New Xbox Technology Needs No Controller

  • June 2, 2009
Microsoft unveiled technology for the Xbox 360 video game console that will rely on a camera and sensors to detect movement of the face and the body to play. It's the Redmond, Wash. company's answer to Nintendo's Wii hand controllers and interactive game add-ons. The new technology was announced Monday at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. The prototype system was part of a bid to expand beyond the Xbox 360 platform's core audience of young male gamers.

"Project Natal," pronounced "nuh-tall" -- a code name for the new way to play -- requires no controller. Microsoft said the technology will let players see the ball, catch it or kick it to interact with the game. The technology also lets players talk with virtual characters who detect the player's facial movements and emotions. The player converses with the animated character, which reacts based on the context and what may have been implied. The technology also recognizes objects, such as a piece of paper, as the player passes it from the real world into the virtual. -- Laurie Sullivan

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