Microsoft's ambitious Xbox Kinect game Project Milo not coming back

Xbox executive Phil Spencer said he enjoyed the idea, but Microsoft could not find a way to turn it into a full game.

Microsoft's ambitious Kinect game/experience/demo Project Milo--also known as Milo & Kate--was canceled in 2010 and it's not going to come back.

"Sorry, no M&K reboot," Microsoft Studios executive Phil Spencer said on Twitter. "Idea was compelling and we learned a lot creatively, but we struggled to get a full game out of it."

Announced during the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Project Milo was created by Fable developer Lionhead Studios for the Xbox 360 using the original version of Kinect, which was known at the time as Project Natal.

In the demonstration video (below), we see that the in-game character Milo could respond to human interaction and even detect the nuanced levels of emotion in your voice. Such technology could conceivably have interesting implications for role-playing games--among others--but Microsoft has yet to resurrect the project publicly.

"This is true technology that science fiction has not even written about," former Lionhead Studios boss Peter Molyneux said at the time.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Want the latest news about Milo (working title)?

Milo (working title)

Milo (working title)

Discussion

151 comments
Vodoo
Vodoo

That was all bullshit! The new Kinect isn't even capable of that type of technology, just like it doesn't work anywhere near the level Microsoft said it would. That whole cheraide was obviously heavily scripted just like Kinect 2.0 was at E3. They couldn't make a game of it because, in reality, in wouldn't work anywhere near how they pitched it to people.

I would like to run the Xbox division. I would scrap the XB1 in its current form immediately. Issue everyone that bought the console a new version for free. It would be cheaper replacing a few million boxes and have great sales thereafter than 10yrs of shitty sales in its current state. I would build the voice commands directly into the system UI (because they do have usefulness) and srap Kinect ENTIRELY.

The newer system would be slightly more powerful than the PS4, no Kinect at all, but would have voice commands (no gesture commands because they suck). I would embrace physical and digital games, for those that want it, and digital would be $10 cheaper at launch. There would be family sharing for digital games like was originally intended. XBL would give back a little more for loyal customers and not be required for Netflix and other apps that already require a subscription. You don't charge people twice for one service just because they're getting access through your device. Devs would be easily able to build the games they want without sacrificing other features and it would be the console customers would buy.

Nothing to complicated but it obviously has eluded Microsoft for some time.

Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

Sad, was looking forward to this at the time. 

Jaxith
Jaxith

"This is true technology that science fiction has not even written about."   Eh?  Has Molyneux never read science fiction?  Or seen movies, or played games?  A reactive AI is in pretty much everything.  In fact, I guarantee that almost any sci fi series has something similar, but more advanced than what's being shown here.

Even if this technology does work, which I think a certain level of skepticism is to be expected in that regard, but even if it did work as advertised, then while that would be amazing, it's still not a self-aware AI, and it's certainly not going to live up to that 'beyond science fiction' line.  Don't try to make things sound greater than they actually are.

bluefox755
bluefox755

Was obviously fake, not sure how MS got a pass on it after trying to pass it off as actual kinect tech.

RobDev
RobDev

this is a genuine question, did they not turn it into a game because they were short of ideas or because the "future technology" didn't actually work? some are saying its a scripted tech demo, some are not. 

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

WOW.... and NOW Microsoft is hyping the CLOUD.....  

nightsinner
nightsinner

That's because Kinect sucks. Drop the Kinect and drop 100$ from the price of the Xbone and I may buy one.  Or else my first new console is going to be a PS4.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

Weird, I remember back when this came out, people pretended to be amazed, saying things like 'oh my GOD! WE'RE IN THE FUTURE!', when it was pretty clear that this was a faked tech demo on Microsoft's part. It never existed, it was 'designed' to play up the Kinect, and nothing else.

hikaruai
hikaruai

re-reporting about a game that was cancelled in 2010, in 2014...Makuch just keeps out-trolling himself...

lostn
lostn

It wasn't an 'ambitious project' it was a heavily scripted tech demo. In other words, a fake. It was being controlled by developers back stage. The fact that the girl is standing this close to the TV when Kinect requires more distance than that is one major giveaway.


Milo's voice acting was prerecorded and very well done, again showing that he can't react naturally to what you say, but can only say what he's been scripted to say, which means he's not as smart as MS were trying to let on. If he had a generated voice like Siri instead of a naturally sounding one that's well acted, I would be more inclined to believe it.

bluefox755
bluefox755

The thing is, Kinect has never worked that well, or utilized those features, at least not to my knowledge. I remember seeing this and being really impressed, when I ended up getting Kinect, I found it was nothing like this video. To my knowledge, even the new Kinect isn't really used that often in games aside from voice commands, which could have been done with a microphone, yeah? I remember the market was flooded with cheesy Kinect games when the original came out, but we're not even getting that this time around, just Fighter Within? Maybe I'm missing something.

Jasbro
Jasbro

Did i miss something?, Project Milo was never a game, it was a tech demo to show off what Kinect could do and nothing more.

bluefox755
bluefox755

Can't believe they've managed to sucker so many people into buying Kinect 2 after the disaster that was the last one.

daviz88
daviz88

lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!! project milo was a scam they couldn't pull off

DrKill09
DrKill09

Now I think Microsoft are just toying with you guys.  They have come out and stated that this was merely a tech demo over a year ago.

