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MS made 'Conscious' effort to downplay Kinect at E3

Michael French
MS made 'Conscious' effort to downplay Kinect at E3

Microsoft intentionally let the Kinect controller take a backseat at E3.

With its strategy this year being about core games, entertainment services and SmartGlass, the format holder seemed happy to only demo Kinect voice functions in new blockbusters.

And that was the point, Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer told MCV, because the firm wants voice to be a persistent part of games.  

“That was conscious,” he said of E3’s showings for voice controls in FIFA and Splinter Cell.

“Early on with Kinect we obviously wanted to challenge ourselves and say ‘what would it mean to make a Kinect-only experience?’ We achieved that with some franchises that have hit scale and are selling millions of units.

“Now what you see is Kinect just shows up. It’s going to become a part of everything we do. It’s not that every game we do won’t have a controller but simple things, like in Splinter Cell distracting characters with your voice, is just a better way to do it, it’s more immersive.

“They’ve found the sweet spot, where we ask players to do what they would naturally do and the game responds, as opposed to you having to learn the controls. Voice has to be a persistent part forever more.”

But don’t think the firm is turning its back on camera-controller experiences.

“Wreckateer wouldn’t be as fun with a controller. It’s just fun if you stand up and do that with gestures. Those experiences are very compelling and social.”

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Tags: Microsoft , xbox 360 , kinect , e3 , spencer , camera , downplay

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