This week, Microsoft announced a couple of new additions to their “playful learning” line of family games aimed at bringing families together. The games were developed with the Sesame Workshop and National Geographic, as well as the Games for Learning Institute. The announcements were made in tandem with a PSA regarding the importance of parental controls.
Due next spring, Kinect Sesame Street TV will feature interactive versions of the popular children’s program and include new content developed expressly for the Kinect. Parents will be able to play alongside kids as they take part in one of many game modes. Players will be able to explore an interactive storybook, learn their ABCs and interact with Sesame Street characters, and engage in a number of active, physical games.
Kinect Nat Geo TV will also be releasing next spring and will feature the stunning photography and video that has become the hallmark for National Geographic. Aimed at a slightly older audience, kids and their families can interact with episodes and actually play as exotic animals, interacting with the environment. (See screenshot after the break.) The game will deliver interactive experiences intended to inspire kids to care about their planet.
Both games seem to hit the sweet spot for the Kinect and it’s always exciting to see brands like Sesame Street and National Geographic involved with children’s gaming. We’ll be sure to take a deeper look when these games hit shelves next year.