Tagged "Kinect"

Nov 11
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 2 Comments

This Week’s Games

It seems funny to say that most of the games out this week require another £130 to be blown in order able to play. I am of course talking about the Kinect, which doesn’t appear to be totally sold out just yet.

Eurogamer reviewed the launch line up last week – Dance Central and Kinect Sports gained the highest scores, followed by Kinectimals, Kinect Joy Ride and Kinect Adventures (which is bundled with the device). The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout looks like being the best of the fitness games, getting an 8/10 from Game Informer. Fighters Uncaged, Motion Sports and Sonic Free Riders have been getting a kicking – Ubisoft’s brawler currently has a 41% average GameRankings review score, Motion Sports at 50% and Sonic Free Riders 57%. One website gave Sonic Free Riders a 2/10, calling it broken and unplayable. IGN though gave it 7.5 and said that “The motion controls make it hard to just jump into the game, but they’re fun once you’ve got the hang of everything”. I expect that’s the case for most Kinect games, really.

If you’re a fan of the blue hog then Sonic Colours should be on your shopping list – it’s apparently very good, scoring a solid 8/10 on Eurogamer. Also out, and will probably do quite well I’d imagine, are Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth on DS and Doctor Who: Return to Earth on Wii. The Official Nintendo Magazine gave the DS iteration 69%, suggesting it’s worth a look if you’re a fan of the Doctor. There’s one to avoid on Wii this week too – Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2, which IGN gave 4/10. “Even the loading logo looks terrible,” they said.

Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last few days, you’ve probably noticed that Call of Duty: Black Ops (or Blops, as the cool kids are calling it) is out now. 5.6 million copies have been sold already in the US and UK alone. Believe it or not, it’s the only PlayStation 3 game out this week. Not that any others had much of a chance…

Next week: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Prince of Persia HD Trilogy, FlingSmash, EA Sports Active 2.0, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One, Wheel of Fortune, Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs Strike, Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet, Pictionary, Apache Air Assault, Blood Drive, iCarly: iJoin the Click and three different Harvest Moon games from two different publishers – Frantic Farming, Sunshine Islands and Animal Paradise. Most odd.

Nov 04
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

This Week’s Games

There’s no Bond movie this year yet there’s not one but two James Bond games out this week. If the early reviews are to go by then it’s GoldenEye 007 on Wii that’s the one to spend your golden coins on.

GoldenEye 007 scored a lofty 9 on IGN but they only gave James Bond 007: Blood Stone a 5. Eurogamer also gave Blood Stone an average score, calling it a “forgettable weekend diversion” and nothing more. A few other websites have been a little bit more generous with their scores but not by much.

For those who haven’t given up on the PSP yet there’s the pretty good, if a little predictable, God of War: Ghost of Sparta and Football Manager 2011.

The DS gets Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs while PlayStation 3 owners are being treated to the Move-enabled Time Crisis Razing Storm. Both of these are probably alright, if, again, a little predictable.

There isn’t a whole lot else out apart from kid’s games, and for the curious here they are in list form: Defendin DePenguin, Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales, Disney Channel All Star Party, Zhu Zhu Pets: Kung Zhu, Zhu Zhu Pets: Wild Bunch and Imagine Fashion Paradise.

Next week: Oh man – it’s a big one. (Breathe in) Call of Duty: Black Ops, Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports, Kinectimals, Motion Sports, Sonic Free Riders, Kinect Joy Ride, Dance Central, DanceEvolution, Fighters Uncaged, The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout, Crossboard 7, Sonic Colours, Cooking Mama World: Babysitting Mama, Cooking Mama World: Hobbies and Fun, Beyblade: Metal Fight, Doctor Who: Return to Earth, Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth, We Sing Robbie Williams, Dance Paradise, Cabela Big Game Hunter 2010 and HAWK 2 on Wii (Breathe out). Three games with the world ‘dance’ in the title? Ubisoft has a lot to answer for.

Jul 30
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

A week ago videogame retailers were reportedly annoyed with the £129.99 price tag that Microsoft has whacked onto the Kinect. Many chains were expecting it to sell for less than £99.99 while a few even said that if it sells for any more than £100 it’ll flop.

Seven days later and their tune has suddenly changed. Despite a higher price than expected, retailers claim that pre-orders are flooding in with advance orders now expected to topple half a million in the UK by launch.

Grainger Games’ sales director Phil Moore had this to say: “The feedback we’ve had so far from our customers is that they feel the price is appropriate to the product. We have taken a large number of deposits for Kinect already and it is set to become our biggest pre-order to date. This tells us the device’s appeal has not been affected by the price point”

Sarah Jasper from The Hut Group agreed: “Based on our orders thus far, customers are clearly excited by this offering and price – and quite rightly so.”

In order to drum up even more pre-orders Mircosoft are taking the Kinect on tour round the UK. Dates are as follows:

Alton Towers – 31st July– 31st August
London Zoo – 7th – 22nd August
The Thames Festival in London – 11th – 12th September
Chessington World of Adventures – 21st – 31st October
Clothes Show Live in Birmingham (NEC) – 2nd – 8th December

Microsoft will also be setting up shop in Covent Garden which opens tomorrow (31st July) and will be open daily 10am-8pm. Rumours of Bill Gates making an appearance to serve cups of tea are currently unfounded.

Jun 28
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Microsoft’s marketing director Chris Penello has been talking to Gameasutra about the Kinect. Or rather, the games for it:

This industry thrives on being able to take an engine or game and put it on as many platforms as possible. We don’t want shovelware, we don’t want ports, we don’t want stuff with motion controls tacked onto it. That’s not a slam to our competitors. We wanted original games that were really taking advantage of what our technology does.

I know we’re going to have less games for [Kinect] than our competitors, but I think each one of those [games] is doing something interesting, and our system works differently and has different advantages than the wand, quite frankly. We’re basically asking publishers to go out and make exclusive content for this new technology and this new customer. … To me it’s way more important to have a handful of really good game titles that take advantage of the tech than 40 titles of which half of them are controller games with waggle added onto them.

We continue to say that the controller is the best experience for controller games. When people say, ‘Why don’t you have Halo?’ Well, I don’t want Halo on Kinect. I want Halo on a controller. Now would it be interesting to see what kind of game they could make using Kinect? Yeah, I would love to see what those guys could do, or what the Call of Duty guys could do. But I don’t want to play Call of Duty 4, I want Call of Duty: Black Ops on the controller. So yeah, I’m really, really happy with the stuff that [publishers] are doing. The most interesting stuff is going to be what comes out six months to a year from now when people come to grips with the technology and really start taking advantage of it.

However, when questioned about the price for Kinect, his words weren’t quite as forthcoming: “We’ll talk about price when the experience is what people want it to be” he said.

According to Microsoft’s own website the Kinect will cost $149.99, which is the same price it apparently costs to manufacture. Of course, anybody that buys one will have to buy a game to go with it, which is where Microsoft will make their money.

Hopefully for the UK release Microsoft won’t just swap the ‘$’ for a ‘£’ sign.

Jun 14
By Matt Gander In Blog 1 Comment

And so the official name for Natal is now Wave. Actually, that’s a lie – it’s now Kinect, a word that Microsoft Word’s spellchecker really doesn’t like. So, the rumours of it being renamed as Wave turned out to be false. That said, it might have gone under the moniker of Wave behind the scenes at Microsoft over the past few weeks – Eurogamer claims that Microsoft only trademarked the word Kinect in the past month.

The motion sensing camera is due out worldwide this winter, starting in North America on November 4th. 15 games are promised at launch, all of which involve waving your arms around like a loony. Kokatu says that the 360-exclusive Star Wars game that was shown looked the most impressive. Eurogamer seemed to reckon that it’s an on-rails affair though. Rare are behind Kinect Sports, which includes soccer, bowling, javelin, long jump, table tennis, boxing and beach volleyball. They’re also responsible for Kinect Adventures, which includes the water rapids game that a few people let slip about. The camera takes photos of you as you play, so make sure you do your make up before playing.

On the dashboard you’ll be able to access the The Kinect Hub where you can use the camera to interact with Facebook, Netflix and Zune. MCV reckons that Kinect games will retail for £29.99 – the same price as most Wii titles. The elusive RRP for Kinect remains a mystery for now, although Game are letting gamers pre-order it already.

As for third party Kinect stuff, Ubisoft are reading Motion Sports and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, THQ will release The Biggest Loser, Blackbean has Get Fit (featuring Spice Girl Mel B), Konami are offering Adrenalin Misfits and Dance Masters while MTV/Harmonix have Dance Central in the pipeline. Here, you have to copy dance moves as they appear on screen – they’ve worked with world class choreographers to bring 600 moves and 90 routines. Some Disney games were also promised but all that was shown as a CGI Tinkerbell. Joy. The Kinect line-up isn’t just kid’s stuff and games for fitness buffs – Forza Kinect and Joy Ride are two very different racing games for Micosoft’s new toy. Joy Ride was first announced a whole year ago as a free-to-play Xbox Live game. It’s not clear if this is still the case. Metal Gear Solid Rising will support Kinect too while Sega announced Sonic Free Riders.

Now back to the games that require those old fashioned joypads. Fable 3, now with added Jonathan Ross, has a release date of 26th October while Halo: Reach will be available from 14th September. There’s a new video here. Gears of War 3 is shaping up nicely – as well as a few new characters, including female Anya, there’s also a four-player cooperative campaign and the new Beast mode. It’s due in the US on 5th April 2011 and Europe on 8th April.

Crytek are doing a 360-exclusive too currently known as “Codename Kingdoms“. Only brief footage of a gladiator was shown. And in a move that will no doubt piss off many PlayStation 3 owners, all future Call of Duty add-ons and map packs will appear first on Xbox 360 for the next three years. That deal must have cost Microsoft many gold coins

The new name for Natal wasn’t the only surprise. Not by a long shot – Microsoft have “done an Apple” and announced that a new sleeker version of the Xbox 360 will be shipping to US retailers from today. It’s “whisper quiet”, has a 250GB HDD and “the fastest wireless network for any console”. The cost? Same as the plain old noisy Xbox 360 – $299. It’s out in PAL-land on 16th July. It reminds me of one of those Alienware PCs.

In the world of downloads, namely Xbox Live Arcade, two mention-worthy games were confirmed – the 2D Castlevania: Harmony of Despair and Hydro Thunder Hurricane, which will have an 8-player online mode.

Plenty of new games, then. But perhaps a few too many evolving getting fit. I’d also wager that most of the third-party games shown for Kinect will also be appearing in Sony’s E3 round-up tomorrow. And maybe even in Nintendo’s conference too.

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