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Project Natal: “$150” “Casuals Only”

project-natal-xbox-360

Project Natal, Microsoft’s “revolutionary” new Xbox 360 controller system, is set to cost $150 and is due for release October 26th, according to leaked details.

The $150 unit will also be sold as a $300 bundle with the Xbox 360 Arcade. Early listings of the controller at a $200 price point have been repudiated, but the initial sub-$100 hype seems unlikely, lending credence to the $150 price.

The “Project Natal” label is also finally due to be scrapped at E3 in favour of a proper marketer friendly name, it is said.

Unurprisingly, casual and family players are to be the main target for the device, says the leaker:

“Microsoft expects to sell millions and millions of Natal units in its first year on the market so you can expect the software launch line-up to target non-traditional gamers.

A major marketing campaign will also play a key role in attracting and educating the expanded audience about Xbox 360’s controller-free revolution.”

Microsoft naturally declines to comment.

The leak is by way of an unspecified but “trusted” US publisher, and so can be considered comparatively reliable as leaks go.

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97 Comments

  • ChaosAngelZero says:

    “Microsoft’s ‘revolutionary’ new Xbox 360 controller system”

    Why the quotation marks? The controller definitely IS revolutionary, there’s been nothing like it before, unlike the Wii’s remote controller, which is just an infrared pointer + accelerometer combo device (+ gyroscope if you add the MotionPlus scam).

    The games, on the other hand, will be 100% demeaning crap, of course, but the controller itself is clearly (unless you are biased against Microsoft) revolutionary, indeed.

    • Anonymous says:

      lol your comment fails big.

      Natal is just a copy of something already done…

      before the “revolutionary” natal, there was a little thingy called EyeToy for the PS2…

      and even beffore the EyeToy, there were games for the PC that worked with a regular webcam…

      get your facts straight before commenting something, because everybody hates fanboys and their trolling comments…

  • billanator says:

    $150? I could buy Halo: Reach Legendary Edition or a bunch of anime paraphernalia. Sorry, M$, but this American isn’t buying, no matter what you put on the table to use with this thing.

  • Anonymous says:

    M$ is gonna sell a Web-Cam for 150…

    I guess that’s no surprise coming from a company that sells a $20 flash drive for $70.

    Only 360 fanboys to defend that.

    When M$ is gonna stop rape the 360 fanboys wallets ?

  • Anonymous says:

    Motion Control, 3D, Rumble… They’re all lame fads and gimmicks. The technology isn’t there to make any of these things truly functional. When 3D immerses me with a HD screen that full surrounds me while only requiring a tiny projection box and no glasses, 3D will be more than a gimmick. When rumble technology let’s me truly feel everything that is going on around me, then it won’t be a gimmick. When motion controls let me reach into my imaginary pockets, sort through a handful of coins, peel an orange that isn’t there with my own hands, and let me field strip a gun that is only on screen, then it won’t be a gimmick. Companies need to stop chasing after Nintendo which went the complete opposite direction as everyone else because if they didn’t they would be where Sega is right now. Next gen, if Nintendo doesn’t have an answer for the tech war they couldn’t win this time around, they are finished. Their gimmick has already lost it’s casual fanbase who want more for $200 than a paperweight.

    • Anonymous says:

      “When motion controls let me reach into my imaginary pockets, sort through a handful of coins, peel an orange that isn’t there with my own hands, and let me field strip a gun that is only on screen, then it won’t be a gimmick.”

      That’s so true. When motion control as a technology matures, then you would also be able to fap the king sized dick that you never had in real life.

  • Anonymous says:

    I know this’ll have little credibility with the S.C. crowd, but… at a friend’s get-together to play board/card games, I mentioned Project Natal and the amount of clear space you needed to use it effectively.

    One of the people works for an international sportswear company. He said he saw it at work, that it works well for their (un-named and un-described) business application, and that it does not require as much space as claimed in previous articles here on S.C.

    He’s _not_ a computer geek or PC/console gamer, and has been straight-up with me in the past.

