Project Natal will be used in triple A titles

Alex Kipman, project director of Microsoft's new innovation, Project Natal has revealed to Eurogamer one of the long term goals is to release triple A titles on the Xbox 360 which use the technology.

Kipman also revealed some more details about the project's beginnings and ways it's already being used in games out on the market today.

"I've been working at Microsoft for about eight years, so I've been there for some time [...]. Don Mattrick challenged us to think ahead - to think beyond, to be innovative. We thought about a wide range of things and made a team effort within Xbox to figure out where we want interactive entertainment to go. After quite a collaborative effort we landed on this, and a lot of research and a lot of sweat blended into something I think we're all very proud of."

He continued to explain the methods behind using Natal and Criterion's Burnout Paradise. The camera takes a 3D scan of the player's body, which is then broken down into 48 joints which are tracked in real time. In the case of Burnout, the camera cleverly tracks the wrist of the gamer using a single frame. The camera then uses predictive behaviour, monitoring the direction, acceleration and confidence of that joint.

During the interview he then confirmed Microsoft are looking at ways to include in their own games.

"We'll have games that are specifically designed to work only with Natal - not just arcadey games, but real, hardcore, triple-A titles.Then you'll have some games that are essentially a hybrid - games that work both with the controller and with Natal. Why is that interesting? Think about a first-person shooter where I'm using the controller but I'm doing facial tracking by just moving around and looking round corners."

Kipman also proposed the idea of a co-op game where one player used the controller while the camera is tracking the face and body of another.

"Or you could have a hardcore gamer like me playing a game with a controller, while a non-hardcore person sitting next to me enjoys the experience by playing with Natal. I could be having my Halo experience with the controller and the friend next to me, who's not a hardcore gamer, could be throwing grenades or driving the Warthog or doing any number of things with Natal."

Project Natal has impressed and been well received so far by the gaming press. There isn't a solid release date for the camera yet, but expect to hear lots more about the device and the software making use of it in the coming months.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Steve Jobs to make a surprise appearance at WWDC?

Next Story

New Zealand will be the first to get Windows 7

43 Comments - Add comment