On the conference call covering Ubisoft's Q2 earnings, management had a chance to discuss its strategies for the company, including support for both Microsoft and Sony's motion control accessories. "We will also be ready with some very nice innovations when Natal and Motion Controller are launched on the Xbox 360 and PS3 next year," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said, reminding us that a 2010 release for Project Natal is all but confirmed at this point. He later explained that Ubisoft will "also have some games that will come on the new machines that are going to come in the future" and "are working to be ready for the new accessories or new machines that will come soon." Whether Guillemot is talking about the aforementioned motion control accessories or new consoles altogether (or both!) wasn't clear.
Guillemot returned to Natal when discussing the demand for new experiences. "People ... continue to want new games," Guillemot explained. "They are interested by new innovations, new genres of games, and we are working on that. And we think that the new product from Microsoft, 3D camera, will help next year to continue to grow the market."
Asked whether he thought Natal and PS3 Motion Controller would help their respective manufacturers sell more hardware and grow the market for Ubisoft, or just help Ubisoft sell more software for the devices, Guillemot explained, "What I think is that Natal and the new Motion Controller for the PS3 will ... allow us to create games that we can only create for the Wii before and with the ability to then do it on PS3 and 360 some dancing games, some fitness games, some party games as well. This will allow those consoles to increase their base ... we think it will help those two companies to broaden their audience."
When asked if he thought the lack of precision delivered by the Wii's brand of motion control could be partly responsible for slow software sales on that console and if technologies like Project Natal and PS3 Motion Controller would help, Guillemot explained that technologies like the Wii Balance Board and Wii MotionPlus can lead to "a great experience and sometimes better than on other consoles." So as to prevent any confusion, Ubisoft's Alain Martinez chimed in and clarified, "You ask whether it will be more precise on Natal and on PS3 and I believe Natal we are quite satisfied by the level of precision we can get and we think it can be very good for the games."
But what about the level of precision for the PS3 Motion Controller? We weren't going to say anything, but this is the second earnings call that Ubisoft brass managed to single out Project Natal and snub the PS3 Motion Controller, though the snub comes after many general statements about both. What gives?