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Microsoft's New Video Game Box: Who Needs It?

Bloomberg Businessweek writes: Microsoft needs Natal—or whatever it's called by the time it goes on sale—to be a hit. The technology is inarguably cool, and is a rare bright spot in Microsoft's decade-old—and thus far mostly disappointing—push to move beyond PCs and into game consoles, music players, and smartphones.

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patterson2724d ago

Who needs it? I'm guessing people who want to brush up on their dodge ball skills that's about it really.

Moonboots2724d ago (Edited 2724d ago )

What about people that want to try some new ways of playing games?

Just so you know, Natal is not just one game. It is an actual hardware device that will work with all types of games.

Maybe you think this is like the video game in a box thing you get at target where you plug it into your TV and it has many build in games?

You sound like you don't understand what Natal is. You can Google Natal to get more info or if you watch E3 MS will be showcasing it then. Hope this helps.

ClownBelt2724d ago

"What about people that want to try some new ways of playing games?"

They've already had been experiencing it on the console called "Wii"

Dorwrath2724d ago

Thats why I not buying Move for my PS3. I have a Wii. I do not need Wii HD. If I want to waggle a stick in the air I'll do it on my Wii.

ActionBastard2724d ago (Edited 2724d ago )

I agree with you somewhat Moonboots. The tech is cool. It is a new way of playing games, however, it's yet to be determined if that way is necessary. Considering they've only shown Ricochet (and it looks as fun as a Paulie Shore Movie Marathon) it's not a stretch to be skeptical. They're promising Star Trek sci-fi interactions and aren't showing anything remotely hinting at that possibility. Instead, you get Cirque Du Soleli hype and yet again, another Ricochet demo. That and a lot of idiots talking about making a throwing motion to toss grenades in Halo, an idea so stupid I'm surprised those saying it were able to stop drooling on themselves long enough to speak.

niceguywii602724d ago (Edited 2724d ago )

He's just a PS3 fanboy troll. You'll find that 99% of comments on N4G(and most of the web related to gaming) in Natal articles are nothing but PS3 fanboys. Natal is going to be huge and will sell millions of 360's and succeed in fields outside gaming.

PS360_372724d ago

I like how Natal gets sh*t on for having one game because MS can actually keep their plans a secret before E3.

NexGen2724d ago

@action bastard:

Even though I'm hooked, is gaming really necessary? No, technically it isn't, although we all love it. If it's fun, I'll check it out. Same for move. But waggling or waving at the tv is just as necessary as pressing x or triangle.

RedDevils2724d ago

I thought they already experience it when the eyetoy was out :)

El Botto2724d ago (Edited 2724d ago )

has plenty of games both for the hardcore and casual when:

- they havent shown you shit for over a year other than the red ball
- the only other 2 apps for Natal were casual shovelware, ie paint the elephant, burn out 1980.
- and every leaked video shows that Natal has major lag.
- because its from Microsoft. Yet, out of the big three, everyone knows that Microsoft has the LEAST studio support.

It is clear that the facts simply do not support the fanboy trolls. Ergo, only one conclusion can be drawn from that: fanboys are living in denial once again.

cliffbo2724d ago (Edited 2724d ago )

"What about people that want to try some new ways of playing games?"

what about the eyetoy, it has done everything that has been shown so far and allot more besides when exactly are they going to show something that cannot be done with the eyetoy ?

ps and how about showing something with no lag ALL THE VIDEOS THEY HAVE SHOWN SO FAR SHOW ALLOT OF LAG please don't insult my intelligence saying there is no lag.

also what has happened to that MILO character they showed has that been dropped ?

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 2724d ago
Moonboots2724d ago

Well Clownbelt, Natal expands on that even more. Are you referring to Move? I think Move's accuracy makes it a step above the Wii and then combined with the EYE opens up even more possibilities.

I never bought a Wii since many people I know own one and I can play their system so this is technically a new way to play games on the PS3 and 360.

