MIG: Project Natal Hands-On

MyInsideGamer writes:

"Controllers always played a big part in my console preference. I have this thing about controllers where they need to be just right, or I’ll buy a familiar third party one. As peculiar as that may sound, it’s quite true for many gamers. Not only is it important, it’s an element that has evolved hugely since inception. We’ve incorporated more complicated designs; added new features like analogue sticks and even made them wireless and motion sensitive. The idea of being able to play a game without the need of a pad kinda scared me to say the least.

You see, I was very sceptical about this new piece of technology. I honestly didn’t think I’d like it, but I had a fear it would wipe out gaming as we know it if it was a success. So yeah, I was in denial and I didn’t want to like it either. Until I got to play with it, that is."

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Hallmark Moment3774d ago

Game Changer for both the industry and Microsoft.

Cajun Chicken3774d ago

If there were more than Ricochet.

Echo3073774d ago

Yep, and last I heard that was ALL Microsoft was ever putting out for Natal... ever.

Seriously trollers, come up with a new argument. It's just a tech demo. No one was faulting Sony when the only thing they had to show for the Move was a RE5 adaptation. Like the riccochet game, that game will probably never see the market either, they were just trying to show you what they had in mind.

commodore643774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

agreed echo.

Of course Natal is 'more' than ricochet.

Having said that, we haven't seen what this 'more' is exactly.
So, the people who are hyping natal are possibly equally at fault to the ones that are hating and trolling it, based on nothing that we have seen, yet.

97gsx3774d ago

Everyone has reason to be skeptical especially when ricochet is the only game that has been shown. Move has already had been shown doing various things so we know what to expect. Calling people fanboys just because they point out a very reasonable concern makes me sad for this generation.

SixZeroFour3774d ago

thats why everyone should just wait till AFTER E3 before ppl start hyping of bashing natal...because no one really knows till then

i still think the 150 price point is still VERY high...almost like a new console (i think its the same price as the arcade sku)...if they were targeting japan with natal technology (fun family arcadish type of thing like the wii) then i dont think they would accept it with that high of a price point ESPECIALLY if they have to buy a 360 along with it, cause we all know there are plenty who dont have a 360 yet in japan

Rainstorm813774d ago

you are exactly right? If no one know exactly what it is capable of then no one should have anything to say.

I can understand the skeptics a lil more, the only reason for that is because we are getting mor erumors on natals price than on natals games.

But If Microsoft Flys or flops with Natal all depends on E3.

Now if E3 raises more questions than it ansers then i will join the skeptics myself. (already skeptical of all motion devices anyway)

shoddy3774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

ofcoures they have to show more new Natal games at E3 or else people will loose faith.

I think gamers play games not to stay fit because they are lazy from the beginning.
As for kids playing Natal, they will get tired even sooner. When they get tired, They will get bored of Natal.

ManGastaS3774d ago

This is the best natal review!

Im so afraid of microsoft now, if natal becomes a success M$ can dominate the world of gamers with this thing!

I want to see Nintendo making games for natal, I love their creativity :(

FanboysWillHateMe3774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

tried it are giving it tons of praise, so I think I'm going to listen to their opinion more than the PS3 fanboys on N4G who are praying that Natal fails. From what I'm seeing, impressions for MOVE are the mixed ones, while Natal has been getting unanimous positive feedback.

Let me guess, you guys think Microsoft paid all of those guys to say those positive things, including Hideo Kojima, right?

I don't understand why people are hating on Natal just because it's only shown Ricochet. What's wrong with that? They're going all out at this E3, so I don't get all the negativity towards it. Well I do get it, it's just Xbox-haters doing their normal routine.

It's just odd to see more PS3 people than Xbox people on Natal articles, I mean c'mon lol, this sh1t doesn't even concern you, but you're all over it.

travelguy2k3774d ago

if they said it sucked would you buy the games they made for it. They have a vested interest in its success.

I could not help, but laugh reading this article though. I mean the guy was blown away that a video camera could detect a finger moving... i mean, haven't video camers been capable of this feat for... like...forever.....

He said he was sitting on a couch... defeats the purpose of natal if thats what you are doing, but that also tells me he was not moving, ONLY his finger was moving, so this made it very easy for the camera to detect.

