Project Natal renamed Kinect, due in November

[UPDATE] E3 2010: Xbox 360 motion-sensing system to come with fitness games "built into it"; Disney and Star Wars games teased, Wii Sports-like minigame compilation, pet simulator, dance game, and rafting adventure title en route.

LOS ANGELES--Just over one year after it unveiled Project Natal to the public at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft has given it a name. Tonight at a star-studded "world premiere" event featuring the French-Canadian circus troupe Cirque du Soleil, the software giant rechristened its camera-based motion-control Kinect (pronounced like "connect").

Kinect had its coming-out party in Los Angeles Sunday night.

The name seems to be a tie-in of sorts to the Microsoft Kin, a family of smartphones the company launched in April. Any details on connectivity were absent, however. Aaron Greenberg, director of product management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, told GameSpot that "Sunday is about entertainment, Monday is about information."

Greenberg's reference is to Microsoft's press conference on Monday morning, where harder information on Kinect is anticipated. Already confirmed for an October release by a loose-lipped Saudi Microsoft executive, the system's price remains unknown. Also unconfirmed are rumors that the add-on will be bundled with a new slimline model of the Xbox 360, which was apparently outed by an Italian advertisement earlier today.

Sunday's event was all about shock and awe--if one considers Quebecois circus acrobats in skin-tight outfits shocking and awesome. Some 80 performers and 200 support personnel were on hand, with a stage show that took 25 truckloads of props and equipment to put on.

Though he generally avoided divulging hard facts, Greenberg promised that Kinect will still "see you, hear you, and recognize you," implying that the facial and voice recognition functionality of the device remains intact.

Greenberg promised that Microsoft's briefing on Monday morning would have a large emphasis on "core games." He called out Halo: Reach, Gears of War 3, and Fable III by name and said all three will be on the show floor at Microsoft's booth at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Crackdown 2 will also be playable on the show floor.

Kinect, up close and personal.

For more details, check out GameSpot's live blog of Microsoft's press conference tomorrow morning or the live stream of the event on GameSpot's E3 2010 event page.

[UPDATE] At the Kinect naming event, Microsoft also announced that Disney would be an official partner on the project. It also showed a brief snippet of a Star Wars game that will use the motion-sensing system but did not offer any concrete details about the project.

[UPDATE2] USA Today is listing four new games that will use Kinect, including the Wii Sports-like Kinect Sports. The athletic minigame compilation will reportedly include boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, soccer, ping-pong, and track and field events.

The national daily is also reporting that Microsoft is readying Kinectimals, a pet simulator that will let players train and raise more than 20 virtual cats--including big cats such as a cheetah, lion, and tiger. Also apparently in the works is Kinect Adventures, which will include the river rafting simulation River Rush revealed earlier this year by screenwriter James Gunn.

Another game USA Today lists in development for Kinect is Dance Central, which will have players tackle dance challenges much like the television show So You Think You Can Dance. The previously announced game Joy Ride will also apparently be fully Kinect-compliant, having players steer cars with a phantom steering wheel much like the Burnout Paradise demo Microsoft showed off last year.

[UPDATE]: Good Morning America this morning reported that Kinect will be on shelves in November, with fitness games "built into it."

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606 comments
MasterLink31
MasterLink31

@Guesseppe Sorry. I majored in Digital Media, not Literature and Writing.

Guesseppe
Guesseppe

@MasterLink31 You can get a degree in Dungeon Mastering???? Also, it's _You're_, not Your. And _should have_, not should of. I don't disagree with what you say, but you sure spell like a "kiddie swinging remotes."

MasterLink31
MasterLink31

@Joe_Zombie Your welcome. Windows 7 was not originally released as 64bit, you had to upgrade to it. If he upgraded to a 64bit version of Windows 7, he should of had no problem with any designs or prints he was making. 7 is backwards compatible, and it would improve the performance of the programs and software he uses. Whatever your talking about repurchasing and add-ons is false, and you obviously don't know what your talking about. I don't mean this as demeaning or harmful mannerism, (in other words, if my wording offends you, it wasn't intentional) I wouldn't consider myself a 'qualified professional', but I just graduated with a major in DM, and all of my media that I have created has been on an iMac. I'm not just a kiddie swinging 'remotes' around or trolling the web. I know what I work with and understand it. That's why you will be watching my artwork on the indie screen.

