Exposed: Natal Milo smoke and mirrors by Peter Molyneux - Gamer Blorge

Project Natal's Milo was the star of Microsoft's E3 press conference this year. The Milo demo shown via a video by Peter Molyneux surprised the audience and many gamers around the globe by the promise of what the technology could offer. Molyneux did bring a select number of journalists to demo Milo and it was found to be mostly smoke and mirrors.

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IndigoProductions3422d ago

Ouch! We all knew it was too good to be true.

morganfell3422d ago

It was obvious. However, many of these journalists will never admit they have been had. In fact they will go out of their way to prove otherwise.

JoySticksFTW3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

I'm actually surprised this is starting to get this much attention.

Most journalists were only too happy to crown MS the now and future king of E3 and gaming for the Project Natal and Metal Gear going multi-platform announcements.

But maybe the fact that a few game journalists are actually scrutinizing this, is a sign that things are starting to turn around for gaming journalism. Maybe that money-hat, biased, fan-boy crap is finally coming to an end...

Naaaah I didn't think so either :)


Will do. thanks for the heads-up!


Just checked it out, Parapraxis. GT said that they thought the Milo section was fake and that MS had a puppet master hidden somewhere. Bubbles up, my friend

Parapraxis3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

JoySticksFTW , watch the latest Invisible Walls ep from GameTrailers.
There are still some people out there who don't wear rose tinted glasses.

Delive3422d ago

It took 2 times to catch it, but I could see the water move before she put her hand over there on the left. You would think they would cover that up or edit it out before showing it at (of all places) E3.

OmarJA3422d ago

Not surprising from M$...

eagle213422d ago

"You've been Punked". :)

Vecta3422d ago

WoW this is so pathetic. The video during the conference was similar to a proof of concept video for any other video game, just because it was staged doesn't mean the end product will be bad.

You know, like the original Killzone 2 trailer...

Parapraxis3422d ago

Vecta, I remember it well. And KZ2 launched 3 years later...
Are you implying Natal is 3 years from release?

Darkeyes3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

People must be really nuts to assume that such AI existed. Even huge companies like NASA are just scratching the surface in AI development and people assume that M$ suddenly comes out of nowhere and says they have the breakthrough.... A thing that will have AI better than the ones even used in space crafts for less then 100$... You must be fukin joking. The thing is a pre scripted AI.. meaning it gives general answers for everything and only logical for the ones pre written in the program. Not even a super computer has a better AI than a cokroach and 360 fanboys assume they will get a Skynet for 100$ LMAO.

This will become a serious embarrassment for M$ if this doesn't come true. Natal is not significantly different for PSEye.. Just Milo makes it special... and if Milo is a hoax, then I would be seriously pissed as a 360 gamer.

Also, the applications of Natal in Hardcore gaming is nill. Just show me a FPS being played and I am sold..If not then just fukin admit that it's for hogging money off casual gamers. This whole 'behind the doors' is bloody balls stuff. If they can make big claims, then just show the entire world how it's gonna work... and not a few journalists (being paid).

I am not interested in racers or casual games... Show me something more mainstream hardcore like shooters or fighters.... and the game should work ABSOLUTELY CONTROLLER FREE as promised... And I should not shout Move,Reload, Crouch,Left, Right and stuff to play the game... cause it will be ridiculous if it's like that.

EDIT: Oh ya... How could I forget.. Asimo.. The most advanced robot developed by Honda.. Even he can't interact with people like the videos shown.. and the thing costs millions. Ask him something out of his prewritten program and the idiot asks you to ask the question again... I am gonna love when M$ release Milo with a book the size of Yellow pages for all the commands it can process.... Man that would be a serious learning curve.

rhood0223422d ago

I found something odd about a few of the articles praising Milo--they don't seem to have a consistent version of "Kate" in "Milo and Kate."

I've read one preview from Kotaku, one from Wired, and one from CNET and all three seem to have a different version of "what" Kate is--is she a dog or a person? Is she part of a story? Or is it something that interacts with Milo?

Each of these articles seemed to attribute one or more of the characteristics to "Kate." I just find that odd.