Aquanox3774d ago

Impressions have changed dramatically in the latest previews. It seems that Natal has become much more accurate and has gotten rid of a big deal of lag (in fact, no one is mentioning it anymore)

If they pull this off I will be officially impressive. This E3 will be very, very interesting.

cliffbo3773d ago

you all amaze me talking about natal as if it is something new and fantastic when all it is, is a slightly better eyetoy we have seen everything that natal is showing already done with the eyetoy 8 years ago including a demo using the same camera system and software developed by richard marx not microsoft just look on youtube and you can see the demos for yourselfs.

ps a simple version of the ricochet game was also shown.

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Cajun Chicken3774d ago

All I'm saying is there's one very basic technical demo with limited playability and appeal, it's not a game changer yet, until the actual real games show up.

Sure you might end up with another Wii-like casual fest of endless sport simulations and never get many real games, just like the curse of the Wii Nintendo brought upon itself where games without 'Wii', 'Sports' or 'Mario' in the title fail to sell enough.

That to me isn't a game changer, that's just making people do sports inside a different method than the Wii and if I'm thinking MS are aiming for the casual instead of the actual gamers much like Sony seem to be aside from just making the Move and alternate controller for people that fail to have the hand eye co-ordination to hold a simple controller, well, expect very little invested in the real games which would really change things.

Echo3073774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

Thank you, sir. You have a very valid argument. You see, you just went from "trolling chicken" to "reasonable argument chicken" in just one comment. :-) You make very good points.

@Below: Unfortunately, there's trolls on both sides of the fence.

niceguywii603774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

Stop your PS3 fanboy trolling no one cares what you have to say lol. Natal is the future revolution all the developers are talking about and most of the media. You hate it because Sony will be left behind because of Natal.

ingiomar3774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

why are you refering to microsoft/sony when you talk about natal/move.. its all in the hands of the developers.. and it looks like natal got the upperhand.. more developers are interested in natal.. because its something new and refreshing (don't hit me with your stupid eyetoy comments.. please we all know natal is better and something different then eyetoy just because its also a camera doesn't mean it does the same)
Move is like an improved version of the Wii-mote but it has the same possibility's it doesn't do anything we haven't seen yet while natal the possibility's seem like unlimited when you think about it..

Sony fanboys (70% of N4G)you may start disagreeing now..

DelbertGrady3774d ago

I disagree. It's more like 85-90%.

Ri0tSquad3774d ago

It's the future - accept that and stop trolling.

Heisenberg3774d ago

I love the new Fanboy format... State your opinion, then, before anyone with a different opinion has a chance to respond, completely dismiss them all by calling them all fanboys just for disagreeing in the first place, no matter why.... Go write a bitter little blog somewhere if you're only interested in having your opinion validated.

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Bigpappy3774d ago

It is impossible to full appreciate or hate Natal until you give it a spin. It is also a snap shot of what I predict will be the response of most people when they first get to try Natal. That and he is mentioning finger detection and accuracy to boot.

People in the real world have never see let alone control something by waving their hands in thin air. I expect to hear stuff like "This is freaking weird"; "This is like magic"; "This is really creepy";

I M$ has good games at launch, This thing could really put the 360 in another play buy year end. Come on E3!

MNicholas3774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

That article is just another paid ad. Like that PS3 vs 360 piece many years ago that showed up on IGN. They've since edited it to say that the article was written by Microsoft (ie., an advertisement) but originally it appeared to be an IGN produced article.

Regarding some of the nonsense in this article:

1) Natal is no more "infra-red"than any other off-the-shelf webcam.

Even a cheap, $10, webcam already picks up infrared because all CCD and CMOS sensors pick up infrared.

There's nothing "top-end" about the Natal hardware except the rumored price.

2) Despite what's alluded to by the article/advert, the detection of humans vs furniture is not done by the camera. The original design did but since Microsoft removed the 3D processor from the camera last year and moved processing on to the 360's own CPU, Natal, now, simply presents an audio/video feed to the xbox360. Just like any USB webcam. It's also low resolution. We know this because we've seen the raw, unprocessed feed in Microsoft presentations.

It will be interesting to see how much they'll charge for the "Natal" webcam.

