Several months ago, we began to hear rumblings of a potential Halo game with some degree of Kinect support. The rumors quickly fell by the wayside as news on the game ended with a domain name registration. Cut to four months later, and we now have concrete information about not one, but two upcoming Halo titles — Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 4 — and now further confirmation that at least one will include Kinect support.
The focus of the Microsoft E3 press conference was clearly Kinect. Almost every game had some Kinect implementation, whether the gameplay revolved entirely around the Kinect (Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster) or smaller features, such as voice recognition (Mass Effect 3). Microsoft stressed both the importance of, and nearly unlimited uses for, their motion control peripheral.
What the conference did not focus on was 343 Industries‘ Halo franchise. A trailer was shown for both Halo Anniversary and Halo 4, but nothing else was said about Master Chief or his exploits throughout the remaining hour and a half. It is understandable that Microsoft does not want the Xbox 360 to be entirely defined by Halo, so the shifting focus is to be expected.
One Kinect tidbit managed to fly completely under the radar until Gamespot’s recent interview with the Microsoft Game Studios head Phil Spector:
“Even games like Halo Anniversary has Kinect integration.”
The interview, much like the conference, immediately changes subject from Halo, but this is the first time Kinect integration has been mentioned for the upcoming Halo reboot. We have no clues as to what kind of utilization Halo Anniversary will contain yet. Considering the E3 showcase of how useful the Kinect can be in virtually any game, there should be no reason to suspect that 343 will shoehorn any kind of half-baked utilization into the final product just to appease the publisher.
Do you think that Kinect functionality will make Halo Anniversary even more worthy of a purchase? Are you at all concerned that Microsoft might be going overboard with its Kinect frenzy?
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary returns the beloved beginning of the franchise to store shelves on November 15, 2011, for the Xbox 360.
Update: An administrator at the Halo Waypoint forums has cleared up the situation a bit, putting any worries that the Kinect integration will mess with the core game to rest.
“Just to let everybody know, the Kinect features we’re exploring with Halo: Anniversary are optional and won’t affect your core gameplay experience. 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.”
Source: Halo Waypoint Forums