A league of their own…
Hat-trick Hero – Scored a perfect hat-trick in a match in Football Gamerscore = 15 Acquired on 07/11/2010
In the late summer of 2003, Microsoft put forward their most ambitious sports initiative ever with the launch of their XSN Sports brand. Seven sports titles launched alongside this initiative. They included: Amped 2, Links 2004, NBA Inside Drive 2004, NFL Fever 2004, NHL Rivals 2004, Rallisport Challenge 2, and Top Spin. While all of these games were competent sports games in their own right, and some even excelled, what tied the together was that you could create your own leagues and tournaments via the XSN Sports website.
I really enjoyed what XSN Sports had to offer. It was an early bridge between console gaming and the PC, long before social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace came to prominence. XSN was one of the earliest dalliances in to social networking and cross-media gaming experiences that we have now come to expect from today`s games.
With the XSN website I would create tournaments surrounding my favourite XSN games: Amped 2, Links 2004, NHL Rivals, and Rallisport Challenge 2. Other than NHL, in my opinion, these games still hold up today. In fact I recently picked up a sealed copy of Amped 2 just so I could have the opportunity to play split-screen multiplayer. Once the tourney was created I would invite my friends from Xbox LIVE to join and would see who would come up on top. Later you could visit
Unfortunately Microsoft did not see the return they wanted from this heavy investment into the sports realm, and in the face of fierce competition from EA Sports and 2K Sports, MS quickly bowed out of the sports games arms race. With Microsoft no longer producing sports titles there was no reason for XSN to continue, so after a three year run and one series of games, XSN was no more.
Fast forward over four years and Microsoft has once again ventured into the sports game realm. This time the hook is its motion-sensing peripheral, the Kinect, and just announced this weekend is the Kinect Sports Facebook App. This application allows gamers to create and join Kinect Sports leagues for themselves and their friends, or compete against the world in the international leagues. The portal can also be used to view and share Kinect Sports videos on Facebook and follow along with the results of you and your fellow participants in your league.
I am going to dabble with this application, see if I can drag some of my friends into the league and relieve some of those XSN glory days. The only thing I need to worry about is Kinect Sports breaking me! I am still sore from this mornings session!