Xbox Project Natal

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 7, 2009
Updated • May 21, 2018

This year's Electronic Entertainment Expo was packed with exciting game and hardware announcements from virtually any gaming company in existence. One presentation dominated the gaming hardware announcements; And that was Project Natal for the Xbox.

Project Natal aims to offer controller-less gaming on the Xbox gaming systems. It looks a bit like a mixture of Sony Eye Toys and Nintendo's Wii way of interacting with games. It basically provides full motion gaming without the need for controllers at all.

Microsoft demoed the technique at the E3 which means that the technique already exists and is working. Information on the techniques itself is scarce however. From what could be gathered, a hardware device is needed that scans the body's motion and sound, and sends it to the Xbox gaming system. The system is able to follow the moves of any person in the room. It can easily identify and distinguish people. Natal cannot only identify people but also objects in the room.

This leads to some interesting new applications. Think of a quiz where the moderator addresses the gamers by name and repeats their answers.

Take a look at the videos below to get a good first impression on what Project Natal is about:

The official YouTube channel offers tons of videos showcasing Project Natal.

There are two factors that can influence success or failure of the new hardware device. First the price of the device. If it is expensive than it might become a niche product instead of the new default way of gaming. The second is game support by game developers. Game developers need to produce games for Natal or make their games compatible with the product.

What are your thoughts on Project Natal?

Update: Project Natal has been released as Xbox Kinect. It is available for Microsoft's current generation console Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows.

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Xbox Project Natal
Project Natal aims to offer controller-less gaming on the Xbox gaming systems. It looks a bit like a mixture of Sony Eye Toys and Nintendo's Wii way of interacting with games
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  1. Roman ShaRP said on June 7, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    My thoughts is that I don’t trust Microsoft for every thing they do. Too long they pushed people to pay for more and more expensive things, and other big whales of game industry too. So I don’t await anything useful for me from them.

  2. don2003k said on June 7, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Project Natal the first time i heard that i thought what the hell is that then i saw a video off a press confronce and i was simply blown away first thing i thought is how long has microsoft had this in the works its so crazy how far games has come since microsoft got in to the gameing market. Arnt we happy we got more than just age of empires . This is where gaming is going it makes us all think if sony has ps4 in the works they might have to rethink the console over because microsoft has got it down and with tecnology like this comeing out WHATS NEXT?
    Bring back VR

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