Microsoft previews new controller

Microsoft has allowed the public to get their hands on its new hands-free games controller for the first time.

The US firm showed off the "Natal" technology, designed for use with its Xbox 360 console, at the European games convention gamescom in Germany.

The controller uses a microphone combined with visual and infrared cameras to control the onscreen action.

It was first unveiled at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles in June this year, but had not been on public display until now.

Kudo Tsunoda, Xbox 360's general manager and creative director of Natal, said that as consoles evolved from being a dedicated games machine into "living room entertainment", it was important to develop a new control interface.

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Gamer_Politics3562d ago

Natal will be huge in the mainstream market with all its support

PS3PCFTW3562d ago

n64 rampak

on the flipside, microsoft can manipulate the numbers and create the illusion that their products are doing quite well. Theyve done it with hddvd, the zune, and of course the 360.

the problem is, who will believe what msft says anymore ?

ActionBastard3562d ago

I'd agree if it weren't for the Wii and the 360 not really being a "mainstream" console. It's trying, don't get me wrong, but that doesn't necessarily mean success...or that people will even care. Natal's approach is respectable and I am glad it exists, but personally speaking, I JUST warmed up to my Wii (Thanks Punch-Out! and SMG). To now think about expression and gesture/motion control is kinda off putting. Nothing they've shown has really been that impressive (excluding Milo), so right now I'm betting on the guys copying Nintendo more directly (Sony). Why? It opens their library up to a plethora of 3rd party Wii games that could pop on the PS3 (De Blob, Zak and Wiki, Mad World, Red Steel 2, yadda, yadda, yadda). Natal is a niche in a niche right now.

Saaking3562d ago

Why is it going to be huge? If it's too expensive casuals will not buy it. It has to be around 49.99 bundles with some minigames to sell and MS it's been rumored it might cost up to $199. If that's true the Casuals it's targeted at will not pay attention. So again, why will Natal be so huge when it's got limited uses and a high price?

Montrealien3562d ago (Edited 3562d ago )

forget the bundle, expect a total media blitz and relaunch of the 360, something along the lines of what Nintendo did with the gamecube when they relaunched it.

and btw, how many no hands "hands on" will we be reading as this Natal thing picks up steam? lol

SoulBrotha32923562d ago (Edited 3562d ago )

Natal is the next big thing in gaming..n every1 is acting like burnout n tht dodgeball game is the only games out for Natal.. There will be more for th casual, hardcore gamers. N for the cost..MS loves the customers and will make it bundle for maybe $300. Seperate maybe $150..Natal is controller free gaming..IS THT NOT THE FUTURE OR A STEP IN THE NEXT GEN..I bet if this was sonys idea..the sony fans would be doing the same thing as the xbox 360 fans ar doing..right or wrong?

P.S give a brotha some bubbles lol

Saaking3562d ago

Yes, if MS know anything it's how to advertise; however, if I don't see Natal being as big as you expect. Too many factors and besides, the 360 is seen as a hardcore console by casuals. When you think Xbox you think Halo and Gears not Viva Pinata and Natal. There are too many things going against Natal for it to be as successful as MS hopes.

Montrealien3562d ago

I work on the retail side of gaming an have dealt with thousands of videogame customers in the past few years and I can tell you one thing, the people that shop for games and the people that talk about them online in gaming forums and sites like N4G could not be any more different.

So for every person that thinks of Halo or Gears when they think of the Xbox brand, there are 4 that dont give a f*ck and are just looking for a good game and if the Xbox is rebranded succesfully, Halo and gears will just be part of the whole Xbox equation.

JokesOnYou3562d ago (Edited 3562d ago )

I swear n4g is like an alternate reality, most of what is said on here either does not apply to the majority of gamers or sounds like its backwards compared to what reality is day to day.

