Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Microsoft Admits "Milo & Kate" Demo is a Fraud
A fraud. This comes as no surprise to anyone. What's surprising to me is the sheer scale of this fraud. Microsoft and Lionhead Studios presented "Milo and Kate" not as a mere tech demo, not as an imagining of a future technology, but an actual work-in-progress to demonstrate the abilities of Project Natal. This was Natal's main presentation at the 2009 E3. Today's public mea culpa is very, very big news.
So much of the current hardcore gamer backlash against Kinect comes down to Microsoft's shocking disinformation and dishonesty. They have presented the public with nothing but illusions and lies. I've never seen anything like this in the videogame business. Even Sony's pre-release hype of Playstation 2 a decade ago was tame compared to this. Exactly what is going on?
The more I think about the Kinect saga, the more firmly I believe the target of this disinformation campaign is not the gaming public, but Microsoft's investors. I think the company's footing is far more precarious than anyone realizes. Billions have been sunk into the Xbox under the assumption that the convergence of computer technology would happen in the living room. But this was an assumption made in the mid-1990s; as it happened, the point of convergence was not the television, but the cell phone.
In other words, Microsoft is fighting the last war. The future of tech lies in mobile technology; the desktop computer is fading, and will not be joined with the television. The future lies with cell phones, netbooks, and tablets. And that is the war Microsoft is fighting, not console videogames. The Xbox is a trojan horse in a war that has moved to a different battlefield.
So why is Microsoft even playing this game? Why are they in the videogame business, anyway? This is the question on the minds of the company's investors - and they want out. They want the consumer division to be scuttled entirely, and that means exiting the console videogame business. This is what Kinect (and the "360 Slim") is fighting for. At least, this is what I've concluded thus far. I think Microsoft's days in this sphere are numbered.