In my opinion, Project Natal looks overrated. I for one probably won't buy it, and the only game I'm actually excited for is Halo: Reach. I honestly think that 2010 won't be a very big year for Xbox. But who knows, I could be wrong.
CES 2010: Video interview with Xbox division chief Robbie Bach officially reveals Xbox Live Avatar virtual arcade, confirms Q4 launch for motion-sensing system; video highlights inside.
LAS VEGAS--For nearly a decade, one of the staples of the Consumer Electronics Show was the keynote address by then-Microsoft CEO and chairman Bill Gates. However, following his retirement in 2008, ringmaster duties at the software giant's press briefing have fallen to its new chief executive, the ever-energetic Steve Ballmer.
Last year, Ballmer made headlines for two high-profile gaffes--reportedly announcing that a new Xbox 360 would be released in 2010 (which Microsoft quickly denied) and then appearing to declare that the console would soon offer Blu-ray support (which company reps promptly said it would not).
However, at CES 2009, Ballmer was on script, showing off features of Windows 7 and preaching the Microsoft doctrine of software solutions. However, there was little game news. The biggest "headlines" came from Xbox division chief Robbie Bach, who dated the Halo Wars demo and showed off the kid-friendly Kodu game creator at the Venetian Casino's Palazzo Ballroom.
This year's presentation, held at the Hilton right next door to the Las Vegas Convention Center, CES's venue, could encompass a variety of cutting-edge subjects. First and foremost among them is Project Natal, the Xbox 360 motion-sensing system introduced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo last June. The camera-based, controller-free system had the E3 show floor abuzz and generated similar interest at the Tokyo Game Show three months later.
However, Microsoft remains cagey about Natal's release date, although it is all too eager to tout publisher support for the system. That roster includes such marquee names as Capcom, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Activision, and Electronic Arts--and possibly more, depending on the content of Microsoft's presentation this evening. Stay tuned.
[UPDATE]: Before Microsoft took to the stage, the company leaked out some of its CES address's biggest headlines. The company's Channel 9 antimarketing 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 presumably intended to come out in the CES address.
First up, Bach confirmed Project Natal as one of the company's 2010 releases. While the motion-sensing camera peripheral had been largely assumed to be a 2010 launch for the company, Microsoft itself hadn't 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" games along the lines of Centipede.
[6:29] In stark contrast to the Sony event, Microsoft's press event is being held in the cavernous Hilton Center, which seats thousands.
[6:30] However, organizers have jam-packed the seats together in narrow rows. It makes economy class airline seating look like the lap of luxury.
[6:31] Onscreen, animations of Microsoft's various products whiz by, including Xbox 360, Xbox Live, and XBL Avatars.
[6:31] Oh, and that whole MS Office thing too. Windows Media Center and Internet TV are also duly pimped.
[6:33] And down go the lights!
[6:34] And the slides continue. Project Gotham Racing in 3D on the Zune is given a high-profile slot.
[6:36] Uh-oh, the lights going out wasn't for dramatic effect. "Ladies and Gentlemen, please stay in your seats. We are having a slight power problem."
[6:37] Yep, all the central screens of the presentation are pitch black, likely indicating that the projectors' demands flipped a circuit breaker somewhere in the Hilton's bowels.
[6:38] The entire hall's lights go off, then come back on. The stage remains black before flashlights appear behind the screen, presumably being carried by panicked technicians.
[6:39] Looks like they found the problem--power is back, but they need another five minutes for tests.
[6:40] The big screen is being lit up section by section now revealing…more animated ads!
[6:42] More lights are tested in sequence. Welcome to the A/V club.
[6:44] So for those of you keeping score at home, that's one leak, one catastrophic power failure, two dozen frantic technicians, and several thousand fidgety audience members.
[6:44] More lights, more tests.
[6:46] Intensely powerful orange lights blast the crowd's retinas. Looks like something out of Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds remake.
[6:46] No death ray, sadly.
[6:52] Overheard: "Well, this doesn't inspire confidence."
[6:53] The lights go down…intentionally this time.
[6:54] The music stops, and on comes the official CES sizzle reel. This convention covers all manner of electronics, apparently. Fancy that.
[6:55] Attendee count is just 110,000 this year, apparently.
[6:55] The Black Eyed Peas start BLASTING. Now we really need that death ray.
[6:57] Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro comes out to give some remarks. Death. Ray. Now.
