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MS tested pre-Kinect motion controllers

"Exotic gyroscope", accelerometer featured.

Microsoft experimented with more traditional motion-controllers before settling on Kinect's hands-free approach, it has been revealed.

According to Wired's lengthy dissection of the creation of the Kinect peripheral, engineers at Microsoft's Redmond HQ were already “busy creating exotic gyroscopic and accelerometer-based controller prototypes” when Don Mattrick, senior VP for interactive entertainment, called for a new direction for the Xbox 360 back in 2007.

Microsoft also took the opportunity in the article to peg out its ambitions for the forthcoming motion-tracking system.

“We have the capability to turn your living room into a petting zoo, into a sports stadium,” reckons marketing chief Matt Barlow, “so our customer base is all those who have rejected gaming either because of the content or the controller.

“If you could say doubling, tripling, quadrupling the audience — I believe that. We’re also talking about a hypersocial audience, predominantly female, who want to interact while playing.”

“We believe the platform will move beyond the console,” adds Ben Kilgore, Xbox 360's general manager. “Every kind of major Microsoft group in the company is evaluating Kinect. They’re trying to understand what it means for those experiences.”

Microsoft kicks off its Kinect masterplan from 4th November.

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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