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EA: Kinect/Move FPS "hard to imagine"

Riccitiello envisages "hiding behind couch".

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Silver-haired EA overlord John Riccitiello finds it "really hard to imagine" a future where he's "hiding behind my couch, making a gun out of my finger" and shooting baddies in Call of Duty or Medal of Honor.

"I've had a number of people ask me, 'Will gesture-based gaming replace controllers?'" Riccitiello told IndustryGamers.

"I don't think so.

"There will be genres where the gesture-based gaming, however delivered (Kinect, Move or any other device that comes down the road), will actually be the superior way to play: dance games, music games, exercise games. It's really hard to imagine [playing] an exercise game with your thumbs.

And, he added: "It's really hard to imagine that I'm going to play a future edition of Medal of Honor, or Call of Duty, or Battlefield, hiding behind my couch, making a gun out of my finger. I've tried driving with gesture-based controls; I don't really like it."

But he reckons sports games could successfully incorporate gesture controls for scrolling through menus, picking teams or "calling plays" - "that's very possible".

"The more interesting thing for Kinect and Move," he went on to say, "is going to be what happens late next year in terms of how we see them, and then what new genres sprout up to support those control systems.

"I mean, if it weren't for plastic guitars, the music sector never would have happened. In the same sort of way, what's going to trigger the hot game? What's going to use Kinect in just that way?"

Riccitiello also questions how "long lived" the popularity of Kinect and Move will be, and draws on his family's past experience with Wii as evidence. There was a console that typically housed a single game, whereas PS3 and Xbox 360 had "three or four games going at any given time". The latter were longer-play experiences, too, eating up multiple hours, compared to the short-play thrills of Wii.

Kinect and Move were both released towards the end of 2010. Analysts predict sales numbers are "neck and neck" despite the first-glance disparity between Sony's 4.1 million shipped Move tally and Microsoft's 2.5 million actual sales of Kinect.

All analysts agree with Riccitiello, however, that 2011 will be a pivotal year for Kinect and Move. Will they sink as novelties or swim as Wii-style successes? And how will Nintendo counter that?

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