Ubisoft on Thursday announced an April 12 release date for a Michael Jackson video game that challenges Xbox 360 players to dance like the King of Pop.
"Michael Jackson: The Experience" taps into camera and gesture-tracking capabilities of Kinect controllers for Xbox 360 consoles to track how well players are imitating the late music legend's moves.
The game features Ubisoft technology that projects players into on-screen scenes inspired by Jackson's music videos and live performances.
Ubisoft released a version of the game for Nintendo's Wii consoles with motion-sensing wand controllers in November.
Ubisoft has been a longtime believer in motion controls for videogames and the potential for 3-D cameras to immerse players in the on-screen action.
The firm seized the opportunity to work with Nintendo on titles tailored for the Wii and had action videogame "Red Steel" ready when the innovative motion-controlled consoles launched in late 2006.
Ubisoft finished 2010 as the top third-party developer for Kinect, which lets people play with no hand-held controllers at all and even recognizes faces and voice commands.
"We believed in the potential of Kinect from the start and we set out to be the leading third-party publisher," said Ubisoft North America president Laurent Detoc. "It worked. But this is only the beginning for us."
Microsoft has reported that it sold more than eight million Kinect controllers for Xbox 360 consoles in the two months after the accessory hit the market in November.
Ubisoft will follow the release of the Michael Jackson game with a "Child of Eden" game that promised to "send players diving into a kaleidoscopic matrix of synchronized music and mind-blowing visuals."
Japanese game maker Tetsuya Mizuguchi designed "Child of Eden," which calls on players to use pumps of their hands to hit targets darting about a swirling field of geometric figures while music plays.
"Kinect leapfrogs interactivity from what we have seen so far," Detoc told AFP. "I've believed from Day One that you could play without any controller."
Ubisoft released "Your Shape: Fitness Evolved" along with "MotionSports" and "Fighters Uncaged" for Kinect last year.
"Motion Sports" lets people compete in on-screen activities such as skiing, boxing, hang gliding and horseback riding using body movements.
"Fighters Uncaged" let players kick, knee, elbow, punch and head butt their way to victory or defeat in a street brawl against a fearsome looking opponent.
"Your Shape Fitness Evolved" built on a trend by Ubisoft to get videogame players up and moving.
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