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Edinburgh Interactive Festival

This week saw our Kinect Sports odyssey continue with an event a little closer to home than usual, as Nick headed to Edinburgh to talk all things Rare at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival…

Arrived in Edinburgh after another early start from East Midlands Airport. The afternoon was set aside for interviews with MCV, The List, Z Connect, Eurogamer, NXT Gamer, Ready Up, local papers and a few others. Jerry Johnson (head of Microsoft’s Soho studio) was on hand too, bigging up Xbox Live and Kinect. We also wanted to discuss some of the deeper aspects of Sports‘ gameplay and point out that Kinect is not just for your mum. You really HAVE to play it for yourself to see what I mean.

We had a Kinect setup in the interview room with one of those amazing new Samsung LED TVs that seem to be about 2mm thick, which was great. The only problem was that the room was below the cinema in the Edinburgh Picture House in what seemed to be the basement – pretty cold down there. With that said, it was a nice big space to play Sports and jumping around kept me warm.

None of the press we talked to had played with Kinect themselves, but this was our chance to win them over – and you know what, I think we actually did! In each interview we started by getting them playing Sports and then talked about their thoughts afterwards and in every case we got “it’s way better than I expected” which seems to come through in the articles and tweets…

FuryAc3: @RareLtd loved playing Kinect a #EIF yesterday guys high light of the show by million miles ! Good times

“GreatScott_TT: Just spoke to Nick Burton from @RareLtd and played #Kinect Sports. I’m totally sold on it.

“Dan Bendon (Ready Up): So, after some hands on time with Kinect and a chat with MS and Rare I’m pretty optimistic, worked much better than I expected it to.

Eurogamer: Rare on Kinect Sports

Saracastic Gamer: Why Kinect might just win over the hardcore

After the interviews it was onto the show proper and time to talk about Sports on stage. We decided to do live demos by calling audience members up to have a go in front of everyone else. This was not something I have done before, and so I was a little nervous because the stage was quite narrow with a big drop down the back. We had some white tape on the back and front stage edges to try and stop you falling off, not much protection really!

I talked for the next half-hour about Sports, how and why we developed it and how it has much more depth than a casual game. This was a hardcore audience and so I wanted to talk about how you have to “have a go” to experience your “Kinect moment” because watching videos online and reading about it does not completely do it justice.

To hit this point home I got some of the audience up to play and picked the most hardcore-looking guys I could. This worked brilliantly, especially as one of them expressed their enthusiasm for getting the game with some fairly colourful language. Swearing on stage aside, this was exactly the kind of validation I hoped (and expected) we would get, so mission accomplished!

So that’s it from wonderful Edinburgh. Our next event is PAX Prime next weekend with Neill and Ben on pod duty for us – watch our news section for more information on that later this week.

Related Stories: Gamescom Video Diary, Kinect Galleries, Comic-Con Video Diary