If you like me have read the articles and blogs about the E3-convention you have most likely heard of the Xbox Project Natal which will “change the way games are played”. In short there have been a piece of hardware developed which can look at the player and let the movement to be used as a controller in games. If you have seen those tv-shows where people run around in front of a green-screen looking at a monitor bolted on the side – this is more or less it.
The reactions from people seem to be pure amazement on how the intuity and uniqueness flashed around Microsoft in this solution. There have been thoughts on that this will kill of the Wii and that all gamers will start standing in front of their screens throwing stuff at other people on the screen which are throwing stuff at you. People who like to do these things are the “Nintendo-generation” which bought the Wii and will also buy the Wii 2. I don’t think that these people own an Xbox and probably wont do so either.
I must say that this is an idea which have been tested before with very poor results. All the movies shown this far have been with a poor response for the avatars on screen where delays of a second or two have been seen. At the same time there is nothing in these movies on the resolution for the “people scanner” which reads what the player actually do. For this to work they have to create something which in fact can compete with the Wii in response and simplicity. I don’t think this is it to be honest. Time may show me to be wrong in this but my gut-feeling is that this is another one of Microsofts attempts to do something good out of something great. Together with Bing the Natal will slowly fade away like a MMO with elfs and in a couple of years, be discontinued.
These are not the next big things in my book.