back to article Microsoft uncloaks invisible XBox controller

Microsoft has revealed a motion-sensing gadget for the Xbox 360 that uses the player's full body to control video games. Dubbed "Project Natal," the new accessory is a horizontal bar placed near the console that allows players to control their games and Xbox media without touching hardware. Rather than rely on a wand to detect …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Urm....

So how much of that vid is actually what it can do, and how much is it the 'family' syncing their movements to what's on the screen for promo purposes?

I'm guessing 100% of the latter and none of the former but if I'm wrong, I'll be buying one!

0
0
Stop

Ohh no soumthing is going to get broken.

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTMLAnd it is. Im very skeptical about the ability for a video camera and a microphone to 1. Tell the difference between 2 different people. Ill bet it will be frustrating telling it to PALY the film; or waving your hand to move the list along. Just give the kid a controller and a bag of revels not have the house in pieces, and broken limbs because you child tried to do a 360 nose kick-flip on the slide rug.

£10 it wont work.

0
0
jai
Silver badge

fail gadget is fail

so.... how exactly does this help me play Halo3 or CoD any better?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Nice idea

I'd say that's a nice idea if it works, but I bet there's a huge list of things that can go wrong with it... We'll see.

Anyone Natal hasn't been released to Xbox Devs yet, at least I can't see it anywhere on the Microsoft XDS site. I'd like to have a play with it and see how good/bad it really is.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Invisible?

Invisible clothes?

The Emperor's New Clothes?

Oh wait.... That's Vista

0
0
Anonymous Coward

That's nice

While they're being innovative here are some other ideas:

Helpful Support Agent - a radical new design of the email support agent which is able to sync its suggestions to have even a fleeting relevance to the problem being reported. Currently considered impossible by many.

ArcadeAgain - useful new feature allowing you to actually use the stuff you have paid for offline, when your console, which you have also paid for, fails catastrophically and is replaced by a refurbishment after a month of waiting.

Avatar NFO (Nuke From Orbit) - brilliant utility allowing you to round up all your friends' creepy looking avatars, put them in a virtual room with your own dozy faced gonk, and blow them up using a virtual space weapon. Imagine the fun when they log on and have to go through that annoying fucking creation process over and over again! It's the only way to be sure!

Ha Ha No TV! - satirical weekly newsletter which lets you have details of wonderful features you have absolutely no access to. Formerly known as Inside Xbox.

Derrentasticator - aimed at small companies, a development framework for embedding hypnotic advertisments in plain view. Designed to provide a valuable service to users by overloading them with endless banners and promotions while all they want to do is find that sodding video they saw the other week.

Magic Peripherals Next Generation - first the 64Mb memory card for 40 quid, then the WiFi aerial for 60 quid, Next Gen takes this to the... well next generation! Some of the next generation must-have gadets include:

- Xloppy gives you 1.44Mb of usable storage in a handy toast sized slab of beige for just 35 pounds.

- HDMI isn't for everyone - why not invest just 89 pounds on a Hercules Amber Light - a small adapter which turns your 1080p output into a more manageable 320x200 single scan two tone game fest arena! Comes with free 14 day trial of CGA SIM on XBL Arcade. Note - dangerous whistling ozone producing non-ROHS display not included.

- Kempston Kontroller - yesterday's technology at today's Microsoftastic Crazy Prices! 70 pounds and comes with a free packet of thumb blister plasters.

Do I win 589 Microsoft Points?

0
0
Flame

@Jai

I get where you're coming from- anyone playing FPS games on a console needs all the help they can get.

0
0
Paris Hilton

What about adult entertainment?

A new way of posting your amateur video through avatars

0
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Flame

Sigh..

...how will it help me play <Insert standard type game>

Read the article you muppets, it's not designed for "traditional" gamers, it's designed for the sort of gamers that wouldn't normal bother, you know those 10's of millions that decided the Wii was a superior machine to the Xbox360 and PS3.

Being old enough to remember when graphics and sound were utter crap, it's gameplay that counted. Something that is lost these days, when you have to spend 60 hours a week, just learning how to walk in a straight line. Amazingly, most of the population are not sitting in their bedrooms, curtains drawn, talking to their imaginary friends for hours upon end. Nope some of us have lives, but may just want a quick blast on a game and then put it down again.

Good luck to MS with this one.

0
0

emacs

so it's the emacs psychologists with a fancy wrapper then?

0
0

har har

so my sister leaning so widly over whilst playing driving sims will finally have an effect :)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

How long

How long has the XBox got left anyway?