[6:59] "Innovation, creativity...more innovation than any in 30 years," says Shapiro. More razzle-dazzle about how innovative products will overcome the economic downturn.
[6:59] Shapiro introduces Ballmer...and then continues to talk about innovation.
[7:00] Did you know? Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 as its business manager. Wonder how his stock options did.
[7:00] Shapiro going over Microsoft's business units, which do not include death rays…yet.
[7:01] BAM! Bright lights herald the coming of the Ballmer. He materializes from the haze in a red sweater.
[7:01] Ballmer says the electronics industry kept its focus during the Great Recession.
[7:03] To show how technology makes lives better, a video of Saturday Night Live head writer Seth Meyers poking fun at technology. He singles out Xbox Live.
[7:04] "Before technology, I thought I was better at video games than an 11-year-old."
[7:04] Cut to Meyers in his living room, with a young voice screaming at him "You SUCK OLD MAN" over his headset.
[7:04] "Thanks, technology."
[7:05] After a few more wisecracks, the video ends, and Ballmer is back.
[7:05] "We want to focus on the ever-evolving PC tonight, and the TV experience."
[7:05] Cue obligatory mention of cloud computing.
[7:06] He then makes oblique mention to "new interface technology." Natal, perhaps.
[7:06] He promotes Microsoft's new search engine by yelling "Bing" about a dozen times.
[7:08] Says the global middle class, Microsoft's prime market, will increase dramatically over the next few years. (Glad the middle class is increasing somewhere…)
[7:08] Now he's recapping Microsoft's 2009 achievements, and Xbox is first out of the gate.
[7:09] Global Xbox 360 sales now over 39 million, with $20 billion in game revenue generated by Xbox products since 2001.
[7:10] And now we're back to Bing, and how it understands user intent and anticipates what they want. It's not a search engine; it's a "decision engine."
[7:11] Bing maps can go from satellite view to one's front door with smooth video transitions…if you've installed Silverlight.
[7:11] Microsoft teaming up with HP to make Bing the default engine and MSN the default home page on all HP PCs in 42 countries.
[7:12] Obligatory mention of Sync, Microsoft's partnership with Ford.
[7:13] KIA will have something similar, called UVO. Fiat models have similar functionality.
[7:13] Now it's Zune-pimpin' time, with rave reviews of the devices splashed on the screen.
[7:14] The Zune 1080p video service will soon expand to other platforms besides Zune and Xbox Live.
[7:14] Now it's on to the new HTC Windows Mobile phone.
[7:14] Now it's time for Ballmer's favorite topic, Windows 7.
[7:15] They wanted Windows to be much faster, both at startup and performing tasks.
[7:16] Some 3,000 Microsoft engineers, 50,000 partners, and 8 million beta testers helped Windows 7 be a success.
[7:17] Windows PC sales jumped 50 percent the week Windows 7 launched and 63 percent during Black Friday week.
[7:18] Ballmer declares Windows 7 as the fastest-selling operating system in history, with 94 percent of purchasers of the product being very satisfied.
[7:18] Some 300 million PCs were shipped in 2009, a 3 percent increase year over year.
[7:18] In 2010, industry research firm predicts 12 percent growth in PC sales.
[7:19] "The range of PCs with Windows 7 is virtually limitless," he says, with 4 million Windows applications overall--800,000 of which are for Windows 7.
[7:21] Ryan Asdourian from the Windows 7 team comes up onstage to demonstrate his favorite PCs.
[7:22] One of them is the Sony Vaio N, which has a Blu-ray player built in and a touch screen.
[7:23] Dell Adamo XPS is the thinnest laptop on the market, thinner than four poker chips. This is Vegas, after all.
[7:24] HP NV15 and Toshiba Cosmio 505 are among the gaming rigs they show off.
[7:25] He uses Dirt 2 to show off DirectX 11's graphical punch, emphasizing the realistic dirt when it wrecks.
[7:26] Now he shows off a 3D gaming laptop, and would have shown off an HDTV with a built-in PC--but the power outage blew the tube.
[7:28] Now they're showing off the Blio reader and how it helps students. They are showing an anatomy manual that administers quizzes and plays video inside an e-book's "page."
[7:31] Now he's sharing the book with Ballmer via Skydrive, which lets users share data. The result is a slick animated presentation.
[7:33] Asdourian shows off how to use Bing maps to scout out a bar near a Seattle Seahawks game.
