Microsoft is excited about Project Natal. During an interview with a company spokesman about its upcoming furniture-shattering peripheral we learned there are no plans to replace the Xbox 360 in the near future, and Natal will give it a new lease of life – Natal as in (re) birth.
As we heard in Steve Ballmer’s keynote speech, Microsoft is convinced the new motion-sensing peripheral won’t just be used for lightweight Wii-style social games. What it can do will only be limited by the developers’ imaginations.
This led us to throw some ideas around. Natal could be used in conjunction with a gamepad when playing a first-person shooter – using your arms to mimic throwing a grenade or punching an alien in a melee attack; Letting a golf coach analyse your swing remotely; Interpreting sign language for translation (Wired’s idea though this one may be a bit far-fetched).
The gist was that Microsoft isn’t trying to dumb down the Xbox or make it appeal less to hardcore gamers. Instead, it’s trying to attract those who are put off gaming by the mass of buttons on the 360 controller, while simultaneously giving gamers a new way to play MW2.
Unfortunately (if predictably) we couldn’t get any deeper into specifics. No definite information as to whether existing games will be patched to support Natal (that’s ‘up to the developers’), pricing, or whether the cost of the Natal hardware will be subsidised by the price of new games.
Category: Tech News