Project Natal - Motion Sensing and Voice Recognition for the XBOX 360
Microsoft may have just introduced the dagger that can finally stab the Nintendo Wii dead. Called Project Natal, it features a sensor bar that can track your movements in 3D and also recognize your voice. Project Natal makes your body the controller of the video game, no need for Wii-motes and nunchucks.
For a complete summary on what happened on the Microsoft E3 Press Conference, including the announcement of Hideo Kojima regarding the upcoming Metal Gear Solid for the XBOX 360, check out IGN's live blogging updates after the jump.
LIVE BLOGGING COURTESY OF IGN XBOX360:
(12:19:37 PM): That's it, music is playing.
(12:18:36 PM): Mattrick is wrapping up now. Ok and we're done, Mattrick wishes everyone a wonderful E3.
(12:18:28 PM): I just really want to play Crackdown 2 right now.
(12:16:50 PM): Molyneux says it's been a dream of his for 20 years. This is being shown behind closed doors at E3 and Milo will be up and running. Molyneux says this is a landmark in computer entertainment. Mattrick agrees that it was amazing.
(12:16:20 PM): The demoer drew something on a piece of paper and showed it to the Natal sensor. And Milo recognized the picture and took hold of it, recieving a virtual piece of paper in the game world.
(12:15:20 PM): Milo makes a throwing motion at the screen, requests you put on the imaginary goggles. You can play with the water in the pond Milo is standing over.
(12:14:21 PM): Talking about schoolwork, about the possibility of fishing. Milo approaches a dock, he trips a little on a rock. Requires the demoer to put on goggles. Milo insists on this.
(12:13:42 PM): Showing a demo of the boy on a tree swing, with the virtual boy, Milo, recognizing the person talking to him. Milo responds emotionally to topics of conversation.
(12:12:52 PM): Saying Natal will change the landscape of gaming. Showing a video of Lionhead studios. Creating a virtual boy.
(12:11:48 PM): Peter Molyneux coming out onstage, billed as a master. Molyneux called the Natal revolutionary. He's talking about how the controller has been the biggest barrier for gaming.
(12:10:51 PM): Then the outline of the picture is laid over the base picture, and the paper is pulled back eventually, leaving the image of the picture on the base. Can move freely around in 3D space while using this, apparently. Dev kits are arriving at partners today. Mattrick is back out on stage.
(12:09:24 PM): Can overlay stencil paper on the paintings. Shows a siloutette of the player. Can say cheese to snap a photo.
(12:09:04 PM): This painting looks like somebody spilled cafeteria food on the floor.
(12:07:32 PM): Making motions to toss paint at the canvas. Launching splots of paint at the canvas. Selecting colors through voice commands. Can launch buckets or just streams of paint.
(12:06:37 PM): If you kick or move with more velocity, you knock the objects harder. That was single-player, but there'll be multiplayer games as well eventually. Now showing off Paint Party. Has a translucent avatar in front of a large canvas.
(12:05:52 PM): Kicking and punching these spheres at more bricks. Saying it's also an athletic activity. Tsunoda just made fun of waggle control.
(12:04:51 PM): Shows a translucent avatar staring at bricks at the end of a hall. Balls slam into bricks and break them, they rebound back, and you just move your body to get the avatar to hit the balls back.
(12:04:04 PM): Avatar in the dashboard will mimic your full body movements. Can browse the dashboard by swinging your hand. Navigate any menu without a required controller. Showing a demo called Ricochet.
(12:03:22 PM): Saying the system will give you control over your character with your voice and your body movements. Xbox will isntantly recognize who you are with facial recognition tech. And sign you in.
(12:02:46 PM): Kudo Tsunoda is the creative director for Project Natal. He's on stage now. And he's wearing sunglasses.
(12:02:25 PM): Mattrick is still very happy.
(12:01:51 PM): He says 'what Microsoft is doing isn't about reinventing the wheel, it's about no wheel at all.'
(12:00:55 PM): Wants to make the input device invisible. Speilberg says he was approached two months ago with this and flipped out.
