Microsoft reveals Natal publisher support

Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Capcom, Disney, Electronic Arts, Konami, MTV Games, Namco Bandai, Sega, Square Enix, THQ, and Ubisoft among publishers "actively developing" titles using motion-sensing technology.

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As soon as the 2009 Tokyo Game Show kicked off in Japan, Sony and Nintendo began fighting for the media spotlight. The former used the event's keynote address to announce that the new PlayStation 3 Slim had sold 1 million units worldwide in just 3 weeks. In the middle of said address, delivered by Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai, Nintendo struck back, confirming the long-rumored $200 Wii price point and dating New Super Mario Bros. Wii for November 15.

Kudo Tsunoda isn't the only developer fired up about Project Natal.

Apparently not wanting to be left out, Microsoft fired off an announcement of its own, revealing that the publisher is "actively working on games" for its Project Natal motion-sensing technology. Though no specific Natal-ized titles were revealed, the companies supporting the controller-less, camera-based system are a veritable who's who of the industry.

Call of Duty and Guitar Hero maker Activision Blizzard is on board the Natal Express, as is Bethesda Softworks, the label behind Fallout 3 and the just-released Wet. Rock Band publisher MTV Games has also signed up, as has THQ (UFC 2009 Undisputed, WWE Smackdown! 2010), Electronic Arts (Madden NFL, Dragon Age: Origins), and Ubisoft (Assassin's Creed II).

Apropos of TGS 2009's first day, Microsoft also revealed several Japanese publishers who are making Project Natal games. Capcom (Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil 5), Konami (Metal Gear Rising), Namco Bandai (Tekken 6), Sega (Alpha Protocol), and Square Enix (Final Fantasy XIII) are also developing unspecified projects using Natal.

"I strongly feel that Project Natal will expand the possibilities of gaming," said Capcom managing corporate officer Keiji Inafune, cocreator of the Mega Man and Dead Rising series. "Personally, I too am extremely excited about Project Natal. It's really going to stir up our creative spirits. I think it's going to bring new ways to play and new surprises to Xbox 360 fans and help further the development of completely original content."

In addition to the aforementioned companies, Microsoft Game Studios head Phil Spencer revealed at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo that the developers of the Xbox 360's biggest shooters--Epic Games (Gears of War) and Bungie (Halo 3)--were already experimenting with Project Natal. However, since then, reps for both Epic and Bungie have said not to expect any traditional shooters to incorporate the peripheral anytime soon.

Discussion

115 comments
jmrwacko
jmrwacko

Why can't Microsoft and Sony just focus on developing good games, instead of hopping on the Wii gimmick train. oh well, that's why I game on a PC.

dannelly23
dannelly23

I hope they put project natal in fallout 3, call of duty games, crackdown, left 4 dead, mass effect, dead rising, Halo 3, and other xbox360 games.

bennae66
bennae66

@Ripper_TV go on youtube and type angry video game nerd power glove. when you watch his review you will understand why the power glove sucked. well, cause it sucked, and it diddnt work. you will have a good laugh watching the review though

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

don't really care until I see the actual games. That stunt they did in TGS by putting several Japanese developers talking vaguely about their vision for natal games as so lame.

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

People, forgetting Power Glove? They said the same things back then: complete immersion. Did we have it? MS's and Sony's systems are the same.

bennae66
bennae66

if a role playing game comes out on both platforms (ps3 and 360) and the 360 version has facial recognition for dialogue responses, its pretty simple. my ps3 will gather dust and ms will secure the dollars from me. imagine laughing at a serious moment in a game and an npc yells at you for being insensitive. amazing. just amazing

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

Let's hope this motion technology doesn't go the way of the wii and waste it's potential.

mjk_1
mjk_1

good luck but i think sonys motion controller is a more realistic technology to develop games with... atleast now

LOXO7
LOXO7

Many well known developers deving for Natal. This may be all new games using just Natal. Or just games with using Natal here and there.

scotthulluk
scotthulluk

Natal looks boring just another EyeToy

iucidium
iucidium

Roll on next batch of survival horror games with natal, full interactivity!