[7:35] Now he's showing off Windows 7 DVR capabilities, recording four HD shows at once, surfing Facebook, looking up stuff to do in Vegas, and checking out an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Hulu.
[7:38] Shows off some photo-sharing abilities, which reveal that Adourian skydived into Qwest Field in Seattle in a Seahawks mascot suit.
[7:38] All these functions are part of Windows Media Center, which can be enhanced by Microsoft Media Room.
[7:40] This allows pay TV services like AT&T Uverse TV via Windows Media Center. Currently 4 million people worldwide enjoy the service.
[7:41] And soon many more will since it will soon be available on the Xbox 360 to Uverse subscribers.
[7:42] Through a Media-room-enabled PC, AT&T video service can also be streamed to Windows Mobile phones.
[7:43] In case you didn't get it yet, Ballmer plugs the PC once more.
[7:44] Now some Slate PCs are being shown running Windows 7.
[7:45] These table PCs will take entertainment on the go. As an example, he shows one running Kindle PC software showing…Twilight?
[7:46] Cue the next Meyers clip, a brief history of technology.
[7:48] And its video games. It shows him playing Frogger. "Now the graphics on my 360 are so realistic, when my guy dies, I tear up a little." After staring for a few seconds, he implores the crowd, "Don't judge me."
[7:49] And here come the games, with Entertainment and Devices division president Robbie Bach taking the stage!
[7:49] He isn't talking about games, though--he's talking about the entire spectrum of entertainment.
[7:49] The subject moves to the innovations on the Xbox platform over the past five years.
[7:51] "2010 will be a landmark year for all Xbox customers for three reasons."
[7:52] The best lineup of console-exclusives, including Mass Effect 2, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction, and the first content packs for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which will be available on Xbox Live first.
[7:52] He also pimps Crackdown 2 and Fable III.
[7:53] And now a demo of Alan Wake, which Bach touts as a new genre.
[7:54] And hello Halo. Some 30 million units, 5 million Halo action figures sold, and 500,000 Halo soundtrack CDs sold.
[7:54] Cue Halo: Reach trailer…the same Halo: Reach trailer released last year.
[7:56] "Leave that lone wolf stuff behind, Spartan!" Bet he's a loose cannon who doesn't play by the rules.
[7:57] Bach reminds us that Halo: Reach is launching fall 2010, and Halo 3: ODST owners can get in on the multiplayer beta this spring.
[7:58] On to Xbox Live, which has 20 million members.
[7:58] 200 million avatar outfits sold, 100 million music songs for Rock Band or Guitar Hero sold.
[7:59] Obligatory Twitter, Facebook, and Last.fm reference--used by 10 million people to date.
[8:00] Instant-on streaming 1080p video from Zune Video Marketplace also gets a shout-out, and a quick demo of high-def streaming.
[8:00] Zune video available in 18 countries.
[8:01] "Atari, Intellivision--remember those?" Here comes the Game Room "surprise."
[8:01] Starting this spring, 30 original arcade classics will be available in customizable arcades.
[8:02] You can invite your friends to your game room arcade, which will have the original cabinets.
[8:02] Bach and Ballmer's avatars face off in an arcade.
[8:03] It will be available on both PC and 360, with new games each week--over 1,000 titles are in the pipe.
[8:04] Now Bach is talking about the Z axis being the final frontier of the natural user interface, or NUI.
[8:04] Bach talking about massive effort behind this technology, looking for inventions with a 10-year horizon and a three-year horizon.
[8:05] That latter group mentions muscle recognition, technology that Microsoft has patented.
[8:05] This has allowed them to remove the last barrier for gaming with…wait for it…
[8:05] PROJECT NATAL!
[8:06] Video montage shows researchers from University of Cambridge and other places intercut with the Natal E3 demo.
[8:07] Lots of shots of early Natal work, which shows cruder versions of the technology.
[8:07] "Natal evaluates trillions of body movements every second at 30 frames a second."
[8:08] Montage ends.
[8:09] It's official: Natal is shipping holiday 2010 worldwide.
[8:09] Bach makes a point of mentioning that the device will work with all existing Xbox 360s.
[8:10] And Bach is quickly wrapping up, recapping both his and Ballmer's comments.
[8:10] Looks like they are not bringing Natal out to show the unwashed masses…
[8:11] And that's it! Check back tomorrow for all the latest from CES 2010!
Check out the game Milo and the topics i made, it has questions on natal, if u want to answer them i would be interested in your opinion. thanks.
