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Built-in Kinect for new Xbox would lead to more "intelligent" games - Epic
Friday 2-Sep-2011 10:26 AM
Developers struggle when "you can't rely on the hardware being there"
Developers would be able to craft better Kinect games if the functionality were built right into Microsoft's next Xbox console, reckons Epic Games senior technical artist and designer Alan Willard.
It's hard to justify investing in hardware the consumer doesn't necessarily own, Willard explained. "With first party games where you can't rely on the hardware being there, there's a problem because you end up doing things that don't actually contribute to the game," he said. "Essentially just window dressing. Once we know that we can rely on it, we can integrate it into the game at a much deeper level."
With over 10 million Kinect units now sitting under TVs worldwide, Willard believes the next wave of motion-sensitive titles will make better use of the peripheral. "I think you'll see more sensible integration between the Kinect interface and the design in Kinect games that began development after Kinect came out."
Ultimately, though, the Epic man thinks the only real solution is to ship the functionality with the console itself. "Right now Kinect is a peripheral, but if next generation it's integrated, I think you'll get a lot more games that make intelligent use of it because they can rely on it being there."
Epic's vice-president Mark Rein has said the company is "dying to be a part" of the next wave of Kinect development, touting its Unreal Engine technology as the motion-sensing middleware of choice. Microsoft's Chris Lewis feels the device is "intrinsic" to the Xbox 360 business.
Willard's comments form part of a four-page Future of Kinect feature in issue 77