The Parts Of Project Natal

By Spencer . June 1, 2009 . 7:13pm


Microsoft’s final announcement was the controller free environment called Project Natal. We saw a demo of a player waving her arms to bounce balls into a wall and someone shouting out colors to virtually toss paint on a canvas.


A RGB camera is an integral part of Project Natal, but the device is more than an Xbox Live Vision camera. The system also has an infrared projector and monochrome CMOS sensor which are used to detect depth. A multiarray microphone extracts voices and sounds from ambient noise. Microsoft explains the “magic” of Project Natal is hidden in a custom processor running a layer of proprietary software which enables the system to work.


Project Natal will work with all existing Xbox 360’s, but since it’s an add-on the challenge for Microsoft is convincing people to pick this up. So, how much do you think is air skateboarding worth?


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  • Yeah if my neighbors upstairs get this, I’ll have to pull out my good old baseball bat.

    This whole thing makes me want to throw up.

    • Aoshi00

      lol, I was gonna say the same thing, the kid jumping on the skateboard.. this is worse than DDR at home tearing down the house. Also you need to have a pretty spacey living room to play this w/ all the kicking. This would be fun for kids and the whole family I guess. The voice and movement recognition are kind of cool though, I watch Netflix w/ my 360 a lot.

      It depends how this would applied to other things that I would be interested in. Wii Fit is $90 and no way am I getting that.

      At least the people in this ad didn’t all dress in white like in the Nintendo ads, that is annoying.

      • daizyujin

        I give them credit on how ambitious the idea is, but it is too early to tell how well it works.

        Afterall, has anybody had even close to the experience that Nintendo was playing up the Wii Remote for?

        Time will tell, but this falls into the same problem area that Wii Motion + does. Only this will for sure cost a whole lot more. Then again you will only need one.

  • fallen

    Color me skeptical.

  • Wonder how long it would be until we witness the first incident where someone literally punches down a TV.

    I was just thinking…it was hard enough for me to control a wheel with Mario Kart Wii’s wheel, but it’s gonna be frustrating when you’re just holding air.

    One more thing – is it just me, or is it messed up that they show a kid skateboarding on nothing after they revealed Tony Hawk’s Ride?

  • I’m skeptical, too. I’ll wait for body-on impressions from people. I think we’re too early to be trying to create games without controllers at all.

    Edit: That bit about Mattrick saying they’ve had positive reactions from developers? Yea, not completely buying it. Even Spielberg said he hadn’t started working with it yet. He was on stage for PR, nothing more or less. I don’t see any compelling software for this thing coming any time soon.

    • daizyujin

      Of course you are skeptical, it isn’t made by Nintendo.

  • I’m excited about this technology, but they make it look too easy. I’m curious to what the learning curve will be like and how many gestures are misread or accidentally picked up.

    • daizyujin

      I was thinking along the same range. The fact that it is only being shown behind closed doors had me wondering about how early the tech is in development. By the same token though, on the show floor, I would imagine voice recognition would be pretty hard. E3 has always struck me as a loud place.

  • thebanditking

    honestly I don’t see what everyone is so excited about. Personally I think it makes you look like an idiot while playing, the driving game made that girl look like a 5yr old pretending to drive a race car. The whole Natal thing looked like this to me : watch @ about 2:20

    Not that I like Nintendo’s or Sony’s take on motion but at least I still get a controller. I don’t see many 360 owners buying this (outside of the zealots, you know the MS version of the Nintendo fans who bought WiiFit because Nintendo made it)

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