It would be cool if they did a first person fight night game for project natal. It could make fighting games so much better, actually moving and punching yourself, you could fight like you would in real life(well maybe not exactly like reality, it would still be a game after-all)
Man, I have a PS3 and I've always wanted an XBOX 360 but never this badly!!! I think that ps3's motion sensor thing will be nothing compared to this, why would I buy motion sensor for PS3 when I could buy a Wii.
@Ladiesman17 And when that happens I?ll be spending my money elsewhere as I hate digital downloads. I rather have a solid copy of the game that I place in a console then download or stream a game. because no matter what when you want to play Halo 5 or whatever sequel there will be at that point it won't be there forever, they will have to eventually make room for the latest games. Digital seems a step in the wrong direction for me, a lot of things can go wrong with the main servers that can erase everything you?ve done, and lets not forget the customer service we?ll most likely get (which will be bad).
GO MS!! Amazing work!! yes i dont think i will buy it because i like the more controllers but its a option, no wii needed anymore just for jogging. btw blue-ray sucks reading its slower and like any disc cd/dvd it will soon end they are to easy to scratch and not realy durable in a long term, harddisk and pen or something like that will rulle the market soon or later.
MAN WHEN IS THE RELEASE DATE... I know the year is 2010, but I want to know at least what month holiday can mean anything
This means that we'll have to buy even bigger hard drives, EXCLUSIVELY MADE by Microsoft. What a ripoff. Why can't we use our own HDDs. Jeeze.
DAAAMN! Still no news about Microsoft's LIVE support in the central and eastern Europe and the rest of unsupported countries!! When we will be able to play the games that we payed for?!
Gamespot's sister website CNET... How many sisters site does GameSpot has O_o Also lol at the Light problem xD Someone's been likely fired out @Ladiesman17 Yeah, they are gonna extinct in 10 years... just as the bug of 2000 that never happenned and the end of the world in 2012. You can still dream, game consoles are still gonna last a looong long time
x8VXU6, Like the first Mass Effect, I think Mass Effect 2 will likely get the RPG of the year but not game of the year. It might get nominated but there is just too much competition this year for that award.
@Ladiesman17 what the hell are you smoking? I am a PC gamer myself but as long as gaming is around consoles will be the biggest selling, mainly because most people i am one of the lucky few, don't have the money to upgrade every year. Wont lie most of my pay checks goes to my PC.
The only games that I would even consider playing on Natal would be something like "Fight Night Natal" or UFC Natal.. Finaly we can beat the virtual butts of those 13 year olds who talk alot of crap over live lol. It would be fun atleast to have something like that.
@ itsTolkien_time Then GTFO of the website and go play in the past. If you're so tired of it, stop going to the very parts of the internet where people still care.
Tekken: Natal or Street Fighter Natal.... Future question right there? lol, the only type of gaming i can imagine natal being amazing at.
I guess this project is promising, i like freedom and immersion in the videogames so i like how they making something like natal be possible. And i don't guess someone will be obliged to have Natal to play new games, wouldn't be something smart from microsoft. but there's something that no one is talking about Natal. with languages will it support?
Goddam I'm tired of Microsoft. So tired. I'm done with advanced technology. I haven't played a single game that I've enjoyed more than what I played 10 years ago. It's getting old.
I agree with spike 211187 I had a wii for maybe a year and sold to my sister cause it was just collecting dust
*yawn* Project natal doesn't interest me in the least. Motion controls just seem too much like a gimmick. The Wii is fun is small doses with a group of friends. Otherwise it just collects dust next to my PS3 and 360.
I think sony's motion controls is going to be more successful then Natal. I don't know about you but when i come home after a hard day at work, i want to flop on the couch and just relax and play some games. I've seen them use Natal on burnout and i don't think i can hold my hands in the air holding a pretend steering wheel for a extended period of time. I would rather have the logitech G25 racing wheel with 900 degrees rotation, force feedback and petals. I can't see them using Natal on games like Halo, mass effect, alan wake. Those types of games are why people bought Xbox over nintendo. Sony's seems a little more pratical. I mean if sony's can do everything that nintendo can do (because we know what nintendo is doing is working) if not better but has the hardware to back it up. What would you rather play. Wii sports baseball where guys have no arms or MLB the show with the same or better controls and 1000x better graphics. You can use Sony's motion controls on a wide varity of different games. But i can see them making games that you have the choice to use motion control or a regular control (i.e MLB the show. You can use your controler play the outfield and pitch or use motion controls to swing a bat.) And if that is the case i can see this being a lot more successful. I think sony was right when they said people want to hold something when they play games.
