Project Natal Is No More; Microsoft Kinect Is Official

Microsoft’s new motion camera is official and it’s called Kinect. It doesn’t really roll off the tongue but people will get used to it.

The new camera was unveiled tonight at Microsoft’s Cirque du Soleil event. A couple of demos were shown and some showed great promise. These games were demoed at the event:

Kinectimals – lets you train and play with 20 different virtual cats, including a lion, cheetah and tiger.

Joyride – a racing game, lets players use their hands to hold an imaginary steering wheel — pull your hands toward you and push back out for an acceleration boost — and their bodies to execute jumps and tricks.

Kinect Sports has six activities including boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, track and field, soccer and table tennis. To serve a volleyball, you mimic the real motion; in soccer, you can kick the ball or do a header.

Kinect Adventures includes a river-raft time trial and obstacle course, playable by up to four players. On the raft, playing as a duo, you and a partner must lean one way or another to steer. Jumping helps the raft reach special areas for extra points.

Dance Central, in development by MTV Games, brings a So You Think You Can Dance experience home.

Star Wars was also demoed where players wield a light sabre in battle.

Video Chat was also demoed at the event as well as interaction with the Xbox 360 dashboard, which was all done hands free. Many said it was like Minority Report.

This thing could have huge potential. With other partners such as EA Sports in the mix, we could get Madden hands free.

Microsoft’s official E3 conference is tomorrow. I’ll be doing the wrap as soon as its over.



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