Microsoft Corp. on Monday unveiled its motion-sensing game controller for the Xbox 360 video game console. The controller is based on a special RGB cam that tracks motions of gamers and does not resemble Nintendo Wii’s Wiimote controller. Unfortunately, Microsoft does not reveal when the Natal is available and how much it will cost.
“Today with cultural visionaries at our side and controller-free gaming on our horizon, Xbox 360 authored a new page in home entertainment history. For us, this E3 is about breaking down barriers – between generations, between games and entertainment, and most important, between video game players and everyone else – in a way that only Xbox 360 can,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president for the interactive entertainment business at Microsoft.
Project Natal sensor is the world’s first to combine an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone and custom processor running proprietary software all in one device. Unlike 2D cameras and controllers, Project Natal tracks full body movement in 3-D, while responding to commands, directions and even a shift of emotion in voice, Microsoft explained.
The Project Natal sensor is not light-dependent, it can recognize gamers just by looking at faces, and it does not just react to key words but understands what is said.
“The next step in interactive entertainment is to make the controller disappear. With ‘Project Natal,’ we’ll see games that bring everyone together through technology that actually recognizes us,” said Steven Spielberg, a well-known director and producer.
Regrettably, but Microsoft will not release Natal sensor in 2009, which is logical since there are no games to take advantage of the device. Pricing of the gadget is also unclear.