Former Microsoft Boss: “Natal Will Fail”

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A former Microsoft boss has stated that he thinks Microsoft’s upcoming Project Natal controller, rumoured to be dubbed “Wave,” will fail.

Scott Bayless, a former Microsoft studio manager who has held high level posts at Capcom, EA, Midway and Sega, is not confident about Microsoft’s handling of the controller, although he seems not criticise the hardware itself:

“When I met with Microsoft in 2008 to look at Natal I asked: ‘When will you integrate this into the 360?’

Their response was: ‘We’re probably going to wait and see on that.’ To which I said: Then you’re going to fail.'”

He goes on to explain that he thinks the controller will only serve to fragment the Xbox 360 market, not drastically expand it to families and little old ladies as Microsoft apparently hopes:

“Plays like this always fragment and the disincentive to developers is powerful; when I’m spending tens of millions on a game, the last thing I want to do is lose 90 per cent of my market.”

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97 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Natal just seems like a lost child in a giant mall trying to find his/her parents.

    I expect to see third party companies do something like move all the games that were Wii exclusive and dump them into both Move and Natal just to get a quick buck. It seems that even after Sony explanation “make quality games, not shovel/shit/crap/donkeypenis-ware” they still don’t listen very well (this is why PSP is in a pickle.)

  • Anonymous says:

    Truth be told, I was very interested in this when it was first shown at E3. I though, “wow we’re going to have a lot of great and innovative games to play.” Eventually my wide-eyed curiosity waned and I got to thinking, “exactly what kind of games can be made for this?” Remember those demos? Where exactly can they go from there?

    • Anonymous says:

      … well… you can paint a giraffe instead of an elephant… or a tiger if you want more, like, action or something…

      instead of balls, you could hit…hummm…. like.. more balls maybe…

  • ChaosAngelZero says:

    Microsoft’s marketing strategy with Natal won’t fail for a simple reason: ~99% of all Natal games will be trash developed with the game publisher’s equivalent of loose change, just like the Wii.

    Not to mention that, in the end, most of them will be simultaneously released on all three platforms, by way of some new fangled middleware that’ll translate the directional inputs of any motion tracking device, eventually turning them into gaming’s cocaine paste.

  • Anonymous says:

    I asked myself

    When was the last time I played my wii….last time it was with smash brothers…..WITH A GAMECUBE CONTROLLER

    Swear to fucking god, wtf is the point of then doing this. And PS3 doing the worst shameless rip off of the wii.

    Want to now why Nintendo shunned its fanboys for the casuals for so long? Because the wii was nothing more then a toy to get money from idiots.

    Nintendo is coming out with a new console that will have better/equal graphics to the 360/ps3 soon. And it ain’t going to be a fucking motion controller bullshit either

    • Anonymous says:

      Video games are toys to begin with. The only reason Microsoft and Sony don’t call their systems toys is because they’re secretly ashamed of that fact. Besides, balls are toys. Do you think the Brazil National Football Team or the New England Patriot are self-conscious about playing with them everyday? Hell no! They’re celebrities and they make millions!

      And the only reason why the Wii is geared more towards casual gamers is to get people who normally wouldn’t be into gaming into gaming. The old school gamers are getting old and life is taking priority over gaming. A great deal of us will even stop gaming all together. What do you think will become of these companies if that happens? All your favorite gaming icon will be gone. And with no more money to gain in the gaming market, why should anyone bring them back? Who would care? To me it seems like Nintendo is doing us a favor but with the over abundance of casual titles and endless ocean of shovelware it’s pretty difficult to swallow.

  • Anonymous says:

    *sigh*

    You know, even though I use Apple products, it’s embarrassing to watch people on either side drag out the Micropple Wars at every single freaking chance. I prefer Mac right now, BUT in the past XP was my favorite of all the OS. Vista was crap and Apple took advantage and pumped out the best stuff. Now with W7, it’s back to an even field insofar as OS goes. You can have as many personal opinions on which system you prefer, but stop trying to blast anyone who doesn’t share your opinion on operating systems – makes you look like as much of a nubcaek as the retards who are STILL arguing over whether PS3 or 360 got a better Modern War 2.

    (And yes, I realize that I may have more clout with the nubcaek comment when I actually get off my lazy ass and register on the site)

    Now, on to the actual news story:

    Unless they drop that price tag on Natal/Wave, it’s going to run into the same issues that have happened every time a peripheral was overpriced. Microsoft will have one shot, just one shot, to do this right and break Wii’s stranglehold on motion games (and yes, many of the Wii games are shovelware, but when a good one comes out it’s DAMN GOOD). Natal/Wave has the potential to be much better than either of the other two motion controllers, because of the freedom of movement involved in it. Imagine a Dragonball game where you fired a Kamehameha by making the classic pose, or an Final Fantasy game (one with actual story) where instead of button presses, you wielded the weapon, be it scythe, battle axe, whatever and cast the spells with individual motions tracked extra carefully to avoid the game mixing up spells. Hell, what about a rebirth of Time Crisis that treats your hands held in gun postures (we all know this one) as the light guns, and to take cover you would actually crouch, being able to peek up over cover and fire?

