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Xbox One is "a games machine first and foremost", says Acti boss

Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg has discussed Kinect features for Call of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox One, insisting that voice commands will “make the gameplay better” rather than being bolted on for the sake of it. I can think of one, fairly obvious reason why this would be the case. Heel, Ghost Dog! Who’s a good boy then? Now – Quickscope! Go prone!

“I made a passing comment that you’re going to see voice integration, voice commands via Kinect, which is something that we haven’t done in the past with Call of Duty,” Hirshberg told Venture Beat in an interview (via CVG). “We think the improvements to Kinect really excite us because of the level of responsiveness and detail.

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“I thought that the demo they did with the voice commands on television, the instant changing between games and music, was really compelling. You’ll see more of this coming from us as we get closer to the launch,” he added.

“Obviously, we didn’t reveal that element today. We just mentioned it. But we’ve always made sure that we don’t just use new technology for novelty’s sake. We always make sure that it makes the gameplay better. In this case, we think it will.”

Call of Duty: Ghosts’s next gen credentials have been heavily billed by Activision, but according to Hirshberg, current generation versions of the game will benefit from many of the same features. “We wanted to make sure that the game for the current generation was also a spectacular experience, the best possible experience on current hardware.

“At least this year, and probably beyond, there’s going to be a sizable percentage of people who will be playing this game on the current generation. We want to deliver a superb experience there, too.

“Because of that, we made the decision early on to have the same development team create the game for both generations. We didn’t want to outsource the current generation or treat it like a port. Also, the current-generation game will benefit from a lot of the ideas going into the next generation.

“Obviously, the new engine is a new engine across the board. A lot of the gameplay ideas, like dynamic maps and character customization, are things that will show up across generations.”


Hirshberg also offered a few thoughts on Xbox One, arguing that critics are wrong to take issue with its plethora of media functions but conceding that next gen consoles “all have to be great game machines first. I think that’s the tip of the sword. Everyone’s trying to own the living room and own the entire entertainment experience, but it’s a game machine first and foremost. We’ve been pleased with Xbox’s approach.”

“There’s a false divide that gets created in people’s minds sometimes,” he added, “as though hardcore gamers don’t also consume other forms of entertainment and wouldn’t appreciate those things being made more seamless and more integrated into a more elegant experience. I think that’s all that you’re seeing here. To me, as a gamer, I’m excited by it.”

Jonty got back from #XboxReveal last night and posted some mostly positive thoughts on Xbox One. How are you feeling about it all right now? Roll on E3 and completely clear-cut, unanswerable statements about always-online and pre-owned, I say.

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