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Iwata 'turned down Natal tech'

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata was offered the chance to sign up the device that became Project Natal - but turned it down as he didn't believe he could launch it at a mass-market price.

That's according to a top insider (and we mean top insider) at the platform holder's Japan HQ, who told us that Israel firm 3DV Systems showed an early demo of the technology to Iwata and other Nintendo bigwigs at the end of 2007.

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qface643427d ago

isn't this so old its ancient?

D4RkNIKON3427d ago

This is old news.. But I don't blame Nintendo. Could you imagine a console without a controller? It would be so limited in what you can and can't do.

WildArmed3427d ago

No brawl or Mario would have happened if the adopted natal as their main tech.
So it makes sense.. (i mean the console is selling like hot pancakes)

pcz3427d ago

Not much else to say really. Its poo and thats all.

ryuzu3427d ago

Israel huh?

American company + israeli tech - don't see this selling too well in the Islamic world hehe.

Then again, it's prolly just as well - don't need anyone getting raged with the Natal Lag and going loco ;)

moneybuyseverything3427d ago

It certainly looks like Microsoft and the 360 is the talk of the town again in 2010.

sikbeta3427d ago

Nintendo learnt with the Virtual Boy, so is really understandable why they rejected this tech and focus on the wii-motion-control

Guido3427d ago

The last time they rejected a company and "future proof" technology the PSone was released in competition to the Nintendo console. Look how that turned out...

Could this mean there is some credibility to Natal?


multipayer3427d ago

I don't think it would have hurt anything, except nintendos bogus peripheral market. Tons of Wii games use the Gamecube controller anyway. Of course, they'd probably have to enhance the hardware, and that wouldn't be cheap.

Noctis Aftermath3427d ago

@Guido: Don't compare the psx to natal, the psx was incredible natal is not.

skimming3427d ago

Title reads : Iwata 'turned down Natal tech'
It should read : Iwata 'turned down Natal "LIKE" tech'

Key components (software algorithms for object tracking) of Natal has been in development for a very long time in MS. MS purchased 3DV for as insurance for future potential lawsuits as well as preventive measure against Sony/Nin getting a 1/2 way catchup tech against Natal.

Software in 3DV is no where near the sophistication of Natal but with Sony/Nin's $$$ backing, it might have brought Sony/Nin to about 1.5 years within Natal.

As it is, now MS has about 2.5 years head start. Unless Sony/Nin makes some dramatic changes they're pretty much toast in computer vision driven controller field.

Future as I see it:
1) Sony will not have backward compatibility for PS4 (i.e. no cell for PS4) so they will try to stretch PS3 out to another 6 years. They're in no hurry to lose another billion in a bad rollout.

2) MS after stating that it is not in a hurry for the next gen will surprise Sony and this time have a two year head start on the NextGen; this time with full software compatibility. They may even end up delivering two generations of XBox in time frame for PS4 (if there is such a thing)

3) To survive in the MS dominated gaming environment, Sony and Nin will need to join forces to compete against MS. Perhaps a Google or an Apple alliance with one or the other. Without such an alliance, they will become niche players in the gaming arena.

I sure hope I'm wrong 'cause if I'm right, we're in for a single vendor domination which only works out for MS.

skimming3427d ago (Edited 3427d ago )

Wonder why the disagrees?

Could it be that Sony's paid shills are down grading my post as it cuts too close?

In current economic situation, I can't believe that there are actual Sony/Nin (a foreign company with mostly foreign workforce) proponents in USA willing to risk American jobs at an American company (MS), purely for their own selfish pride.

Don't be stupid, America. If you're going to be supporting foreign companies and foreign tech, know that GM and Chrysler's fate is not far behind for MS.

Don't even bother crying when your Daddy's outsourced out of job and can't afford to buy your $60 game for your b-day.

Zackstorm3427d ago

...honestly, that's ridiculous. Even if Natal is successful chances are slim it'll be THAT successful. Lol, Sony and Nintendo, (and of course Microsoft) aren't going anywhere any time soon.

skimming3427d ago


What we have here is a lack of imagination.

