Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Says Xbox Isn’t Just for Games

xbox 360 isn't a gaming machineWe’ve been grumbling and moaning around here since E3 of last year about the Xbox 360 and Microsoft’s seemingly all-in strategy with Kinect, but I think that we took solace in the fact that the 360 would remain a bastion for the hardcore in some respects even after Kinect sold 8 million copies this past holiday season. Our hopes may be in vain, however, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently spelled out the company’s long term plan in an interview with USA Today, citing how the Xbox 360 isn’t only made for playing the video games.

“Xbox isn’t a gaming console. Xbox is a family entertainment center. It’s a place to socialize. It’s a place to watch TV. We have Hulu coming. It’s the only system where you are the controller. Your voice, your gestures, your body.”

Mr. Ballmer goes on to say that while the Xbox has the 15 year old boy demographic nailed down, they’re searching for ways to expand beyond that, into the 15 year old girl and the middle aged market. Things like Kinect will go a long way towards that end, especially after the aforementioned sales bonanza which outstripped Microsoft’s own internal estimations. Sounds like the Xbox only does everything, right?
Continue reading Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Says Xbox Isn’t Just for Games

A Wish List for Motion Controlled Gaming

DBZ Kame Hame Ha

As much as we dog pile on motion control gaming, I think all of us here at GamerSushi recognize that when utilized correctly, it has tremendous upside. Who didn’t get excited at the prospect of awesome sword play in a Legend of Zelda game way back when, before we realized that these hopes were totally misplaced? I think I like the idea of what motion control gaming could be, but I recognize that many developers are too lazy or have deadlines much too tight to really give it a thoughtful implementation that makes sense and enhances gameplay.

That being said, whenever people talk about the potential of big name titles getting some motion controls, I can’t help but let my mind wander to a magical place without all of that reality that normally bogs down tacked-on control schemes. I suppose RipTen feels the same way, as they put together a couple of lists of ten games that would be awesome with motion controls, including one for Kinect and one for Move. I would totally agree with their assessment on games like Fight Night Round 4, Starcraft 2, From Dust and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow for the different machines. But really, what I’d like is to be able to do Dragonball Z motions with my arms. Someone needs to get on that.

Joking aside, as much as those would be nice, I still think they would miss the mark somewhat. Continue reading A Wish List for Motion Controlled Gaming

Microsoft Expects Great Kinect Sales Even if Reviews are Poor

Microsoft Kinect

After all the months of speculation, ridicule and “is that actually what I’m going to look like playing that thing”, the launch week of Microsoft’s Kinect has finally arrived. The hands-free motion control system will be out tomorrow in North America, prompting all of its purchasers to get their Wavy McJiggleArms swinging. I jest, but I am actually interested to see what this thing does, especially considering that it is Microsoft’s big horse, on which it is pinning many of its gaming dreams.

So how do they feel about it? If you ask Aaron Greenberg, head of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, he thinks it will do just swimmingly. He feels so strongly about this, he believes it will sell units even in the face of negative game reviews for Kinect’s launch titles.

Why is that? Because Kinect is different. Continue reading Microsoft Expects Great Kinect Sales Even if Reviews are Poor

Microsoft Belittling Gamers at Kinect Launch Event?

Fat GamerAs both Sony and Microsoft follow the lead of Nintendo in the motion control front, there has been a question over which is more suitable to either hardcore or casual audiences. In my mind, there are bigger concerns about Kinect’s target audience. After the showing at E3, I’ve maintained that Kinect isn’t for gamers – it’s for their spouses, girlfriends, moms, etc. Microsoft is going after a new audience altogether, it seems.

Well, as of last week there’s perhaps more fuel to add to the fire. At a Kinect launch event, Microsoft made some rather objectionable comments about gamers, in what appears to be an attempt to connect (get it?) with a casual and non-gaming consumer. Here is what Microsoft’s regional entertainment guru, David McLean, had to say:

Gaming’s not just for sweaty thirty year olds in Metallica t-shirts…

Um, alright? I’m all for going after a new target audience. I can at least wrap my head around that. But this is an entirely different level, here. Continue reading Microsoft Belittling Gamers at Kinect Launch Event?