Posts Tagged ‘project natal’

Microsoft’s revolutionary Project Natal has finally been christened, after a bombastic launch at the E3 event in LA involving a two-night only, specially commissioned Cirque du Soleil performance, and the mechanical elephant from the last Take That tour.

The Kinect has launched – the new Xbox hardware that includes cameras and a microphone to map players’ bodies so they can interact directly with games:
Kinect 500x312 Microsofts Project Natal becomes Kinect for Xbox
Several games were demonstrated on stage last night, including Wii-esque sports games, sword fights and white-water rafting. The feature that seems to have pundits most excited, however, is nothing to do with the gaming experience – Kinect includes video chat, with a wide-angle camera that allows groups of people to chat online. Such Skype-esque qualities are potentially a game-changer, because by bundling them into a family-targeted, mainstream console, video chat could explode even further.

Prices and international availability are due to be released at E3 later today. What do you think? Will it be Microsoft’s Christmas this time around?

Engadget has new images of what may be this year’s must-have prezzie – Microsoft’s Project Natal.  Although the device hasn’t been officially christened with its market name yet, that’ll likely happen at the world premiere of Project Natal for Xbox 360 Experience, happening in the US in ten days time:

natalmain Project Natal caught on camera, debuts in ten days time

If you’ve just climbed your way out of a Guatemalan sinkhole, Project Natal is a piece of kit you can plug into your Xbox360 that means the end of buttons, wands and controllers – the player’s body can interact directly with the gaming experience. Expect to see it in shops before Christmas.

[Engadget]

Three years late to the party, Sony are gearing up to launch Playstation Move, a wireless, motion-controlled handset. Just like Nintendo’s Wii, then. But Sony aren’t happy taking on just Nintendo; they’re so confident their new controller is going to set the world of gaming on fire and raze it to the ground, that they’ve produced a promotional video slating both the Wii and Project Natal – Microsoft’s controller-free gaming system launching later in the year.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen such a smug, self-satisfied, shit-eating grin like Keith Butler’s, so don’t be alarmed if you feel the uncontrollable urge to force your foot through the screen.

The Consumer Electronics Show means more geek porn than The Hun’s homepage. While Steve Ballmer may have universally disappointed the world’s tech media with his half-hearted tablet presentation, Microsoft is still making plenty of noise – not unlike a yappy dog with two tails – about Project Natal. It’s the games console that requires no remotes – the player’s body can interact directly with the gaming experience.

A new behind-the-scenes video has now been released, and not only does Natal look fricking fantastic, it proves Microsoft’s inability to produce revolutionary products without the assistance of Brits. Hurrah. Watch out for the dude who insists on wearing sunglasses inside. Will a lack of buttons dumb down the gameplay, or will it be like the difference between remote controls for the TV and having to get up to change the channel? We’ll find out soon enough – the Natal (or whatever its name turns out to be) is due to launch in time for Christmas.

Is Microsoft getting its groove back?

June 3rd, 2009 12 Comments By Paul Nikkel

microbalmer 300x176 Is Microsoft getting its groove back?The past week has felt a little like bizzarro land as Microsoft released not one, but two products that weren’t universally declared as “suck”.

Bing.com, which is basically Microsoft Live Search reskinned and tweaked, has almost all but avoided scathing hateful reviews. In fact the majority seem to be somewhere between meh, lukewarm and positive which is a major feat for the usually reviled brand. Here at Bitterwallet we had a round of binging and after our initial hope to roast it evaporated we declared that for once Microsoft has made a search product that “doesn’t completely suck”. It’s not great, it’s not revolutionary, and we’ll keep using Google out of habit but “not completely sucking” is a new benchmark for Microsoft online.

The second product release that managed to not suck and actually get some hype was the release of Project Natal at E3. The previews promise an experience like the Wii except with no gesture hardware and full-body control. The hype will be meaningless if Microsoft can’t actually release a product which works but in the meantime they are actually positioning themselves as a gaming company that is doing interesting things. Interesting and Microsoft are not words that have been in the same sentence for a long time.

Here’s the weird thing though… despite Microsoft’s horrible past decade they seem to be creeping into the emotional underdog space. We almost feel sorry for their ineptness and inability to stop the Google machine. On the flip side, it seems that in the last year Google has slowly been creeping into the “evil monopoly” role that Microsoft used to play so well. Could it be that our honeymoon emotions for Google have now waned and we’re looking for a proper competitor to take them down a notch?

With Windows 7 getting strong reviews, IE 8 making a big step towards being a decent browser, and the XBOX 360 becoming a gaming platform of choice for many, is Microsoft getting its groove back?

Remember when video games had handheld controllers? Ah, good old days. Those cool retro machines, like the Atari, the Playstation, the Wii. They all seem a bit backwards and silly now. A little like when televisions had remote controls on a length of wire.

See, Microsoft have a gamechanger in the works. All you need to know is that it’s called Project Natal, a test version was unveiled last night at the E3 conference in LA, and Steven Spielberg wants to have its babies. Once you watch the video, you’ll see why: