June 2, 2009
Microsoft Unveils Revolutionary Gaming Device
A prototype camera was unveiled on Monday by Steven Spielberg, which can be used as a controller for the Xbox 360.
"The gamer in me went out of my mind when I got to be interactive with this," famed film director Steven Spielberg during a Microsoft press conference on the eve of a major E3 videogame industry show in Los Angeles.
"I got a feeling I was in a historic moment. What Microsoft is doing isn't re-inventing the wheel; this is about no wheel at all."
The "Project Natal" camera can track a player's full body movement while responding to commands, directions and a shift of emotion in voice without the need for a controller.
Natal will also be able to respond to spoken commands for actions like playing movies or connecting online with friends for video chat.
The system will be able to scan faces and determine who is playing, a demonstration showed.
There was no completion date set for Natal, but Monday Microsoft released software for programmers to be able to start designing video games for the console.
The display was shown at Microsoft's Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference at the University of Southern California's Galen Center.
There were 10 exclusive new games that debuted as well, along with the ability to access social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. These sites will be fully integrated into Xbox Live beginning this fall.
Several announcements were made about the Xbox 360's video capabilities, including increased functionality with online Netflix service, 1080p high-definition video downloads, live TV in the United Kingdom and the ability to watch a movie with your online friends.
Also debuting at the event was action sequel "Crackdown 2," New Orleans-set zombie-killer "Left 4 Dead 2," third-person shooter "Splinter Cell Conviction," racing game "Forza Motorsport 3" and the thriller "Alan Wake."
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