Microsoft expected to unveil Project Natal titles at Electronic Entertainment Expo

Jun 13, 2010 By Alex Pham

Step away from the controller. Microsoft this week is unveiling a set of video games that don't require people to navigate their way around a complex controller with more buttons than the cockpit of a Boeing 747.

Microsoft's technology, code-named Project Natal, ditches the controller altogether. Instead, the games will rely on a device the size of a stapler that perches on top of a living room TV to recognize faces, obey voice commands and track body movements. No more mashing 14 different buttons in endless sequences. Though won't reveal which games will launch with the device until Monday, last month it did show off four "tech demos" to journalists at its campus. One can only assume that those games will become part of the package, including:

• River Rush: What Shaun White would want in real-life river rafting, players instead can indulge in the vicarious thrill on their living room rug. Steering a virtual raft past waterfalls, rocks and other obstacles requires lots of jumping and leaning. The graphics are similar to what you'd find in snowboarding games, with giant visual cues telling players where they can go so they won't get lost.

• Ricochet: Prepare to break a sweat. Players use their arms, legs, feet and head to block a frantic barrage of soccer-sized balls. Microsoft showed an early version of this game during last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. The latest iteration lets two people play simultaneously. Using facial recognition software, the camera checks who is playing and pulls up their personal avatars on the screen. The feature would, for example, let parents control which games their kids can play.

• Living Statue: One small step for Xbox, one giant leap for Microsoft's social media strategy. This game lets players record their avatars dancing and singing karaoke-style, then e-mail the video masterpiece to their friends. The company has long nurtured its ambitions for its Xbox Live online game service, which has 23 million active users, to become a virtual watering hole for people who play video games.

• Obstacle Course: Players pull, dodge and jump their way through a series of levels resembling what you would find at summer camp, sans mosquitoes.

In addition, there will be about a dozen more Natal-licensed titles from other developers unveiled, but Microsoft has forbidden the publishers from uttering a word about them until after its news conference Monday.

Explore further: Security CTO to detail Android Fake ID flaw at Black Hat

2 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sony delays release of motion controller

Jan 20, 2010

(AP) -- Sony Corp. said Wednesday it has pushed back the release of its highly anticipated motion controller for the PlayStation 3 game console to the fall.

Students Launch Audiball, an Xbox Community Game

Jan 16, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Most students like to play video games, but Georgia Tech students Holden Link, Cory Johnson and Ian Guthridge have built and are selling their own. Their game, Audiball, was launched during the first week ...

Recommended for you

Body by smartphone

15 hours ago

We love our smartphones. Since they marched out of the corporate world and into the hands of consumers about 10 years ago, we've relied more and more on our iPhone and Android devices to organize our schedules, ...

Breakthrough elastic cloud-to cloud networking

17 hours ago

Scientists from AT&T, IBM and Applied Communication Sciences (ACS) announced a proof-of-concept technology that reduces set up times for cloud-to-cloud connectivity from days to seconds. This advance is a major step forward ...

Security CTO to detail Android Fake ID flaw at Black Hat

Jul 29, 2014

Where have you heard this before: A team of security researchers discover a security flaw in Android devices. This is, however, news. This time, experts are talking about a flaw that involves a widespread ...

Software provides a clear overview in long documents

Jul 25, 2014

In the future, a software will help users better analyze long texts such as the documents for calls for bids, which are often more than one thousand pages long. Experts at Siemens' global research unit Corporate ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_Kob
not rated yet Jun 14, 2010
The only thing that will make natal successful is the supported games. Now I don't know about you and 99% of xbox gamers, but I really wouldn't want to play a game called 'river rush' or 'obstacle course'.

These seem like really cheap wii'ish games. I do however want normal regular games played with natal.