Interview: Microsofts Kudo Tsunoda kinect news

Microsoft’s general manager of Microsoft Game Studios, Kudo Tsunoda, was interviewed by Edge Online regarding rumours, Ninentdo’s Wii and the impact Kinect may have on your love life. We managed to summarize the best of this interview below.

Rumor #1: Sitting down

Although we already addressed this earlier, there still seems to be some confusion as to whether or not you can sit with Kinect. Tsunoda says:

You can do stuff standing up, you can do stuff sitting down, it just depends on the experience. [The games] are tailored around what gives the users the best experience.

Rumor #2: Laying down

Again, some confusion on the internet as to whether or not Kinect can handle people lying down. We don’t see why a player would want that but Tsunoda is quick in his reply:

In the E3 Kinectimals demo, the little girl who was demoing he game on stage actually does a move where she gets the animal to play dead by lying down on the ground and lifting her arms and legs up in the air. [...] The developer was able to put that in.

- case closed.

Developer tools

Now that those two are out of the way the interview continue. Tsunoda explains that Kinect‘s game development tools will be receiving updates after feedback from game developers. That sounds like good news, as these developers will have to work with the tools that Microsoft gives them for Kinect every day.

Microsoft is Committed

Not only Microsoft Game Studios has been working on Microsoft’s Kinect, Tsunoda explains that there is commitment from hardware teams, platform and software teams, game teams, Microsoft Research.

To launch something of this scale there is a big commitment – not just from the Xbox group, but from other parts of the company.

Kinect’s Unique experience

When asked about the Wii, Tsunoda does the smart thing and only talks about Kinect.

Kinect has some really unique features [...:] voice recognition, [...] obviously, being able to use people’s full body motion inside of a game is a very different level of approachability than you can get from any other controllers that are out there – whether they’re motion based or not.”

He adds that this unique experience has allowed him to practice dancing through Dance Central, and that he is now enjoying weekends out with dancing together with his wife.

Kinect Games

Tsunoda confirms the question that learning ‘real world skills’ are probably going to be a common theme in Kinect titles, as with Dance Central and Your Shape. He also adds that it is very possible for XBLA games to be using Kinect, as he does not think it will add a lot more than using regular controls. Furthermore, he explains that the launch line-up is safely chosen to tempt people with familiarity and excite them with the new experience. We believe that doing new games and this new way of controlling them may confuse the average customer too much. Therefore: wise choice Microsoft!

Hardcore vs. Casual

Core gamers are a big part of everything that goes on with Xbox. [...] To me, gameplayers enjoy skill based game play that has depth to it – there are things to learn and you get better at the game.

He then outlines that Mario Bros is easy to pick up and easy to learn, but hard to truly master. With Kinect they aim to do the same:

people can get in and start having fun right away, without compromising the skill and depth that players like. [...] Kinect is removing the abstration of a complicated controller.

Therewith Tsunoda confirms what may already be obvious from the games we saw for Kinect: Everybody is able to play with the hardcore gamers, but that does not mean that these seasoned players will be beaten. Kinect may even allow for an entirely different type of hardcore gamer, a gamer that outplays others because he is skilled at Karate for example. What is your take on the interview and on this possibly new type of hardcore gamer that we pose?

Thanks, Edge Online

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