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Microsoft XBox (Games) Games

Project Natal Renamed 'Kinect' 286

tekgoblin writes "Many people gathered for the opening of E3 to see Project Natal. When they entered they were told that the new name of Natal is Kinect. Kinect is going to be the new way to play. It is going to be completely controller-free. You can browse your dashboard with the wave of your hand."
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Project Natal Renamed 'Kinect'

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:27AM (#32564050)

    It's a shame that MS and Sony seem to be investing all their efforts into jumping on a motion controller fad that's already fading fast (seriously, how many gamers have Wii's gathering dust in their closets already?). Meanwhile, MS is on the verge of breaking the 5-year rule with the 360, with Sony soon to follow--with no next-gen systems in sight. Both consoles are already showing their age--especially the 360 with its DVD drive, already necessitating several multi-disc releases.

    I know there is a recession on and all, but the 5-year rule has held through recessions before. It even held during the early 80's console "collapse." Every day these systems age is another day that PC gaming starts to look more and more attractive to many of us gamers. And I really don't want to go back to PC gaming. But I also don't want to be playing on a console that's viewed more and more as a "toy," rather than a serious gaming platform.

    I know that MS and Sony want to capture the casual market, but it seems misguided to me. Wii already *has* that market, and a knockoff copy of their controller probably isn't going to change that. Meanwhile, they risk losing the gamer market and ending up not pleasing anyone (by trying to please everyone).

    • by Drakkenmensch ( 1255800 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:32AM (#32564116)
      The software industry may have a hand in keeping the next gen of consoles at bay. Considering that most of the high-graphics high-profile games now have a development budget in the millions of dollars and require upwards of a year (sometimes several years) to create, game developers have seemingly reached the upper limit of technology they can currently handle before going financially or workforce bankrupt. It's not until they can create more art, level design and cgi with less time and ressources involved for the current generation that they'll be able to even consider going one step up.
      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
        That's a good point. Development costs (and the time involved) seem to be getting *way* out of hand these days.
      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        reached the upper limit of technology at 720p :)
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Schadrach ( 1042952 )

          Can't the PS3 do 1080p? I know several of the games have that marked on the back of the box...

      • by flitty ( 981864 )
        Also, these developers have now mastered the current gen systems, much like they did with Xbox1 and PS2. In the 1-2 years of the last generation before the new generation came out, we got the most artistic and stylistic games, due to the limits of the system AND because the developers knew the system well enough that they didn't need to focus on learning the system anymore, they could spend more time on gameplay tweaks and art style.

        You can probably expect more "tricks" to keep games from now on looking
    • by ashridah ( 72567 )

      Uh, who made this "5-year rule" up, exactly? You?
      Microsoft sure didn't. []

      The original XBox had a life-span of about 4 years, not really enough time to recoup losses made. I'm not surprised that as the consoles get more expensive to make, that people want to push them out longer to make a reasonable profit on them.

      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
        If you go back and look at the release dates between consoles, you'll see that the 5-year rule holds going all the way back to the Atari VCS. The only exceptions are the 360 (at 4 years) and the PS3 (at 6 years). But even giving them 6 years, we should already be hearing about a next-gen 360.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by somersault ( 912633 )

          Even if MS release a new console that doesn't mean the lifespan of the 360 is over. The PS2 is still having new games made for it, so it hasn't reached its full lifespan yet despite the PS3 being out. I think that's a pretty good thing as it caters to different segments of the market. Some people just can't afford a PS3 or 360..

          • by EMR ( 13768 )

            Actually, the PS2 has no more games being developed for it. I was actually in a Gamestop a month ago and there were only like 5 games in the pipeline before the EOL of new games to the PS2. And I can not justify buying a PS3 ESPECIALLY with the recent barrage of Firmware updates and EULA changes that take away the rights of the owner of the unit. I'll pass..

            (BTW, I love the tag line)

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Ephemeriis ( 315124 )

          But even giving them 6 years, we should already be hearing about a next-gen 360.

          That's what is really surprising me...

          Seems to me that we used to start hearing rumblings about the next big thing about 3 or 4 years into a console. I haven't heard anything at all about a successor to any of these machines.