Natal is very interesting....everyone who's had hands on with it came away impressed. Theres alot of potential there and not just for casual games, which frankly I'm not interested in, but if they could intergrate it in a intuitive way for a AAA title sort of like Mass Efffect 3 with a cool touchscreen heads up display that would be the shiii, like something right out of a movie.= The whole concept of Natal seems to invite alot of creative ideas that we've all thought of before but could never do with a standard controller alone, this is why I think Natal gets so much attention, its sparked alot of interest even on non-gaming related networks like CNN, and late night talk shows, of course that also means that it will be hated on twice as much by the sony fanatics as you see above/below. lol


DevastationEve3562d ago

Oh lookie! It's the ps3 fanboy jihadists taking the time to express their disdain for all things Microsoft.

Jeez guys, once again you're fighting a war that I remember being stupid 4 years ago when it started!

Anyway, it just goes to show you how much they fear Natal.

But fanboys are sooo short-sighted! It's good for the industry. If it wasn't then ps3 and wii were wrong for trying.

dcbronco3562d ago

Natal is capable of everything the Wii is and more. Have you actually watched the 3DV Systems video of the camera before Microsoft came along.

LizardLicker3562d ago (Edited 3562d ago )

Why would anyone think someone is afraid of natal?

Personally, I don't see anything revolutionary in natal everything they are presenting has been done in past one way or another, nothing new for gaming.

Ok maybe I'm controller type of person but why "use your whole body for virtual ping-pong" if you can play real ping pong, or using your whole body for fps to stand in place turning around holding imaginary gun and looking dumb if you can just go and play paintball or airsoft. I really don't get it.

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wxer3562d ago

now thats big



divideby03562d ago

as excited as I am for the Natal tek, it will be like our Wii...
used for noncompetitve gamming and used when a crowd comes over for some yuks.
sure it will be fun navagating through menus without a controller and playing a RPG, but for online shooters and sport games it will not be used

Saaking3562d ago

Natal has too many problems to be as successful as MS hopes.

1. At this point it lags too much. Sony knew this and that's why they decided to add controllers. MS can't add controller otherwise it would defeat the purpose of the controller-LESS experience.

2. MS said this was going to be expensive so don't expect it to be less than $99. Tell me, what casual would buy something that expensive? Casuals are natal's target so it should be priced like the PSeye.

3. Limited game: Natal is limited to very few genres and most of them are just casual mini-games. A lot of the stuff you guys hope for (Interacting with NPCs in RPGs) is still too advanced right now and it probably won't happen till next gen.

4. Third Party Support: For a peripheral such as this companies have to rely on their first party support. MS has very LITTLE first party so they can't compete with the amount of games Sony can output. I doubt third party devs are just going to jump on with Natal and PS Motion. Both Sony and MS have to rely on first party. And why the hell does that guy wear sunglasses indoor? Makes him look like an idiot.

That's some basic problems with Natal that I see. I don't understand why you guys think it'll be this Big hit. Sure, with proper advertisement it'll sell Well, but it won't have a big an impact as you think.

NaiNaiNai3562d ago

but the new playstation Eyetoy will succeed right?

N4G king3562d ago (Edited 3562d ago )


the playstation eye and the playstation eye toy
is not new
those has been around the since ps2 days

you might be talking about the wand


its not a big deal

sony is just making the wand
to expand the PSeye experience

but Microsoft is depending on natal to win this gen over the wii

so the wand is just another peripheral added to an old thing that the playsatiton already have

but natal is a big thing for Microsoft to win this gen
i mean they are trying......right ?

Sev3562d ago

I personally think Natal is going to fail hard. That's not me being a fanboy. I should be receiving my Xbox 360 next week.

Xbox 360 has been for the hardcore gamer, and now they are switching gears to bring in the casual consumer. I don't think the casual market will ever look at the Xbox 360 as casual. Because of this, I don't see people running to get Natal anytime soon for casual use. Especially because everyone knows Wii is the way to go for casual play.

Montrealien3562d ago

yeah, kinda like the PS3 right? I guess the PS3 and the 360 will be fighting for second place for many many years. Nintendo have officially reclaimed the gaming throne.

With that said, I respect Microsoft's effort though, they have been giving it all they got since they launched of the Xbox. Attacking the xasual market like I think they will be doing in the next year or so is a testement to that. In the end all this really means to all of us is that 3 great home consoles will be fighting for our dollars and that way we will all win. What a great time to be a gamer, so much choice.

Saaking3562d ago

I agree. I don't see why Natal is supposed to be huge yet PS3 motion controls are totally forgotten. I'd rather MS focuses on one thing. Right now there's not that many upcoming exclusives even for the hardcore gamer and I don't like that. And, even though they lack games for the core, they still decide to focus on the casuals instead of working on new IPs. The casual market belongs to Nintendo and neither MS nor Sony will take that.

Cajun Chicken3562d ago

I really don't see how they'll implement Natal for real gamers, it'll be for casuals like the demos in E3, not a bad thing, but depends HOW casual the games will be.
I'll be amazed to see what they come up with though if developers do make real games for it, but I prefer having something physically in my hands which is why I'm more favorable to the potential of the PS Motion controls, especially the way they suggested to use the wand possibly in games like Ratchet and Clank and Sony have been hinting the wands are for gamers.

Milo doesn't amaze me either, it just seems to be an enhancement to Eliza ( ) and probably works in a very similar way with gathered information also, Eyepet is already doing the drawing and taking the image into the TV part which was the real wow factor for Milo for me.

thor3562d ago

It's not just that - there are numerous reasons why Natal and the new Sony controller will fail to capture the masses' attentions.

- Lack of developer support. It's just like the PS3's sixaxis - a few games will be made exclusively for it (Super Rub-a-Dub), but the rest that do support it will have tacked-on motion sensing. (Have you TRIED playing Motorstorm or Wipeout with motion controls?) The Wii has pretty much EVERY game with motion sensing, because there is no choice, whereas with the 360 there is that option so who'd design their serious game around a gimmick nobody will want to use?
- It doesn't come with the system. No matter if they bundle it - if they do they are effectively launching a seperate system. Furthermore, the market for Natal is limited by the number of people who have 360s. When the Wii launched, you bought a Wii, played Wii sports, had fun. Now you're buying into a 360 and a peripheral. Guitar Hero may be popular as well - but it's not as popular as the Wii itself.
- It won't live up to expectations. We've all seen the infamous Milo demo - apparently Microsoft has managed to engineer an AI so advanced it has jumped decades ahead of anybody else. Well, actually no. Milo has been mocapped and had his voice recorded by an actor. The "intelligence" he has will be little more than "press this button, he does this" only in a gesture-based way. It certainly won't suit every purpose. As much as they want to advertise it as being able to play burnout, I can't see anyone in their right mind using it for that. If the controller is available, for 99% of applications it'll be the better option.
- Wii came first. I'm pretty sure that everybody's played a Wii by now. The initial delight of playing it wears off after a while and you're then looking for more traditional qualities in games that you play. Longetivity, depth, ease of use. Wii sports has none of these and is relegated to the status of party game that you get out only occasionally.
- I already have a motion-sensing controller. It manages to detect even very subtle movements, even in my fingertips! It's so advanced, that rather than having to move my WHOLE ARM in a ridiculous motion to get it to realise I'm trying to accelerate, I need only adjust the position of my finger slightly. Yes, that's right, it's a regular controller with buttons. In essence, all the code, technology, smoke and mirrors of Natal is doing is transforming a certain action that I perform into a virtual button press - yes or no - I've done it, or I haven't. When it does actually take my actions in an analogue way, I could have achieved virtually the same thing using an analogue stick or a mouse. So it's unneeded for most genres of games that we play.

JokesOnYou3562d ago (Edited 3562d ago )

Especially about developer support, but wouldn't you agree that everything you just said boils down to >>IF<< micro+developer can actually make a game that truly shows off some groundbreaking gameplay for a AAA game that hardcore and casual gamers alike can enjoy. Its certainly possible imo, but will they is the question, or will they just push out a bunch of uninspired casual gimmicky type games? I don't know. Also since Natal debuted at E3 some notable devs have expressed interest and according to some they've already been working on projects/games.

Personally I just can't wait to see the first couple of launch games with Natal, then I will know for myself Natal will offer something I'm interested in= Add new life into hardcore games, if its the casual BS, then I'll ignore it just like I ignore the wii. (btw I consider myself a gamer, not just hardcore, I like all kinds of games, just not a big fan of the wii shovelware, imo of course)


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