Microsoft also considering Achievement and leaderboard integration with next XNA

Kinect support for Xbox Live indies under review

Microsoft is privately debating whether it should provide Kinect API support to Xbox Live Indie Games developers, an employee at the company has revealed.

The firm is also considering adding Achievement support and leaderboard functionality to its community-made games.

The new considerations are part of wider plans to further improve business with developers who use the Xbox development tool XNA Game Studio.

Microsoft’s XNA founding member Dave Mitchell revealed the new plans in a statement that reiterated the firm’s commitment to its fleet of indie and homebrew devs.

“There’s definitely more work to be done here with XNA Game Studio, Xbox LIVE Indie Games and more,” he said in what appeared to be a extension of an olive branch for the company.

Microsoft has faced criticisms of late for sending its Xbox Live Indie Games store to a more secluded area on the console’s menu system. A wave of complaints from developers accused the firm of “killing off” the service.

The Indie Games Store has since returned to its original location.

“I know it may not have appeared as such but we are still very passionate about Xbox LIVE Indie Games and all of you here,” Mitchell said.

“I’d like to state that we have not abandoned the program or the service and have no intentions of doing so.”

Microsoft is currently stretching its resources to provide developer support for the Windows Phone 7 device as well as the Xbox and PC.

“That meant a number of features the XNA team were considering for XNA overall were put briefly on hold,” Mitchell explained.

“We’re collectively re-visiting all of that now… as we look ahead and consider what to add next for our Xbox 360 developers.

“What we’ve heard in the past and are evaluating includes Achievements, leaderboards, Kinect API support and ongoing XNA Game Studio and XNA Framework improvements and enhancements.

“While nothing is concrete at this point and still under investigation, we’d love to hear you weigh in further as to which of the above or other unnamed features you’d like to see in upcoming versions of the offering.

“Our dream – shared by all of you – has been to bring world class, easy to use game development tools, technologies and services to the masses – to all of you – so that you can in turn create and share your creativity with millions of people.”

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