Rumor: New Console to Host Microsoft’s Motion Cam

By  |  Monday, June 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm

xboxnatal1UP, whose scoop on the PSP Go was dead-on, is now reporting a rumor that Microsoft will release the Project Natal motion-sensing camera standard with its next console. And it’s coming in Fall 2010.

It’s not clear where the information is coming from, but 1UP Editorial Director Sam Kennedy writes that the camera will also be sold as an add-on for the Xbox 360. The new console will only upgrade hardware slightly, and publishers will be able to release games that run on both platforms.

I’ve said before that Microsoft should wait until the next console generation to introduce motion controls. That’ll allow the company to court third-party publishers and launch with the best possible line up of games. However, Don Mattrick , the Xbox division’s senior vice president, said at E3 that Natal allows Microsoft to “leap into a new era of interactive entertainment without having to launch a new console.”

Rebranding the existing wares while offering Natal as an Xbox 360 peripheral represents the best of both worlds. Publishers might be more willing to develop for Natal if they can sell to new and old console owners, and Microsoft could catch up with Sony’s Playstation 3 in hardware power without significant costs.

On the other hand, I’m not thrilled with the possible PC-ification of console gaming. It reminds me of the Nintendo 64’s Expansion Pak, a memory cartridge that improved graphics in some games and unlocked new features in others. Incremental upgrades are exactly what I don’t like about PC gaming. If the rumors come true, I hope Microsoft doesn’t push an upgrade on its existing Xbox 360 user base.

This was a lousy idea that deserves its place in forgotten history.
 
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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Jack Says:

    This is a rumor that’s been discounted by MS already:

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/171274.asp?from=blog_last3

    While the article doesn’t say there’s no chance of an “Xbox slim 360″ (a re-design, with identical hardware bundled with the NATAL technology), it’s clear there will not be any “new console” with any new GPU, CPU, etc.

  2. Marc Says:

    Xbox 360 “1.5” sounds like a bad idea to me. Does this mean games will be missing features, or how a low frame rate, if played on a 360? The 360’s age isn’t beginning to show at all yet, I can’t think of any games where the PS3 trounces the 360. Plus the Wii showed us graphics aren’t everything. The reason I gave up PC gaming is because I didn’t want to buy a new graphics card every 6 months. Consoles allow me to to do this and have a great experience.

  3. Michael David Says:

    Hi,

    Just found your blog on Technorati & Digg upcomming news feeds and read a few of your other posts.
    ISeems good contents,Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Thanks,
    Michael

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    […] TG Daily’s report doesn’t mention Project Natal by name – at least a portion of earlier rumors. 1UP had reported that Project Natal will be integrated into Xbox 360 hardware in 2010 as a […]