Interviews// Gamescom 2010: Kudo Tsunoda on Kinect - PART 1

Posted 20 Aug 2010 21:00 by
Kudo Tsunoda: Plus, I think with all the stuff you see on Xbox Live, as far as being able to control your movies and your TV and your music and even the dashboard, all with just using voice, that's all stuff that I think really appeals to everybody, so I don't know exactly who you were talking to at Microsoft about core gamers, because I'd sure like to talk to them, but I do think [with] the launch experience's there is really good skill-based gameplay.

You think of a game like the really old Sonic games, right. Would you say those are core games or casual games?

SPOnG: Probably not 'casual'.

Kudo Tsunoda: It's not casual, right? But if I told you (and we actually have a Sonic game in the Kinect launch line-up), but if I told you, 'Hey, we're going to make a game that's actually about a little hedgehog that's going to run around collecting gold rings', then people today would say 'that's not a core game, that's a casual game'. But clearly it wasn't, right? That was a game made for the core.

Another thing, I think, is just too bad about video games, is that what is fun gaming for people is you could play something like Sonic and that was good for everybody, or even people we call core gamers. Now all of a sudden if it's not a shooter that means that's not for core gamers any more.

So, I think again, Sonic was a core game, we have a Sonic game in our launch line-up that's super fun and plays just like a good Sonic game, and just because we're not shooting people in the head or chainsawing people in half, doesn't mean we're not making games that core gamers can enjoy.

SPOnG: What are your opinions on what Sony's doing with Move? How do you see the two systems and their differences?

Kudo Tsunoda: I always try to talk more to what I think are the unique things about Kinect. Certainly, just tracking your whole body in 3D space, that's a much different experience than just being able to track a couple of points in your hand. No other technology can give you full control over your avatar in side a game where anything you do with your body, the avatar instantly does it on screen. I think that's not only unique to Xbox in video games, but it's something that can't be done in any other medium right now. It's an experience that's just unique anywhere in the world.

Really incorporating voice in the way that we do, that's totally different as well. And it's not just voice recognition or voice command, but really with the technology we have you're able to develop software that will read the intonation of your voice as well. So, like when you and I are talking, the way you communicate with people is not just the words that you're saying, but it's how you express yourself with your body, it's the tone of your voice and the way that you say things and those are the kinds of subtleties that Kinect can pick up differently than any other technology in the world right now.

So, the combination of what you're doing with your body and what you're doing with your voice, then our human recognition system. We originally developed that so people could stand in front of the sensor and it would automatically sign you into Xbox Live, but we've been using that in the games in really cool ways as well.

So, Kinectimals, which is a game where you can adopt a little lion cub or cheetah cub, and you adopt your animal and you play with it over a period of time and the animal actually recognises who you are. It's not like you're 'Player 1' or 'Player 2' - it knows you as an individual. So, just like if you have a pet in your house, if I've got a dog I play with over time, the dog knows me, it's friendly with me. Then if you come over to my house it's going to act totally differently to you than it does to me. And that's stuff that we can also build into our experiences like Kinectimals because of our human recognition system.

So, I think the whole body technology is very different, the voice technology we have is very different to anything you can see, the human recognition system is totally unique. But the really cool stuff comes from combining all three of those things into unique game experiences that you're not going to find anywhere else in the world.
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