Dis-Kinected: $50 for Kinect Sports?!
If one game defined motion control to the general public, it would have to be Wii Sports. As such, every motion control system has their own sports mini-game tech demo collection on it. Usually, this is a launch title but not for Kinect!
In a desperate attempt to buck the trend, Microsoft has packaged the Kinect with Kinect Adventures rather than Kinect Sports. If you want the Rare Ware produced sports collection, you’re going to have to buy it separately for $50!
That’s a bold statement, but I get the logic behind it. Wii Sports is the most successful game on Wii with many Wii users owning nothing but Wii Sports! So selling your sports mini-game collection separately could increase sales and the alternative pack-in makes you look slightly less like a Wii knock-off!
However, there’s no denying that $50 is an absolutely absurd price point! When Nintendo sold Wii Sports separately in Japan, it was packed with a Wiimote just like Wii Play. As such, the game itself was technically $10. It’s successor, Wii Sports Resort, was packed with a MotionPlus and thus it was technically $30.
If you look at Sony’s Sports Champions you will find a higher price point at $40. However, Sports Champions is actually worth it. Each of it’s sports are not mini-games but actual full fledged games in their own right! The table tennis, disc golf, and bocce are the best simulations of their respective sports. You litterally cannot find a deeper and more technical table tennis game on any system than the one included in Sports Champions. Meanwhile archery provides a fun and unorthodox shooting gallery challenge and gladiator duel is practically a full fledged fighter! Even the collection’s weak point, beach volleyball, is still impressive.
While I have not yet played Kinect Sports, it has a tough act to follow when compared to the cheaper Sports Champions. On the plus side, however, this may have been a large part of why so many developers jumped on the Kinect bandwagon. With 3 or 4 sports mini-game collections (depending on if you count Game Party: In Motion) being released in the launch window, there’s quite a few developers wanting to grab the coveted “one sports mini-game collection everyone has” title.
However, this also shows another thing about the Kinect: the average price point of the games. With the Move, Sony aimed to get most games at a lower $40 price point to attract the budget minded Wii crowd. Unfortunately, many of the games felt more like they should have been $20 or possibly PSN downloads. With the Kinect, Microsoft seems to be doing the same thing with a $50 price point. This is sad on two levels: the first being that only a few years ago, $50 was the average price of games and now it’s considered a “value”. The other is that many of the Kinect games look even worse than what we see on Move. This may be judging a book by it’s cover, but it is absolutely depressing to see.
That’s before getting into how “me too” many of these launch titles are. Not a single one is actually unique. We have two dancing games, two mascot boarding games, four fitness games, three or four sports mini-game collections, a generic kart racer that was supposed to be a free download, a desperate (and by all accounts poorly made) clone of The Fight, and an attempt at copying Nintendogs except with baby tigers named Skittles. At least the Move tried even if it’s launch line-up was lackluster.
Luckily (or unfortunately) for me, I happen to be a fan of dancing games and the original Sonic Rider so there is some stuff for me out there. Fingers crossed one of them is decent. Personally, my money is on Konami’s DanceMasters.
No, I don’t have much faith in the Kinect.