Microsoft exec Robbie Bach admits it was a risky move to demonstrate the relatively-early Project Natal technology so boldly at E3, but that doing so was key to getting lots of developers on board from the start.
"We wanted third-party publishers to know that it was real and we wanted them to have developer kits and to get them working on it," Bach tells Canada's CBC news
. The result? "We have something like 70 percent or 80 percent of the publishers in the world already doing Natal-based games," he asserts.
"Our first party studios are [also] very focused on this," he adds. "We want to have a few titles from Microsoft that show the way and then we want the breadth and power of the ecosystem from our partners to bring lots of new ideas, new innovations, new concepts to the marketplace."
Since CES, when Microsoft committed to releasing Natal by Christmas 2010, the company's been vocal about its faith in a prolonged console cycle
for the current generation thanks to new motion controls and yet-untapped potential in the hardware.
"Xbox games don’t go away; you have to think of all this as additive," says Bach. "I think it adds to the beauty of what’s going on."
Sony has from launch promised a 10-year lifecycle
for the PlayStation 3, and Bach doesn't appear poised to dispute it -- but he does suggest that Nintendo, unlike the other two platform-holders, may need to update its hardware to keep pace.
"There’s still plenty of power available in the Xbox 360, there’s still plenty of power available in the [Sony] PlayStation 3," he says. "Nintendo probably can’t say that. They may have a capacity and a power problem on the graphics side that they need to deal with. But when I look at the [overall] cycle, I think there’s still plenty of upside given what we have today."