Now, six months into the relationship, things have gotten a bit ... cold. While Microsoft's motion-sensing doodad launched with an impressive 17 games in its November 2010 lineup, things have been quiet on the Kinect front since then. But Microsoft says it's getting ready to ramp up on Kinect games.
"And in anticipation of another record year in 2011," a press release trumpeting the console maker's strong NPD showings said, "Microsoft announced the size of the Kinect games portfolio will triple by the end of the year." Wikipedia lists 26 current Kinect releases with 26 more in development. A tripling would indicate there are 26 additional games not yet known.
"We've seen some of the media start to ask the question, 'When are we going to see more Kinect games coming?'," Microsoft product manager David Dennis told Joystiq this evening. "As we sat there and looked at it we realized we've got a lot of games coming and we're going to show a lot of them at E3."
But Kinect games won't be the only things Microsoft shares at E3. When asked if the relatively anemic first-party "core" lineup from Microsoft Game Studios this year – especially relative to the aggressive rollout of Kinect games – represented a deprioritization of that audience late in the Xbox 360's lifecycle, Dennis insisted that wasn't the case. "We know that the core what took Xbox and made it the home for core games, whether they're first-party games or third-party games. We would certainly never leave that audience behind," Dennis said. "So for us and for Phil [Spencer] and the folks over at MGS, it's not about depriorizing one or the other. It's about how we go big on any and all: Go big on Kinect games; go big on core games."
When asked if there would be additional core game announcements beyond Gears 3, Forza 4, Codename: Kingdoms, and the totally-a-secret Halo: Combat Evolved remake, Dennis said, "We certainly expect to have a big E3 and we're saving a lot of our cards until then." We know a good percentage of that deck includes Kinect games; we'll have to wait until Microsoft's E3 press conference to find out how deep its core plans go.