If you’ve been around TSA for a while then you’ll probably have seen me dancing in a ridiculous video at some point. Apparently this makes me TSA’s dancing game expert, so I’ve been nominated to talk about what of Just Dance was shown during Ubisoft’s press conference.
It looks like Ubisoft have actually got two Just Dance products this year, both of which actually seem rather innovative, instead of simply being glorified song packs. First up was Just Dance 15, the regular entry into the series that will be out this October.
This time round it seems focussed on sharing, with the ability to record you and your friends dancing, and then upload it with the Community Remix feature. From there the Community can vote on the best tracks, adding the kind of social features that seem to be all the rage these days.
Beyond that we have Just Dance Now, an experience that can link the big screen in your front room to the smart phone in your hand. I know that people might be getting sick of these kind of second screen experiences, but this seems genuinely smart.
You see, Ubisoft have set up a simple system that allows you to use the accelerometers and gyros in your phone as a controller for a Just Dance game. In fact it’s just not you, anyone can hook up to the same game, from two people on a Wednesday night, to twenty people at a house party, all the way up to twenty thousand people at a concert, although I very much doubt the wi-fi or 3G connections would hold up with that many people.
Regardless, it’s a smart idea that lets everyone get involved in the same dancing fun. Games like Just Dance and even Guitar Hero have frustrated me in the past with the way you have to rotate through playing if you’ve got loads of people around for a party.
Expanding the capacity of the game with smart phones, which if not quite ubiquitous are at least well on their way there in Western society, is such an obvious idea when you think about it, and one that will likely open up new opportunities for Ubisoft.
Even smarter is the fact that for the big screen element all you need is a web browser, so you can play it via your Smart TV, your PC, or just about anything else that’s got a half decent web browser on it. Keeping it as open as possible does seem like the obvious way to go, and allows it to even potentially be used in clubs and the like.
Personally I’m far more interested in Just Dance Now than I am in Just Dance 15. It really opens up the second screen idea in a much more interesting avenue and, hopefully, will lead to even more social gaming experiences.