Microsoft’s E3 press conference from 2010 was all about their Kinect. An elaborate production put on by Cirque Du Soleil to signify the ‘next evolutionary step in game controls’ kicked off a very hands-free conference. Hardly surprising when the device was launching later in the year. Most of the games for Kinect were released when it did in November last year and few new titles have appeared since. With the latest NPDs showing Microsoft’s continuing dominance in a number of areas, the company were quick to gloat via a press release which also happened to mention what to expect from Kinect going forward: “Microsoft announced the size of the Kinect games portfolio will triple by the end of the year.” According to Joystiq‘s findings, there are 26 current Kinect specific games and 26 still in development. The press release would suggest that a further 26 are waiting to be announced.
Microsoft product manager David Dennis spoke with Joystiq regarding the future of Kinect and its public perception. “We’ve seen some of the media start to ask the question, ‘When are we going to see more Kinect games coming?’,” he said. “As we sat there and looked at it we realised we’ve got a lot of games coming and we’re going to show a lot of them at E3.” I think a lot of media and consumers were asking for more Kinect games right from the beginning but there has always been an unspoken promise and fairly strong optimism from supporters that it’s more than just a kid’s toy. So many rumours have slipped about a number of hardcore Kinect titles coupled with incredibly strong sales would point to a greater variety of genres to be shown at E3.
What of non Kinect games? Like maybe a few more first-party titles other than the handful already known? Have Microsoft neglected their biggest audience for too many E3s? Dennis doesn’t think so and was adamant that core gamers were top priority: “We know that the core what took Xbox and made it the home for core games, whether they’re first-party games or third-party games. We would certainly never leave that audience behind. So for us and for Phil [Spencer] and the folks over at MGS, it’s not about deprioritising one or the other. It’s about how we go big on any and all: Go big on Kinect games; go big on core games.”
There you have it. Microsoft’s E3 in a nutshell; Lots of Kinect games and lots of core games too. If there’s a crossover between the two, things could be very interesting come June 6th. It’s safe to say Gears 3, Forza 4, Star Wars Kinect and some kind of Halo anniversary piece(possibly a remake) will be on show but we could also be seeing the Gears of War Kinect rumour become a reality and the hardcore Kinect shooter by newly created Microsoft Games Studio Vancouver too. Roll on June!