Skip to main content

In-Depth Kikizo Article On Project Natal


Natal is a new peripheral for Xbox 360 that currently exists in a very early work-in-progress form. This new, 'full body motion sensing' technology may be revolutionary for interactive entertainment, and quite frankly, leaves things like EyeToy, Wii MotionPlus, and Sony's new motion sensing controllers for PS3 - also revealed last week - in the dust. Anyone who doesn't yet understand why, this article is for you.

There's a lot of positive buzz about Natal, but I was surprised to see how much doubt and even indifference there is about it after talking to everyone about it over the last week. Critics and fence-sitters of Natal seem to consistently be saying one of only a few things against it. I'm going to explain why they're missing the point, and why this thing is the real deal, based on my first-hand experience with it behind closed doors, as well as chats with project manager Branden Powell, and the heavyweight developers who showed it off, Kudo Tsunoda and Peter Molyneux.


Another excerpt regarding the comments that it doesn't work with African Americans:

On to the third thing. "I get it", people say, "but I don't believe it works". People have noticed glitches, right? And I heard it can't detect black people!

I'm going to jump right into to this "it can't detect black people" thing and tell you right now it's BULLSHIT. Not only can it detect black people, it can detect players perfectly even with the LIGHTS TURNED OFF. I saw this demonstrated in the private session: Kudo had the lights dimmed to almost zero, and the Ricochet demo continued, completely unaffected. You don't need to worry about ideal lighting conditions like with EyeToy. Natal does not track players by colour (although we know from Milo commenting on my blue shirt that it can if it wants to); it tracks them by infra-red - and it can track up to four people at the same time with no compromises.

The reason there is a thing going around about Natal not being able to detect black players is that a black journalist had difficulty controlling the Burnout demo. Guess what? So did a white female that was in my closed-doors session. I could make a 'women drivers' gag at this point, but I won't because this is a serious point. The Burnout demo was probably not the most finely tuned thing Microsoft could have used to demonstrate Natal, and could have done with some further optimisation. The fact that many people of all colours who've tried this particular demo have had difficulty trying to steer about, accelerating by putting right foot forwards, only shows that this is probably a bit of a last minute demo to have modified - it's another company's game code, essentially hacked into a makeshift Natal demo. Kudo stated in the session that it was not designed specifically for Natal and that it was just to make the point that Natal has no latency issues when it comes to fast paced games like racing games. It certainly does not mean that this is something specifically to do with dark-skinned players. I hope we're quite clear on this.

Popular posts from this blog

Gamers based in the Philippines: How to get in Xbox Live

NOTE: This article has recently been updated (as of August 12, 2006). Singapore no longer lets you input '00000' as your zip code. Please see below for alternate zip codes.

So you're a Filipino living in the Philippines with a brand-spanking new Xbox 360. You've heard about all the wonderful stories on Xbox Live. You happen to have a pretty good broadband connection. One day, you try out the Xbox Live sign-up options on your 360, and you find out to your dismay that your country is NOT listed. What do you do?

Now, you can probably enjoy your 360 without live at all, but I have to tell you: YOU ARE MISSING OUT. As Peter Moore said in the recent MS Press Conference: "Having your 360 connected to Xbox Live is as vital as having your computer connected to the Internet".

He is so damned right.

I've been playing on Xbox Live for almost a year now (both on my original Xbox and the Xbox 360). Essentially I found out all of this with a little bit of research, a little…

Xbox One - System / Games general review

We picked up a [kinect-less] Xbox One a few weeks ago and have been putting it through its paces. Overall, right now I feel pretty good about this console. But I have to admit, the first experience of buying it is not very good. I'll go with the BAD news first. But do note that it isn't all bad news....

- The first time you bring it home, the console can't work without Internet. That's because it needs an absolutely-unoverrideable mandatory update. Basically, if you get this for your birthday and it's 7PM, expect to actually play games on it around a day or so later, depending on your internet speed.

- The first patch I got for it was around 800MB. This number might have changed by the time of this writing.

- All the launch games now have accumulated patches/updates over 16+ GB in size. Not just Dead Rising 3, which has been reported widely in the media. Even Forza 5.

- My internet at home is PLDT 3Mbps; managed to get all the updates pretty quickly....that's a…

E3 2015 Conferences from the Big Three - My thoughts


- They get a lot of points from me for actually announcing games that will be out in 2015.
- The Backwards Compatibility update is a huge surprise that I absolutely did not expect. Having BC is difficult and expensive to do, but somehow MS managed to do it, which leads me to believe the solution they found is an inexpensive one if they've decided it's practical to do QA work for the Xbox 360s gigantic library of games and make them all work on the Xbox One. If it was too complicated or expensive they probably wouldn't have bothered. But since they did, I think we're going to see full BC some time soon for all games. It's only a matter of time.
- Halo 5 looked fantastic, but 343 has a lot of work to do to restore faith, after the horrific launch of the Halo Master Chief Collection. I think they can do it, and I'd imagine they're certainly motivated now. If they screw this one up....MS might reconsider forming a new team to handle the Halo franchis…