In your future, you will find that most people that you are exposed to have a serious lack of imagination. If you are bright, you will realize that this fact is true more quickly than others.

Even if you realize this (and so are more intelligent than most), it will not help you in any way. Like myself, you and 99% of people will not have enough creative brains to think up something truly imaginative and useful.

Fortunately for us, such brilliant people do exist and Natal tech is the result of such creative imagination. Also fortunately for us, there are truly creative game designers who will be able to see the full potential of such an input device and deliver us those genuine-wow experiences.

I'm just glad that I can experience this now.

asdr3wsfas3427d ago (Edited 3427d ago )

"Fortunately for us, such brilliant people do exist and Natal tech is the result of such creative imagination...

I'm just glad that I can experience this now."

Reading this helps me understand my flamebait is so unrefined. This post is a work of art.

I haven't cried like this in years.

Help me troll like you.

skimming3427d ago

Perhaps a bit of hyperbole on my part; nonetheless, I stand by my main points.

Perhaps you don't realize quite the level of expertise and excellence that MS has in computer vision field. Their Chinese lab entrants regularly win best of conference in CV (that's short for Computer Vision) symposiums. The reason they don't win more is that they only showcase a single, years-old algorithms from their labs.

Natal is the first commercial application that they're showcasing using the literally state-of-the-art CV research. You think Sony/Nin can catch up that quickly?

The only way would have have been to headhunt all the Chinese Ph.D.s in the China lab. Unfortunately for the Japanese (and fortunately for us), the Chinese (unlike some short-sighted US SonyBoys) didn't forget about the Rape of Nanking and the Japanese atrocities in civilian death dealing.

rockleex3427d ago

It seems MS gets the leftover scraps.

Noctis Aftermath3426d ago

@skimming: So according to you if someone doesn't support Natal they are supporting anti-patriotism, and any developer who doesn't think natal is the best thing since sliced bread is blind, and Sony want to copy Natal but can't because the chinese utterly hate them?

Wow, just wow.

hakis863426d ago

Would you mind posting some sources for these claims?

How do you know Sony or Nintendo hasn't been working on something like this for several years themselves?

Guido3426d ago

You're right, the PSX is way cooler than Natal and I thank you for the virtual slap on the wrist. ;-)

skimming3426d ago (Edited 3426d ago )

Sony is primarily an appliance maker.
Nintendo is a toy maker.

Apple is a fantastic integrator/polisher/finisher of hardware and software.

MS and Google are software and algorithm companies.

looki looki

MNicholas3426d ago

That's why Microsoft has taken out important components like the processor.

MNicholas3426d ago (Edited 3426d ago )


MNicholas3426d ago (Edited 3426d ago )

2) Google is not a software company (they don't sell software)

3) Sony does not sell any appliances in North America. Maybe you're thinking of LG and Samsung.

That means you (Skimming) are wrong on all counts.

Here's reality:

Sony has developed and patented far more algorithms touching a wide array of high-end computer electronics and computing applications.

Microsoft is just a generic software development company that simply churns out update after update for the same old crappy software. Innovation is not a part of Microsoft culture. Microsoft is the General Motors of the computer world but, unlike Microsoft, even General Motors is trying to improve and adapt.

Any interesting software algorithms Microsoft owns is due to buyouts of other companies.

Constantly updating and fixing various crappy software is 90% of what they do. The remaining 10% is overpriced and often unreliable consumer products like keyboards & mice, Zune and 360.

vhero3426d ago

Makes sense really as MS don't really care about price point as there buyers will even pay to play online so they will obviously pay out of the nose for something like Natal if they pay for something that should be free.

