Project Natal: The real game changer for games on 2010?

Posted on 01 January 2010 by author

Jan 1, 2010 – Things are already igniting-up on the techdustry, if you’re still caught on a cold hibernation with the past decade, I guess it’s time for you to tap that hidden vigor of yours because what’s coming may blow your minds up. (I’m serious :D)


On the mobile division, we’ve got Google’s boastful Nexus One Phone, Apple also have this ambitious iGuide, iSlate , still a nameless tablet – to change your view on how you used a tablet PC before.

Let’s shift to gaming world, it seems PlayStation can’t be stopped to release their impending PS4 delirium , along with their Sony Motion Controller destined (as PS developer’s said) to change the way how you’ve played a console before. On the other hand, Wii promises us with an upgrade on its Wii Motion Plus – To make the realtime playing of Wii even more realtime.

Still not impressed?

Prep-up.. Here’s the bomb! If you have been asking yourself “What happened to Xbox 360?” – You’re not alone and guess what? They have something really big to show you, in fact it’s so gargantuan it promises to change the way how we play, interact and live with our console games for good.

I’m talking about their Project Natal (Officially declared: June 6, 2009) This is an ambitious development that will enable users to control their xbox 360s virtually without using a controller or any of that handheld device your brain got so hardwired of using.natal2

This will utilize ‘Project Natal Sensor’ – a very complex tool that will calculate your full-body 3D motion movement and facial/voice recog as well.


If this project will be a success, this could spell the end of what you called “GUI” Graphical User Interface, and say hello to ‘Human User Interface’ – This technology is very close if not the same with the ones you have seen on the movie ‘Minority Effect’: A dream of any people (Or at least the majority) to one day make your body as the controller of any console you want to interact with.

minority report

Here’s a vid to entice your braincells.

Oh didn’t we mention that Mr. Speilberg (one of the mythological movie directors living today) is citing this very prognosticating statement.

“This is a pivotal moment that will carry with it a wave of change, the ripples of which will reach far beyond video games”

steven spielberg

One of the selected games ‘said’ to be compatible with this alpha technology will be Half-Life 2. Here’s a sample video.

Forget the boring black background, sound-less effects and try to look how the player interacts with the game — I don’t know about you but that one looks pretty amazing to me.

Along with the hype comes the questions.

What’s the price to pay to have this Natal within my box?

Obviously, it doesn’t look like just your ordinary mod on your xbox 360 – Something this good, may mean something that is so pricey too. No? Remember when Wii first unveils itself to the public 2 years ago. One of the key features why it skyrocketed to success is it provided a new technology for the majority but they also made the console really affordable – Something any sane person would want to grab.

Release Date please?

This one is obvious, so far we’ve got tons of leaked videos swarming the net now, not to mention fakeys. But all we want is one statement, “Natal’s Official Release will be on XXX?

Can I use Natal with my old xbox games?

I would be so disappointed if I’ll be throwing away all my games for they aren’t compatible with this project. Backward compatibility seems to be hard with this one but hey, at least try to figure out a way wherein users can still enjoy their games with this technology. Balancing the shift to another paradigm wouldn’t hurt, would it?

Do we still have the right to use our good ole controllers?

Harnessing the power of our movements to interact on a console is really phenomenal, but having an option to stick with the ‘normal xbox controller’( you know the one you’ve used since the beginning) Will be very helpful too. As much as this project claims for users to have a total control over a game, some people just don’t want to feel the sudden changes on their rhythmic play.

Also there are games that requires you to dodge a bullet, hide on an enemy’s plain-site, jump on a building etc. – Do you expect gamers to actually do this for real, Natal dev’s?

Any possibility of Natal to be infused on other Non-gaming hardwares?

It would be so cool to think that one day, we could interact with our computers or perhaps your BIG LED/LCD TV without ever using a keyboard or a remote control. If Natal Project will be a success, there’s a chance that this kind of technology will be utilize for these type of purposes.

Just say yes, our dear developers :D


Seeing the start of the Millenium, the first visible phenomenon only started on the release of iPod which was on 2001. Now, just barely touching the offset of 2010 we can fairly see the smittened-competition on the techworld. A competition in hopes to improve the way our life ‘works’. Maybe

I’m still crossing my fingers about this Natal – - as a prototype I’m sure it will be subjected to many scrutinies and some fallout as well but don’t get me wrong here, if this technology manage to push out on its cocoon – I’m sure we will be looking forward with a real ‘game changer’, ‘game breaker’, ‘game spinner’ on our realm.

