Tuesday, 02 Jun, 2009 Technology

Microsoft Presents Motion Control Device for Xbox 360


"Project Natal" is Microsoft's new device that gamers can use as controller for the software giant's gaming console Xbox 360. With its help users do not need a handheld input device, since the gadget is able to identify the full body motion of the user, distinguish their face and voice, scan pictures of real items, as well as react to physical and vocal commands.

The device was presented at the Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference, which took place at Galen Center at the University of Southern California.

Probably the most impressive moment of the presentation was when the company's senior vice president Don Mattrick together with Stephen Spielberg himself presented Microsoft's gadget. "Two months ago, Don shared with me the 'Natal' experience, and the gamer in me went out of my mind when I got to be really interactive with this," said Spielberg.

The presentation of "Project Natal" involved the demonstration of device with 3 prototype programs: "Ricochet", which requires the user to engage the whole body in order to bounce balls at targets; "Paint Party", a program in which the player has to use their body as the brush to do art; and "Milo", software that allows the player to interact with a virtual boy.

It is worth mentioning that Microsoft's gadget combines a camera, depth sensor, microphone and processor. Beside "Project Natal" the software giant outlined some of the upgrades it made for Xbox 360 gaming console, including the Netflix online service, which significantly increases the console's functionality; 1080p HD video, live TV in the UK via the Sky network, as well as the ability to watch movies online through Xbox Live Party.

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