BattleAxe2724d ago

Bloomberg is a highly respected news organization, and this article makes the future for MS look very bleak. The article says what I've been saying, MS should concentrate on the PC market. I laughed when they said that since Steve Balmer took over in 2000, Microsoft share prices have dropped by 50%.

Hallmark Moment2724d ago (Edited 2724d ago )

Sure if you say so. Sounds like he doesn't even know enough about Natal to be talking about it. And the bitter sounding tone towards Natal etc is not very professional not to mention he states things about Natal in this article that are not even true and are rumors at this point. Sounds like non pro Sony average gamers knows more about the industry than he does.

EDIT

From BIGPAPPY responding to GODMARS290:

"I actually respect your sketisism"

Are you Kidding me? Godmars290 is not displaying open minded skepticism or even borderline angry pessimistic criticism. Godmars290 is showing fanatical nut case hate
and fear towards Natal. He's not even logging off N4G so that he can wait for Natal articles to be submitted saying the same things in every Natal article. I've never seen such a paranoid fanboy(s) in my life.

Silver3602724d ago

For them as a company. They need to diversify. Sticking to just the operating system business will make them tons of money short term and make the stock price go up, but what happens in ten years when everything is done in the cloud? You think Google is going to let MS have any of that pie? No business survives for a long time without reinventing itself.

SixZeroFour2724d ago

how about thinking beyond the box...what about devs like ea adding an option to be the goalie in an nhl shooting during your season, or just any sports game with a goalie for that matter...it wouldnt be that much more different that this game

you realize that every game stemmed from a single game in that same genre and just expanded on its concept right? who to say that devs cant do the same with even this single demo

pinkyxyz2724d ago

I LOL'ed, but i may buy it if it has a good e3 showing.........

Sarcasm2724d ago

"Natal is going to be huge and will sell millions of 360's and succeed in fields outside gaming. "

LOL good joke.

Oh wait, you're being serious...

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2724d ago
Bigpappy2724d ago

He talks about the lack of support from share holders for the entertainment division of M$ and Natal not expected, by the business community, to sell like hot cakes. He does acknowlege however, that Natal should increase market share for 360.

I happen to disagree with the sales expectations. I see Natal selling much better than they expect. I think M$ might have found the answer to "touch" tech: "No touch" tech.

Godmars2902724d ago

Honestly, what are you basing your opinion on Bigpappy, MS want to revitalize the 360 and especially the Xbox brand? I really don't see, between Natal's first introduction then lack of any real information, how there's any real evidence of its success other than sheer corporate will.

The 360 fanbase has been going on nothing but speculation, a handfull of demos that quickly boiled down to one, which has lead them think that it will do everything up to and including replacing a standard controller. I can't see how that's not going to lead to disappointment when its line-up is finally shown.

Really don't want to think where that might lead.

Bigpappy2724d ago

Show me where you base that comment on. Just one post of a 360 fan saying anything of the sort should do it. M$ mentioned that talking point and PS3 fanboy latched on to it because they know that it is not going to happen. M$ fans know that too, so I don't know why you guys make that a talking point.

Natal is about bringing more users to the 360. Casuals are obvious and are a very important group. They are many hardcore 360 fans who play casual games (look no further than XBLA sale for exhibit 1). M$, Cliff B and others, have said many time that Hardcore games will continue to use the controller, but will use Natal to enhance game where it works. That sounds to me like they are saying: You will not need Natal for hard core game, but if you have one, you can still have some additional fun with it. Please tell be where the down side to that is.

You guys are getting confused and loosing focus. Sony may be focusing Move at the hard core with Socom. But what has to happen for that approach to work, is that the Move will have to out perform the DS3. It also does little to bring new users to the PS3. Sony needs to focus more on casuals with games like the tennis game and Eyepet. Sony already have the hardcore, and the hardcore don't like people screwing around with their gameplay (see Splinter Cell). They is a much larger market for casuals and that is where I think M$ is about to make a killing. Don't get me wrong, like I said, there is a big market for Natal amound existing owners, but the casuals are the one who will send the numbers beyone what is expected, and with it a crap load of new 360 sales. I really hope this helps you see why I feel like I feel. If you don't get it well ..., just wait for E3.

