Well it’s official, the name Project Natal was just a code name, the retail name for Microsoft’s new control-less device is Kinect. While Kinect relates to the connected experiences it provides, I actually preferred Natal as the name. There’s been a lot of discussion about Natal since it’s unveiling at last years E3 and brand awareness was already high. With a renaming, that process needs to start again.
Engadget have more info on Kinect and have confirmed video chat will be a key feature.
Kinect will launch a number of compatible titles while some previous titles may receive an update to make them Kinect compatible. Joystiq list the launch titles as:
- Kinectimals features over 20 different virtual pets, including lions, tigers, and cheetahs, to play with or raise.
- Joyride has returned to life as a controller-free racing game, apparently.
- Kinect Sports will offer sport games to play: "boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, track and field, soccer and table tennis." For each one, you will make motions to play the games.
- Kinect Adventures has a river raft and obstacle course to navigate — this is likely the demo we saw last week.
- MTV Games will release Dance Central, where you can cut a virtual rug.
- And there will be more games announced later featuring both Disney characters and Star Wars characters, in conjunction with Disney and LucasArts, respectively.
Gizmodo have an impressive gallery of hands-on photos from the E3 launch party. The final production model of Kinect actually looks a lot smaller than early Natal builds, but is a slick shade of glossy black. One possible issue I see with Kinect is its location in your home entertainment setup. Most decent setups have 5.1 surround sound, including a middle speaker placed below the TV, right where Kinect wants to be. It’s a lot larger than the Wii sensor bar, so sitting Kinect on top of your flat screen is not an option. Not sure what the right solution to this problem will be, hopefully Microsoft will tell us tomorrow morning.
GDGT users, be sure you add Kinect to your want list. Apparently 2 people already have it.
More @ Joystiq