So, E3 began today. Microsoft, as in the past, began with their press conference. They revealed the usual assortment of Halo, Forza Motorsports and other games. They also showed off the Zune video store, play on demand without download and 1080p HD video. The real excitement, though, is a project they call ‘Natal.’
Natal is controller-less entertainment on the Xbox 360. Natal is a device with various sensors and speech recognition. The sensors detect motion, like the Wii, but, unlike the Wii, the user holds nothing. Instead, the sensor sits in front of the television, like the Wii sensor bar. The sensor, like the old Playstation Eye, can detect body motion very accurately.
The device also feature facial recognition so it ‘knows’ who you are and switches to your avatar. You can navigate the XBOX Menu using your hands to swipe left, right, up or down.
Natal can tell where in three dimensional space you happen to be and adjust your avatar accordingly. This allows for natural, fluid movement and very intuitive gaming. This could, truly, change gaming. Nintendo has some serious catching up to do.
Nintendo’s Wii-mote was evolutionary. Natal is revolutionary. Microsoft knocked it out of the park.
Go here to check out the Microsoft keynote.