Natal powered by Israeli startup's tech

Tel Aviv-based PrimeSense announces its 3D-motion-sensing system is the basis of Microsoft's upcoming camera-based peripheral, due out this holiday.

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Last June, Microsoft confirmed earlier reports out of Israel and Silicon Valley that it had purchased the Israeli motion-sensing tech firm 3DV Systems. That company's Z-Cam was assumed to be part of Project Natal's motion-sensing camera, which Microsoft unveiled at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The PrimeSensor, PrimeSense's 3D camera.

Today, another Israeli firm, Tel Aviv-based PrimeSense, revealed that its 3D motion-sensing "PrimeSensor" camera is actually at the heart of Project Natal. "Xbox 360 hardware engineering teams developed the Project Natal sensor based on the PrimeSensor reference design to support the special requirements of Project Natal," said PrimeSense president and founder Aviad Maizels in a statement.

PrimeSense believes Natal is an extension of its aim to bring "engaging natural experiences to consumers." The company's Web site is reminiscent of the first Project Natal trailer from E3 (below), showing families navigating menus with hand motions from a couch and a teenager playing Grand Theft Auto IV with no controller. However, the latter image is almost certainly a mock-up, as Rockstar Games has not announced any Natal-based projects or patches for the best-selling game, released in 2008.

The site also says the PrimeSensor will let players use their own athletic equipment, as Natal will when it ships this holiday season. (Microsoft is also holding a "premiere" for the device on June 13, just before this year's E3 kicks off in Los Angeles.)

Microsoft's Project Natal.

Another image shows a woman using the PrimeSensor--which looks like a smaller version of Natal--to exercise with a virtual personal trainer. Curiously, though, one of the most popular workout games on the market appears to not be supporting Natal. At least not yet.

During the 2010 Game Developers Conference earlier this month, Electronic Arts announced its Sports Active 2.0 will use its own proprietary wireless control system based on sensors embedded in elastic bands. The game was announced for the Wii, iPhone, and PlayStation 3--but, curiously, not the Xbox 360.

Discussion

163 comments
MTMind2
MTMind2

@Zerosumgame who wrote "...Natal won't do well". In your opinion Natal won't do well, but if it sells for the rumoured price of $50-$70, and works as well as demonstrated so far, then it's very likely to do well, especially with all media 'buzz' surrounding Natal since it was announced last year. So let's wait and see what happens at E3 this year. :-)

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

@GamerLegend10 Would you please stop now? Natal won't do well.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

But I'm sure that natal is going to work, maybe some things will have to wait until Microsoft and developers have gotten used to the technology(FPS, such as cod). once the new consoles come out(2012 i think) then maybe they will be also bring out the 2nd natal and move devices, that will be able to support the realy good games such as cod, fight night etc.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@p0p0d0m But i expect that both the natal and the PS3 move will both be really good and work well in there own ways. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are both good consoles and i expect that both of there motion control systems will work well. Now its going to be the wii that will have to catch up.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@p0p0d0m anyway i think it looks more ridiculous waving around the wii remote or a black stick with a ball on the end, than using natal. anyway why does it matter about how u look i mean if your playing with friends then u will all look ridiculous so why does it matter, its about having fun, not looking good.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@p0p0d0m Natal will scan u every time u play, so it will monitor your changing shape, it is clever technology so there are ways around these problems. i mean they use body scans for security, they scan a person to see who it is, if it couldn't recognize the person with changes then it would be useless technology. twins still have some different features than each other that it will be able to recognize. anyway if it is focusing on only that one twin then it will just ignore any other movement even if it is the other twins movement. I'm sure Microsoft wouldn't spend a lot of money developing it if it didn't work and if it couldn't recognize people effectively or be able to dismiss interferences then i don't think that they would advertise those features or make faulty claims.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@p0p0d0m I do agree with the cod (and other FPS) that it could have problems but I'm sure that Microsoft will solve these problems so that it works (maybe they will bring out a similar device as the wii remote or the Sony wand, for playing shooters with)

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@p0p0d0m i think Natal's price is going to be between 50 to 80 (£ or $ not sure) but that isn't that much for the device, especially when u compare it to the wii.

p0p0d0m
p0p0d0m

@GamerLegend10 the games will be bad because the are only a few different types of games you could play like driving, fighting and games like on the wii. but you will not be able to play first person shooters as you will not be able to move at the same time you shoot. but with the ps3 move it could be like those walking things in avatar were you move you arms in a walking motion and you move then you press buttons on the wand to shoot and do other stuff. natal does look cool but it would be a waste of money as you would not play it as much as cod6 or bfbc2.

