Microsoft's "great attribute" is not only creativity but also the "financial backing" it can pull off. Natal's new space lets studios define their "own rules".
“I suppose at Microsoft it’s about, overall, having the right content from first-party studios to define what Natal is,” said Rare boss Mark Betteridge, reports Develop.
“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 continued.
“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.”
Natal can strike out and widen the net for catching a new audience unlike anything before, luring in casual gamers, and building the Xbox 360 user base ever higher.
“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."
Third-party developers will get a real kick out of Natal and what it has to offer, allowing studios to compete with the big title brands but offering a new twist thanks to Natal.
"...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," said Betteridge, Rare's studio manager.
“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."
Project Natal is due out this winter, after PlayStation Move arrives in autumn. Does the impending arrival of all this motion tech excite or scare the gamer in you? Rare was behind Xbox Live's Avatars, so Microsoft trust the British studio with top secret stuff.