Natal's 3D Camera Tech Could Soon Appear On Other Platforms

PSInsider Writes: We take a look at Softkinetic, a company which plans on bringing the 3D infared "RGB+Z" technology to PC, set top boxes, and even other consoles. Can their device succeed? We look at the possibilities, and challenges they face.

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Blaze9294967d ago (Edited 4967d ago )

Sooooo basically Softkinetic is trying to do everything Microsoft is planning to do with Natal? I mean I don't know who was first but clearly someone is copying someone. IF I had to guess it'd be Microsoft doing the copying....

Cevapi884967d ago

a bit of a stretch if you ask me....you are going to go into a market where 2 new motion devices are about to be released....it wont get the PR that Sony and MS will utilize for their products....

although it would be funny to see how PC gamers will call this thing a technological masterpiece and SOOO much better than both Move or Natal, since PC games in their minds are always better than console games....at least that is what i have seen on N4G

Blaze9294967d ago

Yeah like, I read the article about this new device and I didn't see anything different from Microsoft and Natal. I don't get it. So looks like this may be the new 'it' thing where there are different types/manufactures of a...'motion camera' or whatever we're calling it.

fr0sty4967d ago

Hey, competition in that market will only drive costs down for us, so that's a good thing. I'd like to see how this setup stacks up against natal though. MS has poured a LOT into making natal what it is. Considering they snagged the ex-executive producer of natal to help make this thing, it sounds promising.

glennc4967d ago

so what, there was motion tech available for the PS2 and PC just after the wii came out and nobody even noticed.

fr0sty4967d ago

because nobody promoted them properly. only now are those companies realizing there is a lucrative motion control market out there.

ExgamerLegends24967d ago

but the way i see it pc gamers sit at a desk in front of a monitor. For this to work they would actually have step a few feet away from their 17 inch monitors. This would only work for the pc gamers that use their tv's.

N4g_null4966d ago (Edited 4966d ago )

I'm really curious as to why you believe PCs are not more powerful.

Softkinetic , which has recently plucked Mike Nichols from his perch as Project Natal Executive Producer for Microsoft, is at the forefront of 3D gesture recognition. That is kind of a big deal since MS is limiting them by taking that processor out.

If you remember MS bought the company that made the z cam. Then they took the cpu out of it to make it cheaper... This basically took the main advantage away from MS and put it on par with the eye toy.

Cevapi88 - 1.1 -

"it would be funny to see how PC gamers will call this thing a technological masterpiece and SOOO much better than both Move or Natal, since PC games in their minds are always better than console games....at least that is what i have seen on N4G"

Seriously are you that insecure about your console? We don't call things masterpiece either. Most PCs games don't get perfect scores either. PC gaming is all about better tech for the price not marketing hype, sure it has that yet no one pays attention to it. It's all about bench marks and performance.

One simple reason this would rock on a PC would be that fact AMD is releasing a 6 core CPU, wait they already did oops and the i7 from intel is just a beast. Remember how the motion controls on the HD console will need any where from 10-20% of the power of your console just to do the more advances motion controls that the wii already does. Well on PC you could just have that extra CPU do that, need voice recognition ok here is another CPU. Hell will the GPU do it better well guess what you can just use CUDA, etc or a program shader.

Yes the GPUs in the current PCs can run a program almost by it self. That is power for you. All games run in HD yes all even older games LOL.

I'm not sure how old you guys are but seriously you need to read up on PC tech and while your at it download the UT SDK for free, they will teach you about most gaming tech, yet they are not the best. Crytek is the best procedural coders out there right now that's big.

So I could see this being used on a type 2x arcade cabinet. Also that arcade system has been hack yet there is a fix. Arcade games can come with DRM LOL yet they don't make good ones. The most aggressive would be constant online for credit card use of course wink wink. This camera could fix half the problem also. When hardware is needed then you have a very effective way to stop piracy. If this camera is as good as they claim they may just have away to stop the pirates.

I know this is off topic but pirates should be rewarded. At least let them try your game out for say a day. If you get them hooked then you get your self a sell which is what us devs work for anyway.

Also ponder this---
"[Michel] It took indeed a little while for people to accept that gesture-based interfaces are a good candidate for controlling and navigating electronic devices. There are two reasons for that. First, the solution has to be robust, reliable, and perform well – three parameters that have now been achieved thanks to the progress made by the various 3D camera manufacturers and Softkinetic. Second, because the technology is now being adopted by all ecosystem players – semiconductor companies (see our work with Texas Instruments), set top box manufacturers, PC manufacturers (see Quanta’s recent investment in Canesta), telecommunications services providers (see our work with Orange and Belgacom), etc. In other words, a critical mass of industrial players have now decided to bring this technology to market, which drives overall growth in said market."