p0p0d0m
p0p0d0m

@GamerLegend10 and also if you lose weight when you play a game then it could not recognise you. and what if you are a twin?...then you could annoy each other by waving you arms around when the other is playing.

p0p0d0m
p0p0d0m

@GamerLegend10 but it will still cost alot of money and most people will not want to be waving there arms around or moving around that much. also on some of the games you will look like a fool and get embarrassed. and the ps3 move i think will be better because it will be cheaper and it can track movements more precise and in natal there will probably be issues with the recognition feature and might do things that you dont want to do. and most people these days will prefer to play on battlefield or call of duty as these are games that are well worth the money. and i think that alot of people will get bored eventually. were as with the ps3 move there are other buttons on it so you could play games like call of duty were as with natal it would be impossible to play call of duty the traditional way and instead you would be shooting wile standing still and will not be given the freedom of movement that a normal controller will give you.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@Ravenlore_basic Continuing from last comment motion control is not new it has been around for a while just not good enough to make a big impact until the wii (which is only the beginning of its potential), and the consoles we have now should be good enough to support the new devices (otherwise they wouldn't be making them, it would be pointless and cost them a lot of money) but they may not have the same standard's of graphics as the top games around. The next consoles should be able to have good motion control along with good graphics. They would not g only for the motion control as this would disappoint many people. They will have to make the graphics better for the new consoles as there will still be many games that will not support the motion control devises (especially shooters, which will be hard for businesses to incorporate motion control into). When they release the new consoles then the motion control devices should be greatly improved. The consoles will also be greatly improved and will defiantly be able to support the motion control. Consoles will not only be about motion control though, they will also have 3d technology, better+bigger multiplayer and much better graphics, AI, etc. Not all consoles are going to turn into versions of the wii, which would be sad and would annoy many people (especially hardcore gamers), but they will all have motion control as well as the normal control systems.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@Ravenlore_basic The PS4 probably will probably include a natal like device, when the PS4 is released then the Microsoft will also have to release a new console which will have all the new things the PS4 has + its own little extras. Playstations are good consoles (I prefer the 360) but both consoles have there own things, the 360 has got natal and the ps3 will have its motion controller (like the wii but better), they might just stick to there own devices and improve on them, so the PS4 could have a really good motion controller, and the new Xbox console could have a really good full body sensor. The next gen consoles will defiantly not have worse graphics; in fact game developers (such as the devs of crysis) think that they can’t get any better than now until a new console is released. Graphics should be greatly increased with the new console. The consoles will be made to both improve in the normal way but also include the ability to work with motion control.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@p0p0d0m If u stand in front of it for the first time then it will scan your body (size, shape, features etc) and then every time u stand in front of it it will scan+recognize u, it will then focus on u and nothing else, unless another person takes your place in front of it, it will then scan them and u will be able to play together. u obviously don't no much about motion control technology(no offense to u personally), but it would work and not get disrupted by other movement, otherwise there would be no point of natal as it would not work. the motion camera would focus on the person that is playing on it and would ignore other interferences of background movement. the device was monitoring them both in that video (before the game they would have chose what role each one would play) so it would concentrate on her when there was driving and concentrated on him when the wheels needed changing in the pit stop, it just ignored the other person when it was not there turn to play. it is not defiantly a fake but even if it was its just showing the basics of what natal can do. the games look rubbish (although still better than the wii's) because for one thing they have to be suitable for young children to see so that they can advertise to a large audience, and the other reason is that it hasn't actually been released yet so the games will obviously look bad, even if the games are like this when it first gets released they will soon get better.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

cant wait for natal, looks far far better than the wii and the ps3 version of the motion control which is a better version of the wii. it has great potential especially when they improve it in the future, say when they bring out the next console (2012 i think+hope), then maybe they will also bring out the second natal, this is when it should be working really well(the first natal may have problems) A first person fight night game would be amazing with natal.

XanderZane
XanderZane

I'll be getting and using Natal. I need to lose some weight anyways. I'll get some great exercise and have fun doing it. M$ just needs to bring the games.

