Microsoft: Natal Is More Than Motion Controller

Microsoft Confirms Removal of Hardware Processor from Natal Controller

by Anton Shilov
01/20/2010 | 02:01 PM

Microsoft Corp. claims that its code-named Natal motion sensor is more than a just a new controller for video games. Instead, for Microsoft, Natal is a new type of interaction between a computer and a user. In addition, some basic details about hardware inside Natal finally transpire. Apparently, Microsoft decided not to equip Natal with a dedicated processor.

 

“Talking about Natal as motion control is missing the point. Natal isn't motion. It's a natural user interface, it is voice recognition, it is complete mapping of the skeleton – it is a much different experience, and an experience as opposed to an input device,” said Phil Spencer, general manager of the global Microsoft Game Studios business, in an interview with Eurogamer web-site.

For Microsoft, Natal may really be more than a controller for video games. Instead, Natal may be a part of the bigger project to introduce completely new way of interaction between end-users and Windows-based personal computers. In addition, many software and hardware companies are working on numerous new types of input nowadays, including voice recognition and so on, hence, not a surprise that Microsoft is doing the same.

It is interesting that Natal will not feature its own chip to process images, voice and other data obtained by the sensor. According to Microsoft, it makes more sense to use Xbox 360 microprocessor since it not only lowers the cost, but also makes easier to provide software updates for the console and the sensor.

“The reason we make any decision with the platform we're building is always to look for the right experience for the customer... That's why we've made the decisions we have on Natal to date and will continue to make them towards launch. It's not about the plastic we sell, no disrespect to my friends on the hardware team. It's about the experiences that will light up customers and that's the path we're on,” said Mr. Spencer.