The original Kinect was “80% magical” according to Rare executive producer Danny Isaac, because it sometimes worked and sometimes couldn’t figure out “what the hell was going on”. Due to the “higher fidelity” of Kinect 2 however, Rare has been able to deal with its “unfinished business” of making a challenging, core-focused Kinect Sports game.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Isaac said that due to how “noisy” the original Kinect’s input was, it was difficult to introduce depth and mastery into Kinect Sports games for the 360.
“Whereas on the Xbox 360 Kinect titles, it was always hard to get that depth and mastery into them, because they were very open and meant to be all encompassing. That gives you some trade-offs. It means you really can’t have too much depth and fidelity. You have to make it very accessible”
While their original Kinect games targeted the broader market who had not yet purchased an Xbox 360 so deep into its life cycle, being near the Xbox One’s launch allows Rare to play to a different demographic.
“We wanted to build an experience that was less family-friendly than we had previously and more talk to the early adopters who are going to turn up on Xbox One, as you see from wake racing, it’s high fidelity. If you’re a good gamer you can understand the racing line and go after that. If you make mistakes you explode. There’s a big difference between someone who’s good and someone who’s done it for the first time.
“So Rivals is probably less accessible than our previous Kinect Sports titles, but they add a lot more depth and gives you more of a chance to get to the mastery aspects you’d see in a traditional game.”
Kinect Sports Rivals was pushed back from being a launch game for purposes of quality and will launch sometime next spring for the Xbox One. One of its games, Wake Racing, will be a free download on the console’s launch day.