          One could argue that we've hit some kind of peak and it we don't need a new console because current hardware is good enough... But that just doesn't seem to be true. As the OP pointed out, games are starting to exceed the storage capacity of the 360's DVD drive. The PS3 just started

          • The PS3 just started shipping HDMI-ready...

            No, the PS3 has always had an HDMI port, they just didn't ship it with an HDMI cable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pojut ( 1027544 )

      especially the 360 with its DVD drive, already necessitating several multi-disc releases.

      Remember back in the day, when people thought "Holy crap! It requires multiple disks! It must be HUGE!"? Final Fantasy VII is the example that immediately comes to mind.

      Besides, multiple discs aren't really that big of a deal. I agree, it's nice having everything on one disc, but it that hard to change the disc out every 10+ hours?

      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

        The PS1's multi-disc games, towards the end, were getting to be a serious pain in the butt. They made you swap too often, mostly.

        So while the current 360 multi-disc games aren't a yet a major pain, they will be before long. That, or they'll have lower-resolution videos and textures than their PS3 counterparts and will be ridiculed for it.

        I'll admit, though... The current systems have lasted 5 years much better than the previous generations did.

        • Current consoles have a big advantage - a hard drive. Multiple discs isn't so bad if you just need them for install, and not to play thereafter. I wouldn't want to get back to 7 disk installs like with floppies, but we don't seem to be on the verge of that.
          • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
            It wouldn't be so bad if it actually worked that way. But with all the multiple disc games I've seen so far, the appropriate disc has to still be in the DVD drive, regardless of whether or not you've installed it to the hard drive (much like with PC games requiring the disc in the drive even if your installed them). So even if you install both discs of Mass Effect 2 on the hard drive, you still have to swap out the discs when the time comes. Not sure if this is true with some of the other multiple disc rele
      • on my pc I expect never to have to piss about with the disc once i've installed the game (so unlike on consoles, drm that expects a disc to be in the drive really pisses me off)

      • multi-disc games tend to have a bit more enforced linearity, removing your ability to do certain things or return to certain areas once you've switched to the next disc. I'd lay odds that this is one of the reasons FFXIII is more linear, unlike FFXII, a single disc game that while it has a linear storyline, you can go off and wander if you want.

    • I find it interesting that many intelligent people are unable to distinguish between the technology and experience in the Kinect and the Wii. One is a stupid tracker that follows one point in x y z and the other is a very advanced system of cameras that tracks YOUR ENTIRE BODY and doesn't require a controller. The technology and experience from using the Kinect are vastly superior to the Wii's. DO NOT GROUP THEM TOGETHER.
    • The idea for the Wii control system is good, just a lot of the games have been crap. Designing games around the controllers is a bit stupid too. Games work a lot better when the controller has been designed for the type of game than vice versa (ie guitar hero guitar or steering wheels).

      The Sony system looks a lot more flexible than the MS one and so I have more hope that it can work with a broad range of game types. At least it should have buttons. I'm assuming the MS system is going to have to rely on vari

    • I'd rather hear about "minor" upgrades to the 360/PS3. While this motion controller may not be anything revolutionary when compared to the Wii, some people might find it fun and buy it as a totally optional upgrade.

      The example of the 360's DVDs is valid but does solving that problem require a totally new console? There could be another optional upgrade to Blu-ray (I wonder why that isn't out yet) to increase disk capacity.

      I'd rather have small ones too just because I'm not ready to buy a totally new conso

      • I don't see any reason why Microsoft has to build a new console. Installation numbers are still growing, as is the number of games. I have a hard time remembering it came out 5 years ago, and I still play my 360 very often (when not playing PC games)
        Certainly they should upgrade the console itself though. And they are. There's talk of the Slim, they've been making bigger hard drives (could you imagine having the 20gb HD for the whole 10-year cycle! Hah!), Natal (I refuse to call it Kinect) to bring in more

