Described by Microsoft as 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. Full details and Videos after the jump.
We recently reported the basic facts as soon as it was confirmed at E3, but can now provide you with more specific data to present the product in its full glory. Microsoft have released an official video showcasing some of the potential new features including face recognition, in game scanning options to customise items, voice commands, complete freedom body movement as a means of control and seamless Video chat without microphone attachments.
The device will be instantly compatible with every Xbox360 ever sold and Microsoft boss Don Mattrick, described it as “It’s not about reinventing the wheel, it’s about no wheel at all.” Despite Microsoft having revealed no details on the specifications or even a release date, it has been reported that the aquistion of 3DV Systems who invented the Zcam with similar technology has now gone ahead with Microsoft buying the company, all its assets and patents for around 5 - 7 Million dollars!
Quoted from Wall Street Journal:
“the camera is based on technology that Microsoft developed inside its sprawling research arm,” though it added that, “Microsoft also recently acquired…3DV…which has developed a 3D camera and holds related patents.”
The roots behind ‘Project Natal’ stem from the ZCam manufactured by 3DV Systems based in Israel which was given a brief showing at the CES 2008 event as shown below.
Although ‘Project Natal’ has probably advanced somewhat since the design of the original Zcam since Microsoft aquired it, but the Zcams specifications sheet are going to be the closest around at the moment as the brochure below describes it to provide very accurate depth information at high speed (up to 60 fps) and high depth resolution (1-2cm). At the same time, it provides synchronised quality colour RGB video. Zcam enables consumers to control games thorugh intuitive body gestures and immerse themselves with virtual reality. Clicking each image will open full screen for full details.
Here Steven Spielberg, talks about ‘Project Natal’, controller-free gaming, entertainment, and the future of videogames. It’s only just over a minute and like the rest of us - he is more than impressed!
Microsoft have not revealed any confirmed release date for ‘Project Natal’ nor a price or even its real name, but one thing for sure is that it will completely change the way you interact and play with your console. It’s currently an exciting development which may leave you wondering how you ever managed without it. More information and details regarding this device will be reported as soon as we have more information, but in the meantime we are interested in your views and how you would like to interact with your console through this device?
Share your views with us.