DelbertGrady2724d ago (Edited 2724d ago )

I say the software they showcase will be the deciding factor. If they manage to put out some must have titles and sell it at a reasonable price(although price wasn't the deciding factor when people bought Wii's) it has a chance to do really good. The media buzz surrounding it has just grown more and more as E3 gets closer.

@Godmars290 - "The 360 fanbase has been going on nothing but speculation"
I beg to differ. The people who seem to know all about it, saying it only has one game, that it's just like the eyetoy etc. usually don't come from the 360 fanbase. Most people who aren't fanboys who already made up their minds based on nothing but bias seem set to wait until after E3 before they decide if it's good or bad.

tplarkin72724d ago

MS has a huge hill to climb if Natal is to succeed with developers. We've seen nothing but failure from any previous attempts to add devices to existing consoles.

What must happen is a new market must be born. The "Natal" market. Natal must sell in huge numbers, like the Wii for developers to support it.

JANF2724d ago

"Add-ons always fail.
MS has a huge hill to climb if Natal is to succeed with developers. We've seen nothing but failure from any previous attempts to add devices to existing consoles"

Have you ever heard of something called Wii Fit?

SOAD2724d ago

Microsoft is probably expecting Natal to become a standard entertainment feature in the same vein as HD or 3D. The idea isn't too far-fetched except that if Microsoft wants to push the motion sensing tech further they shouldn't strap it to the Xbox 360. They should push the tech for PCs and televisions like the article asserts.

Interacting with a television or other viewing device with only your hands or voice is definitely the future in my opinion. What I saw in the film Minority Report with John Anderton manipulating photos with his hands was so natural in terms of technological progression. Rather than using a mouse to click and drag a window or photo, Natal-like devices will allow us to directly control digital objects without the need of the mouse or some other middle-man.

Godmars2902724d ago

Okay, but just considering the voice-tech alone, how long has that been available yet is still hardly used with anything?

People who keep losing their remotes might find a TV with motion UI a good idea, but how soon would the novelty wear off when the slightest gesture or misspoken word changes a channel, erases a recording or blasts the volume?

Back in the yet to see perform column, Natal hasn't even been shown being used as a UI.

SOAD2724d ago

The tech that exists today gets annoying because voice recognition is not as intuitive as it can be.

Natal has problems as well. Microsoft is limiting Natal's accuracy because of the price and the fact that it is an add-on.

Natal is in my opinion going to be only an incremental improvement over the Eyetoy or another similar existing tech, but if Microsoft pushes it into the market and gets it into a lot of homes, they will lay the foundation for the technology to progress and become intuitive and better.

The same thing happened with LCD/Plasma televisions, HD, and now 3D.

Early LCD/Plasma televisions had a myriad of problems. The burn-ins, the lack of "true" black, the short life-cycles, the dead pixels, etc. Over time, television manufacturers have improved the hardware.

With High Definion the problem was the lack of support. Watching SD broadcasts on HDTVs was fugly. Absolutely terrible. But now television networks have added support and broadcast most of their shows in high definition.

And 3D tech in the home is not nearly as impressive as in more professional/commercial environments such as the cinema, and 3D games of this gen are going to force most willing developers to downgrade their game resolutions or sacrifice fidelity in some way to leave enough resources available for 3D output.

So, you see, all the tech that we take for granted today had very shaky origins. Motion controls and controller-less recognition may one day be a standard feature in the home.

Godmars2902724d ago

True consumer electronics had their fits and starts, but we're not talking about a primary use product, we're talking about an add-on that's about equal to a universal remote. Nice in theory, but between specific remotes introduction, to most having some universal function, few people are going to buy yet another one.

