Kinect's Kudo Tsunoda • Page 2

On hybrid games, evolving through firmware and staying relevant.

Eurogamer: Are there any examples of things developers have suggested to you that you're going to go on and implement in future?

Kudo Tsunoda: Being able to digitise real-world objects and take them into the virtual world - we saw a little bit of that at E3 last year, but it's not stuff that we have in any of the launch games right now, and I think we're going to see a lot more games start using that as well as we go forward.

Some of the stuff I've been super interested in creatively is the stuff we have in Kinect right now, where you have not only the full-body technology but being able to understand the intonation of somebody's voice and how they're saying something. Also the human recognition stuff we've built where you can step in front of the sensor and get signed into Xbox Live right away.

Those are things we're going to be able to use to develop really meaningful interactions between people and computer-generated characters. We do a good job of that in Kinectimals with animals, but we'll be able to do that a lot more with human characters as well. In Kinectimals, if you adopt one of the animals and play with it for a while, it's going to react totally differently to me as it does to you, because it remembers me.

Eurogamer: What are the limitations that you're finding? Is it hard to do a game sitting down?

Kudo Tsunoda: I think it all depends on what you want to do with the experiences. On the Xbox Live side with the entertainment that's all kind of stuff that you're going to be able to do sitting down. And then some of the more sports games obviously you're not going to be running down the track sitting down, so that's stuff you want to do standing up.

I think with any new technology developers will get better at using it over time, but that's all stuff you can already do with the Kinect platform - whether it's standing up, sitting down or even lying down to play dead in Kinectimals.

Eurogamer: At E3 this year Nintendo made a big deal about "bridge games" - games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii where there's an element of motion control but it's a more traditional game. Do you see these games as having that bridge quality, and do you have other games in development that have that in mind?

Kudo Tsunoda: I think that's the really good thing we try to do with Xbox as a platform. With Kinect it's all controller-free, but it's not like we're trying to take controllers out of the equation. You saw the great controller games we're showing today like Halo and Fable. I think games that involve both controllers and Kinect as well are totally possible. Those are all things you're going to see going forward as a platform.

That's one of the unique things about the Xbox platform: we can do controllers; we can do controllers with Kinect, which is more than just motion control, it has voice and human recognition as well; and then you can do totally controller-free. Both for consumers and developers, you only have those tools to play with on Xbox.

Eurogamer: Do you expect to see direct hardware competition to Kinect from third parties?

Kudo Tsunoda: I think what we've done with the software is something that's really hard to pull off. We have a good advantage at Microsoft because we have groups like our Microsoft Research department that not a lot of other companies have, and we're able to solve some super-complicated technical problems in a short period of time. They were actually working on something like this before we even started it on Xbox. I think it's going to be super-challenging for anybody else to solve those problems.

People have been trying for a long time and we're the first company that's been able to deliver this. If people are able to figure it out like you're saying, by the time they've figured it out we're going to be off into adding more new things to the platform. But I just think that's such a hard technology challenge that it will be hard for anyone to deliver on what Kinect is.

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Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.


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