(12:00:14 PM): Speilberg wants interactive entertainment to be approachable. Saying the vast majority of people are too intimidated to pick up a controller. Says 60 percent of households do not own a console.
(11:59:46 AM): Introducing Stephen Speilberg who's apparently partnered up for this. He's on stage now with Mattrick.
(11:58:01 AM): Rectangular peripheral is what it seems to be that sits low in front of your TV. It's project Natal. 'The only experience you need is life experience', says Mattrick. Sensor in Natal tracks 3D movement. It will work with every 360 sold so far. And every one to be sold.
(11:56:57 AM): Friends online with video chat, selecting clothes for each other to wear for going out to parties. Playing 1 vs 100. System will feature voice recognition. Can say 'play movie' to get a movie to start.
(11:56:00 AM): Full body motion capture is what this offers. Saying you can scan objects and import them into games? Kid scans in a skateboard by holding it up, then can play a skateboard game without the skateboard.
(11:55:25 AM): Person on couch driving with no wheel peripheral, car steering wheel on screen following suit. Others on couch serving as a pit crew and fixing tires. These aren't real games
(11:55:02 AM): He wants to make the player the controller? Showing a video. Saying no controller is required. Guy walks into a room with a TV. A character onscreen is talking directly to him. Shows a fighting sequence with person dodging, onscreen character following suit.
(11:53:44 AM): People ask Mattrick if he can add a motion controller to Xbox 360. He says 'Of course we can.' But he sees problems with what's out there. So what is Microsoft doing?
(11:51:47 AM): Clouds shifting, shots of Raiden. Raiden is Back, pronounces the trailer. Completely new Metal Gear experience. 'You can look forward to many great things.' Mattrick says that the Microsoft platform is now complete. And Kojima goes off stage. Mattrick is very happy.
(11:51:10 AM): The next major release will be called Metal Gear Solid Rising and development is currently underway for Xbox 360. He didn't say anything about solid snake. Showing a trailer.
(11:50:39 AM): He's saying it's great to be standing on the Xbox 360 stage. Metal Gear Solid franchise is coming to Xbox 360.
(11:49:48 AM): He looks happy. He thinks microsoft is missing one crucial piece of the puzzle. OMG. Kojima on stage.
(11:49:21 AM): Schappert talking again, going over what was just shown. Saying they're not done yet. Don Mattcik out on stage, Senior VP of Xbox
(11:48:28 AM): Looks like you can view other people's Twitter posts, and you can post from Twitter right from your Xbox. Updates instantly. Twitter and Facebook will be coming to Xbox Live this fall.
(11:47:34 AM): Facebook Connect is on there as well, which lets you posts screens and texts in real time. Will work for the new Tiger Woods PGA Tour. In addition to Facebook, Twitter will also be available through XBL.
(11:46:30 AM): Can view photos from yourself and your friends off your Xbox. Can view them in slide show mode. In fullscreen on Xbox. Can also browse status updates on your Xbox.
(11:45:35 AM): Season 3 of the guild is coming this fall... Showing off Facebook on Xbox 360. Same kind of windowed browser as the rest of the Xbox interface. Can use friend linker, that shows XBL and FB friends in the same list.
(11:44:19 AM): Announcing Live Party so that your avatars will sit around a virtual TV and watch it. Looks like a lame version of Mystery Science Theatre. Announcing a partnership with Facebook. Felicia Day on stage from The Guild.
(11:42:54 AM): Today Microsoft is relaunching video service with full 1080p with Zune video. Also, every movie and TV show will be accessible instantly. Doubling number of countries video store is available in. Will launch this fall. No need to download or anything. Will just play.
(11:41:49 AM): Can watch live TV on sky including test cricket and premiere league football. No additional hardware or anything required for...cricket.
(11:41:07 AM): You will be able to add movies to your cue without having to access your PC. All you do on a movie is hit play to watch it. Formed a partnership with Sky TV to bring stuff to UK and Ireland this fall.
(11:40:31 AM): Looks like you'll have a specific channel in Live with access to lots of music, and will be available to gold members later this year for no additional charge. Now talking about Netflix on XBL.
