Surprising absolutely nobody, Michael Jackson The Experience is a “global holiday hit”, says Ubisoft. The game – which has only been released for handhelds and Wii at this point – sold more than two million units across the world, and it’s not even hit Japanese shelves yet.
(Don’t worry, Japanese Jackson-philes, you’re not missing out totally, the game will be coming to you “later this year”.)
The game was launched in late November for gamers in North America, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and “select Asian territories”, giving them the opportunity to perform dance steps inspired by the King of Pop, sing along with his tunes, and – hopefully – experience some of the magic he created.
Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer of Ubisoft is a bit pleased:
“Michael Jackson The Experience is a worldwide hit and offers fans the game they have been waiting for.
“As the leader in the dance game genre, our teams have worked enthusiastically to build an experience that recreates the magic worlds of Michael Jackson’s videos and performances. We’re looking forward to bringing Michael Jackson The Experience to Kinect and Move so an even bigger audience can enjoy playing the game with their friends and family too.”
[img_big]center,3650,2010-11-21/MJ_Screenshot_Billie_Jean.jpg,Step, step, twirl![/img_big]
John Branca and John McClain, the executors of Michael Jackson’s Estate are also happy:
“We are extremely thrilled with how people around the world are embracing and enjoying Michael Jackson The Experience. The passion they are showing for learning and performing Michael’s signature dance moves to the songs they have loved for years is a tribute to his amazing legacy. Families are sharing an entertainment experience that is fun, unique and energising.”
But wait, you say, if this is really the all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza we’ve been promised, then where’s the version for “next-gen” consoles, with all their motion-sensing abilities?
Short answer: It’s coming.
Longer answer: …in April.
Ubisoft are promising that the game will be released on April 12th in North America, and April 14th in most other regions (still no Japan though, sorry) – for both PS3 + Move, and Xbox 360 + Kinect. As compensation for waiting a few extra months, you’ll be given new tunes to prance about to (Blood on the Dance Floor and I Just Can’t Stop Loving You, with more promised), plus some new and exclusive features.
Kinect gamers will get to use Ubisoft‘s proprietary Player Projection technology, which will put you directly into the game itself, appearing onscreen with the other dancers! There’s also different difficulty levels, a practice mode, and all-new co-op and Battle multiplayer modes, allowing up to four players to collaborate – or compete – to win the Best Performer prize.
PlayStation 3 owners will get a different experience, with an automatic Facebook feed that will allow you to post your progress (and pictures of yourself – be careful!) online. There’s also three available configurations which the game will detect – Move only, microphone only or Move plus microphone – to allow you to dance, sing, or (wait for it) dance and sing depending on what you’ve got plugged in.
[img_big]center,3650,2010-11-21/Michael_jackson_the_experience_kinect_screen1.jpg,The Kinect Experience[/img_big]
Finally, regardless of which console you prefer, Michael Jackson School Mode will use the PlayStation Eye or Kinect to help you learn the iconic moves of the King of Pop, by putting your likeness onto the screen alongside renowned dancers who actually worked with Michael Jackson throughout his career.
I once heard about a lady who lost a considerable amount of weight by dancing around her living room to Thriller. I have a feeling, once this one hits shelves, that she won’t be alone.