Gizmodo: Testing Project Natal:We Touched the Intangible

Gizmodo writes "One hands-on with Project Natal would make for a nice story, but it wouldn't be complete. So we're giving you two full sets of impressions on Microsoft's motion-capturing E3 bombshell."

Chicken Chaser5116d ago

" I haven't been quite this blown away by a tech demo in a long time. It looked neat onstage at Microsoft's keynote. Seeing it, feeling it in person, makes me want to believe that this what the future of gaming looks like—no buttons, no joysticks, no wands. The only thing left to get rid of is the screen, and even that'll happen soon enough."

Wow..and people still think it won't work?

That was a great read!

HighDefinition5116d ago

Before I pass judgement on Natal.

chaosatom5116d ago (Edited 5116d ago )

Voice recognization is bs imo.

How can it recognize the voice so perfectly. It had to be scripted or something. It is bound to have problems if someone else used it. Why couldn't they do a stage demo?

As for both motion sensing devices, there is still lots of time before they even launch, so lets not get too much into the argument. If there were coming this november or something, then I would have cared more for the devices but the wait is too long.

HighDefinition5116d ago

That was sorta like Milo, it was for the Dreamcast. Making a "thing" that sorta interacts w/ you can be done. Making "games" w/ voice recognition is another story.

s8anicslayer5116d ago

I really can't wait to get my paws on this thing, it looks very entertaining

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Darkeyes5115d ago

I agree with the above posts...Just how the hell am I suppose to take head shots in a game like COD4 or play a game like SF4.. You don't expect me to jump like crazy in my living room don't you?
I never doubted Natal not working. It's a great concept as well... But the only problem is it's applications in hardcore gaming. Apart from Racers and sports game, inculcating this tech in shooters or fighters or RPGS where button mashing is required is gonna be a hell lot difficult.

And seriously am I the only one who wants to sit on his arse and play games by mashing buttons? I am targeting even the Sony controller here. I mean I work hard all day and return home for relaxing... and the best way to do that is play games.... Yes by mashing buttons!!! These motion tech by Wii might eventually even kill hardcore gaming. I don't want to dance like a manic or waggle a remote in front of the TV... I mean half an hour of dancing or waggling and people will get tired off it. Great way to lose weight I might add.

As far as Natal goes, I am impressed. I never doubted it won't work... It's just that I don't see the future of gaming without any buttons. I mean it's a void which cannot be filled by such motion sensors. They sound great in concept and people go Ah...Oh.. when they show up, but seriously 360 gamers aren't stupid Wii like people who buy any crap a company throws at them (cough* Wii fit * cough).
Another factor about Natal is the 3rd party support.... It isn't the Wii you know and M$ first party is virtually non existent... What games show up is a thing to be seen.

I just feel that if Sony and M$ want the gaming industry to evolve so much (as they always state in every conference) , then both should come up with a similar design of controller.... Only that way 3rd party won't be divided or confused to support which won. If you want to go the Wii way, both should device similar type controllers and launch it in their next gen consoles.... That is the way gaming industry evolves... Not when executives shout it like morons from the stage.

SRU96005115d ago (Edited 5115d ago )

I think that a lot (most) of the negative comments regarding Natal are coming from PS3 fanboys that are very worried about this becoming the next big thing.

The tech demos really seem to be impressing gaming journalists (most of whom were very skeptical of Natal, mind you) so it sounds like this is the real deal.

I'm very excited to see what will be done with the technology.

SaberEdge5115d ago

Natal was impressive as hell and that is the only reason gamers of a certain persuasion are trying to downplay it.

Natal impressed me and my friends more than anything at E3. It is also creating a huge amount of buzz in the gaming press (of which this article is only one example).

JokesOnYou5115d ago (Edited 5115d ago )

So he was playing a racing game and it works well in lowlight too? It will definitely be interesting to see if micro can get a big game up and running intuitively with this tech real soon. Damm I get the feeling from this vid micro is still hiding a few secrets.


OmegaKulu5115d ago

looks good, only problem i see is that they use a PC+cam+360 setup... which means that all recognition and detection is on board with processors for the final product, cost is really an issue now. I just can't see they subsidies much for it, but my guess would be a less powerful set for the 360(there a limit on how much accessory can cost before sells just go flat) and full out on the next xbox.

In the end of the day tho, nothing is better than sitting in the couch with your feet up, feel the rumble in you hands, and some cold drinks by your side after a day of work. Motion gaming? I'll pass.


I think RPG will be cool. Put you hands forward and say lightning and sparkels comes out of your fingers ingame :)

Milky Joe5115d ago

That does look pretty good but EyePet was showing off this sort of stuff earlier this year but people are completely ignoring that.

It'll be good to see how this whole thing develops but I think it would be improved if you could do it sitting down. Playing a game while standing up is a bit of a pain. It probably can work while sat down (can't see any reason why not) so it's probably nothing to worry about.

One other issue, though, is that what he was doing with his hands was only what you can do with the SIXAXIS but without any extra buttons, and not many people like to use SIXAXIS to control games.

But anyway, it's all interesting tech.

