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Kudo on Kinect: 'We're extremely confident'

Creative lead Tsunoda discusses UK launch

Spend half a minute with Kinect's perma-sunglasses-wearing creative lead, Kudo Tsunoda, and it's clear he's hugely passionate and immensely proud of his creation.

At the UK Kinect launch last night the Microsoft man didn't stop to breath during his mad dash of handshakes, autographs and t-shirt hurling with the GAME Oxford Street queue - he really was on top form.

Fortunately we managed to dash alongside him for a brief chat during the big launch - in which he discussed the "awesome" US Kinect launch, Microsoft's commitment to the product and what advice he'd give CVG readers picking up the sensor today:

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How does it feel to finally get Kinect on the shelves?

There's a lot of work that's gone into all this. I think the good the thing now that launch is finally here is you just get to see so many different people playing the games and getting to hear their reactions [background scream] - getting to hear great noises like that!

So much of this work we did in secret and behind closed doors for the longest time, so now getting to see a bunch of different people getting to play the games and having a good time is just super fun.

How has you first week on sale in the US been? We've seen reports of sell-outs in some stores...

Sales are going really awesome. At our launch event in Times Square we had 2,000 people lined up at midnight to get in and buy Kinect, to see so many great people here at the launch events here in the UK... sales are going really well. We're just excited to be able to do another launch party here in London.

With the positive reception at launch events like these you must be confident in reaching that five million sales estimate?

Well you know I think the great thing is even from the very first prototypes we did with Kinect it's always been really fun. We've always had a lot of confidence in the experience that this technology could bring to people and how much fun it is that... you know, everybody loves to play games and now being able to include so many more people in being able to play video games to me is one of the best mediums in the world.

We've always been extremely confident in the experience that Kinect could bring - even from the very beginning, seeing the reactions from the prototypes.

How important is Europe to Kinect's success? Social and music games have traditionally seen big success here.

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I think no matter what, there are a lot of people in Europe who love playing video games. Europe's not only critical to the success of something like Kinect; I think Microsoft and Xbox as a company is always very aware of the importance of this area of the world to doing anything successful in video games.

I think for sure that's why I'm out here. This launch is just as important as launches we have anywhere else in the world, and I think it's really good not just because of the types of games that people here in Europe play but anytime you're doing anything important in the video game space you need to understand the type of customer that's here in Europe and build the types of experiences that everybody's going to enjoy.

This is just the launch line-up of games we have here today - how committed are you to keeping Kinect an exciting platform throughout 2011?

We look at Kinect in a lot of the same way we look at Xbox Live. Xbox Live obviously looks a lot different today than it did when it was first released and I think that's the same approach that we take with Kinect. We'll constantly be building new innovative experiences, new features and new things for people to do all with the same hardware.

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