Kinect Sports - quick play preview

Feeling fit and able? Good, because you are going to have to be if you want to play Kinect Sports when it comes out later this year. That's the claim from Microsoft, but can it really be that energetic? We threw on some "jogging pants" (trackie bottoms to you and me) to find out more.

Name

Kinect Sports

What platform is it on?

Xbox 360

When's it due out?

November 2010

What other game is it like?

Wii Sports, Sports Champions (for PS3)

Does it use any new tech?

Yes, Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360

The pitch

Turn your living room into a world-class stadium, bowling alley, soccer pitch or track-and-field arena. With “Kinect Sports” you’re not only the star player, you are the controller - through the magic of Kinect for Xbox 360. See a ball? Kick it. Spike it. Even give it a little topspin. “Kinect Sports” features soccer, beach volleyball, bowling, table tennis, track and field, and boxing.

The storyline

None per se, but think a mix of the Olympics and the Big Lebowski

Video

A trailer from Microsoft of all the games in action at its E3 press conference

Meanwhile one of the games product managers does the 110m hurdles with another Microsoft colleague.

Our first impressions

Kinect Sports is a lot like Wii Sports in that it gives you a range of sports to play and master from the world of track and field, bowling and other disciplines, the big difference here however is that you have to get very energetic. The game loads up your avatar, just like Wii Sports.

“Kinect Sports” features six team-based and individual sports - soccer, beach volleyball, bowling, table tennis, track and field, and boxing.

Here we played bowling, our favourite, ran the 110m hurdles, and then played with the crowd. Bowling was superb, very easy to master, and very enjoyable. Tracking your every move it allows you to put left and right spin on the ball and depending on how much you move will affect the speed of your throw as well. Yes, you can even do a two-handed granny roll, although our attempts ended up in the gutter. That said we managed four strikes in a row something we've only ever dreamed about on Wii bowling.

As for the 110m hurdles this is energetic stuff with the game reacting to how high you lift your legs to how fast you run. We would hate to have to do the marathon. You've then got to jump for the hurdles (something we struggled to time right) and you'll soon find yourself huffing and puffing if you're not too fit to begin with, especially if you want to get a good time.

Crowd control is just that with the crowd responding to your movements like a conductor with an orchestra. It's not really a game as such, more a way of you showing what's what with your friends.

Please note

The E3 games convention is a fantastic chance to see the latest games due out over the coming year, as well as, letting us get a glimpse into what is going to be the big titles and the ones to avoid like the plague.

The big problem however is that for most of the titles that glimpse is, well, just that. At the show you'll get to play a level here or a multiplayer map there.

So with that in mind we present you with our Quick Play.

What we've done is broken down the key facts you need to know and then given you our first impressions based on around 15 minutes of gaming. For us that 15 minutes isn't enough to do a First Look review. How can you rate a game that offers over 30 hours of gaming on just 15 minutes of play? However it should hopefully give you an idea, a feeling, a notion, of what to expect come launch day.