Kjranu
Kjranu

Can't wait for this to come out on PS4. Gonna need to pick up a Eyetoy! 

Hurvl
Hurvl

Seemingly innovative project + Peter Molyneux involved = doesn't end well.

wookiegr
wookiegr

Milo is avoiding the Xbox One, doesn't want the bad press. He's off playing PS4 no doubt. BTW, this was not a troll comment, it was fact and meant to educate the community in a meaningful way. You're welcome.

edant79
edant79

What a damn shame!

This would have been a wonderful tool to help registered sex offenders to hone their craft

ZZoMBiE13
ZZoMBiE13

That thing just seemed like a really creepy sequel to the Dreamscast's SEAMAN game anyway. Can't say I'm sad about not having Milo show up again. 

daabulls23
daabulls23

Couldn't even turn it into some sort of tech demo that was released to everybody. 

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

So even MS can't do anything good with the Kinect then? Is that what this is saying? Because that's what it sounds like....

bsford
bsford

Are you kidding, this could be the new futuristic babysitter for parents around the world. Just stick your kid in front of the T.V. pop this in and wala, hours of peace and quiet!

northArrow
northArrow

I can't wait for the day when we all talk about the Kinect and laugh while Microsoft nervously tries to change the subject

MattyTheButcher
MattyTheButcher

"This is technology that science fiction hasn't even written about, that works today." 60% of the time... if you don't have a funny accent or live in a slight dark area.

BattleSpectre
BattleSpectre

Well you know how you could draw a picture and hold it in front of the Kinect and it'd be inputted into the game then Milo could see it? I'd imagine too many immature people would draw rude pictures all the time.


And there's only so many times you could draw pictures and talk to a virtual boy before you started to feel weird and a little sad.

Cyberjin
Cyberjin

because it was a PR stunt

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

It's not canning this fabricated tech demo that is annoying its the fact that they didn't can the Kinect along with it.


If in the next 5 years a Kinect exclusive title that is not some bullshit shovelware mini game collection get's a half decent score I will fully support the Kinect and never said a bad thing about it again. Ain't going to happen or they would not have been marketing the tech as a voice remote and have almost nothing game related to talk about. Sickening.

CaveManCobb
CaveManCobb

I wish the kinect never came back. Its literally the only thing keeping me from buying an xbox one. 

lostn
lostn

@RobDev It was fake. It was never able to do what they presented. That was all controlled back stage.

Milo was reacting to the girl's responses and questions like a real person would. Think about it, anything he had to say was voice acted which means it had to have been prerecorded and scripted. That means he can't respond to just anything the girl says but only specifically what she said. If I was playing it, I would have a completely different conversation with the kid and his responses would have needed to be prerecorded. For example if I have some exotic name, do you think he'd be able to say it? If I told him I ate some food the developers never heard of, would he be able to pronounce it?

He can only say what he's been programmed to say. Which means he can only respond if you say what he needs you to say. Which means you don't have freedom to talk about anything you want.

northArrow
northArrow

@bluefox755 Yup, not even the current Kinect is capable of doing this.


Just another day at the office for Microsoft, overpromise and underdeliver.

lostn
lostn

@Jasbro It was intended to be a full game. The media that saw it had doubts that it would ever be done. It was smoke and mirrrors.

lostn
lostn

@CaveManCobb If it continues getting outsold by the PS4 even after Titanfall, I'm pretty sure at e3 they will announce a $400 sku without Kinect.

nycprocess
nycprocess

@CaveManCobb  Dumb reason to not buy it. Using it for voice navigation is great but even if you don't care about any of that you can just keep it in the box. And if it's price you care about - if you have the disposable income to drop $400 on a console then you certainly can drop $500. 

_Witchunter_
_Witchunter_

@lostn @RobDev  Well, you just saved me from typing all of this. The scripting was so obvious when the video came out, as much as it is now. Can't believe someone would fall for this.

Hours and hours of a team of developers/voice actors/graphics designers/motion capture actors have to be put in for a single minute of interaction with Milo. There couldn't possibly have been any freedom when it comes to having a conversation with him.

RobDev
RobDev

@nycprocess @CaveManCobb  just cos i can afford a $100 burger or a $150 beer doesn't mean i'm dumb enough to pay that kind of money.

lostn
lostn

@nycprocess @CaveManCobb "And if it's price you care about - if you have the disposable income to drop $400 on a console then you certainly can drop $500."

That's not a good argument. If you can afford a $500 console, you can also afford a $600 console. If you can afford a $600 console, you can afford a $700 console. And this can repeat forever until the console is $5000. 

Some people are just not willing to part with $500. Their limit might be $400 and anything above that is not considered good value. They haven't been used to paying that much for a console until the PS3's launch. 

CaveManCobb
CaveManCobb

@nycprocess @CaveManCobb  No I can't drop 900 bucks. Why would I spend money on something I would put in a drawer and never use? I don't care about voice commands or other gimmicky things. If I wanted to do that I would buy the playstation camera for 40 bucks cheaper.  

bluefox755
bluefox755

@nycprocess @CaveManCobb  Why though? Why should we be forced to pay an extra 100 dollars on something we don't want? And as far as the voice commands go...It's a camera, why are voice commands the primary selling point of a camera rather than a microphone? A microphone is a couple bucks, and you'd still have your voice commands without forcing everyone to buy the stupid webcam if they want the console.