Joe_Zombie
Joe_Zombie

@masterlink31 thank you for replying to all of us, you're very secure about your internet identity. Just for future reference, my friends father prints vynil for his drag racing team, he tried to upgrade to a 64bit windows 7 and lone behold, his printing programs won't work in a 64 bit enviroment. So, he had to repurchase the programs and add-ons that were 64 specific. That's where the 32bit option comes in. It's for professionals, not for kids and their games.

Tekur
Tekur

@big-boss-91 so you like things unrealistic huh? i getchya. rather sit down and play a skateboarding game rather than go out and actually skateboard. the Project natal is as real as it gets...well except for...reality! lol

leeko_link
leeko_link

So whatever happened to that Rare game that was suppose to be announce? Yeah I had completely zero interest for this so call Kinect thing. If that Rare game required the use of this thing, then my interest will be shatter for good.

drytal
drytal

@nibroc420 this is what i mean about not knowing much about kinect. when it was first annouced as project natal it was spielburg who came out to endorse it. do some research before acting emotional. obviously you're just a hater and not a creator. and the games that you are talking about are nothing more than promotional games to start with like the wii and ps3 have and are doing as we speak. all you can do is speculate on what has not come to pass for any system yet but at least ms is on the verge of creating these new games. im glad i support a system thats not afraid to go beyond normal thinking(as you do) to try to bring somethimg advance to gamers. beside kinect is used for more than just games it will become a new source where you can do almost anything from in front of your tv. and for people comparing it to an eye toy. listen the eyetoy didn't do half of what kinect can do. not to mention its online capabilities. nibroc420 pay more attention to details or you're just another rebel without a cause of any kind.

kbaily
kbaily

I just love the fact that the fanboys are convicned this will kill the Wii because all the casual gamers will immediately go spend the $200 for the 360 and however much they're asking for this oversized Eyetoy. And one moment they're reaching out to the expanded audience and the next they're focusing on "Core games." Yet they don't seem to be implementing their core games into Kinetic. But you got to love how the Wii was a "gimmick" and "stupid" until the "real" consoles unveiled their motion controls.

Nibroc420
Nibroc420

As far as Kinect titles as of now... Kinect Sports? Uhh, Wii sports. Total copy. I bet they're even using the M$ avatars that look like Mii's Rafting, (WOO, not) you get to sit (or stand, it doesn't matter) and wave your arms beside you like an idiot, oh, and do it as fast as you can cause it'll probbably be a racing game... "Joy Ride" Hmm.. You get to pretend to have a steering wheel in your hand as well as upshifting and downshifting (i wonder if making car noises into the microphone will help you move faster) I'd rather just load up wii sports resort on my wii, it'll probably have better controls. Not to mention, it's not some cheap ripoff.

Nibroc420
Nibroc420

@drytal You're joking right? You actually view running on the spot for 3 hours "Fun, engaging and immersive" ? You're totally out of line bringing those names into the picture. Lemme tell you something. Disney has launch titles for Kinect. George Lucas has titles releasing for Kinect. As for Spielberg, i haven't seen anything that links him to it, so that point is invalid unless proof is given. Look at it this way. People play games to be with friends and family, or to lose themselves in a game. If you're of the latter then you wont enjoy kinect, period. and it's pretty darn obvious, Because as soon as you make the player get up, and run on the spot, or wave their arms around like an idiot, for a few hours, they're gonna lose the feeling of being lost in the game. As far as the first goes, The wii already HAS that market taken care of, Nintendo sold more systems than Sony and M$ combined. You need to figure things out for yourself man. Next time a company (yes, Lucas arts, Yes Disney, YES Microsoft) tells you something, think about what they have to gain. Rather than sheeping around like you are.

drytal
drytal

@nibroc420 i've been playing games since the age of atari, all with controllers of some sort. now that there is something new to look forward to. you controller base players can't let go. (literally) its good to have a system that does both and leaves the choice to you. so if you don't like motion sensor games don't get them. but don't try to convince yourself and others to stay in a comfort zone and not take risk on something that could transform entertainment as we know it. now when you have george lucas, disney and steven spielberg (who all are credited with changing the way we view entertainment) saying this is the future of gaming then dude you have a long way to go in proving them wrong. the point is this if you don't want to change then don't. me i like to explore my options rather than whining about something i know little about.

