Does it really make a difference?
Microsoft looked to make a splash at the Tokyo Game Show in Japan last week, and by all accounts it seemed more of an attempt to build more momentum for the upcoming release of Kinect than anything else. To that end, as we suspected Japanese studios announced a surprising five new titles that will be coming exclusively for Kinect; and surprisingly three of these five titles will be published by Microsoft Game Studios.
The five titles announced were codename D, Project Draco, Haunt, Steel Battalion 2: Heavy Armor, and Rise of Nightmares. Steel Battalion 2: Heavy Armor is an offering from Capcom that is being developed by From Software. Rise of Nightmares is being developed by SEGA; Codename D is being developed by Grasshopper; Project Draco is being developed by Grounding; and Haunt is being developed by NanaOn-Sha.
While we told you a little about Steel Battalion 2: Heavy Armor last week, it could be that the big sleeper of the bunch might be Project Draco that has Yukio Futatsugi at the helm. Previously, Futatsugi has been well known for Panzer Dragoon and Phantom Dust. Project Draco is described as a 3D dragon flying shooter that will feature a story mode, as well as online combat that will all be controlled by Kinect.
While Steel Battalion 2: Heavy Armor and Project Draco have us a bit more interested in Kinect than perhaps we were before, Haunt and Rise of Nightmares didn’t really seem to get us very excited and codename D is only appealing to us because of the past history of the development team working on the title.
It seems that these five announcements for Kinect do seem to be in direct response to the concerns being expressed that not enough serious or more hard core titles were being developed for Kinect. While we don’t know if this news is going to change the opinions of those who have already discounted Kinect as something that they are not looking for under their tree this holiday season, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be worried; they estimate that they will sell 3+ million Kinect units this holiday season and they suspect that the numbers could be much higher.
Perhaps the biggest thing about these five new titles for Kinect that Microsoft didn’t appear to spend much time focusing on is the fact that they are not going to be arriving here this year. The majority of the titles are on tap for 2011 and perhaps beyond. Still, solid software offerings will be necessary in order to sell more Kinect add-ons and get owners more interested in the technology. The news is certainly a step in the right direction.