Microsoft just announced the technology it hopes will drive the next generation of video game growth.
The XBox 360will make YOU the controller - no controller will be required. The company is calling this sensor that tracks movements "Project Natal", saying when it goes on sale it'll work with every XBox 360 out there and every future one it'll sell. Now video game makers are starting to work with the technology to develop games. No word yet on exact pricing for the sensor camera.
Steven Spielberg came on stage to lend his support for the project. He says that this tackles the challenge of making interactive entertainment absolutely accessible to everyone, by making the technology invisible. Spielberg develops video games through a deal at E3, and said that this will be as significant as the transformation of a square movie screen to cinema scope and IMAX. Spielberg says "this isn't about reinventing the wheel, it's about no wheel at all."
A demo at the XBox 360's E3 media conferencedemonstrated how users will be able to play a range of different types of games without anything but themselves. Drive by holding an imaginary steering wheel. Punch and kick and watch the character on the TV do the same. Scan your skateboard so the computer knows what it looks like for a skateboard game. The camera and system has facial and voice recognition so multiple people can play. You can even use the technology to flip through menus and select TV shows or games on XBox 360.
XBox demoed "Paint Party", a painting game using the new motion capture and voice controls. Call out voice commands to assign color and making hand motions to slash paint onto a canvas on the screen. Say "pose' and the monitor takes a picture of a shape you've made and turns it into a stencil. Pretty awesome.
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