    If Microsoft doesn’t flub this, it could be incredible. But they have one single shot to do it. I won’t say that it’s doomed to failure, but they had better not skimp the details or they’ll reap the consequences.

    • I have to agree with you on this anon, if MS doesn’t fuck this up with terribad marketting flubs (which they are known for), Natal could slaughter the competition for motion gaming. I have to agree with the Final Fantasy thing there, imagine playing something like mortal kombat and actually doing your own moves, could be awesome to play like that. I’d like to see them work in voice commands into that to, so you could trigger Scorpion’s special just by saying “GET OVER HERE!” and making the movement motion. Or hell playing SOCOM or any first person shooter, and walking the character, aiming him, and playing like an actual soldier would be amazing fun.

  • Anonymous says:

    First thing I had to say is that it resembles Eyetoy X the controll bar the Wiimote (however it is called) needs.
    Second it sound a bit how Sony originally wanted to make the second Eyetoy camera.
    Do you remember we were orginally supposed to get an HD Eyetoy camera, which sends out infrared light and could that way measure you and your movements to put them as controls inside the game.

      • Fatalistic says:

        It’s more about the game developers making terrible character design choices that are based on the culture influence from previous generations than anything else.

        Widespread steroid abuse has pretty much warped the western male body image. Nobody gets that huge without roiding, but yet you’ll see a lot of guys in popular culture that are that big.

        So of course, it bleeds over to video game design.

        • Its kind of sad that our games end up like that. Hell they even get changed between US and JPN versions just to suit the macho bs. I think the bishounen male heros would sell better than some musclebound dukenukem. Its like the western developers are still caught with the whole Arnold syndrome of musclebound heros, a fad way past its prime.

      • I am going to admit considering that FF13 sold well in the market because the leading character was female not Macho in America it sold 1 million copys total on PS3 and Xbox 360 three-hundred thousand copy.

        Whoever is telling Square Enix we buy Macho games this must be very gay man who needs to be fired from the company.Square needs to realize we as Americans have different taste in characters if they are so worried about what we want then screw it your going to have to dig deeper to find out what Americans would like.

        • Anonymous says:

          It REALLY REALLY sucks that we won’t get another main female character like bayonatte or badass average guys like dante or Ryu hayabusa for the next for years. Next gen is all about dorky muscle guys and NO replay value.

          Btw: in crackdown 2 there are no female characters to pick lol. Also as you level up you get more muscles. Not joking lmao.

      • Shippoyasha says:

        I’m not even American and I find that to be offensive and unreasonable… Really? The console looks that much worse than the white/black boxes of the Wii or the PS3? It’s about the same damn thing.

        And older PS3s, like the older 360s have the SAME exact YLOD/overheat problem. Newer 360s almost never fail due to the much better cooling/less energy.

  • Anonymous says:

    It’ll fail (as many things “fails” in this world) if: 1. People calls it a fail or shit, and 2. Developers doesn’t have imagination, but the main reason is point 1 and people’s distrust, skepticism and also fanatic’s hatred against Microsoft, that will make it fail, not the cam itself.

    There’s a huge potential about how normal gamers can use it, there’s no need to be standing, everyone thinks we’ll need to be like in a WiiFit game to use Natal, doing aerobics and jump all over the room, we can use Natal to play racing games, use thumb-index-middle fingers as a 3-button mouse to play RTS games, something like Minority Report. We can also solve puzzles with both hands, to type codes, open doors by pushing slowly if you don’t want to make any noise, or kicking it if you’re playing a multiplayer game and you suspect there’s someone behind it, lean the head in a corner in a FPS game or shot/throw a granade blindly in any direction your arm aims to behind the same corner if it’s not safe. Play Guitar Hero/Rock Band games focusing the cam to detect just the fingers, new ways to do QTE using the upper part of the body… and this is only what I have in mind, developers

    Should new and far more interactive and complete ways to play games without sweating like a pig be a failure? I guess not.

  • Anonymous says:

    It’s only a matter of time before Microsoft will crumble because of its so many failures. Remember the last time your PC hanged up or blue screened? Remember what happened to the bloated, unstable, insecure product failure that was Vista?

    I sure hope Apple would release a game console. They really need to teach Microsoft a lesson. With the genius technical mind of Steve Jobs, nothing is impossible.