Nibroc420
Nibroc420

@drytal "i don't see to many first person shooters on the wii or ps3 move." Try looking? There's tons of first person shooters on the wii, it seems you're just ignorant on the matter. And as far as i'm concerned, running on the spot in my living room isn't my idea of fun.. playing 3 hours of fable would require running on the spot for 3 hours, while wildly swinging my arms for magic/guns/swords isn't entertaining.It's just tiring. Besides, i'm hardly speculating, expecting that a camera and mic can completely replace buttons and controls is pointless. So far all M$ has announced as far as kinect goes is shovel ware that's availible on the wii (I mean, Kinect sports? Wii sports? such a joke) For the price of Kinect, you could almost purchase a new Wii, Which would give you a wider variety of games, and all the kinect shovelware you need. Just with a better control scheme.

Nibroc420
Nibroc420

@drytal "i don't see to many first person shooters on the wii or ps3 move." Try looking? There's tons of first person shooters on the wii, it seems you're just ignorant on the matter. And as far as i'm concerned, running on the spot in my living room isn't my idea of fun.. playing 3 hours of fable would require running on the spot for 3 hours, while wildly swinging my arms for magic/guns/swords isn't entertaining.It's just tiring. Besides, i'm hardly speculating, expecting that a camera and mic can completely replace buttons and controls is pointless. So far all M$ has announced as far as kinect goes is shovel ware that's availible on the wii (I mean, Kinect sports? Wii sports? such a joke) For the price of Kinect, you could almost purchase a new Wii, Which would give you a wider variety of games, and all the kinect shovelware you need. Just with a better control scheme.

drytal
drytal

@nibroc420 bro did you see the demos you're not running anywhere but in place the track and field demo showed that. the game is created to work for you not the other way around. and besides you're getting ahead of what they have to offer at this point i don't see to many first person shooters on the wii or ps3 move. and when they get to that point of making fps and they will. then im pretty sure the game designers would have thought about that before implementing their tech into those type of games. give it time bro don't speculate too much yet. who knows we may end up meeting on the crossroads with this new technology.

TWayne1020
TWayne1020

I will not give up my 360 controller , Thank you !!!

Nibroc420
Nibroc420

@Drytal I understand how kinect works, however it seems to me you do not, lemme simplify it for you. I'll even quote you "it captures FULL BODY MOTION. thats the magic behind it thats why its a big deal." Alright, Full body motion, so when i do something, the guy in game does the same thing? K, so when i play the next CoD, if i'm running down a hallway...What do i do to make the camera understand that i am infact wanting to run, or walk slowly, or go prone when there is no buttons? So i have to lay down on my livingroom floor? out of sight of the camera? no that wont work. What about running? Do i have to run on the spot? Or just run towards my tv? why dont i get a paintball gun and run around and shoot friends with that instead? And yes, Ollies and Kickflips can be done from a standstill, but who says everyone who plays skate is able to actually pull those off? Kinda removes the fun if you can't do any tricks in a skate game.

Henninger
Henninger

I honestly didnt think i wuz gonna like Natal or should i say Kinect (Natal sounds better) but i gotta say it has MASSIVE potential!! Now i wont b doing the exercise thing cuz i dont think playing video games should involve losing weight (i also have a gym membership). But from the looks of it, the racing games will b serious & i dont even like racing games! Im just hoping the FPS's wont b stupid using this. But im all eyes & ears on this. i wuz impressed!

HUNTER-VENOM
HUNTER-VENOM

Not saying Sony wont have any surprises I'm betting they will as well!

HUNTER-VENOM
HUNTER-VENOM

ESPN at no extra cost to gold members Kinect with some decent games that looked good and worked also dash controls Fable 3 Gears 3 Crackdown 2 Halo Reach New Forza with Kinect "mite be Forza 3" that would be stupid if it were the same game Exclusive game with Crytek New 250 gig slim for $300 all others lowered in price COD maps first for 3 years Plus a bunch of other stuff they showed and that was bad? I guess people forgot they do have games coming: Mechwarrior,YuGiOh online XBLA,Bonk XBLA,Venetica,XCOM 360,Ilomilo XBLA,Sniper: Ghost Warrior 360 and Necromachina XBLA who knows what else they didn't have time for. That's not even including new multi-platform games that were announced! like Naruto UNS 2,New Metal Gear Rising Castlevania and more! It just looks like they wanted to spend there time promoting Kinect. Sony better do the same thing seeing how people always complain about how they don't do enough advertising. We saw there games mostly repeats as well.

