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Xbox team reiterates commitment to Kinect

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Xbox team reiterates commitment to Kinect
06-22-2015, 09:11 AM
Post: #1
Xbox team reiterates commitment to Kinect

The past, present, and future of Xbox according to its head of publishing


Shannon Loftis has played a role in many of Microsoft's most audacious, forward-thinking, and occasionally troubled gaming projects. She produced online card and roleplaying games in the mid-1990s; participated in the launch of the original Xbox; shepherded some of the console's first online multiplayer games; led the studio that helped create Kinect and many of its early titles; managed Xbox Entertainment Studios, the defunct production company that sought to merge television and interactive media; and is now the head of publishing for Microsoft Games Studios.

The Verge: I've heard members of the Kinect team have transitioned to the HoloLens team. I'm curious if that's true.

Shannon Loftis: That is true. I mean, obviously, Alex Kipman is one of the inventors of Kinect. And Kudo [Tsunoda], who's next door to me. And after rolling out the Kinect program they moved onto the next thing, which turned out to be HoloLens.

But there's still quite a few people working on Kinect. It's still a vibrant development ecosystem, still part of the Xbox experience as well. The same device now runs on Windows 10 as well as Xbox. We still have, to me, what is the greatest thing about Kinect, which is the creator community very actively creating new and mind-blowing things.

Is there a pivot that is kind of being planned? Because it obviously wasn't at the press conference, but it's too good of a piece of technology to just not … be. Is there something in the wings that is going to come down the road?

There are games actually that are coming out for Kinect, I don't get to announce them.

So there are games that are unannounced?

That's right. Yeah. I mean we love the Kinect, it's a great device and has inspired so many people. Yesterday we announced Cortana [for Xbox One], which works with Kinect.

Were lessons learned from Kinect — having this piece of technology that no one understands until you see it — that are being applied to HoloLens?

Well the interesting thing about HoloLens is that it's not an accessory, it's a completely self-contained holographic computing device. What you're actually wearing when you're wearing a HoloLens is a computer. It's capable of everything from productivity apps to data visualization to prototype design work to entertainment like Minecraft.


Shannon Loftis has had a long career making games for Microsoft, from the original Xbox to a variety of Kinect releases. She also managed the now-defunct Microsoft TV business, Xbox Entertainment Studios, and she is now the head of publishing for Microsoft Studios, the game division at Microsoft.

Loftis reports directly to Phil Spencer, head of the games business at Microsoft, and she talked to us 1-on-1 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo industry tradeshow in Los Angeles, where Microsoft on Monday talked about how it will make Xbox 360 games playable on the newer Xbox One video game console.

We talked to her in a wide-ranging conversation about Microsoft’s big games, the rise of female heroes, the fate of Kinect, the new HoloLens augmented reality technology, and Microsoft’s new controller for pro gamers.

Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation.


GamesBeat: Kinect is not really part of the bigger strategy at this point?

Loftis: Kinect is still part of the strategy. It’s another way for people to deliver experiences. It’s still available for gamers who choose it on Xbox One. It’s a great experience to use Kinect and Cortana in the new Xbox UI. People are still innovating with Kinect, the way they always have. Games are being developed for it. It’s there if people want it.


Cortana on Xbox One requires Kinect

Microsoft is planning to roll out an updated Xbox One dashboard later this year, and one of the key new features is Cortana integration. While Microsoft didn’t even mention Kinect during its E3 keynote, its console accessory is key to the Cortana experience on Xbox One. In a new promotional video Microsoft says "Kinect required for Cortana speech recognition," but the company isn’t commenting on whether Cortana for Xbox One will be updated in the future to support headsets at a later stage. If you want Cortana on your Xbox One this fall then you’ll need a Kinect if you bought one of the console bundles without the accessory.



Update: One thing I regretfully forgot to include is that I received confirmation that Cortana will not work with headsets as of right now. Microsoft did state that it is listening to feedback though. If you don't have a Kinect you can launch Cortana via the new side menu and you can type in any questions you have for her from there. Also, as of right now this update it slated to hit all consoles in the fall.


Anything Cortana can do on your Windows 10 device (mobile or PC) she will be able to do on your Xbox One. Ask Cortana the weather, it will tell you. Want to know your Daily Glance but your phone is too far away? Just ask Cortana through your Xbox.

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06-22-2015, 06:51 PM
Post: #2
Thumbs Up RE: Xbox team reiterates commitment to Kinect
I'm going to do an article on this soon referencing another article too. I was going to do it during E3 but unforutunately I've just been too exausted to type it all out after doing the other articles plus I'm going to the cinema to catch up on some films. Thanks for posting this in the forum though.
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07-07-2015, 01:43 AM
Post: #3
RE: Xbox team reiterates commitment to Kinect
I hope they do buy more I bought an Xbox one with kinect recently as I love motion games (its why i got wii u + ps4 camera too) I have ordered zoo tycoon , rabbids invasion + fighter within (bought as it looked so bad I have to experience it lol)

However I feel they gave up on it as nothing at E3 conference. Even backwards compatibility is not on kinect games (i wanted star wars and dbz kinect) its sad too as you have great technology in PS4 camera + Xbox One kincet yet its only really used by people to stream + voice commands.

I love the look of Zoo tycoon on xbox one and cant wait till it's here
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10-19-2015, 05:31 PM
Post: #4
RE: Xbox team reiterates commitment to Kinect
after the latest news doesn't really sound like they're committed. such a shame. Ages ago I could see they were going away from gestures and concentrating on voice. by the time I get an XB1 the Kinect will be extinct. not bothered by dash voice or gesture i want games
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