Xbox director of product management Aaron Greenberg confirmed that Lionhead Studios' A.I. showcase "Milo & Kate" for Kinect is a non-commercial tech demo. But Microsoft said separately that its implications for future Kinect products is far-reaching.
"Last year, we unveiled the Project Natal [Kinect’s codename] technology," Greenberg told Australia’s ABC Television show Good Game
in a video interview. "We showed a bunch of technology demos as part of that, and obviously that’s a tech demo and technology that continues to exist, but right now, it’s not a game that we are planning to bring to market."
The Peter Molyneux-helmed Milo & Kate demo debuted at E3 2009, and involved a virtual boy named Milo that lived in near a picturesque pond. The demonstrator, a real woman called Kate, interacted with Milo using Kinect’s full-body and voice recognition capabilities.
Even though Milo is relegated to a tech demo, Microsoft said that Milo's influence can be found in upcoming commercial releases like the Frontier-developed Kinectimals
, which has user interacting with animals using Kinect.
"Milo and Kate, the technology is stuff that we're still incubating back in the studios," Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer told Official Xbox Magazine UK
. "I think Lionhead has always been a great place, and the nice thing about Peter [Molyneux] as Creative Director in Europe is you start to see some of those ideas around Milo also showing up in other places.”
He added, "We may not have had anything to announce today with Milo but understand that those investments in creative research show up in many places."
After the circulation of Greenberg's comments this week, Lionhead community head Sam Van Tilburgh offered a picture
labeled "Team Milo" that implied the project is still in development beyond tech demo form. Van Tilburgh also told gaming site Joystiq
that the Milo team has a staff of 50.
Greenberg said in a Tweet
on Tuesday, "Project Milo absolutely continues in development at Lionhead Studios, it is just not a product we plan to bring to market this holiday."]