catguykyou3426d ago

I think if Natal is thought of less as a stand alone controller and more and a addition to the standard controller, we will see some really cool stuff. Imagine walking into the room and turning on your system. Facial recognition is used to log you into your GT. From there you speak the command to play the new FPS you just bought. FPS controls with NATAL you say!? ugh the horror. Well you are right. FPS with just natal would suck. So you control it with the controller still. You're playing the game and a grenade goes off right by you sending dirt and mud into your visor. You reach with your hand to wipe it off of your face using Natal to recognize the motion. Now you lay prone in the grass. You are able to push the grass aside with your hands to give you the perfect vantage point for a shot. Opening a door, turning a wheel, picking a lock. Things that are subtle but add to the game. Imagine this same game recognizing from your body posture how relaxed you are and based off that, upping the amount of activity going on. You are sneaking using a cloaking sheild. While moving you are more visible but when holding still, you are practically invisible. Normally you would just not move your character but with Natal you actually have to hold still in your room.

These are just some of the things I just thought of off the top of my head. None require that the standard controller is abandoned. I hope that we see some really creative ideas that build with Natal, not replace.

+ Show (23) more repliesLast reply 3426d ago
matt2473427d ago

and he signs off on a pulse reader

3427d ago
Seekerofthewind3427d ago (Edited 3427d ago )

Honestly, my only response is: "Don't knock it 'til they show what they can do with it." Nintendo's major peripherals rarely, if ever, disappoint (See: Balance Board, Motion+, Wii Wheel) so I have a feeling this one won't disappoint either.

EDIT: I am assuming that you are speaking of the vitality sensor. xD If not, then what I just posted was a tad pointless...

Christopher3427d ago

Yeah, don't get the pulse reader either.

Wiimotes? Obviously a great idea due to just general sales of the Wii and Nintendo's first-party titles.

Wii Fit? Another great idea that has sold extremely well.

Wii blood pressure? I'm not quite sure where they're going with that, but luckily I don't think they do either as we haven't heard squat about it in a long while.

Calcio3427d ago

I've never heard that he actually saw 3Dvv - olny that Nintedo sed no to camera motion controll early. Thjs makes me les confident in NAtal.

EvilTwin3427d ago (Edited 3427d ago )

Not me. One of Nintendo's biggest concerns is keeping things affordable; the article notes that being able to release this tech at a competitive price (in 2007) was part of the decision for big N.

And Nintendo already had Wii out there and were presumably working on Motion Plus.

So I don't think it necessarily means bad things for Natal just because Nintendo passed it over. There are certainly other concerns, but we'll see...

bednet3427d ago

"He also had some worries around latency during gameplay."

Was also a concern he had, which I also share.

Raf1k13427d ago

Yeah I think the latency is Natal's biggest issue.

If turns out to be pretty good I'll probably buy a Natal bundle when there are a few decent games that utilise it properly.

Christopher3427d ago

Yeah, latency is the primary issue with Natal. Sure, it's not completely controllerless for hardcore games that have way too many actions to mime properly, but the actions you do perform need to be just as quick as those performed with a standard wireless remote.

Qui-Gon Jim3427d ago

I think that with Natal's internal processor now removed, core games will relegate Natal controls to mini-game type functions instead of using it during regular gameplay. Developers won't want to sacrifice graphics in core games, so they will have to use Natal in isolated events. Casual gamers, though, have proven with the Wii that they don't care about the graphics.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3427d ago
DelbertGrady3427d ago

Microsoft does what Nintendont ;p

kaz-hirai3427d ago

M$ fail ? Because nintendo hasnt failed ;-P!!!!!!!!!

DelbertGrady3427d ago

Time for a diaper change, I see.

Ilikegames763427d ago

MS fanboy: Wii is so under powered that it couldn't run Natal.
Nintendo fanboy: Natal is a stupid peripheral, it will fail.
Sony fanboy: Natal is old tech given a new name. PS2 already does that kind of thing.

spinbot_lv13426d ago (Edited 3426d ago )

this remaind me to the old sega advertisement, but look now at sega's not a good sign.sega has failed nintendont, maybe once again the story repeats the same events ;)

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3426d ago
SpoonyRedMage3427d ago

I think he's right, the biggest potential I personally saw in Natal was the built-in processor which MS has now removed from it. I predict it won't go over well.