Microsoft's Natal gets closer, compatible with current Xbox

24 February 2010

At Christmas for the last two years, kids and parents have gone horse-shit crazy for the Nintendo Wii. It's revolutionised gaming, inventing a mainstream family and social experience that has helped Nintendo dominate the UK with a staggering 50 per cent of the console market share, riding high above Sony and Microsoft. And remember the Wiimote when you first used it? Wireless, motion sensitive. Witchcraft.

Microsoft are going to blow the Wii out the water. It's not talk anymore - slowly but surely, more and more people are being allowed inside the world of Project Natal, the console that parents will be socking one another in the face for this Christmas. We've reported on Natal a couple of times - when news of it first appeared last June, and when there was buzz about it at the Consumer Electronics show last month.

Now journalists have had hands-on experience of the system themselves, according to Silicon Republic - and it sounds bloody amazing:

Walk up to the Natal sensor and it instantly recognises not just your body, but your arms and elbows, hips, legs and feet, replicating your entire body in an on-screen avatar.Having no controller means there’s nothing to learn and no buttons to press. Kick or wave your arm and the ghost-like avatar does the same. Each of your movements is mimicked in near real-time (there is a slight delay) with impressive accuracy.

The motion detection isn’t perfect, but it’s very close – probably as close as it needs to be at this stage. Natal knows when you are moving forwards, backwards or even turning around in a full circle, revealing a detailed understanding of the dynamics and makeup of the human body.

Microsoft have again confirmed that Natal will be available for this Christmas - major games manufacturers have been working on new titles for the system since last June. Also, Natal will be a hardware add-on that'll plug into your existing Xbox 360 - from the Arcade version of the console to the Elite. If you don't have one already, it may be worth your while bagging one of the dirt cheap deals on an Xbox in the coming months.

Until Christmas, then, here's a reminder of what Microsoft is promising (and there's more over at the official YouTube channel). That's no moon, etc.

TOPICS:   Games

13 comments

  • Tom P.
    Decisions, decisions...spend my Christmas dosh on this or the iPad?
  • Nobby
    Will there be a sting in the tail, hence the name? For example, will it only work if you are wearing a Santa hat?
  • Sideysid
    I can't see this working as in the promo video. Does MS truly believe thats what everyday families actually behave like? Wheres the kids giving each other dead legs and fighting when they lose, pets running amock, ladies standing in front of they telly telling the fella to act his age, stop playing games and wash up? I'd like to see Natal try and 'recognise' anything then.
  • Gunn
    http://www.youtube.com/watch#playnext=1&playnext_from=TL&videos=SPI94vFi1HQ&v=QGvYFAYqRRw If this is what you look like when playing it then no thanks.
  • XBOXKILLER
    I mus say im impressed, if it WORKS. obviously they have hired actors for this, when it gets released we will see how good their acting really is.
  • Crazyd
    Have i gone back in time, or is this basically an eye-toy repackaged as something apparently amazing? hope they have wishy-washy
  • Mark D.
    having seen the intial promo video I too must agree with Sideysid, i can't see the released versiob coming anywhere close to this utopian dream console, maybe ni another twenty years ;-) That's not to say this isnt' going to be good as its been under wraps and work-in-progress for sometime now so , with the money thrown at it, it better be ;-)
  • Jase
    Why does no-one question the skateboard decal scan? It somehow manages to crop out his fingers and fill in the missing parts itself. Either the first sign of true artificial intelligence, or bullshit on Microsoft's part.
  • wonky h.
    jase bums foxes
  • HOLYNipplecrust
    i can c wut Sideysid is sayin, but the skateboard decal scan was previously dun n the kid was just showin it. the skateboard had already been tested on it n probably saved. n also, eye toy was no where near this
  • Oh B.
    [...] Microsoft readying themselves for the launch of their Natal control system, where the player becomes the controller, the Playstation Move seems like a backwards step. The [...]
  • Rob
    The only Experience you need is Life Experience .... oh and Blu Ray.
  • Thomas
    Hello admin of this blog! I love this blog very much and i want to give something back. Check this out, there you can get the new iPad for free to test it: http://bit.ly/8Xler2 I hope you like the new iPad. ;) Sorry, but i didn't find another way to contact you.

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