Natal is Dead. Long Live Kinect!
The first major bomb of this year's E3 festival is has been dropped courtesy of Microsoft's lavish Experience Natal event. Natal has been officially rebranded as Kinect, which is... still a fairly nonsenical name, really.
But what's in a name, right? It's the games that we care about. Let's take a look at the lineup! [courtesy of USA Today]
•Joyride. Gripping an imaginary steering wheel, you'll mime your way through a number of courses and dance around to perform stunts.
•Kinectimals will let us train, play and otherwise interact with 20 virtual cats including a lion, cheetah and tiger. Miaow!
Kinect Sports. Can you say minigame collection? This Rare-developed (as we predicted) bundle will contain six sporting activities including boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, athletics, football and table tennis. Naturally, the Kinect peripheral will be used to mimic the actual motion of kicking/heading a football or smashing a volleyball- and will serve as an excellent tech demo of Kinect's mocap capabilities. With any luck, this will be bundled along with the camera...but we've heard disturbing early reports of lag and latency issues. Sort it out, Rare.
•Kinect Adventures includes a river-raft time trial and obstacle course that will require cooperation by up to four players. Rafting, for example, will require timed strokes and weight distribution.
•Dance Central, in development by Harmonix and MTV Games, is set to be massive. Apparently, it will have a killer setlist and will facilitate intuitive "full-body dancing" without a dance pad peripheral. Whilst this certainly isn't my cup of tea, the buzz is overwhelmingly positive- and with Harmonix at the helm, it should handle fairly well. According to early hands-on reports, it's lag free and fairly natural.
•Star Wars and Disney will have their own third party outings. With any luck, we'll be set for 1:1 lightsaber duels and... Disney minigames? Shame it isn't a crossover, really.
We can expect a few more third party announcements (including Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid Rising) over the next week.
Hmm. Not a stellar lineup by any means, and frankly, Kinect Sports and Adventures really ought to be a bundle package in my opinion. However, the sticking point is price. Microsoft has yet to announce both dates and price point (though they've promised to do so over the next 48 hours)... but they need to remember that you can buy a Wii bundle deal for around £120 these days. If Kinect launches around this bracket, many gamers will actively consider buying a Wii to get their motion control fix (as well as access to Nintendo's game library and web browser). Stay tuned for our updated (and in-depth) Kinect roundup later on! [Thanks to USA Today, Eurogamer]
FIFA 11's Personality+ Feature Explained
Confused by FIFA 11's new Personality+ feature? Unsure exactly how a player's individual personality will factor into the gameplay? Well fret no more, as EA has released a developer diary explaining the whole thing.
Assassins Creed Brotherhood Dated and Trailered
Ezio has some unfinished business with the Templars- and will be stalking the shadowy backstreets and rooftops of Renaissance Rome this November. According to Ubisoft's latest announcement, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood will be released on November 16th.
Have a gander at the updated trailer below. It's light on gameplay footage, but very easy on the eye. [Joystiq]