Microsoft doesn’t think Project Natal will change its support for core gamers; it just wants to make money off of casual gamers too.
The success of the Wii has caused some to say that Nintendo partially lost its focus on core gamers, mostly due to all of the money being made from those that are more casual. Microsoft’s Natal could be considered a reaction to the success of the Wii, but the company doesn’t want anyone to think that it’ll lose its core focus after the device is released.
Chris Lewis, (deep breath) Vice President of Interactive Entertainment Business for Microsoft Europe, Middle East, and Africa (and let it out), recently spoke to MCV about the concern that Microsoft would forget about core gamers if Natal is a success. Lewis denies this as a possibility, saying that Natal will only form a second Xbox 360 user base.
“From the beginning, Xbox has always had a very deliberate strategy to focus on core gamers and then expand the market,” he said. “Project Natal is meant to complement, not replace, the experiences on Xbox 360.” Lewis believes Natal will be a way to bring the Xbox 360 to a different class of people than those that currently whomp on each other in Call of Duty, while still being able to “deliver quality core games that consistently exceed expectations.”
Sony has said that the PlayStation 3 is only 25% into its lifespan, and this apparently could be true for the Xbox 360 as well. Lewis’ opinion is that the Xbox 360 has around five years of life left in it, with the possibility that Natal could push sales through the exosphere.
The Xbox 360 is in a position where Lewis’ remarks could turn out to be true. Why not make money from both segments of the gaming population? More Xbox 360s in people’s homes means bigger sales possibilities for more types of games. The big negative aspect of the Wii’s success are the terrible mini-game collections and waggle-clones that literally almost make it impossible to find a good title when shopping for a new game. Even if Microsoft does retain its focus on core gamers, with half-a-decade left in the Xbox 360’s lifespan isn’t it possible that this could happen with software for Natal someday too?