      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
        There was an HD-DVD add-on drive [] for the 360, but MS (foolishly, IMHO) restricted it to playing HD-DVD movies and didn't allow developers to use it for games.
        • Yeah, considering that releasing games in HD-DVD format would open up your market to current 360 owners again and if you released only in HD-DVD, which no one would do as it cuts down the number of potential customers further, publishers were smart to avoid releasing games in that format.
    • by alen ( 225700 )

      the big advantage about the 5 year rule was better graphics. the latest generation of consoles also had online built in. the whole motion gaming thing sounds cooler and worth buying rather than just better graphics

    • I don't know about Microsoft, but I thought Sony announced in advance that they intended for it to be 10 years before the PS3 was replaced. Which means we have about... oh... 6 years to go.

      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
        And if their main competitor released a new console next year that blew away the PS3, do you really think that they would wait 5 years to respond? That was just PR talk (aimed at convincing PS2 users to upgrade).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xest ( 935314 )

      Natal, or 'Kinect' is different though, unfortunately not many people seem to have the imagination capable of seeing why so far however and just dismiss it as a clone of the Wii's control system.

      The fundamental difference with Kinect is it's controllerless nature. A lot of people seem to see this as some mutually exclusive thing, but that's simply not the case. There's no reason Kinect can't be used with existing control systems- this may for example mean observing the player as they play an FPS and allowin

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Natal, or 'Kinect' is different though, unfortunately not many people seem to have the imagination capable of seeing why

        I've been playing "controller less" video games at various science&tech exhibits since the 80s, and they all had one thing in common: Suckage.

        This over-hyped gadget WILL disappoint once it's out of marketing-controlled settings, and you only have to read the works of Douglas Noel Adams to have a very eloquent explanation of why (in brief: the system is too dumb to correctly interpret movements).

    • seriously, how many gamers have Wii's gathering dust in their closets already?

      As of 10 AM ET this morning, the Will holds 11 of the top 25 slots - hardware and software - as best sellers in video games [] for

      a knockoff copy of their controller

      Natal was always much more than a knock-off.

    • by Dan667 ( 564390 )
      no vendor lock-in problems like this, no poor quality consoles, why exactly are you not PC Gaming? You even get to use all 10 fingers to play games and not just your thumbs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by netsavior ( 627338 )

      It's a shame that MS and Sony seem to be investing all their efforts into jumping on a motion controller fad that's already fading fast (seriously, how many gamers have Wii's gathering dust in their closets already?).

      You are funny. You don't seem to understand what corporations want, which is profit - aka sales

      You do realize that game sales for the Wii make the PS3 and 360 look like a joke right?
      Best selling game for PS3: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 - 4.75m
      360 - Halo3 - 8.1m
      Wii - Wii Sports - 63.46m but ok that is *cheating* with a bundle, so how about Wii play - 27.38m but again bundled with a new controller... so Wii Fit - 22.61m but to be fair it came with hardware making the game cost about 2x as much as o

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
        Yeah, but doing a knockoff is hardly an assurance of co-opting those kinds of sales. As I said, the Wii *has* the casual market. And there is a lot of money in that market, yes. But I think MS and Sony's assumption that they can cut into that so easily is misguided (especially at the rumored $150 price point of the Natal), and it does a disservice to the market they already *do* have (the more serious gamer).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ProppaT ( 557551 )

      There is no 5 year rule. Seriously. A couple generations back we had that cycle because technology was advancing rapidly. Now game console technology is waiting for consumers to catch up and adopt HD. Believe it or not, there's still plenty of people who don't have HDTVs. Also, now that people are getting HDTVs they're more than happy with the graphics on their 360 and PS3. Sony said, out the gate, that they were aiming for a 10 year product cycle on the PS3. Personally, I'm glad that no one (except

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe the project is maturing.

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 )

    they don't even own the domain name. Yet another fumble by MS.

  • by Osrin ( 599427 ) * on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:31AM (#32564104) Homepage

    Shouldn't it be - "Project Natal Named 'Kinect'"?

    • I ended up thinking about how it was going to be k'new and so kompatible. Then I realised that was K'nex and not some fad of a new controller system.