This is beyond gaming and goes for wait for it cable TV viewing GASP*!!!

glennc - "so what, there was motion tech available for the PS2 and PC just after the wii came out and nobody even noticed." I own most of those things also. My favorite ones are my wacom table 6d pen with my cintq and my space mouse which does what the gyro mouse was supose to do. Yet this may let me do more which would be sweet now we just need a visual matrix that we can actually interact with that is 3d, guess we will need glasses for that one though.

ExgamerLegends2 - "Interesting
but the way i see it pc gamers sit at a desk in front of a monitor. For this to work they would actually have step a few feet away from their 17 inch monitors. This would only work for the pc gamers that use their tv's. "

Nope your wrong there. I go into my lap top options and change these setting. Sleep when the lid is close is turned off. I get a wireless mouse, game pad, hori stick, wii mote etc and key board and hook up to any HDtv I find around. Instant HD gaming console and development platform in one. I'm thinking MS may just go that route next gen. With taito board being hacked those games will need to go some where. HD gaming is missing games like these minus a few that already can to pc.

Taito Type X games

* Chaos Breaker (2004)
* Dinomax (2006)
* Datacarddass Dragon Ball Z (2005)
* Giga Wing Generations (2004)
* Harakari Professional Baseball (2005)
* Homura (2005)
* Power Instinct: The Commemoration (2009)
* Raiden III (2005)
* Raiden IV (2007)
* Shikigami no shiro III (2006)
* Spica Adventure (2005)
* Taisen Hot Gimmick 5 (2005)
* Taisen Hot Gimmick Party (2005)
* Tetris The Grand Master 3: Terror Instinct (2005)
* The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match (2008)
* Usagi -Wild Fight- Online (2005)
* Zoids Card Colosseum (2005)
* Zoids Infinity EX (2005)
* Zoids Infinity EX Plus (2006)

Taito Type X+ games

* Battle Gear 4 (2005)
* Battle Gear 4 Tuned (2006)
* Half-Life 2: Survivor (2006)

Taito Type X² games

* Aquarian Age Alternative (2006)
* Battle Fantasia (2007)
* BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (2008)
* BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (2009)
* Chase H.Q. 2 (2007)
* Elevator Action Death Parade (2009)
* D1GP Arcade (2007)
* Eternal Wheel (2007)
* Haunted Museum (2009)
* Hopping Urodo (2009)
* KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A (2007)
* Nippon Senor! (2009)
* Oppopo Booom (2009)
* Samurai Shodown: Edge of Destiny (2008)
* Senko No Ronde Duo - Dis-United Order (2009)
* Street Fighter IV (2008)
* The King of Fighters XII (2009)
* Trouble Witches AC (2008)

ChickeyCantor4966d ago


Going that far, you could also say : MS copies Sony and sony copies Wii?
just saying.

rkimoto4966d ago

Blaze is a big Xbox fan, no need to name calling or bashing another consoles here dude, that's what the open zone is for.

@ Blaze
Don't know man, there are a lot of companies in the world that make similar developments and probably there are similar in tech but not necessarily meaning that one copied the other.

ChickeyCantor4966d ago

" no need to name calling or bashing another consoles here dude"

What...I did not even do that.

Cevapi884966d ago

did i not prove my point of how someone was going to go ahead and call it a technological masterpiece since PCs can do so much....im not disagreeing with what scissor_runner says, i know that PCs can do much more since their main purpose isnt gaming...but he goes and flaunts PCs technical advantages and then gets mad at me when i prove him right....LOL

N4g_null4966d ago

Hey if you can't take the truth then I don't know what to tell you. No one said it was a master piece and PCs are better, Why are you so down about that? You would not have a PS3 with out PC tech, unified platform means bleeding edge.

I'm was just tired of console gamers acting all but hurt because they can afford a PS3 with a SDtv and not a gaming PC. I understand if you live with mom or your just broke but why is it a problem for people to state to obvious? Another thing I stated the not so obvious to the ones above since they think this is just like the natal and it's not.

Hey I'm not mad or what ever I just type what is there sorry your feeling where hurt or what ever. It would be nice to have a discussion on these board instead I feel like I'm talking to 12 years old am I? Not an insult just wondering it's a rough time to be a kid.

