The lights are on
In another shotgun Microsoft interview, we talk with Kinect creator Kudo Tsunoda about the casual versus core school of thought and the “go big or go home” approach to integrating Kinect technology. Game Informer: The perception out of E3 was that the bulk of products announced for Kinect were casual in nature. The Japanese games that debuted at TGS seem to have been developed with the core in mind. Do you subscribe to that casual versus core argument? Or do you instead see the suite of products as different facets of the Kinect experience? Kudo Tsunoda: I think it’s funny. Nobody has a standard definition of what is a casual and what is a core. So the tricky thing about that question is you don’t have a measuring stick for what a core game is. I guess for me, it isn’t about it being core versus not core; it’s about how lots of different people like to play games. Whether it is video games or other types of games, it is still gameplay. And instead of trying to highlight the difference between people, we want to try and find what is similar about people and what brings them together. And I think there are very similar traits between people in terms of what they like to play – skill based play or games that have a lot of depth to them so that you feel like the time you have invested in the game has helped you learn to be better at it than someone who has just started playing.
I’ve played games that have been called casual before, and what frustrates me is when someone who has never played before shows up and they can beat me at the game. Then it feels like the two months I invested playing the game were a waste of time. So what we’ve been focusing on is getting very skill-based gameplay into the games and giving them good depth, so that the longer you play them, the more you are going to learn and the better you are going to get. And I think that is something that all gamers love. And that is the weird thing to me about technology – it has really started to divide people up into this type of person or that type of person. And it is one of the reasons that it is called Kinect in the first place. From a design perspective, bringing people together so that they can have fun together. That is our focus with all the Kinect games. GI: Do you feel that because Nintendo and Sony are native to Japan and Microsoft has a higher barrier to entry, that the social nature of Kinect will help bolster sales and reach a higher saturation point of 360 sales?Tsunoda: For sure. Quite frankly, I think that the good things about Kinect will appeal to people all over the world. So I think it will be a big momentum builder for the 360 here in Japan, but I wouldn’t localize that to Japan. I think Kinect will be a big momentum builder in all different regions. I do think it is something that Japanese designers have been good at – building something that is true to the philosophies of Kinect. Something that is easy to get into, but has a huge amount of depth over time. GI: Looking at first-party games and 360 exclusives in the future, are we going to start to see Kinect integrated in small or nuanced ways? Or is it a "go big or go home" approach to gameplay?Tsunoda: I think that the stuff we have learned about Kinect is that you don’t want to take it and port a experience over to Kinect or force it into things. You see a lot of motion control games that put the motion technology into a random game and that isn’t the way to make an awesome experience. If you think about the way that first person shooters evolved, they started on the PC. People for the longest time tried to port shooters from the PC onto the console. And people said the same things that they are saying now about Kinect – “It’s never going to be responsive enough to do this,” or “You’re never going to get a fun first person shooter on the console – it’s only made for a keyboard and mouse and that is the way it is supposed to be played.” And as long as everyone was just porting the existing shooters over to console, they weren’t as fun as the PC ones. Of course, they were built for the PC.
Halo did an awesome job of building a first-person shooter exclusively for the console, and now hardly anyone plays first person shooters on the PC anymore. It’s all about the console. And I feel it is the same with Kinect stuff. If you are constantly trying to take something that is made for a controller and port it over to Kinect, it’s not going to be a good experience because it is made for a controller. If you take the time to build it for Kinect from the ground up, however, you can make something that is a very new experience, but lots of times even more fun than it was before. GI: From a non-gaming standpoint, are there any features that you are particularly excited about, or, looking into the future, new interactions and functionality that you would like to see added to Kinect?Tsunoda: I think it’s awesome that all the stuff on Xbox Live that you can do with entertainment and has nothing to do with gaming. One, you can control movies with your voice. If you go to my house there are seven remote controls hanging out on my coffee table and I have to do some sort of weird Rosetta Stone combination of button presses to get the movie to play. Being able to use voice technology to say “Xbox play movie” or “Xbox fast forward” is super awesome and compelling. Looking forward, I think we are very focused on Kinect for Xbox launch, but I do think that it is technology that could be used on all different kinds of devices and mediums. So, hypothetically, if I worked at a company that actually did stuff on other devices and they were pioneering something like Kinect, I think that would be something I would be very excited to see – Kinect technology applied into other mediums. [Laughs]
This guy is a huge ***.
