Kinect Star Wars, one of the very few games that we have covered with regularity at TNW, was awarded a launch date this morning, along with a specially branded Xbox console that matches the theme of the game. Both Star Wars-branded products will be released on April 3rd.
Microsoft is pushing a bundle, including the game, Star Wars-themed Xbox, controller, and Kinect unit, which will retail for $449.00, according to Amazon.
Kinect Star Wars is a game that has obvious potential; the motion control features of Kinect fused with the magic of the Star Wars universe is an appetizing concept, even for the least serious fan of the brilliant franchise. Even more, the Xbox unit that Microsoft has put together, skinned in R2D2 and C3PO colors, is simply fun. However, the game itself has had a bumpy road to launch.
Last June, when an extensive demo of the game began to make the rounds, we found its gameplay to be rather lacking:
Microsoft just showed off a live demo of the game at E3 and it was, well, wonky. The kid who was the live guinea pig on stage playing the game had to struggle to get the controls to bend to his will. There was certainly no one-to-one connection between his arms and what happened on-screen. There seemed to be extensive lag, and the game had to help him move through the level enough that it is not clear if the game will even be fun.
That and the use of in-game weapons and their capabilities (blocking lasers with a light saber, for example) was so cut down as to be simplistic. How many times do you want to make the same all-purpose slashing motion? Perhaps this is just for children, but there are many gamers who grew up watching and dreaming about Star Wars who probably want a bit more. [...] Of course, the game is not yet complete, but it is disappointing thus far.
However, in a blog post today, Microsoft promised a new mode to the game, perhaps in a bid to bolster its content and improve the title’s overall quality. For the enthusiast, the branded console is fun. For the average gamer, provided that Microsoft has salvaged the game from its slow start (its launch date has slipped several times), it could be a hit.
Once it comes out, we’ll share our take on the game. For now, we have to sit tight. For fun, this is what the new Xbox looks like (images via Gizmodo):