*Ubisoft on Thursday announced an April 12 release date for a Michael Jackson video game that challenges Xbox 360 players to dance like the King of Pop.
“Michael Jackson: The Experience” taps into camera and gesture-tracking capabilities of Kinect controllers for Xbox 360 consoles to track how well players are imitating the late music legend’s moves.
The game features Ubisoft technology that projects players into on-screen scenes inspired by Jackson’s music videos and live performances.
Ubisoft released a version of the game for Nintendo’s Wii consoles with motion-sensing wand controllers in November.
In other MJ news, his-and-hers fragrances in memory of the late superstar will be formally launched on March 7 in the US.
Julian Rouas Paris, manufacturer of own-brand and private-label fragrances, formulated the scents in just a fortnight, under a partnership deal signed in California last month with Michael’s father, according to AFP.
“With Joe Jackson, we are 50-50 partners in world sales, television rights and advertising receipts,” said chief executive Franck Rouas, adding that a part of the proceeds will go to charities favored by Michael Jackson.
As he tells it, Rouas — a one-time French tennis instructor to Hollywood stars — was manning his company’s stall at a trade fair in Las Vegas when two young autograph hunters asked to borrow his pen.
The Jackson family was nearby, they said, so Rouas immediately gave him not only his pen, but also two samples of Versailles, one of his firm’s own brands, with instructions for them to be given to Janet Jackson.
One hour later came an invitation for Rouas to meet the Jackson family in a private salon, the perfumer said. There, the Jacksons expressed interest in his products; Rouas in turn proposed various fragrances.
Following further negotiations, the musical clan settled on a fruity floral blend for women and a more musky version for men, said Joseph Rubino, 63, the master perfumer whose nose perfected both scents.
Developing the scent — which purports to capture the prevailing floral aroma at Neverland — took just two weeks. “We did it very very quickly,” said Rouas. “Usually it takes a year.”
“There’s been lots and lots of luck in this story,” added Rubino, from Grasse, the small town in the hills above the French Riviera that is the heart of the French perfume industry.
News of the scents came as a court in Los Angeles ordered physician Conrad Murray to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s sudden death on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50 from an overdose of powerful sedatives.
In Los Angeles, a spokesman for Michael Jackson’s estate said the perfume venture was “a Joe Jackson deal” in which it was not involved.
Pre-orders and expressions of interest have already come to Rouas from as far afield as Southeast Asia and southern Africa, and a dedicated website is to be launched in the coming days, the perfumer said.