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.
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.
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.
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