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The creative director for Kinect, Kudo Tsunoda, is no longer the front man for the technology. The man who revolutionized the possibility of looking at the bottom of your avatar's shoe is now being scuttled off to work on human interaction accessibility for Microsoft Edge and HoloLens.
According to Polygon, they were notified by a representative of Microsoft that the man formerly known for his stage exploits for Kinect and for bringing Def Jam Icon to gamers the world around, is now relegated to the role of vice president of Windows Apps Studio.
Tsunoda was heading up Kinect properties and was originally spearheading productivity in the division back when Kinect was actually a priority for Microsoft. However, after Phil Spencer took over when former Microsoft executive Don Mattrick jumped ship to Zynga, the Kinect 2.0 has been put on the back burner. Technically it was shelved long before that, as it was only being used for some casual titles and unremarkable games like that Kinect Star Wars game where people witnessed Boba Fett breaking a mean beat and Darth Vader getting down and dirty on the dance floor.
Spencer has prioritized a lot of other neat projects ahead of Kinect 2.0, resulting in the camera device mostly becoming an afterthought. At this point Microsoft has replaced Tsunoda with Hanno Lemke and Shannon Loftis. Interestingly enough, Loftis will now oversee the development of games like Scalebound, Crackdown 3, ReCore and Quantum Break. Lemke is overseeing the European studios under Microsoft's bracket, including Lionhead Studios and Rare.
Before Tsunoda was moved into the app department for HoloLens, which is a cool device but we haven't actually seen any practical applications for it yet outside of that Minecraft demo. It's also an augmented reality device so it's not really compatible with the advent of VR technology rolling out onto the consumer market.
Previous to Tsunoda's stint in Microsoft's gaming division, he worked for Electronic Arts on a number of titles as a producer. You might remember some of his classics such as Battlestations, Army Men: Air Attack 2, the very well-regarded Fight Night Round 3 and the early seventh-gen release of Def Jam Icon.
It was a real shame because before Def Jam Icon the series had a lot of potential to become a legitimate competitor in the fighting game genre. The first two games under the EA label actually had some interesting ideas and were a natural evolution on the fighting engine introduced by AKI Corp when they were making games for THQ. Unfortunately EA wanted to take the series in a newer, hipper direction and we ended up with Def Jam Icon followed by the critically panned Def Jam Rapstar.
At this point in his career I doubt we'll be seeing anything from Tsunoda in the gaming front any time soon. He'll be focusing on gesture and voice interaction for Windows devices, mobile technologies and other applications.
Of course, maybe in his role working on HoloLens we'll finally see something cool coming out of the technology that's actually applicable to real-world gaming... assuming that's something that Microsoft is actually interested in pursuing beyond tech demos and stage presentations.