For The Next Consoles, games in the future, are going to need minimum like 50gb of space, so if microsoft dont want the blu ray media, i know how microsoft is going to sell games in the future, by buying a physical copy that has like 50% of the game and if you want to finish the game at 100% you have to buy the rest via digital download and i dont want that. I prefer to buy a 100% game physical not half or less than half.
Microsoft Needs a Bluray drive if they dont want a blu ray drive, the next xbox console games are going to be very short like 3 or 4 hours and if you want more content you have to download from xbox live digital at adittional cost and i dont want that. I want the full game experience in a physical copy.
as long as Natal only adds to, and doesn't attempt to nor say it's attempting to replace the classic controller, then I'm all up for it. New ways of interacting with games are always welcome, but you can't just throw a well established icon like the traditional controller and then try and replace it with an unproven technology. That's asking for trouble. Look at the Wii - yes it's motion based, but it classic controller elements like the wiimote layout and the analogue stick on the nunchuk. It shows that Nintendo DID innovate, but also remembered that the traditional way was also still relevant.
They'll never get rid of the good old controller, not matter how technologically advanced gaming becomes; they're just opening new doors to how we play. To remove controllers completely from gaming would be like building a human pyramid then having the people on the bottom stand up. Natal will just be another way to play games, a way that some will be pleased with and others not. Personally, I'm looking forward to "jumping around like an idiot"; Natal is a fantastic advancement in entertainment, and I can't wait to give it a shot, even if I end up hating it.
project natal..... yawn seriously now what kind of games are going to support natal? party games a la wii? i bet noone would like to see halo using natal.
Hm i don´t know i´m not exicted about natal. I want still to play with my controller and i don´t wanna jump like a retard around. and atleast show finally some games that gonna use natal.
Actually advanracer, online gameplay will no longer be free for PS3 because of weak sales. It has to find an equilibrium somewhere and charging for their online service is what is going to shift their losses in order to break even, but I don't think it's going to fly with consumers that own a PS3 and already play online for free. And on the negative side of things, from what I've heard, its going to be more expensive than Xbox's Live subscription per year. Heh, Sony definitely did something wrong for them to be in this position, I just don't know what. It's too bad.
Cut to the point how does it work with games, remember Sega, Atari and Nintendo tried the samething back in the 80s and 90s Remember Mind Link (Atari): Didn't see the light of day The Power Glove (Nintendo) Activator (Sega) U-Force (Nintendo) Also MS make up your minds, are you going with the Muscle Control or the Motion Camera Technology
Great.. another money mongering ploy from microsoft to extract money from its brainwashed consumers..50 dollars for xbox live..and another 40 for Project Natal?..(Required Update Needed) LOL. Glad I traded my elite for a ps3. Wow...huge difference in the "Desktop" compared to Xbox's kiddie theme LOL. and of course..FREE online Gameplay!! MAG Demo's fun XD
What's the different between M$'$ and Sony's motion controls? Sony tries to catch up and beyond Nintendo in this area; while M$ wants to make profit using Natal as same as what Nintendo is doing.
I think X-box (Microsoft) & PlayStation are creating these products to get their hand on some of that Wii money since the Wii out sells them both.I don't think this technology will bring anything new to games.I can see company's creating awkward control's just to accommondate this.I can only see this being useful for younger gamers but we will see you never know?
@littlesnake, why don't you take that over to system wars, instead of clicking a topic about a 360 product, then saying how much better you think the PS3 is?? I'm sure a lot of people, including myself, are happy they purchased a 360, but don't feel the need to relish over it, or post it for other readers to see on a topic that doesn't concern it. Please don't take it personal if this Project Natal thing is successful, because it seems like you have a imbedded hate for the 360. Or if you want to brag about how glad you are about purchasing a console, why don't you get all 3? That way you can play the best exclusives of all the current consoles, or is that not fanboyish enough for you?!!
Alan Wake Crackdown 2 Fable III Halo Reach Mass Effect 2 Mechwarrior Ninety Nine Nights II Splinter Cell: Conviction
Yay for easy menu controls and dashboard controls. Hell no for actual gameplay designed around flailing my limbs around like one of those guys on ACII when you poison them.
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