18 Month Wait for 'Hardcore' Kinect Games?

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Microsoft says Gears of War, Halo, and Fable fans can rest assured the company isn't abandoning them for the Wii demographic with its initially casual-focused Kinect.

But for the rest of 2010, don't look for more than "broad" appeal Kinect games, according to Microsoft EMEA vice president Chris Lewis.

"Certainly over the launch phase and this Christmas in particular I think you'll see very much pure Kinect for 360 experiences that will appeal to the broad young/older/female/family audiences I described earlier," said Lewis, speaking to Gameindustry.biz.

How long do GearsofWarHaloFable gamers have to wait then?

18 months, says Lewis, during which time "more of these hybrid experiences...where you can complement what might ostensibly be a controller-based experience with gestures, voice and physical movement" will probably make an appearance.

In the meantime, don't forget Gears of War 3, Halo Reach, and Fable III, says Lewis, all highlighted at this year's E3, shipping this fall, and aimed squarely at hardcore gamers

"I'll say again, at the risk of sounding like a cracked record, [Kinect's casual launch focus] doesn't in any way, shape or form represent us stepping away from the core."

Not stepping away from, then, just side-stepping.

Is anyone surprised by Lewis's comments? While the company's only half-admitted Kinect's casual launch angle after some arm-twisting, it's clear that they--and so far all of their third party developers--haven't figured out how to make it appealing to more traditional gamers.

Microsoft missed a crucial opportunity at this year's E3, where it should have demonstrated the sort of Kinect-based games more interesting to traditional gamers. After all, Kinect (nee Project Natal) was first revealed and demoed over a year ago.

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