Kinect Sports is played using the entire body in front of the Kinect Camera and cannot be played without it. The game was a launch title for Microsoft's Kinect device. Much like other Kinect-only titles, this title requires around 7-10 feet of space to function optimally, with preferably more space if two users wish to play simultaneously. Players control their Xbox 360 avatars in various sporting events and mini-games. Included is Party Play mode, which allows up to 12 players (split into 2 teams) to compete against each other.
Kinect Sports has 6 different sports to play, and various mini games based around the included events. All events can be played in local and online multiplayer modes, and some in cooperative modes.
Like in real volleyball, the player puts their hands together and make an upward movement to send the ball back. Players can jump and spike the ball to increase the power and speed of their shot. Volleyball can be played in versus or cooperative modes in multiplayer.
In soccer, the players pass the ball to each other while the opposing team tries to intercept it. While players doesn't have any direct control over their team, players will automatically position themselves into spots where the ball can be passed to them by kicking in that direction. During a penalty kick in multiplayer, one player plays as goalie, the other plays as the kicker. When in control of the goalie, the player can catch the ball or simply hit it away from the goals. The kicker can use either leg to direct the ball toward the goal.
Boxing is played through a first person perspective, letting the player punch, jab and block with their hands. This sport can be played against AI or in competitive local and online multiplayer.
Bowling is played by making the under arm bowling movement. Players can select the hand they use to bowl with before the beginning of every bowl. The direction and spin of the ball can be controlled by the player by moving left or right in their play space, and swinging their arm in the direction they wish to spin the ball.
Table Tennis is played by using the hand as a paddle, swinging it to smash and curve the ball. The player can also control the power and direction of the shot depending which hand is used.
Track and Field
Track and Field lets the player take part in a variety of sports such as javelin, discus, sprinting, hurdles and long jump. For example, javelin requires the arm up as though a javelin is being held while making a small run-up before throwing. As with the other sports, the angle of the arm and power of the throw are all factors in the performance.
Party Pack DLC
On December 14th, 2010 the Kinect Sports Party Pack was released for free on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The Party Pack contains six new mini games, three new mascots, and 10 new achievements worth 250 gamerscore.
The six new mini games are:
- Super Striker - A soccer mini game in which soccer balls are thrown at the player and they must be hit to try to score goals. The player also has to watch out for bombs that will also be thrown.
- Pinvaders - Pinvaders is a bowling mini game in which the player can use two balls at once to try and knock down the pins. The pins will continually come towards the player, much like Space Invaders. If a pin reaches the player then it is game over.
- Rapid Runner - Rapid runner is a sprinting mini game in which the player tries to see how far they can run in the allotted time. There are green zones on the track which are rest zones where the player can rest for a second and will gain a time bonus.
- Target Smash - Target Smash is a table tennis mini game in which there are scrolling targets on the opposing side of the table and the object is to hit the targets and get as many points as possible before time runs out.
- Fruit Splatter - Fruit Splatter is a volleyball mini game where fruit is thrown over the net and the player has to hit it. Players also have to avoid bombs which will occasionally be thrown also.
- King of the Ring - King of the Ring is a boxing mini game in which the player must try and knock out as many opponents in rapid succession as possible.
The three new mascots are:
Calorie Challenge DLC
On April 26th, 2011 the Kinect Sports: Calorie Challenge Pack was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The Calorie Challenge Pack contains a brand new mode for Kinect Sports called Calorie Challenge. The Calorie Challenge Pack was released for 320 Microsoft Points.
Calorie Challenge Mode
In Calorie Challenge Mode the goal of the game is to reach a target amount of calories burned before a time limit expires. The Calorie Challenge Mode also includes the new Kinect Sports Calorie Counter in the upper left corner of the screen which will keep track of calories burned and the time remaining in the current mini-game.
New Mascot Characters
In the Kinect Sports: Calorie Challenge Pack there are six new characters introduced. In the Calorie Challenge mode these characters are the players opponents. Each character has a different number of calories needed to burn in order to succeed as well as a time limit.
Each of the six new characters can also be chosen in the Party Play mode, which will be the player's character.
The game was first shown during Microsoft's E3 press conference. It was demonstrated after Kinectimals and introduced by Kudo Tsunoda. A male demo personnel first came on stage to show how the player can control the game's crowd while making jokes such as saying that Japan had won the World Cup, then raising his arms making the crowd cheer. A female demo person joined him as they prepared to show off a game of hurdles. The lady and the man were super pumped and made jokes such as "get a good look of my back".
When the race was supposed to start, the presentation ran into some technical difficulties, the race refusing to start. While the two demo people were trying to fix it, Kudo chimed in, telling them "No problem you guys, just ton of people watching take your time." The problem was fixed and the race went on as planned. The man came in first despite hitting a hurdle on the final straight in an attempt to keep the race interesting.
An unusual inclusion in Kinect Sports is the liberal use of popular licensed music, generally used during breaks in the action or during highlights. Oddly, some of these tracks are licensed through Sony Music Licensing. Pieces of the following tracks are used in the game.
- Amerie - "1 Thing"
- Calvin Harris - "Acceptable in the 80's"
- Bachman–Turner Overdrive - "You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet"
- Queen - "Another One Bites The Dust"
- Kool & The Gang - "Celebration"
- Vangelis - "Chariots of Fire"
- Kasabian - "Club Foot"
- Queen - "Don't Stop Me Now"
- Chic - "Good Times"
- The Beach Boys - "Good Vibrations"
- Hard-Fi - "Hard To Beat"
- Gwen Stefani - "Hollaback Girl"
- James Brown - "I Got You (I Feel Good)"
- Reel 2 Reel - "I Like To Move It"
- Les Rhymes Digitales - "Jacques Your Body"
- Lady Gaga - "Just Dance"
- Robbie Williams - "Let Me Entertain You"
- The Automatic - "Monster"
- Curtis Mayfield - "Move On Up"
- James Brown - "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag"
- LL Cool J - "Phenomenon"
- Joe Budden - "Pump It Up"
- Rihanna - "Shut Up And Drive"
- Blur - "Song 2"
- Just Jack - "Starz In Their Eyes"
- K.C. & The Sunshine Band - "That's The Way (I Like It)"
- Montell Jordon - "This Is How We Do It"
- MC Hammer - "U Can't Touch This"
- Queen - "We Are The Champions"