The original Kinect Sesame Street TV launched at both retail and as an app via the Xbox 360’s app store in September last year and redefined not just the expectations of the Kinect hardware, but the future of television entertainment that it could present. Several months later nothing has managed to challenge Soho Productions’ ‘2-way TV Experience’ debut. That is, until the arrival is Season Two, of course.
Kinect Sesame Street TV: Season Two is much the same as it’s predecessor, as would be expected, though a few small issues have been addressed. Additionally, some of the characters that had been omitted from the episodes featured in the first season make their return here, an obvious effort to appease adults who grew up with the show and yet found their favourite puppets absent. Obvious, but well placed nonetheless.
Offering eight episodes just as the first season, each around forty minutes long, Kinect Sesame Street TV: Season Two follows the familiar format: presented by virtual puppet Cooper, a series of short sketches offer different interactions, from simply jumping and pointing, to more elaborate series of gestures and speech. Some of the original interactions return, such the taking of pictures during specific events, and many new ones are added. Brand new types of sketches are also included, bringing a welcome freshness to the second season.
The sketches included in Kinect Sesame Street TV: Season Two retain the construct that allows them to seamlessly move from player interaction to passive observation mid-episode, ensuring that the value of the original series as both an interactive experience and a television show is retained. What’s more, as with most titles made available for Kinect as time passes on, the player detection in Kinect Sesame Street TV: Season Two does appear to be superior to that of Kinect Sesame Street TV, especially in low level lighting.
In addition to the core episodes Kinect Sesame Street TV: Season Two offers additional clips and attractions that become part of the Kinect Sesame Street TV app in the same fashion as the first release, resulting in another commendably sized package for a welcomingly low price point. It’s this, and the innovation shown with the ‘2-way TV Experience’ template, that makes Kinect Sesame Street TV: Season Two such a compelling product. Once again Soho Productions have proved that there’s more to Kinect than mini-games and poor player detection, and that motion-control gaming does have a future. With two successful series now a part of the interactive television party, Kinect Sesame Street TV and Kinect Nat Geo TV both with second seasons, it’s time for someone else to step-up and make a play.