informa
3 min read
article

Pre-E3: Natal Officially Named 'Kinect,' Ad Reveals Redesigned 360?

At Microsoft's E3 kick-off event on Sunday evening in L.A., a lavish Cirque Du Soleil event revealed Project Natal is officially "Kinect," while images of a redesigned Xbox 360 also circulate.
At Microsoft's E3 kick-off event on Sunday evening in L.A., a lavish Cirque Du Soleil event revealed Project Natal is officially "Kinect," while images of a redesigned Xbox 360 also circulate. A USA Today report -- later confirmed at the multi-million dollar launch event -- that Microsoft’s Project Natal motion sensing camera, launching later this year, is now officially called Kinect. The control solution, which also has a built-in microphone, has been using the codename Project Natal for a little over a year, since its June 2009 E3 unveiling. Despite extra information now available, the peripheral's pricing is still unannounced. [UPDATE: The USA Today story -- apparently published early -- was removed shortly after this story was published, but the "Kinect" name was confirmed at a lavish, Gamasutra attended pre-E3 Microsoft event in Los Angeles on Sunday.] Microsoft has also officially unveiled Kinect games, some previously known, some not. The previously-announced Xbox Live avatar racing game Joyride will allow users to hold an imaginary steering wheel to control their cars. The game is only now confirmed as a Kinect game. Additionally, Kinect Adventures will include a river raft game, Kinectimals is a virtual pet-raising game featuring big cats, Kinect Sports includes boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, track and field, soccer and table tennis and MTV Games’ Dance Central is an aptly-titled dancing game. Another demonstration included a Wii Fit-style yoga-related title, and a new Video Chat application for the Xbox 360 was also showcased alongside the games. The Kinect will also allow gesture-related navigation of the Xbox 360's dashboard, Minority Report-style. USA Today also said that “separate new games” developed at Microsoft will incorporate Star Wars and Disney characters, thanks to partnerships with LucasArts and Disney. At the Kinect launch event, a new Star Wars-themed game with lightsaber and 'force push' effects was demonstrated, and Disney was represented purely by an animation of Tinkerbell. The Gamasutra-attended Cirque Du Soleil event to showcase Kinect took place at the Paley Center at USC on Sunday night, in a special performance to be shown on U.S. TV channels including MTV, Spike TV and Nickelodeon on Tuesday. With the audience donning white ponchos with light-up shoulderpads, the French Canadian circus troupe presented a complex one-off theater based around Kinect's power to bring the family together. A giant light-up Xbox logo, a special 360 degree revolving room with players walking across the ceiling, customary eccentric mime work from Cirque regulars, and gigantic ceiling and wall projections were twinned plenty of motion-controlled game footage to introduce the broadly aimed peripheral. Elsewhere on the hardware side, Kotaku reported that ads on an Italian gaming website confirmed a new, redesigned Xbox 360, to be unveiled this week. The new console is rumored to have a 250GB hard drive, built-in wi-fi and, like all Xbox 360s, compatible with the Kinect camera. As of this evening, the ads were reportedly removed. There has been widespread speculation that Microsoft could reveal a revised version of its console in conjunction with Kinect. Microsoft last year promised a big marketing push behind its new controller, as Xbox 360 approaches its fifth year on the market. [UPDATE: Details from Cirque Du Soleil event added.]

Latest Jobs

Disbelief

Chicago, Illinois
05.10.22
Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
05.12.22
Lead Animation Programmer

Windwalk Games

Austin, Texas
05.16.22
Game Designer

Sucker Punch Productions

Bellevue, Washington
05.10.22
Campaign Director
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more