IdleLeeSiuLung3774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

That article you linked to clearly says it was sent to IGN in an email from MS and they just reproduced on their website. IGN even stated it is slanted. If IGN "forgot" to put in that notice about coming directly from MS, it is IGN's fault not MS, but I'm sure you would rather have it appear the other way.

In case you didn't notice, MS is showing Natal to a bunch of bloggers to try and reach different audiences even before the product is released. However, I'm sure you prefer to think of it as MS paid of every single blogger they talk to and nobody spoke up, ever!

1) I doubt an off the shelf webcam can do 3D! There are 2 cameras in Natal, one of them designed specifically to not only pick up the infrared signal but also determine the distance with Time of Flight or similar technology. A regular camera can pick up infrared signals, but can't give you the necessary information to calculate depth like Natal.

2) Well that is sort of a rumor that goes back and forth about the chip being pulled and then put back in. Either way it is a rumour, and frankly why does it matter where the software is located unless it works the way it advertises?

I'm sure you could come up with something more negative than that, but then why are you here in a Natal article?

Bigpappy3774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

CCD's are controller boards used in high end scanners and copier to auto calibrate the lens to get the sharpest image. In most cases they use Florissant bulbs. CMOS is a transistor designed for low energy use and low heat dissipation. Neither have anything to do with infrared detection. Infrared is a special light source that require special sensors to be detected. A web cam can not see in the dark, this is part of the reason PS-eye uses the bulb at the end of the move.
@ tiamat5 below:
The tech demo is all about speed. So you need to find some other aspect to make your point. I know, it is getting harder and harder to come up with the negatives. Good luck.

MNicholas3774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

@Bigpappy, you don't know what you're talking about. Quoting wiki for definitions is meaningless. All webcams have the capability to see in the dark. All you have to do is swap out the cheap plastic filter. Google solves all problems. Brand new IR emitting/receiving USB webcams can be bought for as little as $11 online.

Buy one:


Unblock IR in your existing Webcam:


Buy this 20-pack if IR emitting LEDs for $3:

Wiring is very simple.

@idleleesuilung, when originally posted by IGN, the biased article made no mention whatsoever that it was an advert written by Microsoft. It was simply linked on the gaming page like any other IGN article. The text you see today, pretending it's 3:30pm on whatever date, was added later after much criticism to camouflage what IGN had actually done ... pass of a paid advertisement written by Microsoft as a regular article on it's website.

It's as much Microsoft's fault (false information, paying bribes to carry multiple page ads as "articles," etc) as it was IGNs (presenting false information, accepting bribes, etc...).

You obviously don't want to believe me but. then again, you probably don't believe that it was Microsoft and not Sony that promised Toy Story graphics from a last gen machine.

Bigpappy3773d ago

Dude, everything I said came from my own knowledge, because I repair scanner and copier that use CCD cameras. I do know what I a speaking about or unlike you I would have left it alone. The link you show contradicts what you have already stated. It clearly shows that you would need to put a filter (sensor) behind the lens to isolate the frequency of the infrared light. It had nothing to do with CMOS or CCD. It is good that you show interest in this tech. Just read a bit deeper and you will have a better understanding.

CCD is a complex board that has digital and analog calibrations. CMOS is completely digital.

aliveinboston3773d ago (Edited 3773d ago )

Bigpappy your talking about things you don't understand. Maybe you SHOULD have looked at Wiki.

CCD is not a "board" its a digital sensor called charged coupled device.

CMOS is like a cheap version of CMOS.

And yeah as Mnichlas said they both pick up infrared IF you switch filters which is very cheap to do. That video explains it right.

How do I know this? I'm a professional photographer (weddings, events, models, etc).


I've been telling you before dude, you need ot keep it simple. You use too many big words for these people to understand. Also I notice you dont like Natal much. Personally I'm waiting to judge on it because you never know what upgrades it has.

ZenoNinja3772d ago

whom you are befriending your friend MNicholas over there.

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IdleLeeSiuLung3774d ago

"I have never experienced accuracy like this. I moved a finger – one finger – as it rested upon my leg. Natal detected it. I twiddled my foot slightly. Natal detected it. I sneezed. Natal detected it and offered me a tissue. No not really, but the first two are true."

