Microsoft has revealed today that several new titles will be arriving on the Kinect in the near future. These titles were all designed with the family in mind as they bring learning experiences to life.
The first two revealed titles, Kinect Sesame Street TV and Kinect Nat Geo TV are both actually interactive TV shows. Children- and parents, of course- are encouraged to get up off their couches and work with the characters on screen to solve problems and participate in various activities. For Kinect Sesame Street TV, additional scenes are being placed into current Sesame Street episodes so that the shows will be brought to life through interactive adventures. In fact, a full season of such interactive Sesame Street programming is currently being filmed just for Xbox 360.
Rosemarie Truglio, PhD, vice president Education and Research, Sesame Workshop had the following to say:
Sesame Workshop and Microsoft are committed to producing rich engaging content in a new media platform for children who will have positive educational experiences. This partnership is an opportunity to combine the interactive platform of Kinect with Sesame Workshop's 42 years of innovative and research-based approaches to educational content. This new media experience allows for meaningful learning - leveraging kids' gross motor abilities by creating exciting, gesture-based movements that allow them to connect with our characters and content.Kinect Nat Geo TV, which will feature programming from Nat Geo WILD, allows you to interact with the natural world as if you were an animal, as evidenced by the screens provided.
Brad Dancer, senior vice president of Digital Media and Research, National Geographic Channels, added his thoughts:
Nat Geo WILD is an ideal partner for Kinect, turning passive television viewing into a creative, immersive experience where kids and families can actually interact with our unique content. By partnering the stories, images and information from Nat Geo WILD with the Kinect platform, we are pushing the boundaries of traditional television and gaming to help inspire and train the next generation of explorers.The Sesame Workshop Curriculum Team is also involved with the creation of another upcoming Kinect title, currently codenamed Project Columbia. The goal of Project Columbia is to both encourage a love of books and to change the way children learn to read. By using the "multisensory and active nature of Kinect", children will be able to get a better understanding of the meaning of the written word, as opposed to just decoding it.
Yet another upcoming title for the Kinect is codename Rush, a project that is being developed by Pixar and that will utilize characters from five of their most notable movies: The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Toy Story 3 and Cars 2. At the moment, that's about all we know about the game, other than the fact that it will contain "exciting challenges" and any information that can be gleaned from this single screenshot:
Finally, Microsoft unveiled Double Fine Happy Action Theater. You may recall that Double Fine is no stranger to the youth Kinect market, as they've just released Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster. This title will include 18 "experiences", which can be likened to interactive toys. In other words, there are no rules and no grand conclusion, the 'game' is just intended for you to play around with it and have a good time.
With the exception of Double Fine Happy Action Theater, all of these titles are expected to start making their way on to the Kinect in Spring of 2012. Double Fine Happy Action Theater, on the other hand, will be available this holiday season. It's not clear which of these exactly will be XBLA or retail or some other type of downloadable content at this time. Also, the pricing for these items has yet to be confirmed. As always, we'll bring that information to you as soon as we have it.