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Input Devices XBox (Games) Entertainment Games

Microsoft Debuts Full-Body Controller-less Gaming At E3 242

quintin3265 writes "At today's Electronic Entertainment Expo press briefing, Microsoft unveiled Project Natal, a technology that eliminates the controller from gaming on the Xbox 360. In one demo, a player used her arms and legs to hit balls in an attempt to destroy a brick wall, and in another game, an employee threw virtual "paint" on a canvas to create a painting, even drawing an elephant using a silhouette feature. An accompanying video also demonstrated automatic login using facial recognition, videoconferencing with other Xbox Live members, and participating in a gameshow against another family through the Internet using speech recognition."
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Microsoft Debuts Full-Body Controller-less Gaming At E3

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  • Activator (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zero_DgZ ( 1047348 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @06:19PM (#28174789)

    Does anyone else remember the "Activator" controller for the Genesis/SNES? This sounds like an echo of that concept, but with updated technology that might actualy, you know... work.

    Everything old is new again. Around and around we go...

  • Interactive Dance! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 01, 2009 @06:19PM (#28174793)

    In the late 1990's we'd always go to experimental installations and do the "interactive dance" where we'd jump and wave our arms around and look ape-shit crazy.... so I'm just waiting for the youtube videos shot from the perspective of the X-Box aimed at the players who look, well, like rather foolish jumping around and leaning and such...

  • Re:too much work (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TornCityVenz ( 1123185 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @06:25PM (#28174871) Homepage Journal
    The idea you have to get up and move...and even get tired is actually a selling point, just look at the sells of the Eyetoy for play station...or even more to the point the Wii fit. There are a lot of gamers who could stand a bit more activity, and once you get past a certain point it's just embarrassing to go to a least some can get a bit of exercise in the privacy of their own home.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 01, 2009 @06:38PM (#28175023)

    ...was that MS got Konami to make a 360 exclusive Metal Gear Solid franchise. []

    If /. is going to report anything about MS at E3 this was probably the biggest news at the conference.

  • Re:too much work (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @06:39PM (#28175037) Homepage Journal

    Back when DDR first came out, one of my friends from high school bought it, and started playing it for 30-60 minutes every day.

    In about 4 months, he went from a 220-lb pudgy kid, to a 170-lb lean, muscular guy. It was hugely impressive!

  • by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) * on Monday June 01, 2009 @07:06PM (#28175331) Journal
    I did the math on this. Even if you make a full body suit capture or camera object recognition of the body it doesn't matter. Once you throw on the VR goggles, people may get into the game too much. People get hurt with the wii just moving their arms. Imagine the carnage of people jumping around with their eyes covered!
  • Re:how? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pinky's Brain ( 1158667 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @07:08PM (#28175347)

    Well, the rumour was that they were going to use 3DV's cameras. Which essentially measure depth for each pixel, making it much easier to determine pose.

  • Re:too much work (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sponga ( 739683 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @07:25PM (#28175525)

    Back on my old Nintendo mat we used to run miles on that thing doing the track meets and other olympic stuff.

    Forgot the name of that game, but you gotta hand it to Nintendo for the stuff they put out from the mat to the duck hunter gun to the bazooka in SNES to Wii.

  • by citizenr ( 871508 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:00PM (#28175835) Homepage
    Its not an input lag, the demo is staged. You can see it in couple of places where actors didnt replay exact moves from the screen. Whole "demo" is a wishful thinking.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 01, 2009 @09:17PM (#28176437)
    Are you being serious here? The Wiimote and Motion Plus? Tell me how you could possibly ever play something like Metroid Prime: Corruption on something like this, in which subtle hand movements on the order of millimeters are measured real-time with pretty incredible accuracy from 3 meters away. I 100% guarantee that this device is not capable of coming anywhere even close to that. What are you going to do, shape your hand into a pointer and speak the buttons you want to press while controlling movement on a virtual joystick in your left hand? Give me a break dude, even in their staged, fake demo video the lag looks shockingly significant and is clearly nowhere near the accuracy of a Wiimote even without the Motion Plus. I feel like either you were smoking something when you watched that, or you've never actually played a game that made good use of the Wiimote. Either way, I think you should watch the video again; this is a full body Eye Toy, not a controller-replacing input revolution.
  • Re:Activator (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @12:54AM (#28177827)

    I really doubt it'll get used on FPSes, just doesn't look like it'd work for that. How would you even move? You can't just walk around, the game world is most likely larger than the area in front of your TV. All the tons of extra actions will also require pretty unnatural gestures to be recognizable (e.g. cycling through the weapons)

  • by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @01:34AM (#28178053)

    Yeah, that video was just a mockup of what they think it might do some day (or pretend...), the live demonstration did have visible lag though.

  • by iVasto ( 829426 ) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @03:33AM (#28178705) Homepage
    I don't understand how the microhone operates. They show the device located directly in front of the tv, a spot where many people place their center speaker in a 5.1 set up. The game will have to completely mute the center channel in order for the microphone to work, thus making the game 2.1 (or 2.1 x2).

I've got a bad feeling about this.