Don't Think Of Kinect As 'Casual', Think Of It As Super Mario Bros

Worried that Microsoft's E3 showcase of its Kinect controller for the Xbox 360 was a little too "casual", a little too Wii Sports rewarmed? Kinect's creative director sees it otherwise, that Microsoft's taking a Super Mario Bros approach instead.

So says Kudo Tsunoda, the oft-sunglassed man behind games like Kinect Adventures, the river rafting and platforming Kinect game that Microsoft spent much of its E3 keynote showing off. Sure there's plenty of Skittles scratching in Kinectimals and awkward dancing in Harmonix's Dance Central, but according to Kudo, this is Nintendo calibre stuff.

"If you think about a game like Mario Bros, would you say Mario Bros is a core or casual game? That's exactly what we're doing with the Kinect products," Tsunoda told

"There's the core gaming depth and skills, and the casual approachability that lets you get into it and play it right away. That's what we focus on in all of the gameplay. When we say games are approachable, it doesn't mean shallow."

In Kinect's critics' defence, Super Mario Bros is now about 25 years old. Deep, yes, but perhaps overly familiar too?

Tsunoda compares Kinect Adventures to Mario Bros. []


    The key distinction to draw here is that Super Mario Bros is actually a good game. The ones MS showed off for Kinect... weren't.

    Its not really a game if all you do is jump up and down and wave your arms infront of the screen.
    Its not even a step up from the Wii, its going directly back to the technology that was already developed on the PS2.

    At most I can only think of a minority report style game, playing around with a rubix cube or some advanced 3d tetris.
    But without buttons or controls, how do they expect the player to even contemplate moving in more than one direction around on the screen in a platformer?

    Mind you this is still early, and I will eat my own words if they can do it without a controller.

      I agree, I think they mistook being controller free as being the 'holy grail' of engaging people with game consoles. I think the masterstroke has already been played: Nintendo designing their controller to look like a TV remote, a familiar non-threatening object to non-gamers.

    God, if it's anything like Super Mario we're going to get a thousand games and they're all going to be shite.

    How deep is a game on rails?
    Or enjoyable, for that matter?
    They're trying to attract the casual market which nintendo tapped first, while still maintaining their hardcore image.
    Fail, Microsoft.
    The kinect creates too much seperation between the controlless casual and the controller hardcore to tempt the unconvinced to play the vast number of deeper titles.

      House of the Dead: Overkill, and all other Lightgun games are usually a lot of fun. But I will admit as Shallow as a Wading pool in a drought.

    The title kind of confused me as casual is the first thing I think of when I hear the name Mario.

    First mistake they made was thinking anything motion control is good.

    I think that both the Move and Kinect will be a casual games machine for the time being. Everything I saw at E3 demonstrated this. And I can understand why they are doing it to. Both Sony and Microsoft have to tread lightly with hardcore games using motion control, because it’s a largely unproven area. All the mature games released on the Wii have failed to ship units. Is this because of the Wii’s audience? Or just the audience of motion control in general? I’m guessing that to get their foot in the door they will copy the Wii to no ends, releasing the same games, with the same look, and the same feel. Then they can experiment with the hardcore stuff later on.

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