Natal is here to sell 360s. Its here to show that the 360 is better than the Wii to all the people who have bought or are planning - if there's anyone left who hasn't - to buy a Wii to buy a 360/Natal instead.

The thing is, Natal is not a proven product. Its a hyped product, but its not proven. MS has pissed away a year's worth of hype with "Balls to the Wall!" instead of actually proving tech.

To be honest, I even wonder if Natal can be compared to the PSeye since its hasn't been shown using any video effects like augmented reality. Probably why Kung-fu LIVE isn't on it.

Don't know what that is, look it up on Youtube. Sony's been squandering it as well, though they've proven they've had it.

Regardless, Natal has to prove itself before it becomes the thing you envision, yet we've had to wait a year from its first introduction before its even begun to do that. People knew more about LCDs and plasma in similar circumstances.

joel_c172724d ago

Do me a favor, for 5 minutes stand or sit with both arms straight at 90 degree angles. It hurts after a while, I very much doubt that unfit people will be able to sit at their computers for hours only using their arms.

Bigpappy2724d ago (Edited 2724d ago )

It did it for video card, RAM, HDD, mother board and monitor companies, Ipad, Bluray and HD-TV's. It will do it for Natal.

Primsense even had the smarts to get out of M$'s way while they push this tech. Primse will profit more that they possibly could have imagine when Natal hits the market. Next year primsense will be in a much better position to sell they tech to TV and Bluray manufactures around the world. M$ will keep the Xbox and PC side of the business. It's a win/win for both sides.

@ Godmars290 above: I actually respect your sketisism, but I have been paying close attention to the red ball demos and no just the lack of lag, but how people react while and after play with the tech. You guys are missing the point. It is not that the red ball is great or sucks, it is that the tech works and works well with the game. Everyone who has played with the tech is ready to jump in, they are impressed. But my optimism iwas not formed by the reation or approval of others, I simply love the whole concept and beleive that if done right, it could be very successful. So far I see nothing but possitive indicators that M$ is taking it in the right direction and beyone. Ofcourse E3 will be hugely important. But there will be a whole lot more after E3.

IdleLeeSiuLung2724d ago

"I have been paying close attention to the red ball demos and no just the lack of lag, but how people react while and after play with the tech. You guys are missing the point. It is not that the red ball is great or sucks, it is that the tech works and works well with the game. Everyone who has played with the tech is ready to jump in, they are impressed. But my optimism iwas not formed by the reation or approval of others, I simply love the whole concept and beleive that if done right, it could be very successful. So far I see nothing but possitive indicators that M$ is taking it in the right direction and beyone. Ofcourse E3 will be hugely important. But there will be a whole lot more after E3."

That right there is exactly my sentiment! I love the fact that something almost completely new is coming out that appears to be well supported. I'm thinking how the current controllers evolved from a d-pad and 2-buttons.... Natal could actually be the first step towards this. Some of the things creative developers can come up with that hasn't been done before is just exciting idea.

Only 2 more weeks to see what MS has up it's sleeve. I'm cautiously optimistic!!!

REDHULKSMASH2724d ago (Edited 2724d ago )

It does. Case closed. Just give me my controller and you can hopscotch in front of your xboxes. Natal. If Microsoft wants to sell cosoles how about making good games (1st party exclusives) hard core gamers will buy them...right. Isn't xbox the console of choice for hardcore gamers...that's what xbox fanboys claim. Make some exclusives and/or drop your subscription fees. I could be wrong but trying to get all the casual gamers who own a wii and never play the damn thing probably ain't the best market to be aiming at.

Alot of my lower income friends and cheap friends won't touch xbox simply because of the subscription fees. That's the #1 reason on n4g forums people won't buy an xbox or act like they don't like xboxs.

Summary: better games and/or lose subscription fees=more hardware sales

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