TWO NEW first-party Kinect games will try to blend TV and interactive entertainment next month.
The first is Sesame Street TV, which allows young players to interact with beloved characters including Big Bird, Grover, Elmo and Oscar.
Children will get the chance to count along, learn letters or talk to characters.
Sesame Street TV features original content made by the show specifically for the game, plus thousands of classic clips from the 40-year-old program’s archive.
Meanwhile Kinect Nat Geo TV mixes the National Geographic Wild TV programs with the motion sensor, and focuses on factual animal and natural history content.
Full body, voice and gesture control means children and families can interact with the famous National Geographic video and images, learn about wildlife and be entertained by storytelling elements.
Split into 30-minute episodes, each one includes a ‘sidetrack’ experience to learn more about the animals and content on-screen.
Microsoft is also selling extra episodes via the Xbox Marketplace.
Xbox calls the two new Kinect games ‘two-way TV’, with the aim of using the gaming camera and well-known educational brands to turn the once-passive act of watching TV into a participatory event for all the family.
Sesame Street TV and Nat Geo TV are both developed in the UK. The former hails from the newer Xbox studio Soho Productions, based in central London, while Buzz creator Relentless has produced the wildlife show content.
Although famed for its iconic characters – and swathes of merchandise – Sesame Street is actually produced by a non-profit company and is broadcast in the US on a similarly free TV channel. It was the first TV show to use an educational curriculum to shape its content.
Similarly, National Geographic was formed as a non-profit company designed to create educational content about the natural world and planet Earth. It was actually formed in 1888 in the US, and started making TV shows in the 1960s.
Sesame Street TV and Nat Geo TV aren’t the only big Kinect family releases this year. Fable: The Journey arrives on October 12th, with Harry Potter Kinect is due this Christmas too.