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Now Covering: Kinect's Japanese Launch

Microsoft is kicking off Kinect's Japanese sales with a big Akihabara launch event featuring idols and wrestlers. Live coverage here.

SKE48 members Rena Matsui and Jurina Matsui (and their avatars) are ready for Kinect.

It may be trailing the world by just a bit, but the Japanese version of Kinect is all set to launch today. Microsoft is releasing the device in a special Saturday launch (as opposed to the usual Thursday), complete with the kinds of festivities we've come to expect form a big Microsoft product launch here.

Those festivities include pop stars and wrestlers. Yes, we have seen examples of both at past Microsoft launches (example). Keiji Mutou is taking care of the wrestler role here. Doing the pop star duties this time are SKE48 members Rena Matsui and Jurina Matsui, who've formed special unit "Team Kinect."

The three will appear along side Microsoft Home & Entertainment head Takashi Sensui at an early morning launch event at the massive Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara, one of Microsoft's favorite launch spaces. We've dispatched your andriasang.com Special Kinect Correspondent Alex "cvxfreak" Aniel to cover the event and will be posting the live updates he sends below.

Check back close to the 8:20 start for updates. In the meanwhile, read up on Microsoft's Japanese Kinect plans through these stories:


10:13: Live updates have ended. Check back later for further coverage of the Kinect Japanese launch.

9:29: Sensui put on his greenest robes to start off sales.

9:26: Buyers at this Yodobashi get a commemorative Kinect t-shirt featuring Jurina and Rena's avatars.

9:21: The line (and cameras) move in doors for the start of sales. Yodobashi Akiba's games sales section is usually on the 5th floor (it's seriously a massive store!) but they're doing Kinect sales on the first floor.

9:18: They're demoing Kinect live. Alex says the SKE48 girls beat the wrestler dude at boxing.

9:10: Let's send everyone off with one more Kinect bendy knees pose!

9:08: "Dude" is gone, leaving just Rena and Jurina:

9:06: The shirt "Dude" is wearing was signed by the guests. Do you see the Xbox Special Forces member to the right?

9:04: Everyone do the official Kinect bendy knees pose.

9:01: So that's why he had that pink hard hat on the stage...

8:59: Oh god he's taking his clothes off...

8:57: Kinect buyer #1. "Dude" apparently lined up for two days since Thursday.

8:56: Out comes the celebratory Kinect launch ribbon!

8:51: Yodobashi Camera TV Game Team Manager Kousuke Suzuki (Microsoft's event invite was veeeery complete) takes the mic from the idols.

8:48: Kinect Love!

8:45: Yet another wrestler at a Microsoft launch event. That's Keiji Mutou, and he's wearing his favorite Kinect shirt today.

8:41: Oops... make that third sexiest! SKE48's Rena Matsui and Jurina Matsui take the stage.

8:37: Microsoft's Takashi Sensui may be the sexiest thing at the Kinect launch event!

8:30: Alex says there are between 150 and 200 in line for the official launch event outside the Akihabara Yodobashi Camera. In the images below, the giant monitor (which faces the station) is showing some Kinect promo videos with the SKE girls.

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