ChozenWoan3422d ago

Yes, Peter Molyneux is a Sith Lord. Notice how he talks with his hands in the subtle and calming tone.

"this is not the droid your looking for... he is a real little boy."

Yes, watch the demo again. Notice how he tries to comfort you with his voice to accept Milo as something he is not. Notice how he paints fantastic pictures in your mind of how great the future with him could be. Notice how he confuses your senses.... the ones telling you Milo is just a script bot.

Hmm script bot script bot... only on xbox...
script bots script bot.... made just for x - - - s.

Yes, I too can use the Jedi mind trick to trick you into reading something I didn't even type.

FreeMonk3422d ago

MS is not the only company to use Smoke and Mirror tactics before in there conference.

Sony used the same trick with Killzone 2, and they managed to pull of a great looking game that matched the trailer there abouts.

So the chances of MS pulling off Milo is possible, especially seeing as it's a year away from release (probably even later).

At the end of it all though, Project Natal is a great concept, but it's just another gimmick, similar to the Eyetoy, and the Wii.

Vecta3422d ago

Parapraxis Natal isn't in question here, its the AI behind Milo...

Serg3422d ago

I've been called a blind Sony fanboy that couldn't accept the FACT that MS is taking gaming to a whole new level because I could smell the fishy stain Milo left behind. Well, what can I say, guess my vision is in tact after all. And MS, instead of hitting a new level in gaming, they reached a new low don't you think? Sony has barely managed to get the curve by saying the 05 Killzone 2 trailer was a target render, they surpassed it. I'd like to see MS pull that off with Milo, Killzone 2 only had to show off taking advantage of processing power.

The only thing MS has to prove is the concept of near perfect voice recognition, human-like generated speech, 3D motion tracking from only 1 point of view (Well BAM there it is), deciphering emotional expression of a human face, no big deal right? This type of stuff is still SciFi material and exposing Milo is just proof of that.

gaffyh3422d ago

Everyone with half a brain cell could see it was staged and done under perfect conditions...

StephanieBBB3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

Fanboy vision my ***. If something is fake I call it out no matter the console.

dcbronco3422d ago

They can't believe this can be done. I don't remember this same doubt when the EyeToy was released. Funny though, the EyeToy can do most of these same things. As soon as Sony starts showing that the same doubters will suddenly become believers. We've even seen the Wii-mote reworked to do motion sensing by a guy in his apartment. But because it's Microsoft that took it in this direction instead of Sony you can't except it.

And why is it always the same sources that have the doubt. People that don't have an honest bone in their bodies. They just start nonsense pandering to the lowest common denominator to get hits on their page. I didn't read the fairytale link to this, but I already know it's Mike Ferro. I refuse to give that Ass-Clown the hit. All the stupid things being said, like NASA couldn't do AI like this, but a private company can. NASA gets most of it's technology from private companies. Do you think the military designs and makes all of their own weapons. They hire people to do it.

Peter Molyneux has been working on that AI for years. It is based on Project Dimitri that he mention 2 or 3 years ago. And at that point he was talking about breakthroughs with it. Sadly fanboys, technology moves on. If it didn't we'd still be living in caves. Some still are judging from the comments on this site sometimes. Don't attach everyone's ability to your personal shortcomings. All technology comes from somewhere.

Serg3422d ago

The same Peter Molyneux that talked about the Fable 2 dog as if it was a real thing? The same Peter Molyneux that underperformed for years and as it seems years to come? It's not that his games aren't good, it's that his games don't deliver the stuff he keeps promising and therefore people get disappointed. I'm sorry if you don't want to hear the truth, but people have lost trust in Peter Molyneux and a fake SciFi concept of having conversations with an AI won't rebuild that trust either.

JokesOnYou3422d ago

OK so he admits the tech demo's of Ricochet and all were working but Milo was "smoke n mirrors" because its not true AI at this point;

"He indicates that Peter Molyneux told him that Milo does not actually recognize the player’s voice but reacts to the tone of your voice. He also further explains that Milo says rudimentary open ended statements that will fit into whatever you say."

