Microsoft’s Project Natal will be named Kinect

Microsofts Project Natal will be named as Kinect! Kinect or Project Natal is a “controller-free gaming and entertainment experience” by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game platform.

UPDATE-2:  Microsoft today officially unveiled Kinect for Xbox 360, a controller-free gaming device that Microsoft is positioning as an entirely new way to experience entertainment in the living room.

Based on an add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller through a natural user interface using gestures, spoken commands, or presented objects and images.

Kinect’s built-in camera and microphone (due later this year, no price set) uses facial and voice recognition to let you, for instance, log onto Xbox Live, start games and pause movies. And a new menu lets you choose games or services such as Netflix by simply reaching out and pointing toward the screen selection. Video chat lets Xbox 360 homes connect; the smart camera widens when another person enters the room.

The USA Today writeup also mentions a few titles in the works:

  • 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 characters and iconic Disney favorites will be featured in separate new games being developed at Microsoft in conjunction with LucasArts and Disney.

UPDATE-1: USA Today has for some reason pulled the story down, but you can see the Bing cache.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com and a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows for the period 2006-16. He enjoys following and reporting Microsoft news and developments in the world of Personal Computing & Social Media.