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

Posted 20 Aug 2010 21:00 by
SPOnG: Any chance that you might bring in other peripherals in the future, or was it always just going to be Kinect?

Kudo Tsunoda: I think what we really try and do, and you should see, Kinect we were always talking controller free, but obviously on Xbox there's lots of controller experiences as well. We're not trying to get rid of the controller, but I think what's good is [that] lots of people like to play games in different ways, and so if you want to play just with a controller, OK - we've got tonnes of controller games. If you want to play totally controller-free, we've got controller-free games. If you want to play controller mixed with Kinect, we can do that as well.

So, I don't think we're trying to limit anything from what you can do on Xbox. In fact, we want to give people as many different ways to play as we can and we want to give developers as many different creative tools as possible so that when they have a vision in their head they can get it the most directly implemented on our console.

So, whether it's a controller game, controller-free, controller mixed with Kinect, all of those things I think are going to be fun experiences on our console.

SPOnG: Where do you see Kinect evolving over the next couple of years? Where would you like to see it evolving? Where's your peak?

Kudo Tsunoda: Well, I don't know if it's going to be the peak. Kinect I think of a lot of like Xbox Live. When Xbox Live came out - and that was a long time ago now - it just evolved over time and new features get added to it all the time and I think it's the same with Kinect.

I think in the near future, though, the stuff that I'm just really excited about creatively is I think there's a really good space for using the time that you play video games to help teach you things that you can use in your regular life also. People spend a lot of time playing games and really they teach you to play video games, which is awesome, but it's not like something that's helpful outside of the video game space.

I think you see, even in the launch line-up, games like Dance Central, right? Quite frankly, as far as dancing goes, I'm shit. I got married a little bit more than a year ago and I'm so bad at dancing that I tried to cancel dancing from my entire wedding because I didn't want to do the first dance with everybody looking at me and then I didn't want, while everybody's dancing, people coming up to me and asking 'why aren't you out on the dance floor dancing, you should be dancing', so I'm never going to be able to dance.

And now with Dance Central, I played the game a bunch so now I've got a bunch of awesome dance moves and my wife's super-happy because we can go out at the weekends and get out on the dance floor and have a good time.

And that's just one example of how playing a game can teach you how to do something in real life. And I think you're going to see a lot more of those types of experiences.

Plus, I think, I was talking before about Kinectimals and the human recognition system and the voice technology, that you're going to start to be able to develop much more complex relationships with characters inside of games, because they know who you are and it's just like, if I meet you for the first time how we interact is going to be different to if we hang out every day.

The way a relationship evolves over time, that's totally unique to human beings right now. I think that's the other stuff we'll see in character development - as the characters can recognise you you start building up these shared memories and shared experiences that really define relationships between characters. I think just seeing a lot more of those types of interactions within the Kinect games will be very exciting.

SPOnG: Do you think we'll start to see non-game games? Software that's designed to teach you something like you get on the DS with cooking guides and so on?

Kudo Tsunoda: I think those things are totally possible, for sure. This is just my particular creative view on things, but I think that it's a lot more engaging to learn something when it's more fun than it is like a tutorial. That's the awesome thing - I wasn't playing Dance Central because I wanted to learn how to dance, I was learning because it's super-fun and when I was done it's like, 'Holy cow, I know how to dance now'.

And you can teach something like karate or something and yeah, you can do a karate tutorial that tells you 'this is exactly how you do this', or you can make a fun karate game that after you're done playing it's like, 'Holy cow, I actually know how to do karate now.' And I think either of those or any of those are possible but for me, I think it's a lot more engaging learning things by having fun versus learning things through a teaching tool. But I never was that good at school, so maybe that's just me. But again, those types of tutorials totally could be done as well.

Check back soon for Part 2 of the interview.
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