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Xbox Kinect was never designed for the 'hardcore' gamer

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Posted by: Matt Liebl

Remember when the Xbox Kinect was first revealed, Microsoft promised all sorts of cool technology for the hardcore gamer?  Fast forward a year and we have Dance Central 2, Kinect Disneyland Adventures, and Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster.  While all of those are fun games, it can be argued that none of them cater to the "hardcore" gamer.

Despite all of the promise, we've yet to see the Kinect expand beyond the gimmick of "you being the controller".  We wanted hands-free RPG that put us in the action.  Instead, we've got workout and dance games.  They are fun, but is it what the Xbox 360 gamer wanted?

Probably not.  And Microsoft is ok with that because according to marketing manager Cedrick Delmas, that was never the goal for the Xbox Kinect, nor was the hardcore gamer ever the target audience.

"We had a goal that was for the family audience - a more female and broader audience ," Delmas said in a rough translation of an interview with Le Point.  Delmas goes on to explain that over time the average "gamer" has changed considerably from what we had once envisioned.  The gamer today is not what TV shows or movies make them out to be. 

According to Delmas the average age of gamers is 35 years old - quite a difference then the targeted 18-year old male.  He no longer lives alone in an apartment, but now has a family with children.  These are all factors that helped sway Microsoft's goals with the Kinect.

No longer are they catering to the single, 18-year old male.  With the Kinect they are targeting gamers who can "share their passion for video games" with the other people in their lives.  This includes playing more family friendly games like the aforementioned Kinect Disneyland Adventures.

Regardless of how you feel about the Kinect, it's hard to ignore the popularity of the peripheral and the effect it's had on families everywhere.  From a personal experience, I have definitely noticed my fiance has taken more of an interest in games.  All of the game's might not appeal to me, but to someone new to gaming the simplicity of the Kinect games are easy for her to get into.

Looking on towards the release of Kinect for Windows, it looks like Microsoft is thinking even less about the gamer with the Kinect.  In an interview with Gamespot, Microsoft's Jose Pinero admitted the Kinect for Windows is about more than the average gamer.

Tags: Kinect, Xbox 360, Microsoft

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