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Natal to get Christmas 2010 release

Natal to get Christmas 2010 release

Microsoft's new controller for the Xbox 360, Natal, will be released in time for Christmas this year.

Microsoft has confirmed that Project Natal, the new camera-based controller for the Xbox 360, will be released in time for Christmas this year.

The confirmation came at CES, where Microsoft's Robbie Bach said that 2010 would be "the biggest year in Xbox history". Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that the Xbox 360 had sold more than 39 million units, with the Xbox brand generating more than $20 billion USD in revenue.

Unfortunately for Microsoft news of Natal's 2010 release was leaked ahead of the actual press conference thanks to a video interview with Robbie Bach being aired ahead of schedule, while power cuts held up the actual keynote.

Microsoft dribbled out the announcement alongside lots of pro-Xbox statistics too, with Steve Ballmer revealing that Xbox Live recently had its most busy week, with a new member joining the service ever second between Christmas and New Year. The new record for most concurrent users on Xbox Live is now 2.2 million.

Details on games compatibility for Natal, which uses face-tracking technology and cameras to allow game interaction without a physical controller, are still fairly scarce but we'll likely hear more about that as the year goes forward.

Microsoft didn't comment on previous rumours that Natal would also be rolled out as a PC controller.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

10 Comments

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Jamie 7th January 2010, 14:02 Quote
I really am surprised that they released details and demos of this system over a year before intended release.
javaman 7th January 2010, 17:24 Quote
Its one thing getting a demo to work, its another getting companies to learn, support and develop for it. They need to market this well or it'll go the way of sony's eyecam/eyetoy thingie.
Manu_Otaku 7th January 2010, 17:33 Quote
Well i really optimistic about natal lets hope it delivers at the same vein as motion plus on wii, for the wand thing of sony iam less impress.
metarinka 7th January 2010, 20:26 Quote
If it delivers as well as the demos (which is a tall order for most products) then it will make a good splash and will probably be the jump off point for the next generation of consoles in a few years.
HourBeforeDawn 7th January 2010, 20:35 Quote
wait I thought it was the beginning of the year, damn now I have to wait until the end of the year, screw this Im getting a PS3 lol and then in a year I will get the 360 if Natal is all its cracked up to be.
Molajoku 8th January 2010, 10:57 Quote
Natal = Solution looking for a problem.

It has no killer applications other than air guitar and aerobics.
It can sense movement and location of the body but how will you trigger events? When aiming a gun, how will you fire? Pull the gun up sharply (totally loosing any accuracy unless auto aim systems are built in)? Pretend to steer a car, how will you accelerate or change gears? Make broom broom noises until your mum or neighbour comes and tells you to shut the hell up and go to bed?
Xir 8th January 2010, 11:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Molajoku
Natal = Solution looking for a problem.

It has no killer applications other than air guitar and aerobics.

Well, the Eyetoy beeing the killeraplication it is, surely the Natal will be at least as successful :D

(and yes boys, that is sarcasm right there!)
Stewb 8th January 2010, 13:35 Quote
This is one of those things that I am not only not looking forward to, but, I actively do not want to see released... Developers will start trying to mash these annoying gimmicks into games which just makes it annoying... The Wii is one massive gimmick, can anyone say they have honestly played on the colsole consistently over a long period of time before going back to a decent controller (be it 360 or PS3)? All I can hope for is that the developers of decent games realise that it is annoying and don't shoehorn stuff in....
HourBeforeDawn 8th January 2010, 16:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Molajoku
Natal = Solution looking for a problem.

It has no killer applications other than air guitar and aerobics.
It can sense movement and location of the body but how will you trigger events? When aiming a gun, how will you fire? Pull the gun up sharply (totally loosing any accuracy unless auto aim systems are built in)? Pretend to steer a car, how will you accelerate or change gears? Make broom broom noises until your mum or neighbour comes and tells you to shut the hell up and go to bed?

seriously? there are a lot of neat applications and uses for this. Hell if you a girl youll really get a kick out of it as you can scan in your clothing and then test wear them or even if your friend scanned in their clothing, test wear there to see what you would look like in it, lol thats what all my cousins have been talking about, and the multiperson skeletal structure recolonization where more then one person can be playing at the same time on the same game is neat. There are a lot of other neat concepts that go along with this, so assuming it works out as well as its advertised this would be the first true hands free gaming that worked well.
Molajoku 8th January 2010, 17:28 Quote
@HourBeforeDawn.

Test wearing clothing? That wont catch on, it would take too long and nothing would actually 'fit' the person person presenting themselves infront the this 'Natal-Mirror'. You might as well take a photo of a dress and yourself and use paint to overlay the dress on top of the person. Think about those dodgy computer programs people sometimes use to try out different hair styles.

I'm not heartlessly knocking natal back, i love innovation being an inventor myself. I just fail to see how this concept will graft itself onto a large number of applications.

Games like 'My new dress' or 'my new hair style' or 'look at yourself playing with a virtual dog' etc just don't have that timelessness to them that makes a console or franchise great. I can think of one or two apps which might do well but i doubt they'd have a massive impact on how people play games.

Hand held Augmented Reality games like those available on the psp should go like stink I think though.
Imagine pokémon on the psp where the two combatents actually see both their pokémon (and maybe those of spectators) on the screen along side themselves. Turn your back garden or play field into a pokémon reserve where you can see the wild ones racing about and try to catch them. Or even training them, having them visibly running alongside you or show emotion towards you based on how you raise them, encouraging you to go out and exorsize with them and battle with others. I'd buy it and i'd imagine kids would go nuts for them.
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