      I wonder if someone will eventually decide that controllers are 100% unnecessary, thereby forcing loads of console gamers back to proper machines and better graphics on their PCs? :D

  • Personally, I wouldn't be showing off images like this one [], which clearly show either input delay or a lack of accurate mapping between human motion and character motion.

    If I'm going to buy three iToys taped together, I at least expect that when I raise my arms over my head, the character on-screen will do something resembling the same.

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      Maybe the avatar can't lift his forearms all the way up. ;-)
    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      It's hard to know what's happening without context of seeing it live or in video, but there are a number of other possibilities too- large scale projection equipment as being used here may have more latency than your typical smaller home displays, but also we don't know how fast the guys arms were moving, if it's latency it could simply be on such a low order that a camera can catch it in a situation like that but a human isn't going to notice or care when using it in person.

      It's a bit early to be making as

  • Kinect? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:35AM (#32564160) Journal
    I wonder if they are trying to tie this in with their Kin phones by using this name?
  • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

    Natal was an interesting name. Kinect is's just freakin' lame.

    I personally find it funny that while the Kinect hardware involves not touching anything, it's name is, by dictionary defintion, about two things touching each other.

    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

      You can make a 'connection' to something without touching it.

      I think they were going for a cross of connect and kinetic, meaning that you connection to the machine through your own movements.

      I don't like the name, but at least it makes some sense, when viewed like that.

      • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

        That's really pushing it. I see where you are coming from, and ::slaps self:: I hadn't thought of that before...but still, that's really pushing it -_-;;

    • by ProppaT ( 557551 )

      I think it's supposed to be a play off of the word kinetic, which makes 100% sense. It connects you to the console through motion. I'm not saying it's a great name or anything, but at least it makes a lot of sense...

    • My running theory is that not only did they want to follow Nintendo's input device strategy, they also followed their "cool name to dumb name" strategy.

  • Accuracy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by accessbob ( 962147 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:45AM (#32564276)
    So this thing still has just one location for its camera? I don't want to be picky, but you can quite easily get side-ways on to the camera (think the tennis game of the Wii). Hw accurate is the mechanism at picking up hand movements partly, possibly, fully obscured by the body? QAlso, how accurate is it at measuring angluar rotation and wrist movement. Dancing and jumping around games are going to be fine (I guess), but anything that requires close observation of hand and arm movement is going to be a bit limited. Compared to "wand" technology, a single camera is going to be a bit limited in what can be achieved.
    • It builds a skeleton of your body, so, I mean, it won't be able to tell if you're holding up any fingers behind your back, but it will be able to determine motion obscured by your own arm better than a wii mote can. Try covering the sensor on a wiimote and see how that does.

      Though, really, the Kinect's main feature is full body movement recording without the need for a wand, so I think you missed the point. It will likely be as good as a wand in all the fields you listed except for possibly angular rotatio

  • EyeToy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Kinect is going to be the new way to play. It is going to be completely controller free.

    So was EyeToy [] 11 years ago. I'm sure other Slashdotters will/can find other earlier example.

  • by tuffy ( 10202 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:55AM (#32564426) Homepage Journal

    Whatever its technical merits, this just isn't going to work in the market. Game-specific console add-ons tend to work (e.g. balance boards, plastic instruments, etc.) whereas general purpose ones do not. This is because game developers are forced to either target the add-on with specific titles that take advantage of it, which relegates them to a small subset of the console's total base; or they tack-on support which rarely works well and doesn't help sell the add-on.

    If Microsoft were serious, they'd release an X-Box 3 with motion-only support so developers can count on it and develop accordingly. But they're not, they won't, and it won't sell.

  • You can browse your dashboard with the wave of you hand.

    These are not the droids you are looking for.

  • Since when did they start speaking redneck in Chicago?

  • If you turn your whole body, then you're not looking at the screen any more. If you have to make a specific gesture to turn, then we're back to artificial, rather than natural, interfaces.

    The steering wheel movement (left and right hand up and down alternately) makes sense if you're piloting a vehicle, but not if you're walking through a forest.

    I look forward to seeing how these issues are resolved.

  • Isn't Kinect like Lego, only not as good?

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead