SONJA RAATH

Project Natal, Microsoft’s hottest addition to the Xbox 360 family, has revolutionised the world of gaming as we know it. The new videogame console has upped the Wii, creating a world where you are the controller and the only experience you need is life experience.

Project Natal’s launch into the realm of technological gaming was inevitable. The Minority Report-like console tracks your full body movements in 3D, while responding to commands, directions and even a shift of emotion on your voice. It’s as simple as scanning yourself in.

Unlike other devices, Project Natal’ssensor isn’t light-dependent. It can track 48 points on your body where it recognises you just by looking at your face. It doesn’t just react to key words but understands the full extent of what you are saying. A major bonus of the device is that there aren’t any overpriced bits of plastic needed for it to function.

Project Natal is a bar that sits above or below your TV, almost like a Wii sensor. Instead of having sensing controllers it has a camera, sensor and microphone inside of it that lets it get an accurate description of you as well asthe space you are occupying.

The Project Natal sensor is the world’s first to combine an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone and custom processor all in one device. The depth-sensor is an infrared projector combined with a monochrome CMOS sensor. Its multi-array microphone locates voices by sound and extracts any ambient noise. 

Microsoft released its new control system on June 2, at the US E3 conference. Director Steven Spielberg describes it as, “A pivotal moment in our technological era that will carry with it a wave of change, the ripples of which will reach far beyond video games.”

A release date for Project Natalhas yet to be disclosed but Microsoft has already sent prototypes to all big game developers.

For further information, visit:

www.xbox.com