Pivotto
Pivotto

Natal looks really interesting and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where it takes some games, but I don't know how I feel about giving up the controller.

gunstarherouk
gunstarherouk

i dont see natal for the fighting and body active stuff what i want to see is stuff useing it say pushing a door open in a fps or maybe touching menus on the screen,raceing bike game useing your body to lean the bike to get some better turns ,i never want to give the controller up but i think natal has some nice stuff to aid in the game experance.

the_requiem
the_requiem

I would have considered but the still in the video above perfectly captures my problem with Natal. I play fighting games so that I can pull off crazy moves without risk of pulling any muscles. Natal will work for games where actual player movements translate to character movements. If flicking my thumb makes the player jump or kick, then it takes realism away. If I have to actually jump and kick, it takes the fun of gaming away. I'd rather join an actual martial arts training school for that. Which reminds me, this can be good for Wii Fit and similar training exercises [teaching boxing, martial arts etc.]

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

NATAL!!!!!!! TAKING T-BAGGING TO THE NEXT LEVEL!!!!!!! WOOOOOO - HOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ExiledLemon
ExiledLemon

Imagine if a game like Oblivion had Natal... Rock on Bethesda! @mamkem6 & kvan33 - I believe that motion-sensing can be used for more serious games, but as we all know Nintendo would never allow a game like Manhunt on the Wii, as they've been trying to make the Wii "family friendly". I believe, however, that Microsoft would. If these developers listed put time and effort into games with Natal support, they could come out awesome. I don't actually think it's that far-fetched, as 5-10 years ago the graphics we see nowadays would be seen as far more unlikely.

Zloth2
Zloth2

"The fascination with motion control makes me want to puke. Yes it has real applications, but not for much more than casual games. Hasn't the Wii taught us all this?" Uhh, no, NINTENDO is for casual and young gamers - and has been for years. The Wii controllers aren't exactly the most accurate things, either. The two big questions are still hanging out there, though. How much will Natal cost? Will it really work well?

cube-gage
cube-gage

I have to say that video was pretty impressive. If the real thing will be quite so advanced and user friendly I doubt it, but when you see a video like this you realize just what potential motion control can have. And even though im a sony fanboy it looks like Natal is better than whatever the ps3 motion control system is called.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i look forward to seeing what comes of this. also natal is an optional thing. so to the people moaning about it you don't have to have it you can still enjoy the 360 with the contoller. but i think this is going to be good as long as microsoft don't rush it out. i think they will take there time over natal though and i also think people are going to be suprised by how good it is. i even think once i get to try natal it will even suprise me

kvan33
kvan33

The fascination with motion control makes me want to puke. Yes it has real applications, but not for much more than casual games. Hasn't the Wii taught us all this?

mamkem6
mamkem6

I don't like that. I play games for relaxation and this is not relaxing. Imagine playing some FPS online for couple of hours that way. Impossible, this motion sensing things will always be for casual gamers in my opinion

duomtl
duomtl

@Yuck_Too weither you believe me or not i've been working at one of the biggest publishers for over 2 years now

Mr_Bodywave
Mr_Bodywave

@mellow09 ummm--exactly why can't you be emotionally invested in Sci-fi books? Have you read any? Granted, some are complete crap (quite a few actually)--but then so is most fiction--even a fair amount of "literature". Billy Budd (one example of "literature"--you could pick any Melville imo) is utter crap and something from Asimov or Heinlein or Halderman or many others are much better. However--having said all that--I like your point and your explanation--just not the "sci-fi" part as there is nothing inherant in "Sci-fi" that stops it from being excellent literature.

gnrlstuart
gnrlstuart

i dont know really, its not out yet, ive never tried it, i dont know too much about it other than a cheesy, americanised and fake video, so what, am i supposed to be excited? a little more info would be nice.

