Microsoft unveils new controller, Project Natal

Written by Joe Martin

June 2, 2009 // 11:28 a.m.

Tags: #controller #e3-2009 #microsoft #milo #molyneux #natal #project-natal #xbox-360

Perhaps the biggest announcement that Microsoft made at E3 2009 yesterday was the unveiling of a new control system for the Xbox 360 - a new sensor setup called Project Natal.

Project Natal appears to be a bit far from release at the moment, but is set to combine the power of new visual and motion sensors to track player movements, voice commands and object recognition. In short, it could pave the way for an entirely form of gaming.

According to Microsoft the finished product will be able to track a number of different objects and people at once, even being able to distinguish between different voices and colours. The system is already drawing comparisons to the interfaces seen in films like Minority Report.

Development kits are said to have already been shipped to developers so, while no release date for the system has been given, a release surely can't be too far off.

The most complete demonstration given of what Natal can do came from Peter Molyneux, who unveiled a new game that Lionhead has been working on called Milo. Hailed as a breakthrough in artificial intelligence and player interactions, this is likely the project that Molyneux was claiming would change the face of gaming not to long ago. There's little way to describe it other than to say that it's a virtual boy, in a virtual world, that players can fully interact with. Expect more details on both products soon.

Is Microsoft on to something good here, or did Nintendo get there first? Let us know what you think in the forums.

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