(11:39:40 AM): saying there'll be some kind of innovation coming to Xbox Live. Music is coming to Xbox Live, with partnership to Last.fm. Lukewarm applause.
(11:38:50 AM): Enters a house and the house is then rammed by a bulldozer. House is slowly falling off a cliff with Alan inside, then the demo ends. Alan Wake will be released in spring 2010. Schappert on stage again.
(11:38:18 AM): Alan uses flare gun to do a slow motion shot that eradicates enemies. Lights and carries another flare that appears to be quite powerful, fending off enemies.
(11:36:51 AM): Game does shift into slow motioin though it's not clear if it's player triggered. Flashlight still appearing to do damage. Lots of enemies now, game seems fairly combat intensive. Enemies disintegrate into light. Alan starts up a generator to power a lift, which turns a light on and scares off the humanoid enemies. Taking a lift across a chasm. In top left of screen are a red and blue bar surrounding the minimap.
(11:36:01 AM): As hr runs down a hill trees are falllin the surrounding forest, whispers and screams. He's now out in the middle of the forst. It's mostly dark aside from his light. Some kind of enmey approaches. Axe wielding foe.
(11:35:01 AM): Alan's got a shotgun, running around in 3rd person perspective with a flashlight as well. Minimap in top left corner with an objective marker. Some sort of spectral presence. It's tossing objects in the environment at Alan, incrluding cars. His flashlight may be doing damage to the invisible presence.
(11:33:53 AM): Alan Wake is giving voice over, saying his work is actually coming to life in this town. 'Previously on Alan Wake.' Shows an approach to a small town, his wife goes missing. Now they go into the new stuff. Alan is going to meet someone named Rusty about a manuscript.
(11:32:53 AM): Sam Lake from Remedy. Lake going to introduce a writer. Showing in-game footage from Alan Wake. There's going to be an in-game demo.
(11:32:29 AM): When you buy ODST you get an i Alan Wake is giving voice over, saying his work is actually coming to life in this town.nvite to the Reach multiplayer beta. I think they said Earth 359 in the Reach video. Also I think Falls 2010 means sometime in 2010 not Fall.
(11:31:31 AM): Showing the surface of a planet rotating around. Explosions scarring the surface as people scream over radio chatter. Halo Reach announced. Fall 2010. from Bungie and MGS
(11:30:52 AM): Another team at Bungie is working on something. Showing a video now. 'From the beginnning, you know the end'
(11:30:25 AM): Powering up a terminal at one end of a bridge that blows the structure to pieces as squadmates scream. Firefight will be a brand new cooperative game mode. September 22 it will be in stores.
(11:29:41 AM): Shifts to gameplay with Dutch, carrying around what appears to be a laser. It knocks out Covenant ships incoming.
(11:29:00 AM): The storyline will then flash back to Dutch, and will continue on in this way to uncover the 'mysteries' of the area. Demo shifts to Dutch setting a remote detonator as the base comes under attack.
(11:28:20 AM): Now moving into an open section, shifted to low-light mode, picked up a remote detonator. There's a large chunk of glowing wreckage in the background. The detonator is from Dutch, another ODST.
(11:27:20 AM): ODST's get special gear like a low-light vision mode for the visor. Fighting Grunts. Showing off a pistol with a soom abilitiy. Looks like spike grenades are in the UI.
(11:26:15 AM): There's a mssive epxlosion and your pod gets knocked. Title comes up that says 'The Rookie'. Set in city of New Mombassa weeks before the start of Halo 3. You play as the Rookie, an ODST reparated from his game. Says you should stay alert for unexpected help. Creeping around an underground facility.
(11:25:30 AM): ODSTs in a drop ship. Shifts to first person perspective. You're in a drop pod going down with others through the clouds. Megerge at bottom with a few structures in the way, visuals are really impressive here.
(11:25:00 AM): Tells people to stop by the Microsoft booth at the show. Joe Staten from Bungie for ODST. Showing in-game demo.
