Kinect Joy Ride


Kinect Reviewed

The Eurogamer verdict.

Kinect Joy Ride

Less joy than advertised.

Key events

Joy Ride Turbo announced for Xbox Live Arcade

Joy Ride Turbo announced for Xbox Live Arcade

Microsoft kart racer ditches Kinect for second outing.

A sequel to critically-savaged Kinect effort Joy Ride launches on Xbox Live Arcade soon, Microsoft has announced, and this time around it's ditched the motion controls.

As detailed on its PlayXBLA blog, Joy Ride Turbo is a "controller-based" arcade racer offering "precision handling".

There's a new Stunt Park to race around in, 42 vehicles to unlock, tracks new and old to master, eight player online racing and four way local split-screen.

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MS: Rare in a position of strength

Kinect Sports sales "far exceed" expectations.

The threat of redundancies looms large over Kinect Sports developer Rare, but owner Microsoft has insisted the studio's future is bright.

UK chart: COD batters competition

UPDATE: Why Kinect Adventures is absent.

Update: Number cruncher GfK Chart-Track has explained to Eurogamer why sales of Kinect Adventures - the game the Kinect camera is bundled with - haven't been included.

Kinect Reviewed

Kinect Reviewed

The Eurogamer verdict.

It's here. Finally. We won't bore you with the palaver involved in bringing you this bumper presentation of Kinect launch coverage let's just say it's been an interesting, and exhausting, few days.

But even if you knew the story, it wouldn't explain why the eventual arrival of Microsoft's magic camera was met with such drama and excitement chez Eurogamer. Nor would the level of hype whipped up by the ringmasters at Microsoft, although that certainly helped (it's not every day we feature an Oprah clip on our website).

Maybe it's the large and lavish line-up of launch software. Maybe it's the contrast with the softly-softly approach Sony took for PlayStation Move. But the fact is, this doesn't feel like a mere peripheral. It feels more like a new hardware launch than anything we've seen in years.

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Kinect Joy Ride

Kinect Joy Ride

Less joy than advertised.

Unlike Kinect Sports and Adventures, Joy Ride doesn't actually make you move very much. You can even play it sitting down with moderate success. You simply hold your hands out in front of you on an imaginary steering wheel and veer left and right, and your avatar will do the same in its little sportsmobile. There's no need to worry about accelerating and braking, as the game does that for you. You've got more important things to fret over, like how you're going to pay the rent after spending 165 on a magic camera and a racing game.

There's a modicum of finesse to the control system, but nothing overcomplicated. You can lean into your turns to drift, boost by pulling your hands towards your chest to charge up and then thrusting them outwards again, and pull tricks in the air by twisting your body. All of this can have unpredictable results at times, but as you grow accustomed to the way the Kinect sensor likes you to stand and move, you feel increasingly in control.

The game doesn't really care if you go off-road, thankfully. Racing on the grass or dirt doesn't slow you down, and your car simply smashes through trees, fences and other obstacles without a care in the world or a dent in the bonnet. This is good, because you will inevitably find yourself miles away from the track. All the time. When you can't control your speed to slow down for corners and the steering isn't very sensitive anyway, it's very difficult to stay on the road.

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Kinect's Kudo Tsunoda

On hybrid games, evolving through firmware and staying relevant.

Microsoft's decision not to have a gamescom press conference may have robbed us of the sight of Kudo Tsunoda doing stage demos by leaping around like a lunatic, but the mile-a-minute spokesperson for Xbox 360's new control system was still buzzing around the "Play Day" the platform holder organised on the edge of town - and still had a lot to say about Kinect ahead of its 10th November launch.

MS confirms voice control for Kinect

MS confirms voice control for Kinect

Update: After reports suggested otherwise.

UPDATE: Microsoft has confirmed that Kinect WILL launch with voice control.

In a statement given to Eurogamer Microsoft said: "Voice control is an exciting part of the Kinect for Xbox 360 controller-free experience and we can confirm that it will be available at launch in November 2010.

"Only on Xbox 360 will you be able to navigate the Kinect Hub using your voice to control your movies, TV shows and music. We do not have additional details to share about local voice availability at this time."

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Kinect UK release date announced

Kinect UK release date announced

Update: Microsoft clears up confusion.

UPDATE: Microsoft has confirmed Kinect will be released in the UK on 10th November. Glad that's cleared up.

ORIGINAL STORY: Xbox 360 sensor Kinect will be released in the UK on 10th November, Microsoft has announced.

Or is that 17th November? We're not entirely sure.

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Digital FoundryTech Analysis: Kinect

Digital Foundry on latency, CPU overheads and how it all works.

It's the day after the night before, and a chance to reflect on our hands-on playtest of the new Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 platform, contact our sources and attempt to put together some semblance of the technical picture behind the device formerly known as Project Natal.

Kinect out in the US on 4th November

ROW "thereafter". More than 15 launch titles.

Microsoft has announced that Kinect for Xbox 360 will launch on 4th November "starting in North America". According to the press release that accompanied the news, "Kinect will roll out to the rest of the world thereafter."

Microsoft E3 Conference

Full news breakdown inside. New Xbox 360! Forza Kinect! Reach! Kinect date! Fable III date! Loads more.

We're on our way to the conference... Not long now!

Xbox 360 Kinect

Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures, Dance Central, Your Shape, Joy Ride.

New name, new games, and a new beginning for Microsoft's motion controller: Kinect. In the immediate aftermath of the Cirque de Soleil "Project Natal Experience", we had a chance to get hands on, or hands-off as it were [we did that joke last year - Ed], with a small selection of titles set to launch with the camera.

Microsoft shows off Kinect at E3 event

Sports! Star Wars! Dance! Yoga! Tigers!

Microsoft has been showing off the Xbox 360 add-on previously known as Project Natal at a pre-E3 event in Los Angeles. No date or price was discussed at the event, although marketing materials pointed to a November launch.