Respawn-d
Respawn-d

@blakeney IT HAS SPREAD :lol:

blakeney
blakeney

Btw, Skittles the cat is not lame, solidruss told me so!

mickyfinn84
mickyfinn84

This is just an eyetoy with voice recognition. If i were interested in all the motion sensing crap i'd rather buy a wii or ps3 than get kinect. At least with buttons on the remotes they can actually make real games.

feliscele
feliscele

Not buying this. Never. I'm an Xbox fan, but this looks stupid as all get out. I bought my 360 so I could sit on my couch and play games, not dance all around my living room. If I wanted exercise, I'd go to the gym.

DarthEthong467
DarthEthong467

You can be certain the renaming to "Kinect" DEFINITELY has something to do with the Microsoft Kin and some sort of connectivity with it. I'm willing to bet everything on it.

kakashi552
kakashi552

@Jag-T1000 i'm quite sure they've forever been pronouncing it "nuh-TAHL"

pokemondude2012
pokemondude2012

death to nintendo wii. the only reason why the wii sold was cause the motion controlls. and now the 360 and ps3 have it so it must be DEATH TO THE WII

Ninjabeast2
Ninjabeast2

Man, I'm a Nintendo fan, but Microsoft kicked some major ass today. If Nintendo doesn't get on track with some addicting games, they just lost a fan. Let's see what they have in store tomorrow.

Brilliant_R
Brilliant_R

Hm... now that I think about it, Kinect MIGHT sell well... But who am I to judge? I'm no sales analyst... lol... Eh, whatever... IDC...

Brilliant_R
Brilliant_R

Well, I love Wii, and Nintendo. MAYBE, just maybe, this "Kinect" thing will get me into 360. IDK how well Microsoft will do commercially with this thing, though...

Jag-T1000
Jag-T1000

Here's the reason they changed the name, NATAL sound too close to ANAL. That is why they changed it! Deal with it!

gandalf_storm
gandalf_storm

how come theres no videos anywhere, on any site ? - last time i could click on a press conf by ms, sony and nintendo and it would play, this time its all pics and text ?

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

skip it. wii was lame. this is lame. move is lame. 3d is lame. These thing need like 10 more years of dev to be worth getting. I want to sit on my butt to play games. I have something called a job and I am tired when I get home. If I want exercise I hit the gym or run in the morning.

metal_militia89
metal_militia89

love the xbox, but I hate the gimmick of motion sensing (Kinetic & Move) and 3DTVs

dezful
dezful

A tie-in with the Microsoft Kin? You've got to be joking. Read the definition of "Kinetic" in the dictionary and get back to me.

RolielStarfire
RolielStarfire

Fable 3 was announced to be released October 26th, which corresponds with a October release date for Kinect. I would be very suprised if Fable launches before Kinect, as Fable 3 is made for Kinect.

TrueIori
TrueIori

@MasterLink31 Friend just bought a $2,000 mac lob top to play WoW. I bought a PC that out perform his in every way for about half that price. Apple= Overprice crap >:)

singhellotaku
singhellotaku

still not even remotley interested in natal and never will be

drytal
drytal

@giant squirrel do you remember when the wii came out there was a lady that almost sued nintendo for her flat screen getting broke because of the controller flying out of her hand then nintendo had to go back and make wrist straps to prevent any further damage to their clients merchandise. dude if you're to much of an idiot to back away and make room in your house then the fault is the consumers not the merchandiser.

