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e3 2010

Hands On With Ubisoft's Answer to Wii Sports: Motion Sports for Kinect

by Paul Charchian on Jun 17, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Kinect’s lineup wouldn’t be complete without a competitor to Wii Sports, and Ubisoft demonstrated its answer at E3. Motion Sports will cover six sports, two of which were playable on the show floor.

My first experience with Motion Sports was in the football game. No, scratch’s really just a kick returning game, and without any useful teammates. So, though it is played with a football, perhaps I was a bit hasty in calling it a “football game.”

I received the kickoff, and then would-be tacklers ran at me. I had maybe one blocker to help my cause.  I didn’t have to run in place, thankfully.  My guy simply ran forward on his own.  When opponents dove at my feet, I jumped. When they tried to tackle me from the left, I jumped right. Kinect felt a little sluggish here; when I saw someone dive at me, I’d jump away, but there was some noticeable lag between my jump time and the on-screen representation. I got tackled more than I thought I should. I’m hoping the lag gets reduced between now and Kinect’s November 4th ship date.

The second game I played was a skiing simulator. I started my ride at the top of the slope by using imaginary ski poles in my hands, and pushing myself down hill with repeated arm motions. Then, as gravity took hold and my speed improved, I went into a crouch. The more I bent my knees, the faster I went.

I slalomed between flags by leaning left and right, and in many cases, had to lean myself nearly to the point of being off balance to make my turns. When I hit a ski jump, I jumped. It worked.

The two games Ubi allowed me play were easy to pick up, perhaps to a fault. Motion Sports looks like a game that reasonably mobile grandparents can pick up and play, but there isn’t a ton of innovation over what’s already been done by Wii Sports.

When Motion Sports retails with Kinect at launch, in addition to the football and skiing games, you’ll see horseback riding, hang gliding, soccer, and boxing.