Microsoft ramping up Natal hires

Publisher's in-house Xbox 360 studio issues call for 18 developers, including executive producer, creative director, for motion-sensing camera project.

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Microsoft officially announced its camera-based motion controller currently known as Project Natal in June, during the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo. However, even before then, the publisher had begun ramping up its development teams to accommodate the innovative new device, revealing through a job listing that it was in the process of building out a new internal studio devoted, ostensibly, to Project Natal development.

The eye, it's looking for you...

Hiring for said development house kicked into high gear this week, when Microsoft Game Studios posted job reqs for 14 positions related to software development for Project Natal, many of which are for senior-level roles. In total, the game developer has put out the call to fill 18 positions on the Project Natal job since late August. "We are developing a studio from the ground up, made up of some of the industry's most creative, innovative, and technical minds," many listings noted.

While the job reqs offered few details on what MGS's in-development game may entail, they did provide some scope of what the developer is up to. "Our publishing organization, responsible for launching titles such as Gears of Wars, Mass Effect, Crackdown, Lips, and many others, is working on the next great MGS franchises for Natal, which will shape the future of interactive entertainment," reads one listing for an executive producer role on the project.

"Microsoft Game Studios is looking for a creative director to help develop a new gaming category for the Xbox 360 Natal program," reads a similarly elusive statement in a second job listing. "This is a phenomenal and rare opportunity to help start a new and innovative gaming product and service while using your creativity to shape it from the very beginning!"

Microsoft has yet to provide a hard timeline for when it expects to release its camera-based motion controller. However, many industry watchers believe that the publisher will launch Project Natal as part of an Xbox 360 bundle in 2010.

Discussion

153 comments
gnrlstuart
gnrlstuart

yay, casual games! but seriously i think this will be a win, but an overpriced one. im hoping the price stays no higher than $80

smbius
smbius

Software makes the hardware. Until then, hold your judgement.

EVILD0GS
EVILD0GS

This can of reminds me of Nintendo's Virtual Boy that came out during the '90, it was revolutionary (3D gaming) and cutting edge, but did not sell well at all. Admit it, some of us like a responsive multi-tasking controller instead of bouncing around the living room like a drunken cheerleader. Natal is for basic games set up (throwing or hitting objects), even Bungie admits that they will not implement the technology "until it makes sense", plus i saw the video stage demo at E3 , there was a considerable amount of lag between the real and the on screen movement. Then again, i think it will be a great toy to lure all those Wii fans over to the XBOX360

S3P4eeever
S3P4eeever

cloudy looks the future for the NATAL project

ChidoriBoyU
ChidoriBoyU

@Sldgfactory ya i said "most people" not "all people"

riariases
riariases

For a bit, this looked fake. For instance when he was scanning his deck, his hand was in the way of part of the design yet the camera still showed that part when he was selecting it.

Nobri
Nobri

That video looked so much cooler when I first saw it. Now, it's like, "Meh".

Bufta
Bufta

And i thought the xbox 360 couldnt get any worse, boy was i wrong! I wonder how long itll take the natal camera to red light and break. I could never trust microsoft again after the debacle that is the original xbox 360!

LeoGoBezerk
LeoGoBezerk

I'm sure that this will be a good addition to games as a small features. For example some movements or reactions in fps games or in horror games. But not as full game controls.

megamega777
megamega777

This is cool and all but i would try it before i buy it because of past motion sensor history... And if you ask what happened to them, lets just say a hammer "accidentally fell" on it

KingNabster
KingNabster

Hopefully in all probability the Natal will flop. Console add-ons are basically never successful. The danger lies in the next gen, if they incorporate this useless technology in it, and force us loser gamers to pay for something we do not want.