It can't be long before MS decide that a new generation is needed and none of our existing hardware will work.

(Alternatively, how long before your XBox RRODs and burns your house down, motion detecting device, avatar, arcade and all?)

0
0
Bronze badge
Alert

Inconceivable!

What is this? Peter Molyneux? Demonstrating some amazing piece of games-related technology that will never quite work?

This has never happened before.

0
0
Paris Hilton

Wow!

Some of you really need to get out more! especially Chris!

Looks like a really good idea to me... the GF loves the Wii, this will get her onto a proper console without the 'complicated' controller :)

0
0
Stop

Vision

As El Reg said, lust like the Sony Eye Toy but with 2 lenses. Microsoft have produced a nice video with the disclaimer this is a Product Vision item - i.e. not real. Like with the Eye Toy for the PS2, unless the lighting is optimised there will be real problems.

Sony are losing their way - they need to inject some vitality into the PS3 or they'll just be regarded as feature-rich Blu Ray players. I might get the new slim PS3 when it comes out this summer as a Blu Ray player; the XBOX360 is used for gaming (choice determined by XBOX Live requirement - most of son's friends are on XBOX360 and on Live).

Does anyone else think the young girl in the video looks like Natalie Portman ?

0
0

Nice acting

At least this video states at the beginning (white letters on a slightly less white background) that it is just an imagination of what might be possible one day. The video on the BBC news story, which appears to be the one Microsoft showed to demonstrate the "actual capabilities possible right now", is very suspiciously acted.

It shows a woman apparently interacting with a young boy, going fishing and offering to help with his homework. At one point she splashes around in the fish pond: at times the splashes come before her hand movements and at other times they lag behind.

Nice theatrics, but I won't be holding my breath.

0
0
Coat

Long term strategy

As an Xbox owner I would be looking forward to this ... at least if I wasn't a wee bit cynical.

The FT points out this morning that consoles have usually revolved around 5-year cycles, which is roughly how old the Xbox 360 will be when this thing actually appears to Joe Public. Microsoft are saying that they are going to extend the life-cycle of the 360 and that Natal is part of the plan.

Except ... will it? Fancy controllers can't make up for advances in graphics and processing, even if the rate at which these improve have tailed off in recent years. Which leads me to surmise that Microsoft might just be testing the water with Natal for something a bit more potent with the future Xbox (erm) 1080?

Good luck to them if they think they can take market share from both PlayStation 3 (hardcore gamers) and Wii (casual gamers), but be wary of the 'Jack Of All Trades...' label.

Mine's the one that hasn't been outside in over a year ... not until I get 100% on GTA IV.

0
0

Sign me up for....

Grand Theft Auto: Pimphand.

0
0
Heart

As a concept it looks really cool.

I would consider switching from my PS3 which as Anonymous Coward @ 09:09 said, without anything new is becoming just a fancy blue ray player and a bit boring.

The question is, will it work as well as the concept video shows?

One to keep both eyes on - pun intended, mwah mwah.

0
0

Shame about the shite build quality.

And now all they have to do is fixing the amount of racket the console makes when it's switched on.

Currently it makes more noise than a Harrier Jump Jet making a scram-jump during an armed conflict.

I'll be buying one.... yeah right!

0
0

Spy in your living room

A spook's dream come true.

Every conversation recorded,every keyword scanned, every user body profile recorded and marketed. (Your body is apple-shaped. May I recommend playing more Virtua Tennis?)

- Here is what (in all likelyhood) will get sent back to Redmond

- No of people present.

- Person profile (height, body shape,skin colour,voiceprint,face scan, etc)

- Furnishing (Is that a book on Poison on your top shelf?)

- And if possible scans of any other paperwork you happen to leave around.

N-joi

0
0

@Chris - You can transfer downloads to a new console

@Chris: "ArcadeAgain - useful new feature allowing you to actually use the stuff you have paid for offline, when your console, which you have also paid for, fails catastrophically and is replaced by a refurbishment after a month of waiting."

Microsoft let you transfer ownership to new consoles now, so that you can play them even if you are offline or logged in with a different profile. They've let you do this for ages. I agree it was something to complain about originally (and still is to varying degrees with the competition, though PSN's DRM seems pretty relaxed), but it seems that Microsoft have sorted it out on their platform.

Of course, we have yet to see what happens to all our DRM-laden downloaded content come the next generation of consoles. What are the chances that none of the three manufactures are going to say "LOL, you can pay for all that again, buddy!"? :)

0
0
Thumb Down

sounds like playstation eye to me

the PS Eye came out in Dec 07', does more or less the same thing as this... yawn so far behind its getting boring!

