E3 2012: XBox 360's Kinect opens new possibilities for sports games
Sports games were one of the genres that originally gave gaming systems mass appeal, and developers are now expanding the genre further with XBox 360's Kinect feature. Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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Chances are if you've played just one console video game in your life it was Madden football. Each year, the game is a top seller.
EA plans to continue that streak with several new features in this year's game. One of their new features for the XBox 360 version is voice control through Microsoft's Kinect. The feature allows guys like Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, who may not know video games but certainly knows football, to call out plays and audibles at the line and have them appear in the game.
Voice control is creeping its way into other EA Sports titles as well. In the other football, FIFA 13, you can call out formation changes and subs on the fly during gameplay. You can also talk to computer-controlled teammates and yell at the refs to try to influence their calls (though they can and will card you if cross the line). On top of that, FIFA developers have incorporated more realistic gameplay, with new features that factor in error while trapping.
"Players are not going to have this perfect ball control they've had for so many years," says Santiago Jaramillo, a developer with EA Sports. "It's really going to create a variety of scenarios and outcomes that are going to make the game a lot more fun."
A new game called NBA Baller Beats also debuted at E3. NBA Baller Beats is a Kinect game that comes with a basketball. The game plays like a cross between basketball and a Guitar Hero or Rock Band-type game. With apologies to mothers, the game will encourage ball playing in the house.
"You're dribbling to beats," says New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams. "There are different beats, different levels, for all different skill sets, for people just starting out playing the game to guys like me who are struggling with the baller status on here. It teaches good fundamentals, teaches you to keep your head up while dribbling which a lot of kids nowadays don't do and aren't forced to do. If you get in front of this game you're forced to do that."
Developers say users will also hone around 20 moves from crossovers to pump fakes to behind-the-back dribbling.