Shinobi120
Shinobi120

posted: Same here. If this pulls off really good, then awesome! However, I'd rather stick with the good old fashioned 360 controller.:)

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

"gary_safc" are the seriously telling that Kingdom Hearts is the only interactive software that uses Disney characters? Kingdom Hearts 3 on Natal my butt.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Lionhead really need to make a 'Natal-ised' version of 'Black & White'.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

@duo_mtl For the record...I own my own development shop and currently employ 18 people and have been pumping out software for over 15-years (including game development) ...and it honestly doesn't bother me what you think because you clearly are not in the industry based off how you describe it and imagine things work. As for this article, it shows companies are developing games to go along with the tech. I guess we will just have to wait and see what titles launch with it, but regardless for those titles that do...they are being actively developed right this moment. Oh, as an aside regarding your edit below...I cut and paste the text from the article and removed the titles because they really have no bearing on what is being discussed and it made for a messy block of text.

duomtl
duomtl

@Yuck_Too Seriously you have no clue what i'm talking about, and it pointless arguing with you! first off, when you say developing and i say developing (since i work in the industry and you don't) mean different things to us, i take it as full blown production, and you take as they are making something, well making something has a lot of different levels to it. second off, the only reason i brought up the whole canceled games before they are announced was because of the different levels of a game developement process. for sure more then 50% of those publishers that were named aren't in full blown production, in fact they probably only have 10 people ACTIVELY developing something for natal at the moment untill they come up with something to make in which case they will put more people on the project and actually will be in developement the original quote you used of mine IMO still stands, most of these devs aren't actively developing, i'm sure they're making prototypes or have small teams making demos, and all that jazz, but from a developers point of view, sure they're active, but you're view of active development and mine are different

gary_safc
gary_safc

hmmm. i see square enix and disney up there. could this be a kingdom hearts 3 comming ahhmmmm. why else would disney be there?

AirBizkit89
AirBizkit89

at tuck too n' duo. ya'll just stop arguein just n' throw down on natal.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

combine this with the new 3D TV and give it a few years to mature and it will be something right out of sci-fi

mellow09
mellow09

I think most of you understand, in your heart, that Natal represents a gaming change. A shift to games that require something more of you, emotional investment, and will create something new for you, emotion (real emotion). I think that most of you are scared of that. Gaming has been, as of recently, attempting to alienate emotion from experience. Hardcore games are like that, and those require little, if nothing, of you. When people who've felt that way see something that asks something of them, and give something to them like this, they get scared. I liken this to movies. Some people will refuse to watch Children of Men, something that requires investment and gives knowledge and emotion. However most people will watch Transformers, which requires no investment. This is what the 'gamers' are clinging on to, Transformers, and clinging desperately and trying to look calm and cool closing their eyes as the world shifts around them. Another likeness is books. You can read Literature, or you can read Science Fiction. Both can be fun, as with the movies, and as with the game types, but only one requires emotional investment, and only one will give to you emotion. Only one will move you. So remember this people who say that Natal is dumb when you give your reasons, and be honest. PS Natal has so many applications outside of gaming, it really feels revolutionary.

jesshorton78
jesshorton78

Hey that's a good list of developers. I'm curious to see what they come up with. I will rely on reviews and or videos before I buy this though. I remember the Eye Toy on PS2. It was a cool concept but the games just weren't there. I wonder how many flat panels I'll have to buy once I get to kicking a** in a karate game haha.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

@duo_mtl lol...are you for real? you started this entire conversation by saying, and I'll quote you again: "and the publishers aren't actively developing anything now," And yes...unlike you I did read the article and am not at all confused by it.

duomtl
duomtl

@Yuck_Too I'm sorry, but i'm a bit confused, do you actually think that the games they listed are the ones they're trying to incorporate Natal to? because if you are, your sadly mistaken and the only reason they added that was to say what the publisher is known for... i hope you get that....also i never said they wern't working on anything, looking into something is testing out the freaking tech for god sakes EDIT: haha yuck_too, you edited your post to remove the games next to the publishers in brackets, ofcourse you did it after i wrote this message

