Microsoft has just confirmed an October launch window for its new Project Natal (pronounced na-tahl). Syed Bilal Tariq, Microsoft’s Saudi Arabian Marketing Manager, sais that the Natal launch, “is going to be somewhere in October and we will be in a position to confirm the date at E3, which is in June, but definitely it is going to be October 2010.”
Project Natal is slated to be Microsoft’s new addition to the Xbox family as an add-on to the Xbox 360. Natal is made up of three sensors, one color camera, a depth sensor (made up of an infrared emitter and camera), and a multi-array microphone. With these, the Natal will be able to locate the positions of objects and people in the room and track the motions of up to four players. Additionally, with the color camera and microphone, the Natal will be capable of facial recognition and or recognizing individual voices and their locations. With the Natal, Microsoft hopes to revolutionize gaming by turning games into full body experiences. Gameplay with the Natal won’t involve the use of controllers. Software Development Kits have already been released the game developers and we will hopefully be seeing some exciting new games for the coming holiday season.
The success of Natal will depend on the efficacy of games developed for it. The hardware capabilities are already there but the software has yet to be proven. Gamers will definitely have to see enticing games before they invest in the new device. Keep a lookout for more developments to be announced at this year’s E3 in June.