Perhaps, a little bit more marvelous than the iPhone we know on 2007.


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Kinect for Xbox 360 Review: Solution to Problems? A Hybrid Controller!
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Microsoft Kinect Release Date | Review

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  1. John (Reply) Posted on February 23rd, 2010 at 12:58 am

    REvolutionary. This kind of GUI is completely new to us and what might or might not result from it’s unknown at the present time. I think that this, or this kind of interactive system, will later to evolve to a full body/mind system that employs nano-bots which manipulate and/or control our sensory outputs/inputs. I would suspect that’s many decades into our future, but something like natal might be come along in the next 10 years. If they can keep the costs down, that is… (Need to find a cheap way to calculate the position and movements of our body in full 3d.)

    If you close your eyes and imagine playing a game or using software with only your body, there’re countless ways to go about doing it. I can imagine “programming” it to attach particular software actions to specific body movements (real-time). For instance, I might tap my index finger with my thumb to move forward, or I might tap my middle finger to move forward, or perhaps I’d move forward by moving my hand up, and so on. Perhaps I could look left or right by moving my head? Who knows. So much is possible. We’re like explorers!

    And one day we will probably be able to attach specific thoughts with software actions. On and on…

    • pinoytutorial (Reply) Posted on February 23rd, 2010 at 1:51 am

      I think after the holidays, when natal is finally released. It’ll be subjected to a lot of scrutiny, but then again, Wii started on that kind of a limping road, but look at Wii now?

      Gamers/users are always looking for the next step. If MS can give that kind of effect, then obviously, Natal will be a gamechanger for our consoles. It can even set the tonality of the gaming industry for the years to come.

  2. TDStaBone (Reply) Posted on March 19th, 2010 at 1:24 am

    I applaud your effort to write a concise piece about Microsoft’s Project Natal, but I very much believe this won’t be as revolutionary as you envision. It may work for some games, but most it will not, it’s a gimmick just as sony’s new “move” controller is. Both Sony and Microsoft are trying to cash in on the success of the wii and nothing more, their only advantage now is the graphics used in the game, which is the one spot that Nintendo failed to address with the Wii, believing that not enough people have HDTV’s yet, which most people do now because of their incredibly low prices. This is not revolutionary in the least and the fact that there is no controller but your body drops the Xbox’s ability to play most games, how would you play an RPG or even a shooter? do i want to hold my hands like guns and point at the screen for a couple hours? not really. Also, this technology has no chance of becomming a “human user interface” as you hope and believe, have you seen minority report? he’s not waving his hands around 5 feet from his TV, he is using a glove and a touch screen, we already have that technology readily available to us, especially with the iPad comming out. I really don’t see people using the Natal technology to control anything but the video games they were intended for, no one wants to wave at their TV to change channels, and that would only work for going up or down a channel at a time, what if you want to go from channel 20 to 86? are you gonna wave at your TV 66 times to get it to that channel? I don’t think so. My belief is that this will be a gimmick not a revolution.

  3. jedidethfreak (Reply) Posted on July 1st, 2010 at 11:47 am

    A major piece of information that was left out – you can’t use it sitting down. Games will not be developed for this with the intent of the player sitting down. You can’t use it to control movies while sitting. You can’t play a racing game sitting. In order to use this thing for anything at all, you must be STANDING AT ALL TIMES. If you are not, it won’t register your body correctly and will not work.

    If people must stand to watch a movie using Kinect, or play a driving game using Kinect, or interact with their friends on the Dashboard using Kinect, or do ANYTHING that requires more than five or ten minutes of time on the system using Kinect, it won’t sell very well.

  4. Anon491 (Reply) Posted on December 9th, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I think there are some important things being overlooked by people, judging from the comments.

    Firstly, that the technology won’t evolve. Forget all the things that are ‘too good to be true’ or that ‘don’t work’. In a decade I have no doubt that those problems will be solved, and we will be wondering how we ever used computers without gestures and speech.

    That’s the second thing. Speech recognition is developing rapidly, one example being Dragon software, which is extremely powerful. Look at Siri, the new voice assistant from Apple. I have no doubt that in a decade we will forgo use of keyboards almost entirely, in favor of spoken communication with computers.

    tl;dr think positive and remember that technology is freaking amazing and will continue to be.


Sensible comments/suggestions are always appreciated.