Rare isn't bothered by hardcore cynicism about Kinect - "we'll keep pushing it, advancing it"

But has ideas for games that aren't based around motion sensitivity

Rare has plenty of ideas for games that don't rely on Kinect, some of them possibly derived from its own back catalogue, but Kinect Sports Rivals executive producer Danny Isaac says that the studio will remain "closely linked to that technology" for the foreseeable future.

Rare's Kinect Sports titles have impressed both critics and consumers, but haven't attracted much of a "hardcore" following. Does this bother the team? "I don't think it's frustrating," said Isaac. "When you look at the Kinect Sports franchise we've sold over eight million units. That's pretty impressive, for a franchise like that. So we're still talking to a very vibrant audience out there.


"Of course we always look at our back catalogue, we look at what's going on, and there are always games we'd love to build," he added. "Some of them Kinect based, some of them not."

In August, we learned that Rare has ideas for new Perfect Dark, Viva Pinata and Banjo titles that could use Kinect. "We've got an idea for that," creative director Simon Woodroffe said of Perfect Dark, during a chat with OXM at Gamescom. "It would be controller plus Kinect.

"We've got ideas for most older Rare IP, you won't be surprised to hear," he continued. "There's quite a lot of desire to do that, and Viva Pinata, Conker... Banjo's very popular internally, a lot of people want to do stuff with Banjo."

According to Isaac, however, the emphasis at present is simply on getting the most out of Xbox One and the new Kinect. "For now our focus is really looking at the challenges the sensor and the box brings. I think at Rare, whatever we've done has always been at the cutting edge of technology, and the new Kinect sensor is the cutting edge of technology, it's an amazing piece of kit."

Doubters may be caught offguard by just how responsive Kinect Sports Rivals can be, he added. "We do have a cynical, more hardcore audience who think it's not for them, but when those people have come up and played they've actually been pleasantly surprised by how accurate it is - I would say the Preseason wake-racing is as good as any racing game out there, from a fun point of view.

"You can get the fractions of a second off your time, you really have to concentrate - if you want to get a really good finishing time, you really have to concentrate. And then with the splitscreen when there's somebody standing right next to or behind you, it gets a little bit nerve-wracking!"

These are thoughts I'd echo, on the strength of my recent half-hour hands-on. Try not to crane around too much in your seat - you may find yourself driving straight into a cliff.


Hints as to early concepts aside, Isaac was unable to discuss what Rare might get up to next. "Obviously we're going to be closely linked to that technology, we've invested a lot of time over the years, and we'll keep pushing it, advancing it. And I think if you look at all the other titles as well, because every Xbox One has a Kinect in the box, everybody now has the opportunity to invest in their titles and do something very specific with the sensor."

You may also be interested in Isaac's thoughts on the uproar over achieving 1080p resolution on Xbox One. Kinect Sports Rivals' Preseason trial will launch on 22nd November, alongside the new console. The full game (which includes an additional five events, besides wake racing) will follow early next year.