Print 40 comment(s) - last by Mint.. on Jun 19 at 4:32 PM

Project Natal gets a name and a November launch date

It was this time last year that Microsoft first revealed its motion controller for the Xbox 360, Project Natal. Today, Microsoft has officially announced the controller and has given it a new name. The new accessory is now called "Kinect for Xbox 360" and will be available this November.

As you may recall, Kinect is an add-on USB peripheral for the Xbox 360 that features an onboard camera, motion sensing, and multi-array microphone which allows it to capture full body movements in a 3D space. It can track 48 points of movement at 30 fps and can recognize an individuals face and voice.

You are the controller,” said Mike Delman, Corporate VP of Global Marketing for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business. “You simply step in front of the sensor and Kinect sees you move, hears your voice and recognizes your face.”

“Some people don’t like controllers,” Delman continued. “And Kinect makes the gaming and entertainment experience more organic and free-flowing, without any of the barriers that can sometimes keep people from participating.”

According to the USA Today, there are a number of new games in the works for Kinect including:

  • Kinectimals -- Allows you to get in touch with your feline side by training cats and lions.
  • Kinect Sports -- This sounds like Wii Sports on steroids. Gamers can fully interact with such sports at boxing, bowling, and volleyball.
  • Joyride -- A racing game that forces you to hold your hands out in front of you to grasp an imaginary steering wheel.

Pricing is not yet available for Kinect (rumors have pegged the price at being as high as $150), but it is expected to launch this November.

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RE: Really ?
By FormulaRedline on 6/14/2010 3:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
Not that I've played with it more than a couple of times, but how is this different than the Wii steering wheel other than not having to hold the weight of the wheel and controller up?

RE: Really ?
By kalak on 6/15/2010 9:30:19 AM , Rating: 2
Not that I've played with it more than a couple of times, but how is this different than the Wii steering wheel other than not having to hold the weight of the wheel and controller up?

It IS different because you will not hold anything. Try this and you will understand.... (I do)

RE: Really ?
By Aloonatic on 6/16/2010 6:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
I think that the difference will be in the type of racing game that you play.

Admittedly, I've only played Mario Kart on the Wii with the steering-wheel and it's OK, just, for the short action packed sprints that most Mario Kart races are, where you don't really need all that much fine control. Translating that to a longer race, where you are having to concentrate much harder on smaller movements will probably be too much for the casual gamer. Racing fans who might see the value in persevering will probably have a conventional steering-wheel set-up anyway.

It'll be interesting how this works out. I'm sure that people are going to love to hear their kids or neighbours jumping up and down in the room above them in their home or apartment complex, assuming their kids aren't in a little box room and have lots of space, else they will be in the living room.

Basically, I see more problems with this than advantages over the Wii motion-controller only system, or the SONY combined motion-controller and (less advanced) camera option. I'm sure it'll do well though. xBox fans seem to be a very loyal bunch.

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