Game Developer Wants Microsoft to Enable Development of Apps for Natal

Bethesda Production Director Sees Video Game-Unrelated Potential for Natal

by Anton Shilov
05/19/2010 | 10:08 PM

The production director of Bethesda Game Studios said in a blog post that Microsoft Corp. should open up application programming interface (API) for Natal motion sensor to enable third-party and independent software developers to create video games-unrelated applications for the device.

 

“Seeing Natal in action, I was totally blown away by it. It seems wasted on games, really. Microsoft should open the Natal API up, like Apple does with the iPhone/iPad. Let anyone make a Natal ‘app’. I bet someone makes a killer app that has nothing to do with gaming,” said Ashley Cheng, the production director at Bethesda Game Studios, in a blog post.

So far Microsoft has not announced any plans to open up Natal or Xbox 360 APIs to independent developers due to the fact that it can neither control the quality of applications, nor receive royalties from such developers nor control its consoles. By contrast, Apple controls everything that is iPhone/iPod/iPad-related: it sells applications designed by third-parties itself, it ensures that applications comply with Apple’s policies, it does not allow installation of anything it does not sell onto the devices, it does control usage of its products.

Although it is highly unlikely that Microsoft goes Apple way and opens up APIs in exchange for total control over its Xbox 360 systems, the software giant has said many times that Natal motion sensor can be used in applications beyond gaming. Quite natural usage model for Natal is its usage for controlling the Xbox Live experience instead of the remote. Another usage pattern could include Windows-based PCs for those, who dream about managing windows like in Minority Report movie.

Microsoft so far has not commented onto the proposal.