    • Anonymous says:

      The thing that always gets me with the people who claim Mac are superior, never really have a valid claim.

      First things first Apple isn’t really all that good at creating products. Or rather they are the late comers whose products come off as superior or cool due to their image. MP3 players, smart phones, touch screens. Its not like they do them better or are the first, but they do it with the got have style

      Its not like they were the first Mp3 player or even the best. They just project the image of being better. Same things with thier computers now. They are nice and all, but if you really look at them they really aren’t the best systems in the world at least not comparable to thier costs. The Mac OS are granted more stable than their Window counter parts, but the more stable OS comes at the cost of making the actual programs less than stable to run.

      The things with viruses are what really get me. Virsuses are user created programs. IF less people have a particular OS why create a virsus for it. And because more and more people have been switching over their have been a recent spike in MAC Malware.

      That being said. Apple products aren’t bad but they definetely aren’t worth thier price

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re a moron, Anon 22:09. How are you using your PC? I had my PC for years and it crashed just a couple of times and I even forgot how a blue screen looks like! I used Win 98, Me and XP (until now), all of them were stable and secure enough for my needs, the only problem I had was Me not being compatible with most games I tried to play.
      If you knew Vista was a piece of crap, you didn’t have to switch from good old XP. Noone forced you to get Vista except of some companies, like Dell, most PC sellers were aware of Vista’s suckage and offer you a choice between XP and a Vista anyway.

      Windows 7 is a very good OS as far as I tested it, only used the free beta they once released but it was nice and stable and didn’t bloat your PC at all.

      You can’t play 80% of PC games on a Mac without the use of a stupid emulator that slows your performance and Apple products are overpriced. You can get the same power PC for 30% lesser price, because when you buy a Mac, you pay for it’s name, not the specs.

      Viruses on the Windows aren’t a problem either, you just have to know to install a good AV software, a firewall and use COMMON SENSE while browsing internet. Of course typing “hentai porn” in google and opening the 1st site in the list of results will most likely give you a virus, use your brain.

      Xbox 360 is a fail of a console though, I’ll give you that.

      I think that, unless Sony and Nintendo go bankrupt, Apple console won’t really stand a chance. It’d be new to the console market and I can tell people wouldn’t risk the purchase of a console they’ve never heard of. Remember when Microsoft entered the console market with it’s Xbox? It didn’t sell well at all even though it was a good piece of hardware and was the most powerful on the market back in the day. Xbox 360 sold well only because of the unit’s low price and technically being the first console of current generation.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have a Mac and it has crashed zero times. And it has no viruses. I am getting the performance out of my computer that Windows users can only dream of.

        “I’m a Mac!” πŸ™‚

        • Thats exactly what all the statistics are based off of. If there are less MacOS than Windows users in the world, why write more viruses for the smaller group. Thats basically why Mac is deemed so safe. Also who would pay so much money for a computer that can’t run alot of shit. Alot of games that i play aren’t mac compatable, so it seems like a huge waste of money to buy one.

          Just a thought, but i think that Steve Jobs rubs every Ipod through his asscrack before putting them into the box, just cause hes a dick businessman like that. But thats only after hes done having sex with all the money you just paid him for his overpriced computers and ipod accessories and whatnot.

        • Anonymous says:

          @ Anon 23:43:

          My first Mac was an all-in-one “egg” G3 running OS/X.

          The first thing I did was (try to) install a commercial 3rd-party software driver to run a USB-to-parallel converter for my laser printer.

          I got a kernel panic / blue screen. Yup – blue background with white text with a pile of cryptic error messages and status info.

          I had to power-cycle it.

          Climb down off your OS/X high horse.

          And since Apple quit supporting OS/X (or any other OS) on its PPC-based machines… fuckers… that G3 is now happily running Linux.

        • Isn’t the only reason macs are less vulnerable to viruses that far fewer are writen because far fewer macs are used?

          Market share doesn’t determine a computer’s worth and less viruses are less viruses, but if the only reason no one’s trying to wreck your computer is that it’s inefficient for them, is there any reason to be so smug?

        • Anonymous says:

          I have a mac and its crashed before – anyone claiming that doesn’t happen either doesn’t use it much or is a liar. Its picked up a virus once, too, they’re writing more of them these days, but far fewer than my windows friends.

          The unstoppable, super-safe mac is a myth, but it is a more stable platform than a PC. Then again, it doesn’t have as much software or flexibility and costs twice to three times as much too.

    • Fatalistic says:

      Motion controls as they are now are a terrible fad but I fail to see how things like this are going to kill Windows as a gaming platform.

