E3 2009: Microsoft Unleashes the Hands-Free Natal Project

Posted By | On 16th, Sep. 2009 Under Editorials, News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet


Microsoft comes out with a bang leading up to the announcement of the motion-control camera. This is not only a camera; it has a microphone, face recognition, and voice recognition. They did not announce a release date on the camera, but what we have seen is a remarkable look into Microsoft’s sucessful future.

They also stated like most 2D camera systems, this is a 3D camera that recognizes your whole body to movements, words, and even the questionable emotions. Can this be? Microsoft says so.

Some games were shown such as a race car game where you mimick your arms and hands like you are holding a steering wheel. You see a family playing with the daughter driving and the family watching.  The daughter turns her hands like a steering wheel, and the steering wheel turns in the game. She then throws her hand down to shift the car like she is going for a shifter. Then the family screams for a pit stop and she pulls it in. The dad then gets up to take unscrew the tire and his hands are doing it and then you see him mimick tossing a tire and it happens in the game. The daughter is then off to driving.

Then a skateboard game was shown and the boy scanned in both sides of his skateboard and then started skating on the game while being on the ground and mimicking the moves that were then shown on screen.

A quiz game was then introduced with each person hitting their hand down like hitting a buzzer, it recognized your face and voice, and knew who you were. These things are what Microsoft is doing and this is not all.

Steven Spielberg then joins him on stage and states, it recognizes “Not just your thumbs and your wrists, but your entire being.” Spielberg then added that he and his team will be working hard on coming up with new stuff for the motion control camera.

Then another demo of the motion control was a girl jumping up and down, and the avatar mimicking her moves and bouncing balls off her head, arms, and even kicking them if she wanted. This camera can read your entire body.

Then a little remark about Nintendo’s Wii came up without actually stating it but what was said was, “This isn?t the kind of game where you just end up on the sofa using some kind of preset waggle commands.”

Another demo came out being called Paint Party. It included a guy saying “light blue” and held his hands like he was holding a bucket and was about to throw the paint out and that is what he did. He covered the canvas as a sky. Then he added saying different colors and recognized his voice and added mountains, and grass and trees with the certain way he flicked his wrist/arms decided on how the paint went on the canvas in game. He then wanted an elephant. So he asked his partner to come up there with him to make the shape of an elephant with their two bodies. They did and he then painted the elephant gray and threw it onto his picture, and the picture was done. It might not have been a masterpiece, but it was cool and was done in about 5 minutes.

But the camera wasn’t done yet. Then they showed this boy on a swing and recognized when someone walked up. The player then begin to talk to the boy about his homework and he could answer and talk to you like a real human. They would talk back and forth and this was a big jump for Microsoft. He then asked her (the player) if she wanted to go fishing and she agreed. Then he says catch some and you can put your hands in the water and when you do it responds and makes waves in the water. But what a brilliant thing was, you could see your reflection in the water itself. Then the boy said something on the lines of, could you draw me a fish. So she (the player) got a piece of paper and drew a fish it flashed it real fast in front of the camera and the boy grabbed the paper in a split second from her into the game. He was now holding the paper.

This is what Sony has to go up against. Are they kicking themselves in the butt right now or do they have something up their sleeves as well too. We will have to wait and see until tomorrow. So please check back with us on our live coverage tomorrow of Sony’s Conference.


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