After dazzling kids with Cooking Mama and getting moms in shape with Zumba Fitness, Majesco Entertainment (Nasdaq: COOL ) wants to get basketball fans off the couch with NBA Baller Beats.
The game -- available exclusively for Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Xbox 360 when Majesco publishes the title this fall -- will make the most of the platform's Kinect motion-based controller.
Does this mean that Majesco thinks it can play ball against the NBA Live 13 and NBA 2k13 juggernauts that will be out around the same time? Not really. This isn't just a game simulator. It's more of a rhythmic music game or a fitness title in disguise.
NBA Baller Beats is more about ball-handling skills than the sport itself. Players will be using a basketball -- a real ball -- and dribbling to the beat of an eclectic soundtrack and copying NBA baller moves. Will some buyers of the game feel cheated by a game that's a closer match to Activision Blizzard's (Nasdaq: ATVI ) now abandoned Guitar Hero franchise or Majesco's own Zumba Fitness than Take-Two Interactive's (Nasdaq: TTWO ) NBA 2k12? How many "Tell me again how the basketball broke my vase" conversations will we have to endure?
As risky as this game may be -- and we'll get a better taste for it once a playable demo is available during June's E3 powwow -- it's a smart move.
Majesco can use the diversification, on a few different levels. The company's been riding the Zumba Fitness franchise over the past year and change. It can use a fresh hit, and it only helps that this unlikely fitness title should appeal to an entirely different demographic group.
However, the real welcome diversification is that NBA Baller Beats is intricate enough to rely on Kinect camera-based sensor exclusively. In other words, the game will only come out for the industry-leading Xbox platform. This is a good thing, and not just because Microsoft's console has been outselling the competition in recent months. A whopping 86% of Majesco's sales came from Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) titles this past quarter.
Hit or miss, at least Majesco is ready to dribble in a new court.
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