Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda Talks Up Kinect's Potential

In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Microsoft's official Kinect advocate, Kudo Tsunoda, shared some more insight about the controller-less peripheral as it gears up for a November release, as well as a glimpse into Kinect's future.

Ever since it was revealed that Kinect's initial software lineup will include seemingly casual-geared titles such as Kinect Sports and Kinect Adventures, hardcore gamers have expressed their skepticism about what value the new peripheral will offer. Sure, there's still a lot of untapped potential, but that just has many core gamers already looking to the horizon for the second wave of Kinect games.

"If you have good gameplay depth, and the more you play the better you are at the game, that's what makes games addictive for core gamers," said Tsunoda, "and I think that's a lot of what we focused on in developing the Kinect launch line-up - making it accessible so you don't have to learn new controls every time you play a new game, but still providing all that gameplay depth and skill that core gamers love." Tsunoda went on to explain that launch titles like Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports both feature multiplayer, player choice, and player-customization options - all things that many core gamers look for. While we can all agree that "accessible" isn't synonymous with "shallow," the type of gameplay depth he asserts that Kinect launch titles will contain may or may not be enough to satisfy core gamers.

That said, Tsunoda promises that Kinect will continue to evolve over time to support new features. For example, the ability for Kinect to scan a real-world object and then reproduce it digitally in-game is a feature that he expects to see used in a lot of future titles. It's a feature not utilized by any of the initial Kinect offerings. Other Kinect-ready features like, "being able to understand the intonation of somebody's voice and how they're saying something," and "human recognition" functionality that allows a user to sign in to Xbox Live simply by stepping in front of the sensor, could also have some interesting implementations in future Kinect games.

Tsunoda also notes that new games could be developed which utilize Kinect in conjunction with standard controllers. "With Kinect it's all controller-free, but it's not like we're trying to take controllers out of the equation," he said. "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." Though it's all potential at this point, the prospect of a core game that uses gesture and voice recognition, in addition to the standard controller, is pretty exciting.

Kinect is due out on November 10, and will be available by itself, and as part of the announced 4GB and 250GB Xbox 360 bundles.