(11:24:21 AM): Lots of neat edits, one car slammed into a wall and debris flew all over the place. Car lifted off the track.
(11:23:09 AM): New features, like creating and uploading high definition video. Showing off examples of what editors can create using the video editor. Well there are a number of cars racing around doing fancy stunts and such with a music overlay.
(11:22:11 AM): Showing a video of talking about how nice the car creator is. There have been 4 million views of Forza community videos.
(11:21:15 AM): One button driving to make it easy for beginners to play. Forza's new features online allow for more connectivity, talking about car customization.
(11:20:06 AM): using the Red Audi in the game. Flipping between third and first person views. Can move your head around when in 1st person. The side rear view mirrors on the car work, let you see behind you. An all new graphics engine, 60 frames per second. 400 cars from 50 manufacturers.
(11:19:03 AM): Dan Greenawalk, game director to take the stage. Ok a door on the stage just opened up and Dan walked out with smoke all over and what looks to be a brand new sports car behind him. An Audi. Saying Forza 3 will be the definitive racing game of this generation. Has the game up and running.
(11:18:29 AM): In October they'll be shipping Forza Motorsport 3. Showing a trailer, doesn't appear to be in-game footage of cars racing around.
(11:17:40 AM): Seems very violent, dark, and action-heavy. Will release this fall exclusively on Xbox 360. Shappert talking again, talking about Turn 10 studios and racing games.
(11:16:51 AM): Demo had him jump directly into a populated room. Shot a few guys them hopped out a window and shimmied along the ledge. Jumped back in and put a gun to a gentleman's head asking about his daugther. But then a team jumps in. Of well geared up fellows, and the demo ends.
(11:15:29 AM): Shot down a chandelier to create darkness, then dropped to the ground. Doing some really fancy gun work, can take cover behind walls. He has an EMP grenade to disable light fixtures. Will actually show cut scenes along the walls along with objectives. Looks under doors with busted pieces of mirror.
(11:14:26 AM): One of Sam's new abilities is to mark and execute. Sets a red dot over enemies before an encounter and can rapidly kill him. Multiple routes of entry to each battle zone, Fisher is infiltrating a large mansion. Crawling upside down along a ceiling in a large room.
(11:13:59 AM): Saying one of the objectives in Conviction is immersion, so the story will be projected on the walls of the environment, like level objectives. Fisher wearing street clothes with a shoulder bag.
(11:12:59 AM): Starts off with someone getting slammed into a toilet. Fisher just disarmed his rather violently. In-game info is flashing up on the walls of the bathroom. Fisher walking the guy around the bathroom by the neck, slams his head into the mirror.
(11:12:18 AM): Maxime Beland and Anlexandre Parizeau onstage from Ubisoft. They're going to play a Splinter Cell demo.
(11:11:19 AM): Not in-game footage, showing fisher at Washington Monument. At Lincoln Memorial, breaking through the glass of a skyscraper. Looks to be extremely action heavy is this cinematic footage is any indication.
(11:10:44 AM): Another trailer playing, man playing a piano. It's Sam Fisher, splinter cell conviction.
(11:09:46 AM): Now sownig a trailer with zombies running around, high level of gore. There are chainswaws in the game, decapitation. Left 4 dead 2 on Nov 17. Xbox 360 / PC is what I saw on there.
(11:09:26 AM): And that's it, trailer is done, seems to still have super abilities by throwing environmental objects.
(11:07:58 AM): Another trailer starting up. Saying the City is infected and that you are the cure. Power suited soldiers chasing after enemies. holy crap. Crackdown 2 confirmed.
(11:06:54 AM): Shows people riding around in sports cars through environments that looks like the Roadrunner might speeed aorund in. Doing tricks in them with avatars driving the cars. Free to download, Free to play. Can buy cars, upgrades, and more, and can share any racetrack with friends regardless of whether or nto they've purchased it. Will show up this winter on Xbox Live.
(11:06:03 AM): It's coming to XBLA this summer, it'll be at Microsoft's booth at E3 along with Gears Dark Corners content. Now moving on to the next game, called Joy Ride from BigPark. Cartoonish style trailer. It's an 'avatar adventure.'
