Microsoft Kinect Motion Sensor Launches November 4
Microsoft then revealed the six games that'll be available for Kinect when it launches November 4.
The first--and arguably most impressive--involved a little girl onstage, who played with a virtual tiger cub (dubbed Kinectimals). As she cupped her hands and stroked the air, a pair of virtual "ghost" hands petted and caressed the tiger cub. The girl proceeded to call the tiger over, ask it to pick up a toy, then jump rope with it, and the tiger responded dynamically, reacting to her voice (and possibly the emotion in her voice) without hitches.
Kinect Sports, Microsoft's answer to Wii Sports will as expected offer a panoply of activities, from boxing to soccer to volleyball to bowling. Also noted: Javelin-throwing, hurdle-leaping, and table tennis. While it all looked decidedly Wii-like, the level of interaction was notably deeper and more precise, as it involved players' full bodies--legs, arms, heads, and torsos.
Joyride, an Xbox LIVE avatar-based racing game, lets you drive using your hands to grasp an imaginary wheel, but with wrinkles: At one point, the demonstrator thrust both arms out to her vehicle, and stunts seem part and parcel of the final experience.
Kinect Adventures looks like a series of obstacle-course games for up to four players. The first demo involved two demonstrators grabbing jumping and grabbing coins, Mario-like, while a second demo dropped two players into a river raft racing over rapids. At times the leaping and flailing was fairly intense, and you had to wonder at the potential for multiple players to crash into each other.
The final launch game was called Dance Central, an Harmonix-developed Kinect-based dance move game. With a soundtrack including No Doubt, Lady Gaga, and the Beastie Boys, players can perform some 600 moves and 90 dance routines, including some for the songs' original music videos. The game tracks your fidelity thereto and rates you appropriately.
Sadly missing from the whole thing? A price for Kinect. Microsoft's still not keen to talk pricing, it seems.
(For a full show recap, see our liveblog coverage.)
Follow me on Twitter (@game_on)