In June this year, Microsoft Corp. had bewildered the video gaming industry with the announcement of its forthcoming 'Project Natal' technology. The new technology allows full-body motion-sensitive control for gamers without holding on to any hardware. Now, according to sources, the company will launch the gadget in November, 2010 with a price tag of about $50. Sources added that Microsoft could launch Natal with a 5 million unit global shipment.
Microsoft's Project Natal
Project Natal is the code name for Microsoft’s "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" on the Xbox 360 video game platform. The new application will work as an add-on for the Xbox 360 console. It will bring new technology of using natural UI via gestures, spoken commands or images to control and interact with any game. It seems that the Project Natal will provide the next platform for Microsoft’s next gaming console.
It is reported that the Project Natal is an effort of several years by 3DV Systems, an Israel based company that Microsoft recently acquired. The new technology will enable gamers to manage or play games, movies or anything with their hands alone and without touching any hardware. In June, the company also showcased a prototype of motion-sensitive video camera that is the basis of Project Natal. According to the software giant, the Project Natal will be compatible with every Xbox 360. However, the company had not clarified that it will be available as an accessory or can be bundled with it.
Project Natal vs. Nintendo Wii
Nintendo already offers its users to direct game action by waving the controller around through its Wii-mote. For example, for a bowling action, gamer have to swing the Wii-mote in a bowling motion. But, Microsoft provides the same functionality, but without holding any controller. Simply, users have to face the Natal camera and you can kick the ball, bowling, fighting or bike racing etc on the stage. It’s all very simple and seamless to use. Various gaming enthusiasts suggest that the Project Natal Microsoft's solid improvement to the 37 button physical controller of Nintendo Wii-mote. Further, it is assumed that Sony will not remain behind the technology front and will introduce a full-scale motion-sensitive system.
Project Natal Sensor
The Project Natal’s sensor developed by 3DV Systems is about 9-inch wide horizontal bar, which rests on the ball joint pivot and is designed to be positioned lengthwise above or below the video display. According to the company, it features an RGB camera, depth sensor, microphone and required software, which allows 3D motion sensing, facial and sound recognition of the players.
Since Microsoft has released a Project Natal SDK, various gamers suggest that the company has designed Project Natal to lower the entry-bar of the modern gaming through which anyone can move his or her body, but can Natal appeal to the more advanced gamer as well, we have to find out when it will be released?
Pooja Vij/ITvoir Network
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