‘With Natal, a lot of developers will see it as another opportunity to move into a brand new market”
Microsoft first-party studio Rare is confident that the games it's building for Natal will define the upcoming motion control system.
Rare studio head Mark Betteridge said that Microsoft is aiming to launch Natal with a software package that defines the controllerless experience – from its approachability to its core appeal.
“I suppose at Microsoft it’s about, overall, having the right content from first-party studios to define what Natal is,” he said in the second half of Develop’s interview.
“We’re very confident we do have that, we will have that, and I think people are going to be impressed with what they see from ourselves and [other] first-parties,” he said.
“It’s a great attribute of Microsoft that, not only do they have the creative decision to bring something like Natal into the marketplace when other companies aren’t doing so well at the moment, but they also have the financial backing to run with that.”
In the full interview with Develop, Betteridge went on to suggest that one of the key qualities of first-party Natal offerings will be an ability to lure in wider, casual audiences.
“Microsoft Game Studios has quite a large number of different projects; some internal and some external, and it’s about getting the right overall portfolio for first-party,” he said.
“Sometimes there’s a different emphasis of effort in a different area for a different audience, that’s the way I see it. “
Betteridge added that there’s a wealth of opportunity for third party studios with Natal.
“I think [with the Xbox 360], if you’re going into an area where you compete with Halo or Gears of War, you’re up against some very formidable competition. But if a studio is able to define its own game experience, you have a much better chance in being a leader in that area.
“So with Natal, a lot of developers will see it as another opportunity to move into a brand new market where you define your own rules. If you’re a studio starting now, you can go up against the Halos and Gears of Wars and the Call of Dutys, but that’s a tall order.
“To succeed on the 360 you need a quantum change in the rules that allows different offerings to succeed, and I think Natal is a massive opportunity for that. I think developers will realise that.
“I think it will surprise a lot of people how much content you can get on Natal that is appealing to not only the audience that we have but band new customers who will for the first time feel interested on playing on the Xbox.
The full second half of Develop's interview is available now