[Microsoft's Kinect is of some significant interest even for GSW readers, and in a wide-ranging interview, Microsoft Game Studios corporate VP Phil Spencer tells big sister site Gamasutra's correspondent Brett Bates that he "feels pretty good" about Kinect pre-release buzz, but admits the camera's success is an unknown "until [it's] out there and people are actually buying."]
The evolution of the Xbox brand is officially arriving next week, as Microsoft finally launches the much-hyped Kinect body-scanning camera for Xbox 360.
Years of research and millions of dollars have been spent on the device, which Microsoft hopes will finally capture a casual audience that has, for the most part, eluded the core-focused Halo purveyor since the original Xbox's launch in 2001.
As with any brand new commercial technology, there's no amount of money that a company can throw towards marketing that can ensure the success of a device like Kinect.
Microsoft Game Studios corporate VP Phil Spencer was candid when he told us, "As somebody who’s been in the entertainment business for awhile now, it’s not until you’re out there and people are actually buying" will Microsoft know consumers' reactions for sure.
In a new interview less a week before Kinect's launch, a candid Spencer addresses lingering questions about Microsoft's pursuit of the mass market, the company's dedication to the still-loyal core Xbox 360 gamer, and whether people actually want a controller-free experience.
Now that Kinect is coming out, you guys are obviously putting a lot of your resources behind it. Where exactly do the priorities of Microsoft Game Studios lie right now? How much focus is on the Kinect and more casual games compared to the hardcore games like Halo or Gears of War?
Well, I’m very proud with how Halo Reach has done in the market. That was a long undertaking. We worked with Bungie really hard to make that game be what it is, and it’s nice to see the review scores and the consumers have definitely showed up, which is nice. And Fable is shipping [this] week, another one of our core franchises.
The core has been core to our success from the beginning. We get that. It wasn’t by accident. And when I think about how we can continue to evolve our platform, adoption by the core of our new technologies is really important to us.