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Kinect lead Kudo Tsunoda expands role at Microsoft

by Eric Frederiksen | March 10, 2015March 10, 2015 3:30 pm PDT

Most of us saw Kudo Tsunoda for the first time showing off the brand new Kinect device on Jimmy Fallon’s show just under six years ago, clad in a bright orange jumpsuit.

Now, one of the driving forces behind Microsoft’s camera peripheral is working on some new stuff at the company.

While Microsoft’s biggest properties – Halo, Gears, Forza – will continue to report to Phil Spencer, Tsunoda will be working with some of the other teams, including Rare, Lionhead and Twisted Pixel. Additionally, he’ll be working with the teams behind some of the Xbox exclusive third party games, as well; Scalebound (Platinum Games), Quantum Break (Remedy) and Crackdown.

Tsunoda also directly addresses a concern left over from the Kinect days that could be applied both to his work on HoloLens and with the developers he now works with. “What did you learn from Kinect?” Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb asked.

“One of the things I took away from Kinect is that if you’re going to build a new technology or type of experience, how important it is to make sure the first products you ship are really based around the people who are going to use them the most,” Tsunoda said. “In the case of Kinect, the core gamers and the Xbox fans. While we made a lot of broad consumer products, I don’t think we did enough to deliver great core experiences with Kinect. That’s something that going forward — not only with HoloLens, but in the new products within Windows 10 and Xbox — is definitely something I really take to heart.”

That, indeed, was Kinect’s biggest downfall. Whether it worked or not, there just wasn’t enough software to appeal to the audience spending the most money and time with the hardware. It’s a vote of confidence that he is aware of it as he continues to take part in HoloLens development.

And finally, while Tsunoda isn’t the one in charge of Gears of War, he did say we can look forward to more information about the next game in the series soon.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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