Could Project Natal Prove Fatal?

posted by on 3rd June 2009, at 7:12pm | 3 Comments

Project Natal is what Microsoft believes will revolutionise gaming. In essence Microsoft is trying to capture what the Wii does best, and better it. The ways they are doing it are quite experimental and could make or break the casual market for the 360. The controller will be completely eliminated, effectively breaking the barrier of ‘people who play games and people who don’t’. Natal will bring usually single player games onto a group stage. For example a Formula 1 type game, could incorporate 3 or 4 players. One could be driving, while another performs pit stops for when the driver needs a wheel change or a fuel top up. But is this enough to tap into the market which, Nintendo have dominated since the release of the Wii? We will have to wait until 2010.

This is by far the most revolutionary thing that Microsoft have announced at E3 for a while. This is also the most risky product that Microsoft have offered up to public eyes. The money being invested must be colossal but if it isn’t pulled off correctly could completely ruin the family market’s trust in Microsoft. It is rumoured that Microsoft have already given the tools to developers even though this new method of gaming won’t be available until 2010.

Some of the things about the presentation do look quite comical. For example the likeness to the Wii adverts is inescapable and makes it seems like Microsoft are stooping down to the Wii rather than trying to rise above it. As well as this, the fact that you can make your ‘own personal interactive imaginary friend’ does make me wonder what kind of audience they are looking to appeal to. It’s not like your average gamer wants a CGI friend to accompany them as they brutally murder zombies in Dead Rising 2 or hit a few shots in Tiger Woods 2010.

The scanning in of objects is a very exciting prospect. Games such as Skate or CoD could be revolutionised by peripherals being introduced in a brand new way into gaming. You could buy a kit which let you customise a skateboard which you could then import into Skate to use. CoD could give you more opportunities to customise guns through the whole scanning method.

I think that this presentation from Microsoft is very exciting stuff, but it’s more a case of believe it when I see it. Thanks to Ryan for coming up with the title for me too.

I’m also really sorry if this seems really quickly throw together. I didn’t have much time as I’m busy with school work, but I hope this keeps you appetites for more Informer! articles whetted.