Cevapi884966d ago

wait you really think im hurt or sad for some reason lol...i could care less...i was just commenting on an article and what i see on the N4G boards...you can say what you want...go ahead not my problem nor my business....i dont even know where you are getting that notion...hey if it makes you feel better, then go ahead....as for me, i was just stating my opinion...you cant tell me that PC gamers dont flaunt the power of PC gaming machines...

and i dont need a gaming PC to enjoy games like Half-Life, KOTOR, Mass Effect, CoD, Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike etc..i have enjoyed many of those on my PC and im happy that i did..and good on you for just assuming that im some little kid...

Nicholas Cage4966d ago

called the eyetoy. on the Playstation 2.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 4966d ago
fr0sty4967d ago (Edited 4967d ago )

@ ExgamerLegends2:

it depends on the field of view of the camera. They can adjust it so that it sees all of you even up close for a PC version.

JasonPC360PS3Wii4967d ago

GL trying to get MS to share their software for Natal since that is the power behind Natal. MS been working on this a few years now so they may want to get busy if they want to catch up. As for the tech by all means copy it and make good programs for the PC.

fr0sty4967d ago

Obviously these guys have their own setup going already. We'll see at e3.

Hallmark Moment4967d ago (Edited 4967d ago )

Natal was said to be compatible with Windows at E3. You probably want to stick with the company that owns the hardware and happens to be a software company too.

#1.6 is right, the full function of a Natal-like camera would be retarded on PC unless we're strictly talking about gesture control. Just sounds like fans of the other camp starting to admit how powerful Natal will be and this is the only way to deal with it, taking the edge off. Also look who posted this news and the source of the news.

fr0sty4967d ago (Edited 4967d ago )

hahahaha... good one. I personally hope that Sony does not use this tech (which they've already turned down, mind you), as it would drive the cost of the move bundle too high and I do not want to be forced into a USB camera only setup because of the lag and lack of gameplay variety without buttons.

This article simply points out their statement, and examines the possibilities it presents. It's unlikely they'd have much success on consoles by releasing as a third party adapter, for the reasons stated in the article. So for them to mention consoles, they must have someone in mind. It could be Apple for all we know. All we know is both Sony and Nintendo were both approached with this tech before, and turned it down. So, unless this camera offers something drastically different than what Natal uses, it's unlikely that they'd drop their current setups this far in the game for that.

It'll be interesting to see their plans. All that was meant to be said with the article. Not some attempt at "dealing with" some supposed jealousy of a system that has demonstrated nothing other than being able to play a laggy version of dodgeball for the past year since it was revealed, all the while promising to revolutionize gaming.

Hallmark Moment4967d ago (Edited 4967d ago )

They're trying to post it twice including you.

Well I know Nintendo lead the pack in motion so everybody followed them and I know Natal will do the same but lets wait until Natal is successful before we start posting >ME TOO< articles again and again. At least people across the board are starting to see how huge Natal will be.

The best of luck to them Microsoft has been working on the software end of this for years before they Purchased 3DV systems.

Xi4967d ago

Third party motion peripherals don't do well. There's already clones of the wii mote for the 360 and ps3, and none have garnered as much attention as either the move or natal.

Hallmark Moment4967d ago

Indeed. The top part of my first post will factor in to what you said. I completely forgot about the wands on 360 and PS3 already or did they come out yet?

fr0sty4967d ago

That's one thing mentioned in the article. Their only chance at making it on a console is if they team up with the console manufacturer for a first party device.

Hallmark Moment4967d ago (Edited 4967d ago )

Yep it's not backed by a video game company with console system software or retail software and it's 3rd party.

Here is a 3DV system Zcam from 2007

CES 2008

The Zcam and its early software from the Israeli company [3DV systems] is Natal's ancestor before Microsoft purchased the company. Microsoft has been working on the software side of this for years obviously seeing how half of Natal's software features already exists in windows OS[Ease of access center in the control panel].

FragMnTagM4966d ago

"The great thing about Softkinetic Studios is that we are not confined to one platform. Using Softkinetic’s iisu we’re able to bring Natural Gesture Input experiences to a variety of platforms including arcades, to set top boxes, PCs, consoles, and more."

Consoles are one platform out of the many he is shooting for. I don't think he is too worried about getting it on consoles he has many options. If the guy was smart, he would skip the consoles and push for his other options. He is retarded if he thinks he is going to make a splash with consoles that will already have first party motion controls.

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