Project Natal for Non-Gamers Says Microsoft
Article by George Norman
On 12 Jun 2009
Earlier this month, at the E3 Expo in LA, Microsoft showcased a revolutionary new way of playing games to the world, mainly Project Natal. What left most existing casual games in awe was the fact that Project Natal (pronounce it “nuh-tall”) replaces the traditional controller with an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone and custom processor running on proprietary software. What you get is a controller-free gamin experience.

We watched the demo of Project Natal , just like countless other gamers did and felt just like Steven Spielberg did when he said that Project Natal is “the next step in interactive entertainment.” But as it turns out, the main targets of Microsoft’s Project Natal is not the existing casual gamer. Hold on, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

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Head of long-term Xbox 360 strategy with Microsoft, Shane Kim, explains: “We're not focused on this generation's casual gamers or even PS2 people who haven't upgraded. This is about the 60% of households were a video game console doesn't exist…the problem is that the controller is a barrier for some people and now with Project Natal we completely eliminate that.”

It makes sense that Microsoft would try to get console-free households on board when it releases the Project Natal controller-free gaming experience (the pun was intentional). Existing casual gamers are already well aware of the hours and hours of fun one can have playing videogames; consequently they will undoubtedly want to check out Project Natal. It is the people that do not have a video game console that make for an attractive market (60% is a lot) and it is them that Microsoft wants to lure in when Project Natal is released.

Speaking of that, Shane Kim believes the release of Project Natal will be something spectacular. “Conceptually, the launch of Natal will be like the launch of Xbox 360. It's going to be that big. We're not just going to ship it when the hardware and software are ready. We have to make sure that there are enough content experiences that are really good. That's similar to how you would think of the launch of a new console. It's got to have a great launch line-up. That's the same thing here,” he said in an interview for Kotaku.



Tags: Microsoft, Project Natal
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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Project Natal for Non-Gamers Says Microsoft
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