Project Natal ships in October

Saudi Microsoft executive narrows release window for controller-free motion-control system, saying it will ship before Halloween.

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Since Project Natal was revealed at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft has been largely silent about it. Other than announcing the camera-based motion-sensing system would have a "world premiere" on Sunday, June 13--the day before Microsoft's press briefing at this year's E3--the Xbox 360 maker has only divulged it will ship this "holiday" season.

Natal will ship in October, according to a Saudi Microsoft executive.
Natal will ship in October, according to a Saudi Microsoft executive.

Apparently Microsoft considers Halloween a holiday, as an executive from the company has revealed Project Natal will launch worldwide in October. In an interview on Saudi Arabian state television's Channel 2 (see below) captured last night by GamerTag Radio, the marketing manager of Microsoft Saudi's Entertainment and Devices division, Syed Bilal Tariq, narrowed the launch date of the system.

"Project Natal will be launched in Saudi Arabia on the same date it will be launched in the world," said Tariq. "That is going to be somewhere [sic] in October. We will be in a position to confirm the date after E3, which is in June. But definitely the date is going to be in October 2010." [UPDATE] As of 8:30 a.m. PDT Tuesday morning, the video interview--embedded below--was intermittently unviewable.

US Microsoft reps were less forthcoming than their Saudi counterparts, saying only, "As we confirmed earlier this year, Project Natal will launch this holiday. We have no further details to share at this time."

Since Natal's unveiling, Microsoft has been keen to play up the potential of the controller-free system while not talking about the games that use it. So far, the company has only revealed the virtual boy Milo, the role-playing game Fable III, the dodgeball game Ricochet, and an art game called Paint Party. Following a Los Angeles press event, screenwriter James Gunn (Slither, Dawn of the Dead) also let slip that boxing, football, and whitewater-rafting simulation games were in development for the system. Workout and yoga games are also rumored.

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