For some time now the Xbox community has been watching the Microsoft game console division with great interest. Nearly a year ago Microsoft made it clear it was "one upping" the Wii's interactive game control interface with something that would change the industry forever.
What was it? At the time it was known only by its "code" name: Project Natal. Soon articles, video snippets and even a fully fledged advertisement came out and the true nature of what Microsoft had developed became clear.
I couldn't help but think back to The Matrix, "There is no spoonâ€¦" Project Natal was, is â€“ quite simply removing the controller from the game environment and making you and your entire body the control interface to the gaming experience.
That's right â€“ there are no controllers. YOU are the controller. Project Natal or Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360 as it has now officially been named â€“ is a motion control system that sits between the user, the Xbox and the TV.
Sporting 3D Depth Sensors, an RGB camera, Multi-Array microphone and a motorized tilt system the Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360 can react to what the user does not only with any part of their body but spoken commands as well.
When combined with the latest Xbox the Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360 will allow for enhanced game play, interactive movie experiences (being able to stop, pause, etc. simply by the wave of a hand), engage in video chat (providing you have internet access of course) and it will even follow you around the room to a certain extent (its range of "sight" and motion).
There are six titles expected to be available at launch, they are: Kinectimals, a kids game that allows players to control and interact with a series of baby big cats like tigers; Kinect Sports which includes sports like soccer, bowling, track and more. Kinect Joy Ride, a car racing game. Kinect Adventures, a full-body take on river rafting, riding down, rails and trying to knock off a series of coin-like targerts. Your Shape, an exercise game and Dance Central, a full body dancing game. All told there are supposed to be 15 launch titles, but the other 9 are not yet known.
Another anticipated feature of the Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360 is how it will integrate with the many features of Xbox Live. One of these new features includes an exclusive agreement with ESPN which will allow some 3,500 live, on-demand sporting events from Major League Baseball, soccer, college football and basketball all of which will be available through the Xbox Live service. The beauty of this is, it can all be controlled from the comfort of your couch or chair using nothing but your hands!
The Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360 is due out November 4th, 2010 and many vendors are taking pre-orders now so plan accordingly!