NEWS - Monday, January 18, 2010

Project Natal can help Japanese Studios

Xbox director of product management Aaron Greenberg says "the future is bright" for Japanese game creators and publishers, but he doesn’t believe developers should be trying to come up with the next Halo or Call Of Duty.

Instead, the Xbox director of product management points to Project Natal as a new technology that can help Japanese studios "leverage their creativity".

"Japan is a very important market for the gaming industry and home to some of the videogame industry’s leading innovators," Greenberg told Destructoid. "I have spent a lot of time in Japan in the ten years I have been on the Xbox business and I love the country, the people and their ability to create new experiences that could only come from Japan.

"The reality of the Japanese gaming market is that it is not the size it once was and at the same time we have seen gaming become the largest form of entertainment around the world. However," he added, " I don’t think this means that Japanese creators should be trying to come up with the next Halo or Call Of Duty. I think there are ways to leverage their creativity with new tools like Project Natal."

The Japanese games market generated ¥542,640 million in 2009, down 6.9 per cent year-over-year, according to figures from Famitsu publisher Enterbrain.

Keiji Inafune, the head of Capcom’s R&D management group, created something of a stir at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2009 when he said that "Japan is over". At the same event he participated in a Project Natal creators panel also featuring Konami’s Hideo Kojima and Sega’s Toshihiro Nagoshi.

"I strongly feel that Project Natal will expand the possibilities of gaming," Inafune said at the time. "It’s really going to stir up our creative spirits. I think it’s going to bring new ways to play and new surprises to Xbox 360 fans and help further the development of completely original content."

Earlier this month Microsoft said that somewhere in the region of 80 per cent of third-party publishers currently have Natal titles in development.

Greenberg added: "... All of the leading Japanese publishers have announced that they are actively working on games for Project Natal and I can’t wait to see these come to life. I truly believe the future is bright for Japanese creators and publishers."




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