Real Gambler5114d ago

Author wrote: "I haven't been quite this blown away by a tech demo in a long time"

Same guy wrote down: "Burnout showcases a few important points for Microsoft. First, it's a real game that's been on the 360. So Natal doesn't weigh down on the processors so hard that you can't play games. Second, it requires fine motor control."

But he also wrote down: "The test system was an ordinary Xbox 360, connected to small PC and camera that simulates the final Natal rig."

Why do you think there's a PC in between the camera and the Xbox. You need a ton of processing power to keep track of 4 bodies, facial recognition, speech analysis with decent accuracy. So basically, for now, they are working with a PC and a camera, but the final product will definitively need a very decent processor built in. There's no way to put the processing load on the Xbox processor simply because there's no room for the additional code! No room in the firmware, no room on the hard disk (because not all 360s have hard disks), and not much room on the dvd (I suspect a game like Burnout already take a good chunk of it). So where do you put the code? Inside the device, with the $150 processor needed to do all the work.

So, the device is really nice, but the final product will likely cost hundreds of dollars (expensive built-in processor, who will just pass vectors and commands to the Xbox). Two camera, decent microphone, etc. Add to this development cost, and you're looking at a device around $250 easy, maybe more. Sure Microsoft can sell it below manufacturing cost, but it will be hard to bundle it with a game as a bonus for sure.

So will it work? YES. Will it sell to the intended casual market for over $200, maybe $300? I don't think so! I'm not even sure the hard core gamers will want to pay that much for it either...

This is where Nintendo (and Sony) has a better advantage. Give the first controller with a game, and let the customers buy the other 3 one by one. They end up paying the same cost, but being milked slowly, it doesn't hurt as much. You can start playing for a lower cost which is always better with mom and dad (and other casuals)

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xino5116d ago

i don't know why everyone is so excited about this!?
I mean Microsoft already gave away keypoints to this device, the Xbox 360 camera and then the V/Z Cam shown at TGS or was it E3.
This is just the final version of the cam.

really duh5116d ago (Edited 5116d ago )

Fanboyism can negatively effect perception thats why.

PeptoBismol5116d ago

really duh, you've been a fanboy many times. i've seen your comments in the open zone

stop being a hyprocrite

chaosatom5116d ago

agreed with PeptoBismol on that.

Rigmaster5116d ago

"i don't know why everyone is so excited about this!? "

What else there to hype for the 360?

Crackdown 2? More Halo? Multiplatform games?

boodybandit5116d ago (Edited 5116d ago )

the resident expert on fanboyism really duh (you and your multiple accounts trolling every article just to fan flames).

JokesOnYou5115d ago

If this was then I dont think anybody would care much.

Sure this will definitely be well suited for exercise type games but theres so much more potential here. I'm sure there is an audience for that, I prefer to get my excercise going to the gym or playing Ball.

What I'm looking for is a traditional game, maybe like MW2 type game where I sit on my couch and hold a "virtual gun" with nothing more than the use of my hand in a natural way, I change weapons by maybe reaching behind my back, I look left or right and it would naturaly look around the game world depending on my head movements, I open doors, ride snow mobiles, climb icy mountains, dive out of a plane, etc etc all by making gestures that mimic what I want to do. Its all in a real live *HD game and I'm NOT jumping franticly all over the place in my living room. This has alot more potential than wii-motion controls.


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gdguide5116d ago

So do people want to play games this way? So you'll be more tired after half an hour than a real driver? Show me a shooter and a guy performing headshots without the controller doing a better job and without you getting tired, and then I'll start calling this the future of gaming. You would be surprised the power of lazy people who want to just chill after they come home from school or work, and just want to press buttons and use a controller with their legs kicked up. Just because tech works, it doesn't mean it's better. Motion controls for Warhawk are brilliant. It's a load of fun. But it gets easier and more relaxing to just press some buttons and do things that way. I'll be shocked if this replaces any of the major controls for 90% of the games out there that actual hardcore gamers play. Same with anything Sony comes up with motion controller wise.

datdude5116d ago (Edited 5116d ago )

I don't think Microsoft is marketing this to us, hardcore gamers, it is more for the casual. I will admit that it looks fun! I can't wait to see what the devs comes up with!

Eiffel5116d ago (Edited 5116d ago )

I honestly don't want to use this as a main focus of gaming more like a sidekick to enhance my games. I mean for example take Peter's project for example, Milo the interaction engine is simply amazing, now take any future project such as an RPG and implant that kind of technology into it and wow...No more scrolling through pre-wrote text to answer or ask a question. I would still want to use a controller but this Natal can really enhance interaction with big block buster titles in their own unique way.

This is a huge step. I never thought I would actually live to see this.

koehler835115d ago


If they're not marketing to us, then it's NOT the future of gaming. I'm sorry.. but as always Hardcore gamers will continue to be what the industry is about. If MS wants to go ahead and take Nintendo's road, that's their business but the future of gaming this is not.

Sonyslave35116d ago

awesome here yall footage ps3fans it work look they playing in the dark can the eye toy do that no.

datdude5116d ago

actually, the new sony motion sensing is also playable in the dark.

