Prior to Microsoft taking the stage for its 2010 Consumer Electronics Show address, the company leaked out a potential preview of the event. Microsoft's Channel 9 anti-marketing marketing division posted (and then pulled) a video interview with Entertainment and Devices division president Robbie Bach in which the executive addressed a handful of news items presumably intended to come out in the CES address.
First up, Bach listed Project Natal among the company's expected highlights for 2010, alongside Halo Reach and further expansion of the Xbox Live service. The motion-sensing camera peripheral had been largely assumed to be a 2010 launch for the company, but Microsoft itself hadn't actually confirmed the date previously.
The other bit of news Bach discussed was the introduction of Xbox Game Room. In October, a Microsoft consumer survey floated the idea of an Avatar arcade where Xbox Live users would be able to play retro games from vintage consoles like the Atari 2600 and Intellivision. Bach touched on the Game Room in the leaked video, describing it as a place where gamers can play "30 or more" retro-styled games.
"There's a generation of people who grew up with a set of games like Centipede," Bach said. "They look almost like casual, fun games today. At the time they were high-end, edgy games. Game Room is the idea of bringing that back to the market and bringing it to a very broad audience."
While he acknowledged that traditional gamer audiences would likely be drawn to Game Room because of nostalgic familiarity with the offerings on hand, Bach stressed that it would hold a much broader appeal as well.
"It's sort of like my daughter going to watch Journey," Bach said. "She thinks it's a cool band, and I like the music."
Check out GameSpot's live blog of the Microsoft CES conference (coverage to start at 6:30 p.m. Pacific) to find out what else the company has up its sleeve.