Microsoft: Hardcore Kinect Games in 18 Months

Tuesday Microsoft reassured Xbox 360 gamers that hardcore titles would arrive for Kinect within 18 months.

The news came after the company revealed the official pricing of the motion-sensing controller along with pricing for a Kinect/4GB Arcade bundle (story). While the pricing is right where we expected, the overall software support for the device has left core owners wondering if Microsoft is shifting its focus towards the casual gamer.

"Certainly over the launch phase and this Christmas in particular I think you'll see very much pure Kinect for 360 experiences that will appeal to the broad young/older/female/family audiences I described earlier," admitted Xbox EMEA boss Chris Lewis in an interview. "I'll say again, at the risk of sounding like a cracked record, that doesn't in any way, shape or form represent us stepping away from the core."

He said that Microsoft spent a "good solid chunk of time" showcasing games at E3 2010 such as Halo: Reach, Gears of War 3 and Fable 3 so that the overall presentation didn't seem focused on Kinect and casual gamers. He also added that more "core" games will be coming soon from Microsoft and third-party partners.

That's fine and dandy, but what about core games for Kinect? He said that they would arrive if they make sense--if Kinect can complement what might ostensibly be a controller-based experience with gestures, voice and physical movement.

"Again, without compromising on the experience, making sure it's incremental and generally advantageous to the experience, then you'll see those types of experiences coming over time," he said. "And therefore I think all of the different types of gaming experiences you describe will become available over the coming 18 months or so."

With that said, core Xbox 360 gamers may not flock to Kinect this holiday season as Microsoft expected until meatier titles hit the shelves. Perhaps the next holiday season (2011) then?

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  • I think in this context, "hardcore" needs to be replaced with "fun for more than 15 minutes".
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  • I can see this really kicking off if they manage to first get all the kiddy titles out just before xmas.

    Plans would be to release kinext now, build a hype, then release all the xmas titles in time for xmas. This could be the wii killer.
  • I think in this context, "hardcore" needs to be replaced with "fun for more than 15 minutes".
  • Does he mean 18 months from now, or 18 months from the Kinect release date? Either way that's going to be around the first quarter of 2012, and it's not going to leave much time before the next generation consoles start picking up steam. Given these games will be targeting the "hardcore" crowd, it may be too late for the XBox360 Kinect strategy to really work for this demographic.