When it came to Kinect's initial unveiling, back when the tech was known as Project Natal, no one got gamers more excited about the hardware than Peter Molyneux. His Milo tech demo showed that not only was Microsoft's motion control a completely new experience, but that it had the potential to revolutionize gaming.
Since then, Molyneux the ever optimist, has come down from his PR high and had to face the music, so to speak. After his plans to include Kinect functionality in Fable 3 didn’t pan out, many believed that Molyneux and Kinect would eventually part ways.
As it turns out Molyneux still has great things to say about Kinect, even going so far as proclaiming it capable of creating new genres. Comparing it to similar milestones of innovation, Molyneux has said:
"It's like going from driving a car to driving a plane... once we as designers have had time to play around with it, then whole new genres of games will come from that."
While it’s hard to believe coming from the man who has yet to deliver any Kinect related software to the public, the prospect of new game genres is always an interesting topic.
Since the initial boom of motion control enthusiasm that has permeated the past few years two things have occurred. The first is that a lot of game developers broke down their game concepts into very rudimentary terms. Games became simpler in execution, almost to the point of being glorified tech demos. Though these games sold well it never advanced any genres or pushed the tech to its limits.
The second and more exciting occurrence involved developers attempting to push the boundaries of motion control into new and interesting places. Many of these titles come a bit later in the life of the motion controller, but they are the types of titles to which Molyneux is referring. These titles go beyond the title of game and enter into the territory of experience.
Hopefully, with a little time on their hands after some Kinect inspired Fable 3 DLC, Molyneux and the team at Lionhead will be able to deliver the type of genre-creating experience that Molyneux sees happening. It’s tough to take the man’s claims at face value, but his enthusiasm is so infectious it’s hard not to be excited.
Where do you see Kinect taking the idea of video games in the future? What territory do you hope the tech will explore after getting its initial buzz going?