MasterLink31
MasterLink31

@uglypinkmoose I'm not bothering you, just offering my opinion, you don't have to agree or disagree. @Joe_Zombie Why the heck would you need to repurchase anything? Nothing changes with the software, the OS is what changes, and they are backwards compatible. Your the one making me look smarter than I am. I'm not saying that Microsoft didn't do well with 7, hell they made an amazing quick fix for their screwup, Vista. 7 is what XP and Vista should have been. Though Snow Leopard obliterated 7 because Microsoft got behind with Vista. Actually they were behind when Apple released their first 64bit OS, Panther. I could go on, with smoother interfaces and faster GPU's, but...forget it, my response to you is based on fact and opinion. @TrueIori Haha thank you! Of course its nerd rage, I don't deny it. =) And yes I was mad that I bought a Dell laptop in 2006 with XP, I was happy when I bought my iMac in 2009! =) I was also happy that Microsoft gave my brother 2 360s after his 3rd ring of death so I could have one, but then I was mad that I have to pay for online play and that the 360 doesn't have built in wireless. Oh, well that's Microsoft for ya! =P

Packgator
Packgator

Yay! A krappy name for a krappy device! You see what I did there? I put a K in Crappy. Didn't that make it sound Kooler? You guys know what I'm trying to say here....

impost3r
impost3r

@Spartan-1657 "So don't go telling me I am clueless when you are linking the name of the product (Kinect) to being successful in the market. That's like the few naive people who buy a game cuz Michael Jordan is on the cover." I understand why you think the way you do. I am a hardcore gamer as well in kind of the same situation. I do not think we can change though. In my opinion, I think you are still a hardcore gamer, I don't think you are casual just because you have less free time on your hands. Hardcore gaming has to do with the personality of the gamer not the games he plays or the amount of time he has. And that's why I I think that we have a hard time seeing things the way casual gamers do. Anyways, I'm buying this thing, the dancing game looked awesome. I can't wait to look retarded.

FoppyOmega
FoppyOmega

Just like the Wii they took an originally cool name and made it more childish. Equally bad games to follow...?

aGiantSquirrel
aGiantSquirrel

@Nibroc420 I agree with you 100%. During the tech demo, it had people jumping up in the air and doing crazy stuff with kinect. My opinion is, go do that outside, too many things can be broken while jumping around looking like an idiot. I dont want anyone trying to do an ollie in front of my brand new LCD tv and risk it being damaged. No thanks! This is not worth the money in my opinion. I already have a Wii so I can play Wii sports already. And the other three games, who cares, looks and smells like shovelware to me. Xbox needs stuff for the gamer market they already have. THeyre not taking Nintendos customers. Nintendo already has 60 million units sold. They already have their market and its too late for Microsoft to take them back now.

Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

@impost3r I'm not comparing it to iPad or anything. Kinect will not be a success. It's not what xbox needs. It will sell some, yes, but its not what Xbox needs. I used to be a hardcore gamer, but after getting older and having some serious responsibilities and having much less time, I consider myself a casual. And neither I nor MANY gamers who are "casuals" will NOT buy into this since its lame and crappy. All the parents that bought the Wii for their kids will not spend 300-400 bucks, then 150 for Kinect, and then still pay for the price of games. The reason why the Wii sold so much was cuz there was NO competition in that market. It's too late now. And even if it does sell, the Kinect will be just be like the Wii. After a lil while it will sit and collect dust, and then finally when a good game comes out, it will be played here and there every so often. I have all 3 systems, got them all at launch, and I think there have been periods where my Wii hasn't been turned on in over a year. So don't go telling me I am clueless when you are linking the name of the product (Kinect) to being successful in the market. That's like the few naive people who buy a game cuz Michael Jordan is on the cover.

drytal
drytal

@whitevvolf brother you can't say no better than that if you a hater then hate while i play games thats great.

drytal
drytal

price don't matter to me im only concerned with the quality of any merchandise i buy so if its bad its bad but if its good then it worth every penny.

impost3r
impost3r

@Spartan-1657 Thinking so highly of the world is just proof to me that you're clueless. "Common sense" isn't common in this world. "Obvious" isn't as obvious as you'd think. I can use the same example I did in my previous comment, iPad. It's obviously not a good deal right? And since it was not a good deal it was not much of a success right? Somebody like you would have thought that people would catch onto something like the iPad and that it wouldn't have been a success because it was "obviously" not a good deal. There are so many other examples of "obvious" things in this world it's utterly absurd, but people will still disagree with me. Just watch. And not all of them are trolls. Anyways, I never said it was a big deal. And using my name wasn't the best example. I brought up the word Kinect primarily because of the indirect social appeal it could achieve with "casuals" which furthered my argument that Kinect was going to be a success.