Microsoft's Project Natal is a step closer to a frickin' holodeck

2 June 2009

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:

31 comments

  • Robert
    It looks unbelievable! It will probably cost a fortune once released though
  • TimJ
    It'll be nothing like the video, trust me.
  • Jill
    If it works as well as the video is suggesting, then this is the first thing the Xbox has that would make me consider switching from the PS3.
  • Dave
    Holodeck - not even close - its wii without the controllers....great
  • andy y.
    Like the holodeck will it be used 99.9% for humping?
  • swampy_donkey
    Just a point, everything will look amazing in a promotional video. will probably be a load of rubbish, even Sony's eyetoy looked great on promo video.
  • numberwang
    That skateboard scan thing made me piss myself "SCAN!" lol yah right If it works like like the vid I WILL EAT MY FACE no j/k
  • me
    TBH when i heard about this i thought it sounded like a glorified Eyetoy, plus i prefer a controller any day - sold my wii as only used it for gamecube games!!!
  • Graham
    I can believe all this stuff, might not be fine tuned but thats why we won't see it for several years.
  • mark
    hmmn, how would that dress look on a teenage boy's bedroom floor.... what a load of rubbish this looks to be, remember how great Home looked in the previews?
  • swampy_donkey
    There have been a lot of big disappoinments recently in the gaming world. Hopefully MAG will not be one.
  • swampy_donkey
    PS Yes I remeber how good home looked, I got a beta key and thought this is actually w*nk.
  • Christopher
    Ahh, real time motion capture without any obvious reference points and presumably very little calibration. That reminds me of that aincient time long ago whence a university computer graphics lecturer was telling me of this magical thing called motion capture and how hard it was to do, how many reference points and sensors / cameras it neededto be even vaguely useful, how much time had to go in to calibrating it, and how it was so ineffiecient it was very rarely done. And this was about three years ago. Unless MS did some crazy major leap forward in motion capture, I can't see it being anything but a big let down. That or the world of motion capture is lining up to purchase 360s.
  • Jambo H.
    Christopher - watch the paint demo then go and tell your professor how wrong he was BIG time. It's on game trailers If you can't find it.
  • Sean
    Another comment that if it works nearly as well as the video suggests, I'll eat my hat. Fortunately for Hats, I don't think they're going to be on the endangered species list anytime soon. Still, GL MS - if they pull this off they've probably just won the whole Internet.
  • You
    No way is it going to work 100% as in the promo, glorified wii controller.
  • lol
    anyone see the eyetoy at the end? Oh wait a min........
  • Seanus
    It wont be anything like that when it arrives. Another gimmicky failure to be stuffed in the cupboard, with developers too scared to waste development time and money on something that may or may not catch on and will certainly be a very limited audience if it does. Games cost a freakin fortune to develop and most companies want a chance of pulling in profits to make it worth their while. If this is anything but pure promotional pap then I, sirs, will eat my own arse.
  • Nobby
    Cheaper to buy a football, a skateboard, etc and play outside. And better for you too.
  • abc
    back in my day we used a thing called a joypad. you had to use ye fingers on "buttons" to move the character.
  • Russ
    They used the paint demo by throwing paint on the canvas because its not very accurate - now if he could have used his fingers as a paint brush THAT would have been impressive, but it was all a bit clumsy, so Im a bit concerned about whether theyll actually manage to pull it off practically.
  • well w.
    i thought it was going to be free. just a download of some software. plus a cheap webcam. so not expensive at all. maybe i'm wrong. spose it might use 2 cameras to get the 3d asapect , that would help it be more accurate. is there any release date?
  • Is B.
    [...] 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 [...]
  • Matt P.
    If my father was such a terrible pitcrew member you can bet your arse he'd have been fired years ago.
  • Song B.
    Remember Back to the Future 2 in the Cafe 80s when Marty used the gun to play Wild Gunman and the kids said something like "you have you use your hands? Thats a kids toy!"
  • Michael
    I can't imagine the physically-disabled or the elderly wanting to buying it.
  • bob
    if people buy into this based on these demos, i can imagine a lot of cases of post-Natal depression in the subsequent weeks... thank you, i'm here all week
  • UnGreat
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/6/05/ lol
  • Microsoft’s B.
    [...] 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 [...]
  • Pearle P.
    From what I can see, theXbox Kinect is more than just a family games console, after all you can do a lot more stuff that you can't do with the Wii. The graphics are better & Wii fanboy or not, you can't denythe Hard Drive storage on the new Xbox is far superior to the Wii. There is no need for controllers which meansless battery and recharging cost. If you have a young family like me , you don't have to worry about the kids misusing the controllers or dropping them in there juice. Kinect does have voice recognition so if the childrenare playing up and reality wrestling rather than virtual wrestling you can just screampause and Kinect will pause. Pity this doesn't generally work with the kids, well not in my house anyway. There is no doubt your friends and family will have a lot of fun with the Kinect and it is taking interactive gaming to a whole newlevel. To be fair , Microsoft were falling behind a bit recently in the games console world and it's about time they stepped up to the plate and with Xbox Kinect, they have done exactly that in my opinion. Whether it has bugs or little minor problems remains to be seen and as with all these things, the proof is in the ongoing sales rather than the initial sales onslaught of inquisitive techno-holics who buy any new gadget released.
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