(11:05:11 AM): Can aqcuire diffrerent tools and abilities to get aroudn the map, such as a hookshot and triple jump. Fighting mechs and humanoid enemies. Large boss battles, approx 10 hours of gameplay, and lots of items to find hidden around the world.
(11:04:08 AM): It's a UE3 powered game inspired by Castlevania / Metroid. Shows a 2D platforming perspective, it takes place in a large underground complex. You get an overworld map in the style of Castlevania symphony of the Night.
(11:02:51 AM): Schappert takling again, saying every single game and demo and experience will be available only on Xbox 360. Donald Mustard and Cliff Blezinski from Epic coming onstage. They're announcing Shadow Complex, an XBLA game. Uh oh his mic is having trouble.
(11:02:51 AM): Schappert takling again, saying every single game and demo and experience will be available only on Xbox 360.
(11:01:24 AM): Lighting tosses a red ball in the air and he appears behind her in battle. Will then partake in the fight. Normally you would not be able to use him that early in the game, he appeared much larger than other other characters covered in spiky black armor. Targeting a spring 2010 release.
(11:00:26 AM): Lightning is fighing the large scorpion robot from the demo. Sazh is also in the fight. Talking about how the game has four active time gauges to power up attacks. Conjuring the Odin summon.
(10:59:40 AM): It's part of the demo desquence we saw on PS3. English voices are in. Framerate appears to be staying steady.
(10:59:01 AM): Giving a brief history of Final Fantasy, tracing FF from when it first started 20 years ago. Last year he says he shocked the world with the FFXIII to Xbox 360 announcement. Today they're premiering the game running on Xbox 360.
(10:58:02 AM): Toriyama, director of FFXIII and Yoshinori Kitase, producer on FFXIII now on stage. Speaking in Japanese through a translator.
(10:57:38 AM): Infinity Ward and Activision will release 2 MW2 map packs first on XBL. Toriyama, director of FFXIII and Yoshinori Kitase, producer on FFXIII now on stage.
(10:57:02 AM): Taking flying jumps off cliffs, fighting others that are chasing you on snowmobiles. And the demo ends, the guys walk offstage
(10:56:22 AM): Snowmobiles are charging your position, character shoots them in transit and they go careerning off. Now moving up onto a mountain slope, more snowmovbiles, which you jump on and start driving. You can shoot one handed with a pistol while driving.
(10:54:34 AM): Plant bombs at a fueling station, which then blows up. Blizzard has lifted and there's a firefight going on around an airfield.
(10:53:29 AM): Moving through metal houseing wiping out enemies one by one, one got knifed. MacTavish is giving you orders over a headset. Being somewhat stealthy in this section. Seems to be a fairly open environment, there doesn't seem to be a set path. A bunch of enemies are incoming on your character's position.
(10:52:27 AM): You're armed with these two climbing picks, jump off a ledge and almost fall, but you're pulled up by the captain. The demo then skips forward. You've got a large weapon with a radar readout that looks like the one in Aliens attached to it. Blizzard conditions are obscuring your view. Still a checkpoint system.
(10:51:38 AM): so do you, looks like they're actually controlling how you climb. Jets scream overhead, Mactavish almost loses his grip. Visuals here are very sharp, impviement over original MW it seems.
(10:50:33 AM): Objective is to follow Captain McTavish. snowy mountain. Mission is called cliffhanger. You're shimmying along a ledge over a deadly crevice alongside McTavish. He starts climbing up the side of the hill with climbing gear.
(10:49:56 AM): Lots of applause following this showing, as if this game was popular. Jason West and Vince Zampella on stage. Oh man, Modern Warfare demo incoming.
(10:48:40 AM): The one about the single-player campaign, scenes in Rio, talking about the villain Makarov. The Rio environment is supposed to be more open than in Call of Duty games past. Then at the end there's the dramatic air extraction frmo an exploding castle.
(10:48:03 AM): Another trailer playing, it's Modern Warfare 2. This is the trailer that was already shown off.