-I mean who watch that and really thought micro was saying this was a real AI boy who could act as a real boy in any situation.= NO, they were simply saying that were working on the AI tech and its possible to have a conversation with Milo. Same as the article yesterday calling it fake, if you were somehow believing this was some real life advanced AI on a console when complex and very expensive computer programs/tech don't then you were simply expecting to much. lol Natal is just the begining of whats possible with full body motion control and its working, confirmed by many sites.


ultimolu3422d ago

And people praised Microsoft as if they invented light. -___-

Too good to be true indeed. Yeah, they won E3 with smoke/mirrors alright.

People are too gullible and ignorant these days.

njr3422d ago

They should have announced it at next year's E3, so this Milo software can actually match things like voice recognition.

KenAdamsNSA3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. So, you mean to tell me, that this one guy disproves every other journalist's comments on Natal/Milo? I think not. "Smoke and mirrors" implies that Natal is not actually a high tech piece of equipment, which it most certainly is. So if you mean to say that the complex algorithms and impressive infrared sensors are just tools of deception, you're kind of stretching the term.

Artificial intelligence isn't SMART. It isn't flexible, it isn't living, its capabilities only go so far as the developers make it. A.I. can't break those boundaries on its own. So if Lionhead has found a way to make an utterly convincing little A.I. boy with some nifty tricks, that's not smoke and mirrors, that's just smart design.

There's a difference, people. Learn a little about this stuff before buying into it wholesale.

green3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

Now who should i listen too? Gamer.blorge that where not at E3 to experience Milo first hand or IGN,Eurogamer,Joystick,Gamespo t that where actually there, interviewed Peter Mloyneaux and interacted with Milo?

Hmmm, i don't think that question is to hard to answer.

TheTwelve3422d ago

Green, your disagrees disagree with you.

Please know that quite often, the small voices are the only ones telling the truth.


morganfell3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

As Parapraxis said, listen to Gametrailers Invisible Walls that actually played Natal:

lokin3422d ago

is blogger sites getting a foothold in n4g? wasnt this covered yesterday already? some say its the only real gaming jurnos out there but i call bs.... gaming bloggers like this fool has shown he actually is a fanboy at heart. how many negative things did gamer.blorge actually cover from the sony side? smoke and mirrors? fake? exposed? the only thing that has been exposed is that sony/nintendo has a serious contender in the social crowd to contend with.

JokesOnYou3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

Its the same regurgitated news from yesterday, lol.

It just doesn't make sense to on one hand be accused of a elaborate scheme to fool people that Milo is this "OMG super advanced AI" as some try to say it was his made out to be but on the other hand you tell journalist (people who are going to write about it) that:

"Milo does not actually recognize the player’s voice but reacts to the tone of your voice. Milo says rudimentary open ended statements that will fit into whatever you say."=

Yep and thats exactly what the recorded demo with the girl shows, surely its natural to wonder just HOW ADVANCED the AI is and thats exactly why #1 they let journalist interact with it and #2 he said the AI is only sophisticated enough at this point to react to the tone of your voice, responding with rudimentary open ended statements.= Which IS remarkable only because nothing else on consoles is capable of even that level of AI.

If Molyneux was trying to fool everybody, why would he admit this and much less let people interact with it at E3? Also Natal & Milo are two different things.


ShabzS3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

this is the same as yesterday... THIS IS NOT AI... have you read kotakus impression of the milo demo ... they explained it best .... its a preprogrammed library of responces all which initiate after natal recognises the TONE of ur voice... thats what eurogamers had ....

milo doesnt understand the joke... he responded to ur joke with a giggle becoz... natal recognizes the TONE OF UR voice.. the painting from the demo .. molenuex said that they never show the painting back to you ... coz natal only recognises the coulour and size of the paper.. it scans the colour and size of the paper ... and thats what milo responds to ... "i love orange!"

again the kotaku impressions .. the journalist had the colour of his shirt recognised .. which was blue .. natal recognises the colour and has milo say the colour .. which is responded from its preprogrammed audio library ...

the funny thing is that the immersion is so good that u keep calling it for AI...

argh only on n4g

Sarcasm3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

Is it really that hard to believe, that the only thing Milo recognizes is "Voice Tone"

Here's a funny video I imagine would happen with Milo.

pwnzter3422d ago

C'mon guys. Its Peter Molyneux were talking about. You know, the guy that promised us Fable 2 was gonna be ZOMG, EPIC, WOW, HOLY SHYT. Though in the end, all we got was an OK game. Even though the first Fable was better than the second, he hyped the first as much as the second. I can see he's doing the same with Natal and boy I'm sure a lot of xbox fans are gonna be pissed off when Natal is released. Its happened twice already at the hands of Peter, I can guarantee you all it'll happen again.

phosphor1123422d ago

Anyone who knows anything about programming knows this. It won't work. You will need a "genetic" algorithm to learn what to say, how to come about things, etc etc. Either that or have the developer to record every single word in existence, know the meaning of them, and a way to blend words. It wont work.

I can go on and on about why it wont work, so for right now, I'll leave it as it is, but if you need more of an elaboration, i can give you one.

Why dis3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

Looks like we're going to get one of these forced denial comfort sore loser articles every day until Sony comes out with something close to Natal from PS3 fanboys and Wii fanboys. The AI in Natal software gives the illusion Milo's smart thats all that was shown or ever said. PS3 fanboys and pro Sony media created talking points by putting words into MSFT's mouth so that they can discredit the tech. MSFT never said Natal was a super computer only that its a tool that can bring interactive gaming to new hights.

Serg3422d ago

I like Sony a lot, but if you think I would go nuts over a Sony-Milo so to speak, wait for the day they announce one and watch me go after them for that.

xwabbit3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

Ah was awaiting for why this 2 lough, thx bro rlly needed it 4 2day. Now we see 360 fans trying to change it, well off course it wasn't real AI I MEAN DUH, they didn't say this b4 tho

All-33422d ago

QUESTION: What are the main tricks that you’re using?

Molyneux: There are hundreds of little tiny tricks. How he looks at the camera, whether he looks directly at the camera or slightly off. The amount of twitches in his face. The interesting thing is this uncanny valley and how we’re breaking through it. People who experience Milo really go away believing they can talk to him. It was really funny when we were showing the journalists at the show – a lot of them try to engage Milo in a proper conversation, partly because they thought ‘My God, this is it – we’ve got something we can really talk to,’ and partly because the tricks we were using pulled them into the conversation. We’re building up a profile of the emotion in your voice so we know when your voice is strained or excited or calm or passive. That coupled with Milo’s vocabulary of words he understands and what he’s doing on screen creates this illusion – and I’m not pulling any wool over people’s eyes – the illusion that Milo understands and is sentient. And couple that with really cheeky tricks that we’re using. For example, Milo will download dialogue very regularly behind the scenes which updates his database with current events. So, if Britain’s Got Talent is on, he’ll comment on certain acts, so that makes him feel so relevant and real that you start believing it, even if you’re a skeptic.

QUESTION: Some accounts on the internet have claimed there were people with controllers around the back of the demonstrations. Have the people that have played over the last day or so purely been interfacing with the machine?

Molyneux: You’ve got to remember that this is very, very new tech, and quite often we need to reboot the machine, so there’s someone in the back in case something goes wrong. There’s no cheating, absolutely not. I thought actually, when they were there, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to look like there’s a puppeteer in the background,’ but there’s not, absolutely not.

Molyneux never denied that Milo uses "tricks" ... in the interview quoted from above... he even talks about them!

caladbolg7773422d ago

Gametrailers "Invisible Walls" Episode 60:

View "Episode 60" Special E3 edition.

IMO, they are pretty much spot-on.

sayedstafa3422d ago

It's still nothing that we haven't seen before in games. Look at Seaman, you talked to him and he responded. Or more recently, Nintendogs, they have voice recognition as well. The concept of Milo is just a human version of a neopet.

heroicjanitor3422d ago

Who apparently "couldn't see" the big flaws in that trailer yesterday, why are you still defending milo? They wouldn't have faked the trailer if it was working, and they wouldn't have asked the "select few"(shows their reluctance to show it live) to only ask it certain questions, meaning it can recognize basic speech tones. I'm still impressed with natal, but milo is clearly nowhere near a working state and they pretended that it works, which is very underhanded.

Blitzed3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

That the same fanboys defending this are the same fanboys that were calling out Sony for the KZ2 target render in 05.

Your all a bunch of sad little hypocrites with no strength of character. If you feel its wrong for these presentations to be deceptive, it shouldn't make a difference from where, when and who the deception originated.

Grow a set of nuts.

menoyou3422d ago

Microsoft video game department is the king of marketing. They know that they can lie to everyone around the world by showing this off at E3, and make them all really impressed and create buzz for the 360, while only .0001% of the world will know the truth posted here on N4G.

Pure genius. Sony needs to hire that guy.

Kushan3422d ago

People are getting several issues confused here:

Milo, AI, Natal and Voice Recognition.

Natal is the technology for tracking movement from users in 3D space. It has nothing to do with voice recognition or Artificial Intelligence. Milo is supposedly a tech demo of what you could use this technology for but despite it being "smoke and mirrors", the only bits relating to this are voice recognition and AI. The technology behind Natal is still sound and clearly works. Don't let Molyneux's poor excuse for a demonstration put you off Natal.

heroicjanitor3422d ago

These xbox heads keep defending what microsoft did with milo by just saying "lol at ps3 fanboys who are jealous of natal". Nobody is saying natal won't be good, they are just disgusted at microsoft for the milo trailer in which they said "it is real and it works today".

3422d ago
SaberEdge3422d ago

Once again many of the PS3 fanboys on this site reveal just how dishonest and ignorant they are.

Of course it is "smoke and mirrors", it is whole bunch of cool tech brought together to give the illusion of life. If you had read even a single article or interview with Peter Molyneux you would know this. In a sense, illusion is what all interactive entertainment (video games) is about.

The fact that some people are going "ah ha, I caught you, Milo isn't a real conscious AI being that can be conversed with in infinite ways" shows how completely detached from reality they are. It is simply laughable that they ever thought Milo was supposed to be a sentient AI. You guys really reveal the measure of your intellect there.

The technology behind Milo is real and it does a better job at creating the illusion of being able to converse with a computer AI than anything that has come before it. That alone is enough to get excited about.

Halo3 MLG Pro3422d ago

LMAO! A blog? Sony fans are desperately trying.

Alvadr3422d ago

First I thought theres no way that MS would stage this... But then I think of the things they have done a past E3s, such as scripted ad-hoc conversations. Live celeb gamers showing reaction to playing a game for the first time, when infact they are reading from a script.

This could be a step to far if true.

It would be as bad as the infamous KZ2-E305 Demo. But wait, that turned out well for Sony.. Interesting thought.

cmrbe3422d ago

it dosen't matter.

Project Natal recaptured the imagination of people of having an interface like in Minority Report/Iron Man.

Its great and all but when it comes to real world gaming application, its i s very ,very limited like Sony found out last gen with the PS Eye. It was a cool tech that was ahead of its time but ultimately its penetration and use will be very small.

There is a reason why Nin pass on Natal tech. For one, Nin knew it would have been expensive and 2 most people still can not envisioned gaming without an input device like they learned from the PS Eye.

Input less device gaming (gaming without a controller) will not be as important until we get into VR which is still a long way ahead.

Dir_en_grey3421d ago (Edited 3421d ago )

but I don't get why people were so amazed even if it were true (I don't think it's FAKE per say).
There are several games that are like these before. Natal are the same as the Eye Toy games, and the voice recognition in Natal is in DS's brain training game right? There are games like Milo on the PS2 called Seaman and Seaman 2, I bet there are some PC games that did the same. So Natal and Milo are just pretty much the combination of Eye toy and Seaman.
I just don't think it's something so revolutionary that blows the mind, just some improvements over what we've seen before.
Improvements of what has been existed before doesn't mean it's bad either, since that's pretty much the normal thing to do.


Only gameplay I could find on Seaman 2:

Grandizer3421d ago

"1.8 -
Vecta, I remember it well. And KZ2 launched 3 years later...
Are you implying Natal is 3 years from release? "

Natal is probably inbound for next year.
Milo though will probably need 2 more years after that.

