Sonic Free Riders, Kinect Hitting Japan November 20th

Today, Microsoft has revealed at a press event in Tokyo that Kinect will be available for Xbox 360 in Japan November 20th of this year. Titles available at launch will include newly announced brain training game Lead: New Brain Training Where You Answer With Your Body, Kinect Sports, Dance Evolution, Crossboard 7 and SEGA’s first Kinect title, Sonic Free Riders. SEGA Japan has backed-up Sonic Free Riders November 20th release date in an update to the games official website this morning.

Sources: MCV and Bloomberg

5 New Sonic Free Riders Screenshots

Some new screenshots for Sonic Free Riders appear to have slipped under the radar late last month, from InsideGamer.nl. The screens are taken from the same old track that we’re used to seeing since E3, but we do get a close-up look at Sonic’s in-game model and see how different it is to the past games in the Riders series. InsideGamer.nl also posted up a preview last month, but be warned, it doesn’t translate very well using Google Translate. Check out the rest of the screens below.

Source:
InsideGamer.nl

Sonic Free Riders to Be at PAX

It may not have been on SEGA’s list, but apparently, Sonic Free Riders will be at the Penny Arcade Expo this weekend. It will be available at Microsoft’s Kinect booth, #682. The Penny Arcade Expo is an event open to the public and will run from Friday to Sunday of this week. As with most major gaming events, you can expect Sonic Stadium to be there to get you videos, interviews, and previews from the show.

This will mark the first time Free Riders will be playable to the public in the US.  Now, we can all look like this:

Sonic Free Riders Interview & More Gameplay Videos

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9WBsHXafXY[/youtube]

GamerLive.TV grabbed the above interview with Sonic Free Riders’ Brand Manager, James Gray. In the interview, James confirms that the game will support 2 players offline and will also contain a 2 player co-op mode. This information matches what is on the Xbox.com product page. Online multiplayer is also confirmed, but James couldn’t reveal how many players will be supported at this time. Characters will play exactly the same, with the abilities focused instead on what customization of gear you choose to play with.

James says that all of your favourite Sonic characters will be there, but couldn’t reveal any that aren’t in the demo. Tracks outside of the demo also couldn’t be revealed, but emphasis is put on there being “a very good amount, with different landscapes and different routes.”

Some more gameplay videos have also come out of Gamescom, including one from Spark at Spindash.de. You can check out the videos below.

Spark at Spindash.de
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVa2KA6yOtQ&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

SegaStuff.de
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhZU6RGJeZI[/youtube]

Videogamer.com via xsuperstargamesx YouTube channel
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZXNzScXPRw[/youtube]

EnglishMumdotcom
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svcWK4J5msw[/youtube]

wwejerk85
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeYceCFcJsQ[/youtube]

Sonic Free Riders Not Publically Playable At Gamescom?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP93zD4SQYs[/youtube]

UPDATE: SSMB Member and Spindash.de staff member Spark has informed us that the booth seen in the above video is the public booth at Gamescom and will inquire with fellow staff still at the event about whether the demo is playable by the public. We’ll update you when we hear more. /UPDATE END

Sonic fans looking to try out Sonic Free Riders for Xbox 360 Kinect at Gamescom over the next few days are out of luck. The above video has been posted at YouTube this morning by theREALshoesy, in which we can see the demo is sealed off in an enclosure, very similar to the one at E3. SEGA staff are on hand again to show how the game is played, while the public can only watch from a distance through glass walls.

Yesterday however, the press got to try out the demo’s single track in full. You can check out a few of their videos below. GameTrailers also has a play test of the demo at their website.

GamesWorldGR
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQypT7QADo0&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

XboxFRONT
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Duvbb30gwTY&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Gamer365On
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLWYvLrYrFk[/youtube]

GamesRadar’s Sonic Free Riders Video Preview

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd6BeriHAcI&playnext=1&videos=YoPn_F3zs3I&feature=feedu[/youtube]

During his rounds last week, SEGA’s Brand Manager David Allen stopped by GamesRadar’s offices where they got to check out Sonic Free Riders for Xbox 360 Kinect. In the video we see Tails in action as David guides Chris through the demos controls, shortcuts and many interactive items and weapons. Speaking of items, in this preview we get our first look at the “Soda Can” item, which you shake until it bursts and gives you a boost as you ride on it in cartoon fashion.

If you look closely, you can see an image of Eggman on the soda can with the words “Power Up”:

(Thanks to Hero of Legend for the image)

With the bowling ball, rocket, golf club and now a soda can item, it appears SEGA are really taking advantage of Kinect to make this the zaniest and most interactive racer out there.

Source: GamesRadar

1UP’s Sonic Free Riders Video Preview

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3x3n7OvPPE[/youtube]

1UP.com and IGN.com recently got some hands-on time with SEGA’s first Kinect for Xbox 360 title Sonic Free Riders, 1UP.com’s preview comes in video form and IGN’s in written form but they say a video version is coming. 1UP seem pretty positive and both testers agree it controls very well, while IGN think it will cater more to the younger crowd than the hardcore gamer.

