Microsoft Announces Kodu Game-Creation Tool, Other Things at CES

Nathan Grayson

Microsoft’s CES keynote was, as expected, light on megaton gaming news, but a somewhat small – though undeniably interesting -- gem did manage to escape from Microsoft’s warchest. Titled Kodu, this easy-to-use game-creation tool is operated with only the Xbox 360 controller. However, based on a demonstration given during the keynote, Kodu could very well relegate games like LittleBigPlanet to the musty back corner of the toy box. Said MPC’s own Will Smith upon viewing the demo:

“The kid doing the Kodu demo (Sparrow) is hardcore with the radial menus. I forget how awesome they are if they're fast enough that you can actually use them. She was using the radial menus to adjust items in her game world. These are incredibly deep radial menus, compared to other apps. This is a pretty impressive tool, and she's controlling it entirely using the Xbox controller. There are lots of little games in the world.”

According to a Microsoft press release , Kodu’s colorful vistas are “expressed in physical action-reaction terms, using basic concepts like vision, hearing and time to control your character’s behavior.” Sounds pretty wicked.

Kodu launches this spring on the Xbox Live Community Games Channel.

See the rest of Microsoft’s game-related announcements after the break.

  • New Xbox Experience (NXE) has increased downloads 60%. 10B hours of gameplay and interaction on the service. The NXE includes avatars now. 33% more friends now than people had prior to the NXE launch.
  • Average players put in 150 hours of Halo on Xbox Live.
  • Halo Wars will be out Feb 28, and will be rated T. There will be a demo on Feb 5.
  • This spring, Microsoft will launch Xbox Live Primetime. Scheduled times to play games with your friends.  Apparently, it will feature flesh-and-blood human hosts, catapulted into your living room through future Internet wizardry.

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