Banjo Kazooie devs Rare were missing in action during all of this week's E3 convention, because they're too busy working on mysterious projects for Microsoft's new Natal technology.
Since Microsoft gobbled them up Rare has always played a prominent role in the company's new initiatives, usually with some sort of project showcased during the E3 expo. But this year Rare was basically absent from the E3 spotlight, a no-show at Microsoft's press conference and the show floor alike. What gives? Were they too afraid of coming to LA because of the swine flu?
According to Microsoft's Shane Kim, swine flu had nothing to do with it. Rare were just too busy to come to E3. Too busy doing amazing things. "Rare is intimately involved with Project Natal in a number of different dimensions," Kim told Kotaku. Natal, if you've been living under a rock or without internet for the last week, is Microsoft's just-debuted magic device for the 360 - a camera that can recognize motion, visuals, and sound, and, Microsoft hopes, the way to a lucrative "controller-free" game experience.
So what exactly is Rare working on for Natal? Kim obviously wouldn't say, but it sure does sound mysterious! "They're doing an awful lot of work, even outside the traditional game space, I would say," Kim revealed. "Unfortunately I can't go into a lot of detail about that. Rare is alive and well and really having a broader impact on the entire Xbox world than just doing the games they traditionally have in the past."
I can imagine Viva Pinata working really well with Natal, maybe you can even interact with your piñatas a la Peter Molyneux's "Milo" virtual boy project. Actually, scratch that. That could get a little bit inappropriate.