New weapons are shown in 1UP’s footage including a bowling ball, which we assume replaces the bowling bomb in previous games, and a golf club. Did we say a golf club? Yes, a golf club for whacking your opponents with. Another thing you may notice in the footage is Sonic swimming, without his life jacket from Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, we’ll let you debate that and everything else in the previews in the comments section.

Don’t forget to check out five new screenshots from IGN’s preview below –

Sources: IGN(thanks fammicomander at the SSMB) and 1UP via Spindash.de

Sonic Free Riders Screenshots, November Release


The above screenshots have been released courtesy of Portuguese website GameOver for the upcoming Xbox 360 Kinect game, Sonic Free Riders.  You may recognize three of the screenshots from before, but now, we have them without training symbols.   The track appears to be the one seen in the E3 demo, shown at various angles, giving us a better look at the environment and alternate routes. GameOver reports that SEGA is planning to release the game in America at the beginning of November:

If all goes according to schedule SEGA, Sonic Riders Free Xbox 360 lands in the U.S. starting in November.

The report falls in line with Microsoft’s claims of the game being a launch title for Kinect, which is hitting stores that same month.  Until now SEGA’s official word on Sonic Free Riders release date has been “late 2010” in both the U.S. and Europe.

Source: GameOver via SEGA Neptune

Xbox.com Updates Sonic Free Riders Multiplayer Info

You may remember our previous article regarding new offline and online details for SEGA’s Kinect title Sonic Free Riders being revealed at the games product page at the official Xbox website but if you look at the page today you’ll see some changes have been made to offline and online multiplayer numbers. The developer listing has also been changed from O-Two to Sonic Team.

Old listings –

Offline features:
– Players: 1-4
– Players Co-op: 1-4
– Multiplayer Versus
– In-game Dolby Digital
– HDTV 720p
– Storage Device

Xbox Live Features:
– Players: 2-12
– Content Downloads
– Leaderboards
– Voice Messaging
– Voice Support

New listings –

Offline features:
Players: 1-2
Players Co-op: TBD
Multiplayer Versus
In-game Dolby Digital
HDTV 720p
Storage Device

Xbox Live features:
Players: TBD
Content Downloads
Leaderboards
Voice Messaging
Voice Support

Could Kinect be causing some trouble for the games development? Stories have been going around the net since E3 regarding the multiplayer capabilities of the device with most saying it only performs well with 2 players at one time, SEGA representatives that were playing the Sonic Free Riders demo at their E3 booth were only showcasing the single player and 2 player split screen modes despite Xbox.com’s now previous claim of support for up to 4 players.

Judging by these changes we can only guess that SEGA were aiming for 4 player split-screen but the device couldn’t handle all of the players actions too well but why would possible changes to online multiplayer numbers have to be made? We’ll keep an eye out for any clearance on this and report back.

Source: Xbox.com product page

SEGA Confirms No Control Pad Option For Sonic Free Riders

SEGA of America community staff member Kellie has confirmed via Twitter that Kinect for Xbox 360 is the only control method for Sonic Free Riders.

Sonicfan1989 put this question to SEGA –

@SEGA does sonic free riders for kinect is it possible to use just the control? like for those who cant afford a new 360 and kinect?

to which Kellie responded with the below answer –

@sonicfan1989 No, you will need Kinect to play Sonic Free Riders. ^kellie

Since the games official announcement some fans who are unsure about the new Kinect for Xbox 360 technology and those who don’t like motion controls in general have been wondering if ordinary controller compatibility will be in the game but now it looks like Kinect is your only option. From what gameplay footage we’ve seen of both single player and split-screen it appears the game plays fine thus far with the Kinect device not having any problems detecting movement from both SEGA representatives demonstrating the game and controls can only improve during development in the run up to the games release of Late 2010.

What are your thoughts on this news? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks to tjthefox for the heads up!

Sonic Free Riders Split-Screen Footage

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9SCBDcDK74[/youtube]

Thanks to PunchJump we now have the above video of two player split-screen action in Sonic Free Riders. We see more of Jet the Hawk and get our first look at Tails being played in the game by the second player. Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 device doesn’t appear to have any problems detecting both players movement even with all of the waving going on so controls aren’t a big issue thus far and no doubt improvements will be made in the run up to release Late 2010.

Thanks to Woun at the SSMB for the heads up!

SEGA Japan’s Sonic Free Riders Site Now Live, First 3 Screenshots

After yesterdays official reveal of Kinect for Xbox 360 title Sonic Free Riders SEGA of Japan have now launched their official website for the game which gives us our first look at the game via 3 screenshots and a background image on the site showing one of the tracks. The screens show how the game is played via a silhouette displaying body actions for steering, balancing and collecting rings. Nothing else is shown on the site apart from already seen artwork of Sonic and Jet but no doubt the site will expand as time goes by.

Thanks to Sweet Mountain Zone at the SSMB for the heads up and thanks to Woun also at the SSMB for grabbing the screens and background!

SEGA Announces Sonic Free Riders For Xbox 360 Kinect

SEGA of America and SEGA Europe have officially announced Sonic Free Riders for Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360. The the much-rumoured title was revealed as a launch title at Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference for its Kinect peripheral, which will launch in North America November 4th 2010. Continue reading SEGA Announces Sonic Free Riders For Xbox 360 Kinect