MNicholas3774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

beauty is in the eye of the beholder:

I wonder what happened to that talking boy demo. If these so called journalists get so excited about playing a game that's almost identical to PS2 Eye-toy games from many years ago, then why wouldn't Microsoft unleash the little boy demo with the jumping over rocks and water swirling and conversations?

In case you haven't guessed, that's a rhetorical question.

IdleLeeSiuLung3773d ago (Edited 3773d ago )

@mnicholas above:

Illustrating your point by posting a year old video on software that isn't even finalized. With that said, did you ever see the video of Natal picking up all the break-dance moves?

I'm sure you would rather believe that the technology isn't there since you seem to hate Natal.

Why are you here if you hate Natal so much?

AliveBoston above said:


I've been telling you before dude, you need ot keep it simple. You use too many big words for these people to understand. Also I notice you dont like Natal much. Personally I'm waiting to judge on it because you never know what upgrades it has."

His problem isn't the big words, it is the fanboy (or hate) slant combined with the trolling with a hint of fact.

aliveinboston3773d ago

I dont mean to be harsh but the only fanboy here is you. You always saying how great Microsoft is and how everything else sucks.

Every time thats all you talk about. I dont post much but I watch everything so I know.

The ONLY reason I even bothered to post was because people were saying wrong things about cameras which are near and dear to me.

ZenoNinja3773d ago

Idle can be a little aggressive and fanboyish at times, but your comments do have that hint of Sony fanboyism.

If you prefer something, you are a fanboy on this site.

As idle mentioned multiple times, why is MNicholas here trolling in a news piece he isn't interrested in. Sounds like another fanboy to me.

aliveinboston3773d ago

Just what aspect of what I said "hinted at Sony fanboyism"?

YOUR the one even bringing Sony into this discussion yet your calling me a fanboy?


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Obama3774d ago

I don't have to read the article to know that it's about the red ball game lol.

polow got sol3774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

MS will make millions off this its already a first day buy for me all the previews so far are positive

masterofpwnage3774d ago

you should wait. there all the same game. no prove yet.

masterofpwnage3774d ago (Edited 3774d ago )

how can they. the hype of this is so big. they can show a eyepet clone for crying out loud and still be good. thats how much hype there is. they showed nothing but the ricochet and when they show just a little bit of new gameplay, like tennis then trust me. Media and everything will be on it in seconds.

the the accuracy is supposed to be good to.
there is no way natal will fail. I think we will be suprised by natal. the only problem, do you think the devs are ready fo it?

has anyone ever asked that?

remember the ps3 it took time to get used to and i think like the ps3, natal will have the same problem. no matter how good your tech is, if the people cant perfect it, it will turn out to be garbage.

brew3774d ago

"After an explosive session with the device, I left as though I was walking on a cloud. I realised I needed to play some boring old pad controlled game for review when I got home, but I couldn’t bring myself to play the games. When you spend a short amount of time with Natal, going back to controlling your player with an analogue stick just doesn’t do it anymore. It’s like being sent back to the Stone Age.

Very rarely do we see huge leaps being made in the gaming world. Natal is one of these huge leaps. Sure, the Wii brought us into motion control, but if feels clunky, uncomfortable and old compared to Natal. And mark my words: Natal is the future. To be able to have such fast tracking time, uphold the detailed motion detection and being able to do this without the need of an external controller is simply a huge feat that I didn’t think possible until I finally got to play with the device."

Close_Second3774d ago

...then are you prepared to change the type of games you play?

Look at the style of game on the Wii that exploits its controls. They are for the casual gamer. Look at the Ipod and IPhone with its touch screen controls. Again, for the casual gamer.

I think Natal has real potential however, maybe not in terms of games we all play and love today. Imagine a game like Forza with no physical controls, Halo Reach or Gears of War for that matter.

To exploit Natal you need to release games that work best with that style of controller. None of the games I mentioned above would, well, not in their current format. Sure you could play Forza without physical controls but would you use Natal over a proper driving wheel?

Finally, I also recall that the Wii release of Monster Hunter was also bundled with a more conventional controller. Who would have thought...

Anyway, my point is, let the games do the talking and not any PR hype and marketing. I dare say Natal (and Move) will find markets but they will not replace the games we all love playing today.

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