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

@duo_mtl You're right I guess I don't get what what you are failing to say with "the publishers aren't actively developing anything now...". But really it comes down to this...I'll believe the article over your own sorry explaination of why these companies are not actually working on anything. "...publishers "actively working on games" for its Project Natal ...Activision Blizzard is on board the Natal Express, as is Bethesda Softworks...Rock Band publisher MTV Games has also signed up, as has THQ, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft...several Japanese publishers who are making Project Natal games. Capcom , Konami , Namco Bandai, Sega, and Square Enix" And I should add...how do you know a game was cancled if it was never announced?...that did make me laugh...

duomtl
duomtl

@Yuck_Too Of course since you don't get it, you continue to think i'm wrong, do you even know what i mean when i say they're looking into it? looking into something and looking at something are completely different! The reason i say looking into it, are because only 50% of projects ever shipped, do you know how many games that never get announced are canceled? you probably don't

MTMind2
MTMind2

I think you're seeing Natal in the wrong way farrlinn. The 'latest fighting game' would be from a hardcore genre, and I don't see Natal on it's own as being suitable for hardcore gaming. For hardcore genres, Natal combined with the 360 controller is the ideal solution, same with PSEye combined with DS3/Sixaxis (hardcore gamers are just not going to give up their controllers for webcams and wands). Hence gamers can use their 360 controller as usual whilst Natal can add extra to the gameplay, such as head tracking for FPSs and racers (like PSEye in GT5, and lookup TrackIR on youtube for an example of how that can work), hand commands to squad members in first person games ('wait here', 'stop', 'get down', 'move out' etc), perhaps casting spells in a RPG, and so on (but hopefully not many 'special' moments where Natal is shoehorned into the gameplay). So Natal, and Sony's wand, on their own are better for the market MS and Sony are really aiming for, which is the party/casual games currently dominated by the Wii.

LifelessBoy
LifelessBoy

People are so narrow minded that they picture games COMPLETELY without the controller. Whenever I hear about Natal I picture supporting additions to the controller. For example: speaking commands without a headset on, lockpicking minigames, emotion detecting Mass Effect-like conversations, etc etc.

farrlinn
farrlinn

The one thing that crossed my mind is, what if you are home sick from work one day and want to play the latest fighting game? If you can only chill on the couch natal would take to much energy to play. If your voice is required and you lose your voice you wouldn't be able to play as well. Don't get me wrong but there are some loop holes that need to be addressed still in my opinion.

dentui
dentui

Activision Blizzard? Maybe a strategy game without controls?

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

@duo_mtl Nonsense. If MS is looking at a release date end of 2010 for Project Natal then developers are going to be "Actively Developing" software now...looking at something and making something are not the same thing.

duomtl
duomtl

@Yuck_Too ofcourse i read it, they see activley developing and actively looking into the new tech as the same thing, but who in there right mind says " all these devs are looking into it"? no one says that.. i happened to a be a dev, and we're actively looking into working on stuff of our own, but people would say we are activly developing

xApocalypse2012
xApocalypse2012

Should be interesting. I know Bungie and Epic denied the prospects of a Natal Gears of War and a Natal Halo, but IMAGINE Halo without controllers or Gears of War without controllers...amazing thing to think about.

EVILD0GS
EVILD0GS

I am curious to see how all these publishers will implement this new technology, will they use it in their current titles or create new games based on it? I am also concern about the lag between the real movement and on-the-screen movement, if everyone noticed, the actual real time demo at E3 showed a noticeable lag. The video demo here seems staged compared to it. I'll give a try once is out for a while, do not want to get all brainwashed by the hype surrounding it and go buy it the first day is out.

MattyVonP
MattyVonP

I hope this turns out to be a great new way to play videogames, but based on the E3 demo I am skeptical. I'll try to remain optimistic for now.