Kinect Sports Rivals: What to Expect?

Motion gaming has become a growing field in the area of video games. The Wii was the big entry into the console generation that utilized a solid motion controller in the Wiimote. Microsoft eventually jumped on the boat with Kinect for the Xbox 360. But with the clunky interface, relatively inaccurate camera response, and lack of game quality, the Kinect took quite a bit of criticism, and most people recommended that hardcore gamers steer away from the device and to save it for the kids to use.

Microsoft obviously took note of the Kinect’s issues and built the new and improved version that comes with the Xbox One. The new hardware has an incredible amount of potential: better quality, less latency, and better overall usage. One of the upcoming games that will be hitting the Xbox One and Kinect is Rare Studio’s Kinect Sports Rivals, coming to the system on April 8th in North America.

Kinect Sports Rivals is the first game for the Xbox One to be built around the Kinect 2 hardware. Instead of simply starting the game by choosing a preset avatar, you begin the game by scanning your body into the game. After you get your body scanned in, the Kinect takes multiple scans of your head to get a precise calibration. Doing this immediately adds a personal touch to the game and causes the character to resemble the player extremely well. The Kinect 2 offers great accuracy in terms player capture. When bowling, the sensor is actually able to detect when the player picks the ball off of the rack and when they let go of the ball, offering a very realistic experience.

Soccer is also quite a different experience than the version that many people had with the Kinect Sports version on the Xbox 360. This time around, the soccer style is focused around the extravagant plays like headers, volleys, and goal saves. This experience also highlights the technical capabilities of Kinect 2. The camera is able to track the angle of your foot, the speed at which you kick, and the height of your leg to determine where exactly the ball goes. Other than soccer and bowling, the game features target shooting, tennis, climbing, and wake racing.

Tennis gets more of a refinement than an overhaul. In tennis, you have much more control over the power of your shot, even affecting drop shots and lobs once you get the timing right. In bowling, you can achieve spin in a more natural fashion, as Kinect no longer has to extrapolate wrist motion from your limbs and can directly see the angle of both your hand and fingers.

The original Kinect may have taken quite a bit of flak from gamers in the Xbox 360 era, but it’s clear that Microsoft has stepped up to plate when constructing the Kinect 2 hardware. If you love competition, Kinect Sports Rivals will be right up your alley. With 3 previous games that have been brought back and re-imagined, coupled with 3 brand new heart-racing games, Kinect Sports Rivals will hope to up the ante on motion gaming and establish the Kinect 2’s hardware as a force to be reckoned with in the gaming industry.