More on Microsoft Xbox Natal

The BBC have a really good interview here which is well worth watching. And I must admit that the more I read and think about this, the more impressed I am.

The Wiimote will now be seen as interim technology, a side story on the road to the whole body interface. Having face (and emotion) recognition in Natal is a big step forward with huge gaming potential. Allied to the whole body scanning and voice recognition we have something that is of groundbreaking importance.

Sony are rumoured to have a PS3 gesture interface announcement later today. If it does not measure up to Natal they are in even bigger trouble than they were already. And the Nintendo Wii looks very previous generation now, sales will surely take a big dive, even with the inevitable steep price reductions. The announcement of SuperWii will be as soon as possible. The Xbox 360 could yet become the best selling console in this generation.

Natal has immense possibilities way beyond recreational gaming. Sports coaching, medical rehabilitation and military training spring immediately to mind. In fact any human activity where you have to build neuromuscular facilitation.

The limitations put on the human imagination by previous gaming interfaces have all been swept away. A lot of clever and creative people are going to do a lot of clever and creative things with Natal.

6 comments ↓

#1 sven on 06.02.09 at 10:45 pm

…but, even a 360 gamer such as myself has to admit that this has come far too late in the console’s lifespan to make much of a difference. Any games taking serious advantage of this device (ie anything beyond a simple minigame) will be years away- heck, the Natal itself may not be released for a very long time.

The thing you don’t seem to realise (or perhaps ignore, for the sake of your arguments) is that the Wii is now as ubiquitous, if not more so, than the PS2 was in the previous generation. And more importantly, it’s perceived as being acceptable to the mainstream: most people love playing with it (if not buying games for it!) whereas the 360 is still, and always will be, perceived as a console for nerdy teenagers who’re obsessed with guns, violent death and steroid-pumped bald space marines. It’s unfortunate that this is the case, but we can only blame Microsoft for this.

I was a huge Nintendo fan once, but I am now rather saddened to say that they have this generation in the bag.

#2 woodins on 06.03.09 at 12:15 pm

I think Cliffy B (Lead dev on the Gears of War series) nailed the Wii just right. He called it a “virus” – albeit a 4-week one. Most people buy a Wii because they had a few drinks and had a laugh with it round a friends house. They then go and buy it themselves. meanwhile the original owner has pretty much gone as far as they can go wit hthe Wii and its simplistic offerings and lack of 3rd-party games, once you buy every Miyamoto rehash, and stop playing it after four weeks. The new owner (or infected lol) then plays the Wii for four weeks, in the mean-time inviting their own friends and family round etc. Re-infecting new people This is my own personal experience mind, but every Wii owner I know hardly touches theirs now. Most of these casual gamers have gone back to the PC or removed themselves from gaming altogether.

The Wii is great at times like Xmas when you get extended family round and you have run out of things to say, pop the Wii on and those uncomfortable silences and dragging out old family skeletons are happily avoided as you play whatever quick fix and non-threatening game you have bought with it.

I was more impressed with the PS3 motion offering to be honest, seeing as they have definitve dates for release. As an xbox 360 owner, I think they could have done without the scripted Milo demo as it further gave less credence to the Natal capabilites. Yeah it looks great, and loved the idea of playing a beat-em up (UFC anyone?) with it. But wheres the release date? At least Sony’s offering looks more “plausible” and is probably ready to go, software developers permitting.

#3 cloontock on 06.03.09 at 9:01 pm

Natal is nothing. Rumors say Sony is working on mind control technology for the PS4. You won’t have to move a thing! Just think, and your characters will move!

#4 the on 07.25.09 at 9:39 pm

I think that the xbox is way better then the ps3 this is my opinion the controller sucks and doesent fit well in your hands but the xbox one fits great for all types of games. and natal looks awsome its like your actually in the game. but for the rumors about the ps4 mind controll i wouldent want to sit and think the whole time shure its pretty cool but its not fun .

#5 mike on 08.26.09 at 5:44 am

This is gay, I bought a Wii for the kids it hasnt been touched in a year, it will get old quick, especially with people that come home from work and want to sit down and play a game. Give me 3D games from a console chuck this in the garbage can!

#6 APD on 11.04.09 at 4:37 am

u guy are wack u are like seriosly copying wii go ahead whe was cool for like 4months then everyone hates it know and xbox 360 is hardcore games not wussy games u are stupid dont tell me u guys are going to do the same thing u did to the 1st xbox that came out forgot about it and never sold the games again thats stupid thats like ditching a person u guy are bitters this is how u guys lose so many custermers u are wack

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