    Based on that, I’m willing to wait until it’s released before declaring it a techno-fail.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m looking forward to this, to be honest. I’ve already got the Xbox 360, so it’s only going to run me $150. And I’m willing to bet that there’s going to be some party game included with both the unit and the Xbox Arcade bundle, which is all it’d need to take off.

    If Microsoft is lame, they might just call it 360 Sports, followed shortly by 360 Play, 360 Resort, and 360 Fit.

    However, the appeal is probably going to be in the titles available via the Games Marketplace. Rather than buying a shovelware title that’s going to only be fun for an hour or two for $64.99, I’ll be able to pick it up for $10, which might actually make it worth the time.

  • Anonymous says:

    for everyone that is saying 150 is way to much.. it will never sell.. yada yada.. all i have to say is… guitar hero and rock band …nuff said..
    if it sucks.. well that is another story

  • Anonymous says:

    For everyone saying 150 is way to much yada yada… it will never sell .. yada .. yada.. all I have to say is.. guitar hero and rock band
    if it sucks … then it might not sell so well…

  • Anonymous says:

    I think a big thing that made the wii popular with casual gamers is the fact that it came with wii sport/wii play,

    because u could have lots of fun with friends right out of the box without having to ‘look’ for a fun game; and then at least wii sports had variety to choose. Same thing with the wii-fit, there was a variety of games u could play too.

    Also…i dont think repudiate is the right word…if a legal term is to be used i think rescind is better?

  • It can be only for casual gamers because you can only make shitty games just by motion tracking – like the Wii’s shitty sports and party games

    I.e how could you play Halo, CallOfDuty, GearsOfWar without a controller just by motion tracking ?

  • Anonymous says:

    While I’m not opposed to experiments with Natural User Interfaces, this will be a novelty item with niche games at best.

    Still, it’s a good start towards our “hands-free eroge”!

  • 150 bugs for a motion tracking “webcam”, are they nuts ?
    They should first think about goods games that will support it – but probably they make only such sports and party shit games like for the Wii

    When you think about it: how many GOOD games can you create that you can control only with body movements – they should combine it with a wireless controller – then it can be used for all games

    It’s for casual gamers because only shitty games can be played only with body movements

  • Anonymous says:

    Console accessories sold separately from the console has never done well.

    This goes for the PS2 hard disk (did anyone actually buy one of those?) and the Dreamcast modem. This will go the same way for the PS3 vibrator and Natal.

    It’s the old chicken-and-egg story. Developers aren’t willing to incorporate Natal controls because they don’t know how many people got a Natal. Customers won’t buy the Natal because not many games use it. It’ll just be a gimmick.

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess most of you doesn’t know that “Project Natal” can be used for more than 1 player, and no second, third or fourth camera needed for those extra players.

      Now tell me… what about Move? 4 players can’t play at the same time with only 1 “Move”, so how much 4 “PSMove” costs? and what about adding 4 SubController?, maybe it’ll be over 150$/€ or even 200$/€.

      Some of you will say: “PSMove/SubController has buttons and P.Natal doesn’t”, right, but… that’s why it can be used along with the controllers, old pads won’t be wasted, people using “Move+SubC” won’t like to play some games with it, even having the same buttons and sticks.

      And last but not least, I hope you remember that “P.Natal” is not a controller that moves like a WiiMotePlus+Nunchuk/Move+SubCont, it’s a camera that recognizes the basic bone structure of a body (I read that even fingers are recognized) and how each body-segment moves in 3D.

      Being honest, I admit 150$/€ hurts a lot, and I won’t buy it if it’s that expensive, perhaps if it’s 100€ and developers used it properly, not only for WiiFit/Sports/Resort type games. Microsoft removed the CPU from the initial design, now it’s just a double PC Webcam in one case, and 2 cams are cheap, it shouldn’t be that expensive, except if the cam is a 720p one (those are expensive).