X-RS
X-RS

@chaisemon if there develpoing software now, my guess is it will be integrated in microsofts xXxbox. you could hold a standard controller in your left or somethih i spose. or some new controller. think itd be easy to integrate some kind of optical pointing device a-la sony thing/wiimote.

trw534
trw534

cant wait for natal

darthvader1993
darthvader1993

Well micro$oft finally realized that the casual market is a goldmine, too bad Nintendo already has that market. I got a Wii and a 360, i really tried to get interested in this but the bad always weighs out the good when i observe it. most everything Natal does i can already do on the Wii, the only difference being the ability to interact with NPC's. I'm not paying the ridiculous price tag of this machine just to talk to a virtual kid, or anything in that category. First it was avatars, now its Natal, whats next?

chaisemon
chaisemon

wait, isint this just an optional device???

chaisemon
chaisemon

erm, how do you move forward in an adventure or a shooting game without the analogue stick or directional buttons?? i think natal is going to be great when it comes to playing puzzle games or some of the sports games (olympics??). this will be good for video chat and conference.. also i would miss the combo moves in fighting games. and the vibration in the controller when you crash your car in a racing.

DanOwns1207
DanOwns1207

It looks cool, but I can see this turning into the Wii as in all of the attachments. I mean Wiimote, nunchuk, classic controller, zapper, sporting equipment, wii wheels, wii fit, wii motion plus (because the $60 dollars you spent on the Wiimote and nunchuk just wasn't enough to buy functionality), all the wii jackets and skins, etc. Natal will work fine with games that don't require anything besides your body (like fighting games) but I would imagine you would need an attachment to play a shooter or such game because it can't see you pulling the trigger. Who wants to shoot an imaginary gun anyway? So, I really hope this doesn't turn into an attachment fest like the Wii, because if it does, I'm out.

hamster386
hamster386

Great! A device with full motion body capture! Jumping, ducking, kicking; better hope the lower body paralysis I've had all my life clears up in time before this comes out. If the gaming industry is going this way I'd better quit now before I get disappointed later. Hopefully it'll be as bad as the Wii.

assassinatur54
assassinatur54

I don't know, I think playing games regularly still beats playing by 'moving'. I mean the Wii was played for like a year and then people threw it away and went back to regular. I don't know this looks really cool, but if everyone gets lemons and the console breaks it will just suck and Microsoft is the leading lemon seller.

oneofthefall
oneofthefall

this isnt good, do you remember what happened when they rushed out the 1st batch of 360s?..... they broke fast! something tells me the same thing is going to happen to natal!

method115
method115

@daisyone Speak for yourself I lift weights, Cardio training, and BJJ. When I play games I want to sit down let my arms relax and move nothing but my fingers. I'm way to tired to be moving around or wailing my arms around.

XanderZane
XanderZane

mk360star How u gonna play first-person shooters?!?!?!!!! ************************************************************** Who said they were making FPS for Natal? lol!! I can see 3-D adventure games and a few sports games. I don't see FPS converting well to any motion sensor device.

DaSlyOne
DaSlyOne

HA! It's like the whole "FPS's don't belong on consoles" song and dance from mouse/keyboard PC diehards. 20 years from now, I sure hope that video games aren't being controlled with a mouse/keyboard/gamepad!

mightEone
mightEone

For those thinking Natal is not good for hardcore games imagine this... Playing Elder Scrolls and being able to talk to NPCs instead of selecting dialogue. Give hand signals and tell orders to squad mates in GRAW and Rainbow 6. FPS? probaly not, but imagine playing Gears and to summon the Chainsaw or Melee you hold up your controller.COD someone throws a grenade at you so you pick it up and toss it back! What I'm getting at here is you people that hate Natal simply aren't thinking deep enough for the potential ground breaking possibilities that could come from it.

shawise
shawise

Whoaaa! now that's deep.

FoxbatAlpha
FoxbatAlpha

When this comes out, people will be throwing rocks at their Wii's.

atopp399
atopp399

At least a team of people will have jobs for awhile. I don't think anything will ever really come of this though.

thedarklord_29
thedarklord_29

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kamizuka
kamizuka

this is just amazing, this is something for having fun with others not hardcore games you know

spotty6
spotty6

sony and microsoft stick with what your good at making good consoles and leave the motion control to the wii

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Success or Failure of Natal will depend on the . If there aren't compelling new games (casual or hardcore) from the very start with a decent line-up of games to come out soon after and throughout, then this will not catch on to the masses. As others have stated, this will appeal more to the casual crowd than the hardcore, but that doesn't mean that the hardcore won't get some use out of it. It will depend on the software available and the price of the device on whether or not I purchase Natal. _

andy_lyall
andy_lyall

Meh is just about the only emotion I can summon for this thing. I'd love to be proved wrong.... Really..... I just can't see it happening. Also, lee1823 is right, people were worried about throwing their wiimotes into their TV sets, surely there's more risk of sticking your foot through them with that ninja game!!