GiantEnemyCrab5116d ago (Edited 5116d ago )

He is talking about the EyeToy not the waggle stick and as an owner of an EyeToy it doesn't work in the dark at all. Is Sony releasing a new camera with the Waggle stick?

Not that it matters.. We shouldn't even be mentioning Sony in this thread.

@Jrome: I was thinking more like a game that uses a standard controller but maybe uses head tracking. So that would be one I might be playing in the dark. Of course all my thinking is in the line of a hardcore player and not a casual so you are right most are playing with lights on.

XxSpiiKeZxX5116d ago

first of all at least SONY showed way more possibilities than natal all natal has is body control but how are u goin to perform FPS or other like SONY clarified "learned from the eye toy, some buttons are needed" .
now the eye toy can obviously do that w/without motion controls the eye toy basically does the same as natal its jus that motion control is added bonus

Jrome5116d ago

These techs are more for casual gamers...who are usually going to be having fun with the lights ON. The only time I game in the dark with my friends is on a serious game requiring an actual controller.

Szarky5116d ago

Damn man, that's the worst English I have ever seen on N4G.

7thNightvolley5116d ago

let me lay this out straight i was abit skeptical about the whole natal thing but many have tried it and it worked. and u cant even bring eyepet or sonys motion control into any competition with this thing seriously... NATAL totally changes the way we play games as in its is some mega leap into the future. think it like this yes u say sonys motion is gd for fps ok ... lets get this straight most ppl like my self and u guys would believe controllers would never die right? and motion controls just adds more immersion into the game. well imagine playing a horror game wit ur standard control pad and natal watches ur body movement or rather finger movement and emotion and calibrates the way the ai behaves to actually make u scared... or playing an rpg talking to ppl in the game that acutally react to ur behaviour realistically... or having so much options that go beyond what a button can do in a fps.. think about it.. .the innovation and ability to create someting totally out of this world is endless .. developers now have no boundies at alllllllllll. Not even adding to the fact natal is the only one that would easily work at night. coz it had infrared. come on.. if u wanna compare motion controls its sonys vs nintentos wii mote.. nothing should even be brought on the same page with natal, coz that thing is going to be the gaget to own as a gamer and a tech nerd.

with this i really dont see the next xbox coming anytime soon coz its given he 360 way so much longevity now, and i am sure ms have already had plans to integrate this with the next box, its the future right and the only way to go is for ur gaming rig to acutally communicate with u ...NATAL IS THAT ANSWER.

TheRealSpy025116d ago (Edited 5116d ago )

you're amazing.

i've never seen a bigger group of hypocrites. 360 gets FF 13 so you all say square sucks. then sony says "well we get exclusive FF14" and now you all love em again. you swear for years 360 will never get MGS, it does, so now that's not a big deal. you knock the full body motion cap or natal which is easily the most advanced motion cap in gaming to date, but then you spout praise to an obvious wii-mote rip off.

get over yourselves. natal is cool, the wii-mote rip off is cool. both are cool. stfu

P.S. you say all 360 owns have to look forward to is halo and crackdown like that's a bad thing, but then your most over hyped games are yet ANOTHER GT and ANOTHER GoW. plus you sorta left out the other 10 or so exclusives including Splinter Cell which looks pretty incredible.

so sick of the hypocrisy from fanboys with the ps3 fanboys leading the pack. you don't go into ps3 articles and see more 360 fanboys than ps3 dominating the thread. but you do almost always in 360 articles. it's pathetic. and pointless...cuz you're illogical, repetitive, and generally...unintelligent; and there is no way your objections will sway any real gamers.

Eiffel5116d ago

Your comment is made up of so much win, its overloading the truth machine.

I agree this fanboy BS needs to stop.

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SaberEdge5115d ago


So, so true.

Natal is so exciting and all PS3 fanboys can do is try to think of ways to downplay it.

Milky Joe5115d ago

While I definitely agree that pretty much everyone here is a hypocrite when it comes to... anything to do with the rival system, let's not forget that the Wii brought motion controlled games on to the scene a good few years ago and all Natal is doing is removing the controller, hence the buttons, hence the higher level of control. Having said that, the tech is obviously far more advanced and capable of much better motion tracking.

This certainly won't replace controllers for hardcore gamers (which is what we all are, correct?) but it could definitely add another level to games. We'll see what happens, I guess.

BTW, if you're going to Disagree, could you say what you're disagreeing with because I'm covering both sides here.

Real Gambler5114d ago

You've said tons of stupid things so far, without even knowing anything about it, but this one liner is probably your best!

"it work look they playing in the dark can the eye toy do that no."

Well, the PS3 eye has two infrared leds. I would say not perfect dark unless you're very close, but still doing a great job anyway. You should read a bit before you open your mouth... Only one simple line, but totally wrong! Wow.

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Harri44445116d ago (Edited 5116d ago )

so... what happens if you pull your hands apart? does it break the wheel?

Jrome5116d ago

RROD..they weren't prepared for that xD.. jk jk

Harri44445116d ago (Edited 5116d ago )

good theory :p