      Why? Here is a comprehensive list of other operating systems which have regularly released video games:

      Yeah. That’s right. Almost nobody ports their shit to MacOS or Linux or anything else for that matter.

        • Anonymous says:

          The number of computers that run Windows is much higher than Linux and Mac OS X so it’s pretty obvious that developers are going to make games geared towards a bigger market.

          Sadly money makes the world go ’round and games/software doesn’t develop itself.

        • Fatalistic says:

          Not so. Computer game development/publishing works the same way as it does on the console. The only games that are being “hogged” are first party titles. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft all do it.

          It’s just that no third party computer game developers are actually porting these games to any other operating systems, whereas they often do on consoles excepting when they are developed/published by the companies that sell a console.

  • natal is a good idea but it’s probably going to fail. i just don’t see people going out and buying this thing to play a few more party and gimmick motion control games for their 360. plus it’s fucking expensive for an add-on.

    remember the sega 32x? ya, me neither, natal or whatever it’s going to be called is going to be the same thing.

  • I am not wondering about will it fail, I am wondering why they think it will succeed.

    What's the incentive to get one?

    How many games use it and will benefit from it that are both mainstream and must have games?

    Heck even my Nintendo DS while having a touch screen is not truly about touch screen games in a lot of cases. A lot of the great DS games don't really depend on using the stylus, it's just an option.

    And the Wii already can be an illustration of what happens when you have a great controller idea, but few games anyone reeeeeeally wants.
    I think the Wiis initial successes were more about the fact it was the new console that didn't bend your wallet over the sofa and gang rape it.

    Let's see game console with lots of parent friendly games, and is half the price of the other two, gee I wonder what's being bought for the kids eh.

    I can't think of a single Natal use that means diddly for me aside from games that might be me diddling something on the screen that is.

    Natal, the controller of choice for fucking something on screen. Can't see that being a selling point though.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try Zelda on a DS. Takes touchscreen to never before places.

      Natal will fail mainly because Nintendo has proven time and again that they are the only company that can think out of the box enough to make use of unconventional game technology. Touchscreen, wii-mote… you name it. Nintendo has always been the only one to create mindblowingly good games on weird gaming technology.

      MS, on the other hand, only has a track record in stealing ideas and creating buggy software.

  • Dirty_Dingus008 says:

    It has already disenfranchised Nippon by the required FOUR METERS of space to work effectively and quite a number of people even in America will find it hard to make it possible to use the system completely if it demands such space.

    If you have your system in your room w/ bed – closets – desk – cabinets – shelves of manga/anime/figurines. The danger of playing with your wii..wii pales in the arm and leg flinging that will be demanded from you on the RRoD box.

  • Anonymous says:

    β€œPlays like this always fragment and the disincentive to developers is powerful; when I’m spending tens of millions on a game, the last thing I want to do is lose 90 per cent of my market.”

    true, I don’t know how Microsoft is planing to let fat or disabled gamers to take advantage of this controller.

    in fact not just fat or disabled gamers, but many new gamers would rather be seated and not get-up when they play. And if they did get up… then gaming sessions will be very short (gamers are not known for this athletic abilities after all)

    this controller is good for as a room or entertainment controller (you can control things in the room or the TV using it).

    But I just can’t see it for games.

    • Anonymous says:

      I personally would love to see something like that for games. But then again I’m lucky enough to not be handicapped, and keep having too little time to do all the things I want to do. If I can spend less time at the gym because I spend more time gaming yet getting cardio, that would be so much fun.

      As long as there are different modes such as “easy”, “normal”, and “nintendo hard”, even fat gamers can play for longer via the easy mode.

  • Anonymous says:

    Its probably because any new game development for the Xbox360 which uses this item to its full extent does not exist unless they port over games directly from the Wii. In any case I do own a Xbox360 and have no plans to get one.

  • Anonymous says:

    It’s easy to be negative about these innovations.
    But in this case i think it’s true.
    1. Too expensive the price of a natal is almost as much as a replacement xbox.
    2. The wii crap theorem. Most games using gimmicks will be casual and crap.

    • The concept of Natal (or is it Wave now?) is good, I think, but the problem is that there wont be any games that truly represent the concept of free body movement. By that I mean, let’s say, some action game, where your 3D avatar precisely repeat each of your moves, and those moves reacts realistically with an environment, incorporating complex physics.

      Too many people just wants some stupid games to waste their time, not breathtaking technological marvels, which is true fun.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, micro$oft has issues when handling their new products, like the Zune for example, it would have been ALOT more successful if they had done a better job marketing it.
      Also apparently they had a phone concept similar to the Iphone when that was getting made etc, and marketers or something of the sort at M$ said that it wouldn’t sell well enough… and looking at Iphone sales, I hope M$ fired em.