Syronicus3421d ago

Is this what E3 brings out in the big three? Lies and deception? I certainly hope not. I love E3 for the great games and if these games become lies then what's the point?

solidt123421d ago

I was never excited with Natal. It is the same as the PSeye. Sony added motion control to the PSeye and gave real world demonstration which showed everything that developers need to no without deceiving. Sony FTW.

Matpan3421d ago

@ Vecta

HAHAAHAHAHAHA this is GREAT! just GREAT!!! I mean REALLY look. Everybody bashing MS is getting Agrees by the dozens. NO this guys Does say MS is lying, and compares this "concept" video to the old E3 prerendered KZ2 trailer that guerrilla made us believe was realtime when it was not... and Voila!!! 42 disagrees!!!!

Really people. You need to get you heads out of your a$$es... If you are out here blaming MS for scamming the audience you might VERY well accept what sony did with that trailer back then. Let´s at least not be hypocrits. Please.

This just shows how Sony fanboys are swarming any 360 related news these days.

Tito Jackson3421d ago

Thought it worked fine. So did gizmodo. Maybe this guy just cant wrap his mind around it yet.

Face Palm3421d ago

I was suspicious the moment he came on screen. Remember he's the same guy that literally said that the AI dog in Fable II is "The most sophisticated AI in the history of man" ROFL! That dog's AI was average at best! He's always lying. He made 1,000 lies about Fable 1 too. He makes these over the top embellishments and then exaggerates them.

+ Show (52) more repliesLast reply 3421d ago
morganfell3422d ago

That depends if you like the flavor of truth.

Perjoss3422d ago

who gives a toss really,
even if project Milo was the real deal I still think the Sony motion controller demo @ e3 was far more impressive anyway.

3422d ago
SaberEdge3422d ago

Morganfail is the last person I would listen to if I wanted the truth.

morganfell3421d ago

I am putting you on ignore king dong because you refuse to read what I wrote so I will refuse to read anything you have to say. Twist in the wind from now on.

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Omega43422d ago

The jealously of PS3 fanboys knows no bounds it seems. Maybe when they finally have something worth talking about on their console they will finally leave Natal alone.

Till then all you guys can do is gaze upon its greatness


I don't know one real gamer who has any interest in looks gimmicky and limited

Parapraxis3422d ago

"Till then all you guys can do is gaze upon its greatness "
I agree.

*gazes amorously @ PS3*

blind-reaper3422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

yeah jealous that we can't interact with a little virtual boy.

mastiffchild3422d ago

Oh chaps! Lets not do this eh? Fact is the stage show(which is all the vast majority of us have seen or will see for a long time)was impressive but also riddled with little inconsistancies where it did look like there was acting and pre recorded stuff going on.

Whatever, we won't KNOW either way til we get to, not just look at, but play around with this stuff for ourselves and I think it would be prudent to wait for then to judge cos as a demo the Milo stuff was the least convincing motion controlled thing at E3-pirely because we can't tell just how well, or if, it works yet while the other demos were totally real time from what you could see.

Lets wait to kill or crown Milo shall we?

Parapraxis3422d ago

"Lets wait to kill or crown Milo shall we? "
Tell that to MS and half of the gaming media sites who have already crowned Milo.

Awesome Possum3422d ago

So if you doubt Milo you're a fanboy? Well if you read Penny Arcade they said that they doubt it.


what does it offer for halo,cod4&6,mass effect,fable fans....just tell me...if i wanted that kinda crap i would play wii fit

Omega43422d ago

I just cant believe you guys find it soooo amazing that you find it hard to believe that full body motion control is possible

This is 2009 you know, maybe you should try and expand your horizons and imaginations it will do wonders for you all ;)

callahan093422d ago (Edited 3422d ago )

It's comments like this that make me seriously wonder why the open zone even exists if they're not going to do anything to keep this talk out of the gamer zone. Natal is impressive, but it will also be expensive and I've seen no interesting GAMES that utilize it so far, so my interest is merely tickled, not anything to get too excited about yet, especially considering it's very far from a release. Implying that the PS3 has absolutely nothing worthwhile is not gamer zone language.