Kinect Sports Season 2

Spotlight

VideoKinect Sports Season 2 TV trailer

Golf! Darts! Baseball! Tennis!

VideoKinect Sports Season 2 footage

Skiing sections detailed.

VideoNew Kinect Sports: Season 2 trailer

Baseball gameplay footage shown.

Key events

Kinect officially dead

Well bam, there it is.

The writing has been on the wall for some time, but now Microsoft has officially rubber-stamped it: Kinect is dead.

Microsoft pledges to support Rare

New games will be announced when the time is right.

Microsoft has pledged to support UK developer Rare after a round of layoffs hit the studio and Microsoft decided to sell Xbox One without the Kinect sensor.

Microsoft announces Lift London, a new developer focused on cloud games for tablets, mobiles and TVs

Microsoft has announced Lift London, a new developer focused on creating new IP for tablets, mobiles and TVs.

Ex-Rare developer Lee Schuneman is running the developer, which was created by top Microsoft Studios exec Phil Harrison as a "21st century studio" that will build experiences only for the cloud.

"We're here to deliver entertainment as a service," Schuneman said at a Microsoft briefing held in London this afternoon, "where, when and how you want it. We're going beyond the box with great games and experiences on tablets, mobiles and TVs, powered by Microsoft."

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Who Killed Rare?

Did Microsoft ruin Britain's greatest game studio?

Through a locked gate, down a winding path and by a still pond a few miles outside of the leafy village of Twycross, England, a bonsai tree stands. It was a gift given to Rare by Shigeru Miyamoto, the most famous game designer in the world, as a thank-you for the game developer's critical and commercial success in creating games for Nintendo, the most famous game maker in the world.

Kinect Sports Season 2 Review

People are really angry with Rare. Read any features or news items about the once-beloved developer, and you can safely bet that the comments below will feature indignant demands for a new Killer Instinct, more Banjo Kazooie or Perfect Dark. Keep reading and someone will probably use the word "boycott" or actively wish the studio out of business, punishment for making games for them rather than us. "Why doesn't Rare make proper games any more?" is the pleading subtext.

These are clearly heartfelt opinions, and the passion gamers had for the Rare of old shouldn't be dismissed. But the venom seems out of proportion and largely driven by the fact that Rare's Kinect Sports is a motion control game and doesn't have buttons and levels and others things we associate with "real" games. Yet it has more depth and variety than its genetic ancestors, the joystick-wrecking likes of Hyper Sports, the Epyx sports compilations and Daley Thompson's Decathlon - and I don't recall any ominous predictions that those titles would lead to the death of gaming as we know it. In fact, I'm pretty sure we had fun with them.

Fun is very much on the agenda where Kinect Sports Season 2 is concerned. Big, bouncy fun that everyone can enjoy, not the grim, determined fun that comes from a well-executed headshot. Xbox Avatars jump around and do silly things in the background, blasts of cheesy pop herald every success, while The X-Factor's Peter Dickson supplies more tongue-in-cheek commentary, with just enough irony to take the sting out of any failure.

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Out This Week - 28/10/11

Battlefield 3! Kinect Sports 2! Daytona!

Whatever Battlefield 3's sales figures are when the dust settles (and we guess they'll be stonkingly huge), EA's FPS juggernaut has already clocked up some truly impressive numbers.

Kinect Sports: Season 2 release date

Kinect Sports: Season 2 release date

Kinectimals Bears expansion also lined up.

Kinect Sports: Season 2 leaves the blocks on 28th October, Microsoft has confirmed.

The Rare-developed follow-up to last year's mini-game compilation adds six new sports, voice control and a new Challenge Play mode.

Microsoft has also diarised Kinectimals Now With Bears!. You'll be able to pick it up on 11th October, either as a standalone disc or, if you own the original, a DLC expansion.

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A Rare view of the future of Kinect

Scott Henson reveals Microsoft's motion-sensing strategy.

Scott Henson is serious when he talks about Kinect creating magic. He believes that for its target audience, that's what it does. And as boss of famed UK developer Rare, that's the direction he is going in.

Why Kinect Sports is Rare's priority

And first-person shooters aren't.

Rare boss Scott Henson has explained why the Microsoft-owned UK developer is squarely focused on the Kinect Sports franchise and not hardcore genres such as first-person shooters.

Rare: the new Xbox "is always now"

"We're down the path" to the holodeck.

Rumours abound that Microsoft may be preparing to unveil the next Xbox at E3 2012, but according to Kinect Sports developer Rare, the next-gen is already here.