There’s no question that Microsoft is trying to push Kinect into every facet of their Xbox 360 line-up. During the company’s E3 press conference, the motion-sensing device was clearly the main focal point, demonstrating how a number of upcoming titles are “better with Kinect.” While previous Kinect titles have focused more on casual gamers – “Dance Central,” for instance – Microsoft is now hoping core gamers will jump on-board with Kinect integration in popular games like “Mass Effect 3.”
According to Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, even “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” edition will somehow integrate Kinect.
During a video interview with GameSpot, the Microsoft Game Studios general manager listed a number of core games that utilize Kinect, including a brief reference to the upcoming HD remake of the first “Halo” game.
“We believe that Kinect will be important to all genres of games,” Spencer said. “Whether that be racing games like ’Forza,’ combat games like ’Ryse,’ even games like ’Halo: Anniversary’ have Kinect integration.”
If you’re not quite getting this, let me lay it out for you: expect every single upcoming first-party – and probably a lot of third-party – Xbox 360 title to use Kinect in some fashion. Microsoft is pushing the hardware full-bore, and they’re likely to find some way to work the device into all their games in the foreseeable future.
Spencer also mentioned that many of the core games will take advantage of the device’s voice recognition and ability to pick up additional gestures. He mentioned the head-tracking in “Forza 4,” stating that “you may not even know it’s happening, but the experience feels better.” This could also be compared to the planned voice control features – giving commands to squadmates – in “Mass Effect 3.” I don’t think you’ll use Kinect in “Halo” as your primary controller; it’s more likely that secondary features like these will just enhance the experience.
“Halo: CE Anniversary” has a planned street date of November 15.
UPDATE: 343 Industries have responded to fan concerns over “Halo CE Anniversary” Kinect integration on their forums. Like I previously mentioned, it doesn’t sound like Kinect will play a vital role in the HD remaster; it’s simply a matter of additional options.
“Just to let everybody know, the Kinect features we’re exploring with ’Halo: Anniversary’ are optional and won’t affect your core gameplay experience,” 343’s community manager, Jessica Shea, wrote on the forums this afternoon. “Our mission, from day one, has been to deliver a faithful recreation of the original game, and we remain dedicated to seeing that through to completion.”