Microsoft Unveils Project Natal: Play Xbox Games with No Controller
Article by George Norman
On 03 Jun 2009
At the E3 Expo in LA, Microsoft announced a revolutionary new way of playing games: Project Natal (pronounced “nuh-tall”) does not use a traditional controller like the one you’ve grown accustomed to use with your Xbox, instead i uses an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone and custom processor running on proprietary software to provide a controller-free gaming experience.

If that explanation was not clear enough, here is one provided by Microsoft that is a bit easier to digest: “Introducing Project Natal, a revolutionary new way to play: no controller required. See a ball? Kick it, hit it, trap it or catch it. If you know how to move your hands, shake your hips or speak you and your friends can jump into the fun -- the only experience needed is life experience.”

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Now if that wasn’t enough either, a video presentation of what Project Natal (nuh-tall) can do is available here.

The really cool thing about Project Natal is that its sensor is not dependent on ambient light – in works just as well during daytime, when there is plenty of light in the room as it does at night time, when you did not bother to turn on the lights. Project Natal uses facial recognition technology to identify you; it uses the same facial recognition technology to “read” your mood and respond accordingly. And on top of that it uses proprietary software to understand what you are saying (it does not react to certain keywords, it understands).

Even legendary director and producer Steven Spielberg was impressed by Project Natal, even though it is at an early phase in its development process. “The next step in interactive entertainment is to make the controller disappear. With ‘Project Natal,’ we’ll see games that bring everyone together through technology that actually recognizes us,” he said.



Tags: Microsoft, Xbox, Project Natal
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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