(10:47:27 AM): Game will respond to what you do. Yeah Yeah Yeahs playing at an incredibly high volume. Activision has these on the show floor at E3 so we'll see more there.
(10:45:49 AM): Wait. In the video somebody just jumped off a starcase and then the staircase exploded. Showing people actually playing the game, board set on a carpet and can be moved around, grabbed, and tilt back and forth.
(10:44:33 AM): No wheels on it, but it's got an accelerometer, it can sense if you put your foot alongside it to push you along. Tony Hawk says he's really excited about the design, saying it'll allow players of all levels to embarrass themselves on skateboards. About to show off a video of pro skaters checking out the game.
(10:43:44 AM): Saying it's all about showing not telling. Which means not charts and graphs! 10 World premiere games that have never been seen? Crap this is going to be a lot of work. Schappert going to show off a new revoluitonary experience. Tony Hawk coming out on stage. Carrying a skateboard, naturally, presumably talk about Tony Hawk Ride. Oh it's the skateboard controller he's holding.
(10:42:14 AM): He's talking more about how awesome The Beatles game is. Saying the videogame industry has done well in this uncertain economic climate, because people want to have fun.
(10:41:08 AM): And peace and love and they're out! Well that was exciting. John Schappert onstage now, corporate VP for Xbox.
(10:40:13 AM): They're bumping into each other and goofing around. The consensus between them is that they love the game. "The game is good, the graphics are very good, and we look great" said Ringo. "Who'd ever though we'd wind up as androids?" said McCartney.
(10:39:48 AM): Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr just came onstage. McCartney's got a mic.
(10:38:25 AM): Toffler is talking again, talking about thanking people for making the game possible. Thanking partners at Apple Corps. Talking about two individuals in particular, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. They're on stage now waving.
(10:37:34 AM): The game will also have DLC, including full albums, including Abbey Road in its entirety shortly after launch. All you need is love will be downloable only through Xbox Live. Proceeds from purchases donated to Doctors Without Borders.
(10:34:27 AM): Saying he's been reworking all the songs in the game specifically for the title. It will feature studio chat from The Beatles. Revealing 10 songs in the game. I saw her standing there. I want to hold your hand. I feel fine. Day tripper. (Really nice in-game character models of the beatles) Taxman. I am the Walrus. Back in the USSR. (Beatles in game wearing crazy costumes). Octopus's Garden. Here Comes the Sun. (Lots of varying places to play, from large stadiums to what appear to be fantasy settings.). Get Back. Coming 09 09 09.
(10:32:33 AM): And they just got a unison bonus. Bass groove! And they're still playing the game, not much happening other than that. Video screens on the sides of the stage playing montages of Beatles imagery. And they're done! Applause from the audience, it seems genuine. Giles MArtin onstage, music supervisior and creative producer.
(10:31:18 AM): They're starting to play the game, with a Beatles custom bass drum. Playing Day Tripper. Three scrolling gutars at the bottom, lyrics at the top, star rating and multipliers onscreen.
(10:30:47 AM): A band coming out onto stage. Toffler talking about how The Beatles didn't only initiate a musical revolution, but a tech revolution in the music industry. Harmonix house band is on stage.
(10:29:30 AM): And it ends with the title of The Beatles Rock Band. Alex Regopolis on stage now and Van Toffler from MTV. That was the opening cinematic from the game.
(10:28:36 AM): The video appears to be going through all the phases of the Beatles' career, now witha crazy looking phschadelic montage. There's a giant blue elephant walking around as the Beatles sing about the Eggman and the Walrus.
(10:28:10 AM): Still playing the cartoon, very stylized, but this doesn't seem like the reason to start the conference 5 minutes early.
(10:27:23 AM): Trailer is playing on the screens, reference to The Beatles. And there's a cartoon of them playing It's Been a Hard Day's Night.
(10:26:43 AM): Lights just went down, something is going to begin. They just welcomed us to the briefing!
Project Natal - Motion Sensing and Voice Recognition for the XBOX 360 Reviewed by Jepoy on 6/02/2009 03:19:00 AM Rating: