Red Steel 2 director unsure on Kinect, Move potential

Kyle Orland
K. Orland|08.18.10

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Red Steel 2 director unsure on Kinect, Move potential
In developing Red Steel 2, Ubisoft Creative Director Jason VanderBerge learned quite a bit about Nintendo's optional Wii MotionPlus accessory (and how people use it). So he seemed like a good person to ask about the potential of Sony and Microsoft's impending motion control accessories, the Move and Kinect. When we did just that, catching up with VanderBerge after his talk at GDC Europe this week, he was a bit ambivalent about the subject.

"I don't know," VanderBerge told Joystiq. "It's an amazing toy, it's an amazing technology, and technology can sell on its own, so as far as sales of the device goes, I think it more depends on if Microsoft and Sony get behind it. I mean, Nintendo really got behind the Wii MotionPlus, man, they really pushed it."

VanderBerge says he hasn't yet seen the killer app that will really help push the Kinect and Move. "I haven't seen it yet. I don't know, maybe it's out there, I don't have the thing that has drawn my attention yet." That said, he has seen some intruiging apps, citing Sony's 'bow demo" and the Kinect demo of Burnout as standouts. "It's there, I think there's something in there, I think they just need to get behind it and find exactly what they want to do with it. I don't know, we'll see."

With Kinect games in particular, VanderBerge said he worries about the lack of any sort of handheld controller. "My imagination has not sparked into what I can do if I'm not holding anything in my hand,' he said. "When I imagine Red Steel on the 360 on the Kinect, I imagine it with a stick in my hand. I don't have that... but I could, though. There's nothing preventing the player from picking something up."

Even if the Move and Kinect are hugely successful, though, VanderBerge said he thinks motion control won't really advance until and unless it's built into each of the next generation systems from the outset. "I'm sure the [Move and Kinect] will sell, [but] I'm not confident they will elevate the genre out of a niche," he said. "I think we need that extra push of making the controller standard to get designers over the hump of learning this new style of gameplay and making it cool. Because it's not easy, and if it's only ever a niche market, we'll never invest our best designers in it, and so we'll be stuck in a self-fulfilling prophecy, and I don't want that."
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