If you’re one of the tens of millions of fans of Nintendo’s Brain Age
series of puzzle games, you’ll be familiar with the giant head of
Professor Kawashima, who serves as the game’s host. He’s also the game’s
real-life creator, and a genuine professor of neuroscience.
But now, according to reports out of Japan, Kawashima has taken his
brain to the opposition. His latest game won’t be coming out on Nintendo
platforms -- instead, it’ll be a Japanese launch title for Microsoft’s
innovative, controller-less camera system, Kinect.
Can you guess what it’ll involve? Yup, Kawashima’s new game will set
its players logic and recognition puzzles to solve. Instead of a
touch-screen, it’ll rely on Kinect to read your movements and use them
as input. And yes, it’ll assign an age of some sort. To your brain. Where have we heard that before?
Before you go assuming Microsoft had to write Kawashima a huge check
for his services, you might want to check out his history.
Astonishingly, the professor declined his royalty payments from the
Brain Age games -- some $11 million in cold, hard yen -- saying he’d
rather work for a living instead.
Karada de Kotareu Atarashii Nou-tore (or "Respond With Your Body: New
Brain Training," according to one translation) will release in Japan
alongside the Kinect system on November 20. Although U.S. gamers get the
hardware on November 4, there’s no word yet on a U.S. release for
Kawashima’s latest. Given the success of his past games, though, we
doubt Microsoft will hold out on us for long.