also offer several bundles that include an Xbox and the Kinect attachment.

Both analysts and Microsoft executives have talked about the potential for Kinect to be a huge money maker for the company. Top games exec Don Mattrick said recently that he expects to sell more than 3 million Kinect units this holiday season.