Your Xbox Live avatar leads a lonely existence. Or did, anyway, before Avatar Kinect came along. Now, Kinect recognizes your face: When you smile, when you raise your eyebrows, when you talk—and your Avatar uncannily does the same.

We knew Avatar Kinect was en route, but the details are even more impressive than the speculation. Avatar Kinect not only puts your avatar in a virtual conference-type of room with those of your friends, it tracks your facial expressions for an eerily realistic chat experience. (Even eerier when it's Ballmer.)


It'll be available this spring for free—free!—to Xbox Live Gold members.

Oh, and Microsoft has managed to sell 8 million Kinects since launch. Not too shabby!