Kinect to Allow Hybrid Support for Standard Controllers in Upcoming Xbox 360 Games

By Jeff Mattas, Nov 04, 2010 3:00pm PDT In a recent interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Kinect's development guru, Alex Kipman, confirmed that there are games currently in development for the Xbox 360 that will utilize both the controller-free Kinect peripheral, as well as a standard 360 controller. The potential for creating these "hybrid" game types had been teased by Kinect spokesman Kudo Tsunoda in the past.

A big believer that the standard controller is the single greatest barrier for new game consumers, Kipman states that he sees Kinect as an important "switch from you having to understand technology to technology understanding all of us." That said, he doesn't see Kinect as something meant to in any way replace standard controllers, but instead sees its potential to broaden the array of experiences available on the system. "I don't see the controller disappearing altogether," he said, "but I do see a world which allows all to exist."

When asked about the casual nature of Kinect's initial software lineup, Kipman replied, "It's a managed portfolio for launch, and it's an explicit decision to make sure that all of our content was rated E, for everyone." Shortly thereafter, he added some qualification. "You should believe that we are going to have more traditional hardcore games that are either hybrid or Kinect exclusive."

Sure, Kinect's launch lineup might not be setting the hardcore gaming world on fire, and is really geared towards getting a new audience excited about gaming. Kipman admits as much in the interview. However, there's arguably a lot of potential to enhance traditional controller-based core experiences in meaningful ways with an added layer of Kinect tech. I'd like to try a real-time-strategy game that adds voice and gesture recognition on top of my standard controller, please.

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  • I just had a new thought about the whole hybrid thing. What if the Kinect part isn't so much a remapping of commands or buttons to your body having to do things? Rather, what if the idea is to augment what the player is trying to do with the controller? I can see a novice player getting a kind of controller assist from the Kinect watching how they are moving in their seat. Ever see someone less skilled try to play a game they are leaning or turning/tiling the controller around trying to get the idea from their head into their hands? The camera could see that and compensate a bit into the control of the game.

    Purely for helping non core gamers play the game; so this is the accessibility argument. I still don't see this thing for hard core. Not yet.