bobdimstar
bobdimstar

it will be an age when controllers will be much more expensive than its consoles,stick to analog controllers,they earn easy money with less frustration,besides,this type of motion control is something we can enjoy,but for a short period of time

mk360star
mk360star

How u gonna play first-person shooters?!?!?!!!!

lee1823
lee1823

i just watched the video..... this 'model family' has a lounge that is bigger than my house.... and.... my wii is an expensive scummvm emulator, motionplus or not. i dont want to move whilst playing games...... ever... just my thumbs (i may breathe/blink occasionally) think i'll miss the whole natal thing (and im a big 360 fan!).... looks like it's way off anyhoo... i just hope MS dont hurt their flow of 'regular' titles to make way for this.

CeroDouble
CeroDouble

I don't have anything against the 360 or natal, but I think natal will fail (mostly to the core gamers), why you ask? because it does not feature a controller, and all the bugs that was shown in the live demo. its just my opinion and I don't really care whether the fanboys agree with me or not.

Qirexian
Qirexian

I agree with TripSe7en, this is definitely not the end of controllers just a very cool new way of doing things. It'll definitely remain a matter of gamers' preference.. We've had similar examples in the past, such as the steering wheel. Many people still prefer their controllers to play racing games.

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

Why do people think this is going to be the end of controllers? The way I see it, controllers will be main stay for at least 10 more years until a new tech comes out to merge motion capture and hands on... I can not imagine a developer, like epic or activision, dropping all support for controllers on their FPS. I doubt they will even integrate Natal to FPS period.

baderlionheart
baderlionheart

great technology!!!!!!!!!! but lets face it u need a lot of space to make ur movements and for FPS games can it recognize when ur shooting and ur finger movements? they r offering a new world of game industry but imagine the limitation if the companies didnt take alot possibilities for us players to do or a good game will take like 7 years in development? now a days with current tech it takes lik 2-3 years or more(like SE in FF games) i guess it will be a very hard start and i think its a bit early for this kind of this tech imagine the bugs or problems for me ill stick with my controller and ill be very happy with it

TurboGuru
TurboGuru

Excedra, whilst I welcome new technology, my opinion on the matter is that the normal controller on the 360 is one of the best controllers ever, its got pretty much everything right, size, weight etc, except for the D-pad. I just don't see why they should focus so much on Natal when it clearly cannot provide such a tactile response as a controller. Sure I guess integrate it if need be, but don't devoid the controller as the primary input. This is for casuals and thats what concerns me. The wii is perfect for noobs who are too scared to learn how to use a controller, at one stage we all didn't know how to use a controller but we did ended up learning right? Anyway the Xbox 360/PS3 has allowed us to retain that core gaming experience with core games, I guess I'm just concerned that this Natal is going to dumb down the experience as it gets mainstream. To deny technology even before you had the opportunity to try it is stupid, thus I reserve judgement until Natal comes out, but I really hope it doesn't become the primary controller. Ask yourself, do you NEED natal? .... I'm guessing the answer is 'no' ..... but if Microsoft wishes to gain more popularity with the uber noob crowds then I guess it makes sense.

Excedra
Excedra

seriously, if you have a ps3 and no 360, please do not go against this technology, respect it, and 360 owners will learn to respect ps3 add-ons as well. making the world safer and happier.

Excedra
Excedra

I have huge faith in Natal, it will work. It is revolutionary tech that can change the gaming world forever. Microsoft will stand up to their strengths and make numerous games for it, making sure each game works and is enjoyable. I swear whoever is against Natal is obviously a fanboy, who's stuck in their little world of delusional crap because they dont have a 360 and secretly wish they did. However, the PS3 is no loser here, it already has blu-ray, which is a revolutionary format as well, and by next year, they will have motion controllers and 3d gaming, and those two combined , making it a formidable gaming experience.

cocomacoco
cocomacoco

i like my controller, thx, games are for relaxing, not for having neural disorders.

Excedra
Excedra

Im sure ms would show that 360 motion controller soon, some games need controllers, fps games for example, and ms knows that.