Microsoft is reportedly planning to squash the idea that Kinect is just for casual gamers, using big, burly men with chainsaws, no less.
Kinect is flying off shelves, with around a million sold in just ten days, but the pickings for hardcore gamers are decidedly slim. But according to insider sources, that's all about to change, as Microsoft apparently plans to announce a Gears of War game for the motion controller within the next few weeks
According to the rumor, Microsoft plans to use the Spike TV Videogame Awards as a platform to announce some new titles - including games for Kinect. Gears of War for Kinect is supposedly the headliner for this line-up. Epic's design director Cliff Bleszinski tweeted last night that Gears of War 3 wouldn't have Kinect support, so - assuming that the rumors are true - we're either looking at a game distinct from the main series, or possibly a revisit of one of the previous Gears of War games with Kinect support added.
It's hard to know what to make of this rumor. Epic has ignored the Wii, but that seems to be more about the limitations of the console itself, rather than an aversion to motion controls. With the power of the Xbox 360 to play with, Epic may be more than happy to make a motion controlled game. With the majority of the Xbox 360's install base in the hands of core gamers, getting them buying Kinect will be a priority for Microsoft, especially as core gamers tend to buy more software than casual gamers. That's going to be important, as Microsoft will be looking to recoup a significant portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars it spent making and marketing Kinect through software sales.
If Microsoft is baiting the Kinect hook with Gears of War in an effort to get core gamers buying it, it would make sense that it would be a game separate from the others. Giving players the option of using Kinect in Gears 3, for example, would be great for the people who had already bought one, but it's not going to get people buying a $150 motion controller, not when a regular controller would work just as well. On the other hand, a really impressive looking hardcore game, from a series with a lot of traction amongst core gamers, that you can only play with motion controls, might be just the killer app needed to get the core audience interested in Kinect.
We've reached out to Epic for comment, and will update if/when we get a reply.