Don't Think Of Kinect As 'Casual,' Think Of It As Super Mario Bros.

Illustration for article titled Don't Think Of Kinect As 'Casual,' Think Of It As Super Mario Bros.

Worried that Microsoft's E3 showcase of its Kinect controller for the Xbox 360 was a little too "casual," a little too Wii Sports rewarmed? Kinect's creative director sees it otherwise, that Microsoft's taking a Super Mario Bros. approach instead.


So says Kudo Tsunoda, the oft-sunglassed man behind games like Kinect Adventures, the river rafting and platforming Kinect game that Microsoft spent much of its E3 keynote showing off. Sure there's plenty of Skittles scratching in Kinectimals and awkward dancing in Harmonix's Dance Central, but, according to Kudo, this is Nintendo caliber stuff.

"If you think about a game like Mario Bros., would you say Mario Bros. is a core or casual game? That's exactly what we're doing with the Kinect products," Tsunoda told

"There's the core gaming depth and skills, and the casual approachability that lets you get into it and play it right away. That's what we focus on in all of the gameplay. When we say games are approachable, it doesn't mean shallow."

In Kinect's critics' defense, Super Mario Bros. is now about 25 years old. Deep, yes, but perhaps overly familiar too?

Tsunoda compares Kinect Adventures to Mario Bros. []


Dear Kinect,

You are casual. You appeal to families and children and old people. And that's fine. That's who you're marketing to. That's who your games are, for the most part, for.

As you may know, most core gamers aren't that interested in motion control ([] so marketing to them with something so blatantly false is silly.

Look, if you want to try to be like Mario, then you need to grab a team of geniuses and ask them to make a game that reminds them of the wonder and excellence of being a kid. Apparently this is also why Pokemon is so successful as well—some guy wanted to do bug collecting at home like he did with a kid.

This, however, this is just sad. You're not giving us anything as awesome as Mario. You're giving us some rather nice games starring our avatars.

That just won't cut it.