Knutte79
Knutte79

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MTMind2
MTMind2

@wyan_ who wrote "but the Move's failure to live up to true 1:1 motion (as Sony initially promised) for it's fighting game demo at GDC has me worried for Natal because it has more information it must process" Sony did demonstrate a number of 1:1 games and demos at GDC, however that fighting game (Motion Fighters) wasn't 1:1 because it's a gesture based game, and perhaps wasn't the best example for Sony to use to promote PSMove's 1:1 capabilities. In otherwords, Motion Fighters looks at what you did with the wand first, then it works out that your move was a right upper cut, or a left hook, or a jab etc and applies it's own animation of that move to your boxer on screen. Hence it's not 1:1, and so your boxer appears to react half a second or so later (there are good reasons for chosing this method for some games, but I'm not sure about MF). As a result, this is one example of a game which would probably work better with Natal, because clenching your fists to carry out boxing moves is closer to the real thing than swinging wands. Likewise there will be games where wands will work better than empty hands, and so I look forward to both (but I do admit to being far more excited by Natal). @Gamesterpheonix - Ok, fair enough. :-)

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Users are treading on cosmic issues on Gamespot again. Apart from that, I still want to play using buttons! So unless Natal ships out cheap, and with lots of great games - I won't even seriously consider it until Nintendo ships Wii HD.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

The future of gaming looks great with some real innovative ideas, i only hope the same amount of imagination and innovation is put into the games.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

Motion control is just now starting. Neither Xbox 360 or PS3 has the power or were designed with the types of inputes that these controlers output. .. . Next gen I am sure we will see more motions control and less focus on Graphics. In addition to 3D, and head tracking the next gen's CPU will have to deal with a lot of input. As well as the GPU will have to deal with view perspective . . - . . - . Sony is working on a 3D controler http://www.unwiredview.com/2007/04/13/vr-controller-for-your-ps3/ . - . - . - . . not to mention head tracking for a 3D perspective http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SDGG9HhbgQ . Also there are plenty of companies that are working on time-of-Flight camers and it would not be a big deal if Sony was also working on that tech to add to next gen console.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

@Khatjal, "I think a nice middle ground who be something similar to the Nintendo-glove back in the late 80's, just more high tech. Something you can slip on your hands with ease that can pick up precise motion with a sensor." MS Biometric wand http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8057133.stm MS Muscle Computer Interface: http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/microsoft-s-muscle-computer-interface-lets-you-play-air-guitar-hero I think that Natal is just the foundation of what will surely become the most innovative motion control system available.

Darkman2007
Darkman2007

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Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

I have stated this many times before. NATAL is not the first and only time-of-flight camera (google it). SO do not be supprised when the PS4 adds this functionality with it; with the added move controlers.

p0p0d0m
p0p0d0m

how will project natal know who is controlling it.....because surely if someone starts waving there arms everything will go balls up even if they are just sitting next to the person who is meant to be controlling everything. also how could the girl drive the car because the old guy was moving his hands as well so it was faked. also the games look awfull...... playstation move all the way!!!!!

p0p0d0m
p0p0d0m

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ZeerusX
ZeerusX

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

matrixman2k
matrixman2k

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Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Wow GTA IV was 2008? That must mean we will start hearing rumblings of GTA V leading up to E32010. Will there be an announcement? Hopefully! Sounds like PrimeSense wants to get into the US market. Likely they want to put their camera out for PC, while MS uses the tech in Natal for the gaming market. _

nspeedrace
nspeedrace

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scatterbrain007
scatterbrain007

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xbox_psp
xbox_psp

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

xbox_psp
xbox_psp

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Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

I can see the family games potential of natal but I still don't see how this is gonna work on shooters and other standard game types well except for fighters like street fight, can anyone else see the lawsuits coming to Microsoft from all the fat kids trying to pull off the moves and failing with painful results? / I'll just have to wait and see what they cone out with but for the moment my moneys on the PSmove

irishscott99
irishscott99

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bacardi0987
bacardi0987

So Microsoft wants me to buy a camera from Israel.......A CAMERA that will be hooked up to the internet...... After hearing about that school that was spying on students with laptops.... No thanks

Bashers79
Bashers79

Whats with all the politics? Just because PrimeSense are based in Israel it doesn't make them terrorists. America supports Israel as they are allies in the 'War against terror' does that make America a terrorist state? Some could argue no, some could argue yes. I think theres few PS3 fanboys using anti-semitism (spelling?) as an excuse to slag off an Xbox product, shame on you.

hardace1708
hardace1708

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sherif2004
sherif2004

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Chaudzff
Chaudzff

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spOOoOOn
spOOoOOn

Sony and Nintendo will never get my money. It is reserved for M$.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

M$ will never get my money. It is reserved for Sony and Nintendo.

HuMaNUnDeaD
HuMaNUnDeaD

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SlayerX13
SlayerX13

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

wahyudil
wahyudil

virtual s*x with natal .... hmmmmm .... that will boom MS either with money and also critiques, protest, etc ...

Sn00pyBrown
Sn00pyBrown

So we can all expect sometime of game of killing nazi's.

kamizuka
kamizuka

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