THQ CEO: Project Natal will ship late next year

When Microsoft's Project Natal was announced at E3 earlier this year, there was a lot of excitement. Many companies have tried to take motion capture to gaming, and whilst they've been enjoyable to an extent, they've never been as interactive as they could be. That's why this was such a big deal; it really showed off some impressive performance, and when people actually got to try it, it worked as well as expected. However, when asked for an approximate release date, there was not much to be said... until, of course, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer declared that a new Xbox would be released late 2010. This caused even more excitement, but then Microsoft's PR team came out and corrected Ballmer, noting that it would not be a new Xbox, but in fact Project Natal. Very recently we've heard some more confirmation on this, from the CEO of THQ, Brian Farrell.

In the Q1 financial performance conference call for the company, Farrell was asked about different price cuts for hardware, and the like, and he responded with, "With respect to the cycle itself, if you look at what's happening in the industry, the fact that we have for example, Natal from Microsoft, a platform addition coming late next year." Interestingly, though, he responded again to the same question with speculation that other console manufacturers could follow suit, creating new peripherals. This would be useful "to keep the current hardware fresh for at least the next three to five years".

Lastly, he believes that hardware price cuts are coming this fall, saying, "We did anticipate price cuts coming this fall. Obviously we'll let the hardware guys announce both the magnitude and the timing, but again, just look at the hardware numbers and it would seem that a price cut would be in order by at least two of the three manufacturers." Interesting stuff.

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If they do release a new Xbox next year, I'll be ****ed. I just had to buy a new one cause my 3.5 year old Core that I bought on the first week of release RRoD'd and Microsoft wanted £82 to fix it. I've got a brand new "Jasper" based Premium now which cost me £147 + shipping from a guy on ebay.

I love the look of this tech I think MS has done an amazing job so far, it will be interesting to see how far it goes into the home user though as far as completely viable option. I would love one of those FPS shock vests, but they cost a fortune, tied together in a reasonably priced bundle could sway a fair few gamers though!

cybertimber2008 said,
Is it not compatable with the current xbox or were you reffering to the price cut?

You are incorrect. Microsoft themselves said that "Project Natal" will be 100% compatible with current Xbox 360 systems. They also said Project Natal would be out "later this year", not "later sometime in 2010".

darkthunder said,
You are incorrect. Microsoft themselves said that "Project Natal" will be 100% compatible with current Xbox 360 systems. They also said Project Natal would be out "later this year", not "later sometime in 2010".

Actually, he is not incorrect. He was asking a question, not making a statement.

darkthunder said,
You are incorrect. Microsoft themselves said that "Project Natal" will be 100% compatible with current Xbox 360 systems. They also said Project Natal would be out "later this year", not "later sometime in 2010".

It is not quite true, MS said nothing else much, MS didn't say a ETA, or a specification, neither the final price. MS just showed a (supposed) natal project for the press just for raise the hype and nothing else much. Even yet, there are not warranty that Natal will looks and act equal than the tv spot.

For instance,some analyst predicted that natal will be launched altogether with a "new version" of the console, in the same way that Nintendo launched a new version of the gamecube with a new control (wii).

In any case, if THQ CEO claim that Natal will be shipped to the end of 2010, then you must bet for a delay, THQ has "delayed" almost every single project.


I'm excited to see how just Natal is going to be incorporated into the xbox and future games, even though I have little time nowadays to do any gaming.

Also good to hear about the price cuts. Yes, I realize that it's a predictable move, especially for the upcoming holiday season, but it's good to hear some 'official' confirmation.