0
0
Stop

Microsofts Epic E3 fail.

Pretty meh...

A "PS3 Eye" that's likely still years away, and doubtful will even make it onto this generation of Xbox. (and Sony are already well advanced in their stuff( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPENA1Bpm68"

A load of multiplatform titles we already knew about (Rockband Beatles and COD4 MW2)

A couple of Xbox Exclusives we already knew about, with not much else revealed (Crackdown2 is re portably 18 months away).

A Metal Gear spinoff title that doesn't feature Snake, and is not a real Metal Gear game, just an action game with Raiden that just an hour after the Microsoft press conference an interview with Kojima quoted him essentially disowning the game.

Last.fm, Facebook and Twitter coming to Xbox (something PS3 owners have been able to do from day one. (in addition to virtually any other online social networking service).

Expensive Sky Player service, which streams a couple of premium sky channels at £30 a month (+XBL fees), and requires a decent broadband connection.

I think deep down, even the most hardened Xbox fanboys must realise this years E3 from Microsoft was almost entirely already known stuff or pie-in-the-sky vapourware.

0
0
Thumb Up

Its not a fucking eye toy

Most people seem to think its like an eye toy so its going to be shit. The Eye Toy is just like a web cam, plug it into the ps2 or ps3 and then the console decides what to do with the image it gets. Natal is a bit different to that, first of all its not just a camera with a microphone, its made up of a rgb camera, depth sensor, multi array microphone and has its own CPU running its own software.

The depth sensor is rather interesting as it features an infrared projector along with a monochrome CMOS sensor which means you could turn off all the lights and have a pitch black room and Natal would still know where you are as a 3d image. This is the part that will relate to games, so the poor lighting problems that have dogged console cameras in the past wont be a problem. Suddenly it doesnt sound so crap does it?

The microphone is also able to judge where you are so the software can tell that the voice its hearing is coming from the person its tracking and not somebody shouting things out from across the room. Also handy people walk behind you or stand next to you when playing a game, Natal will know who is playing and be able to ignore everyone else.

Its also likely that Microsoft haven’t developed this themselves, earlier this year they were sniffing around 3DV Systems and have already bought them or just finalizing the details depending on which source you check. If it is based on 3DV systems technology then this would make it their 5th generation of depth sensing camera so not likely to have the same flaws new technology like this often has (its anything but new, been around 9 years!)

The big question is will it work on a console? For hardcore gamers the answer is no, its too much of a gimmick for them and isn’t designed for them. For everyone else though it makes the xbox a rather good console to have in the home. Can use facebook, twitter, lastfm, Netflix all on your tv without the need for a remote, can video conference with family and friends and play games. The wii works because it is simple, while the wii remote has done nothing to take games to the next level (if anything pushed them back a couple of decades) it has allowed people who you never thought would own a console to use it with ease. If Natal has a good price point then a 360 will be a nice bit of kit to have in any home. Which is really going to get under the skin of Microsoft haters

So for gamers, its a gimmick and the likes of Modern Warfare 3 arent going to throw away the controller. For a home entertainment system though things certainly are looking rather good for the 360 and will be very interesting to see whats Sonys response to this will be

0
0
Boffin

After market is the key, y'all

Let's face it (ha, ha), the real use of something like this is _not_ XBox, but the after market. Like the time I rewired a NES controller to work on my serial port (back in 86 - to work with ZORK!), this bit of kit will allow DIYers to redefine human / computer interfaces as we see fit.

If the price point is down low enough (~100USD or less), this could allow full gesture control for OS navigation, (true) browser gestures, etc. at affordable prices for Joe FOSS. Add in the voice capabilities and you could end up with a combined experience that would be quite useful, if amazingly Star Trek geeky. One image: holding out both hands as if you are holding a box by its sides, and then rotating the invisible box to the left - and your KDE desktop's "cube" rotates with you. 'Nuff said.

I fully intend to get one of these, and have it wired up ala Minority Report. What else is a 32" LCD for, anyway? :)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

oh come on.......

to all the Microsoft haters/sony fan boys - its not an Eye Toy.

After seeing part of the sony press conference today I was bored out of my head, nothing new or interesting yet at all. Least MS is actually pushing something and being innovative, whereas sony are still trying to flog a dying horse, (as most big titles are out on both consoles - so why buy a PS3?)

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums