Is Project Natal Microsoft’s secret weapon?


There has been quite an influx in the motion control video game market lately. The Nintendo Wii, which launched in November 2006, popularized motion control in the mainstream video game media. Now, Microsoft is getting into the business with Project Natalan add-on that will be compatible with any existing Xbox 360.

Just as Nintendo cashed in the casual gaming market with the Wii and its simple Wii Remote, Microsoft seeks to break Nintendo’s hold on casualswith a system that you control entirely with your body. With the aid of a motion-capturing camera, if you want to kick a ball, you make a kicking motion. If you want to throw a ball, you make a throwing motion, and so on.

Natal (as you may have assumed) doesn’t require a controller of any kind. Need to sign in? No problem, this powerful device contains facial recognition, as soon as you walk within its range you’re signed in to the system. Natal also enables advanced gesture recognition and voice recognition, and its motion analysis is so precise, it can identify individual fingers.

Natal is a very impressive piece of hardware, and as far as we know, will unfortunately cost about $200. Additionally, Natal has no official release date, but we do know you’ll have to wait until at least 2010 before you can pick this mind-blowing piece of equipment up, so have fun waiting.

Warren Halderman and Joey Newman write the gaming blog. They wouldn’t mind hearing from readers with comments and tips.

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