Nintendo is basing its entire console around it and Sony is ditching rumble in favor of it, but is Microsoft interested in joining the motion/tilt-sensing party? That was the question put to Phil Spencer, one of Microsoft Game Studios' general managers, at an X06 round-table Q&A session in Barcelona yesterday.
"Our input devices or new hardware will come through our innovative ideas on games. We won't formulate a piece of hardware that we want someone to buy and then figure out how we can build a game to compel them to buy it," Spencer explained.
The Microsoft man certainly wasn't ruling out the possibility of alternative ways to play games on 360 in the future, though. He continued by telling the assembled journalists that "if an idea broke the boundaries of the hardware," and if the game idea was strong enough, then it "might lead to a new input device".
He also admitted that the kinetic powered controllers from Nintendo and Sony would be "some of the things we'd watch to see what compelling games come from the new input devices. What are the new gaming paradigms, if any, that might be delivered?" Spencer himself obviously has doubts: "I don't think the promise of a new input device means a new kind of game."
And talking about Nintendo's focus being almost entirely on its motion-sensing technology, Spencer commented that, "when you have an input device that is basically your only thing to talk about... that's what you talk about".
So, while Microsoft might not be convinced right now that kinetic-based technology will have a truly beneficial impact on gaming, it is keeping an open mind and will, no doubt, be watching the public's reaction to Wii with interest.
September 28, 2006