I was impressed with the tech/features when I used it, but the launch titles are so unappealing.
Perhaps something better will come out of Japan. Steel Battalion seems like a step in the right direction.
Wow Hoos13r, you are a f*** d***. You are the kind of people that he commented on in his first statement. For me, I think that Kinect looks really well done and is defiantly a step toward the future. Fail or not kinect will spark ideas for the future of gaming.
I've hated this assclown ever since the release of Def Jam Icon. Boy did he butcher that series. Also, someone should tell him that unless your name is Tomonobu Itagaki, long hair and sunglasses make you look like a huge tool.
Kinect itself looks very interesting. I can see myself making a purchase after a price drop and when it has a solid stable of games. I don't personally see any serious gaming potential with this hardware, but I trust that there's enough creative minds in this industry to make it work.
This was a great interview & very informative.now i don't regret my preorder of kinect,can't wait for 11/04/2010.
"... and now hardly anyone plays first person shooters on the PC anymore. "
Stopped reading right there. Totally out of touch with the PC gaming community. TF2, CSS, Battlefield BC2, Medal of Honor, Modern Warfare, etc. are all very much played games. I bet Battlefield 1942 still gets more plays than some of the shitty shooters on the consoles do.
So the replay value I get is from playing games over and over to get better? Right sure why not
I liked using it at Best Buy it works great But I'm not to impressed by the games, but I think I'm still gonna get it for the interaction with the dash board alone....
Good interview. I felt like he was honest, and had some interesting/valid thoughts and points.
I do love the features for Kinect, the launch titles....not really, though there were two games that weren't shown on E3 that looks cool and then of course the games on the TGS and will be released next year looked good as well, I just have to wait, I'm still iffy about the Playstation Move as well (Already have a Wii, and its awesome games) I'm really more into the 3DS.
For Beginning gamers, you should stick with a casual purchase ( without bundles and limited offers ).
Intermediate and Pros should possibly, by choice or any choice, can or will, should buy games with as much hype as its genre.
Kinect sounds cool, but it is only worth my purchase if I will be using it extensively, mostly for game content.
Hey why don't they try to make casual gamers HARDCORE gamers...food 4 thought.
(I use numberz and "z" for "s" becuz im kool)
To be honest, the guy looks like a total *** (I've only seen a few pics not including those obnoxious sunglasses), but he DOES make plenty of valid points though...
Just playing Half-Life 2 on the PC though, it infuriates me when he makes an out-of-touch statement claiming that "hardly anyone plays first person shooters on the PC anymore." I've seen plenty of people at college playing Fallout 3, Modern Warfare 2, and many more on their PC. Many companies such as Valve would argue that the PC is still essential for many genres, including shooters.
I hear they are going to incorporate some of the technology into Mass Effect 3 and Fable 3. Things like voice control where when a statement pops up on screen to respond you can read the sentence aloud and have the other character respond that way your voice can be used as the main character at certain points. That would be great and make games easier to connect with characters. Think coming home to a nagging wife in Fable 3 and being able to tell her to shut up or you will kill her in a field lol
none of these seem to get my attention
but something like mortal kombat would just be killer for this
To people talking about how his statement about PC shooters is stupid.
Compare the sales of Modern Warfare 2 on 360 and PS3 to PC, and you'll understand his point. 10 years ago if you did the same thing the numbers would be mirrored.
Total cop-out of the casual vs core question. He's not stupid, he knows what the difference is. He just won't admit it.