      We’ll need to wait until E3 to know the real price, but I already know the most important thing about “P.Natal”: It’s motion capture used to control games, and that give us lots of new possibilities and interaction, 150$/€ it’s not expensive for that kind of experiences (if developers doesn’t copy/paste WiiMote type games), but I repeat, I’m not going to but it for 150$/€.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree I hope its not 150 and everyone can enjoy project natal, I’m from Spain and I’ve tried it few weeks ago when Microsoft made a exhibition at Madrid, and it was fun playing without pad, I’m curious to see how Fable 3 will use it.

  • Barbarian of Gor says:

    Can you say-

    “E.T. the video game will be this Christmas’s blockbuster hit!”

    “This new Robot with the Nintendo system will revolutionize how kids play games!”

    “The new Virtual Boy realizes the dreams of virtual reality. OH, and we have a timer to offset the ‘bleeding eyes’ side effect ’cause we couldn’t feasibly include dual color screens or a system to run them…”

    -boys and girls!?

    Hehehe I knew you could:-)

    Likewise, I imagine:

    “These pathetic slime NEET will buy anything. Probably spend more on the hug pillows they marry. Long as we can get them to sneak yen off momma’s credit card… And waving around like ‘Kung Fool’ probably good exercise, only exercise for them! Just make sure the ‘3rd party’ we pretend we have do nothing with have codes so they can make ‘loli molester’ on time…”

    “Uh, sir, most don’t have enough space in their rooms to properly….”

    “You expressing negativity! You want be fired!? You will now must shut up! We corporate elite can do no wrong. Till something wrong happen. Then we fire lower executive, like you if you no shut up!”

  • Bazzyrick says:

    I will be reading many reviews and testing it if possible before I even consider buying this thing. I will not make the same mistake I did with the Wii.

    Also, I bet they give it a crappy name.

    • Anonymous says:

      …. USD is at the same value as the Euro now? Huh. I must be horribly out of date with my values. Last time I checked 1 euro was approximately 10 SEK, and 1 dollar was 6-7 SEK.

      According to forex.se right now, for 1228.68 SEK you can buy 150 USD, and for 1638.24 SEK 200 USD.

      Not that I get what your comment is about…

      • Anonymous says:

        While this is true when buying money, it doesn’t apply to prices. Especially not electronics prices. Something that costs $150 in the US is very likely to cost 2000 SEK in Sweden, due to higher taxes and smaller volumes.

  • Aw, they’re changing its name? I thought it wasn’t half-bad. It doesn’t surprise me that initially it’ll appeal to casual gamers; the industry’s been that way for a while now. Still, high-hopes here for it~

  • Well, not surprised with the price point, and quite honestly pleased with the change in the name, just hopefully they will make it better and not worse.

    @Ikuhisashiku

    Project Natal would never fly… “mass audience” (read casual gamer or stupid “blob” of people that will spend 15 hours on queue to buy this on day one) wouldn’t touch it with a 10 feet pole with that tag. Probably something with a lot of XXXX’s and a logo with italic letter and rounded shapes… THAT is what sells!

    • Anonymous says:

      While I’d like to believe that the new name will be better, I’m painfully remembering that the last time a new video game project got a brand new spiffier name, we went from Nintendo REVOLUTION (badass sounding) to Nintendo Wii (…).

      • Anonymous says:

        The name Wii sounds cuter and friendlier for those scaredy (japanese) nongamer females and would (did) go viral for the first half year or so because of all the puns you can make in english (we, wee, whee, and so on), ensuring that a lot of non-gamers would hear about it. So in that aspect it was pretty successful. I personally prefer the older name, but it wouldn’t have hit its target audience as well as its newer, sillier name. ;_;

  • Ikuhisashiku says:

    The “Project Natal” label is also finally due to be scrapped at E3 in favour of a proper marketer friendly name, it is said.

    Code for, “We’re probably going to just give it some lame name from now on.”

    I thought Project Natal was a pretty cool name as it was. But, apparently, I’m only part of the minority within Microsoft.