Alan Smithee

MWN Discusses – Project Natal

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I always enjoy reading peoples opinions on things, since you know…that is technically the reason I started this site in the first place, but I really enjoy reading posts where there are multiple opinions covering the entire spectrum of an arguement. With that in mind, we’re debuting a new feature today titled “The Whores Discuss”.

Much like some of our older posts, I wanted the entire team to jump in on this rant and give their opinion whatever the topic is for the week. Starting with today’s topic, you can guarantee to see a whole bunch of surly bastards tell their side of the discussion without any interruption. So without any further ado, let’s get to today’s topic: Project Natal for the Xbox 360 Console.


Natal, Natal, Natal, all I’ve fucking heard about in the last couple of weeks since the end of E3 is that Microsoft abortion that is aptly named Natal. I didn’t really follow anything from E3 (frankly when they decided to change the entire focus of the expo, I stopped caring about it..) because it’s no longer the scene for gamers to try to sneak their way into anymore, it’s just game company propaganda and sales figures…and rarely do you need to wait until E3 to find out about all the bombshells that the individual game companies are going to drop.

Back to Microsoft’s presentation, Project Natal…I watched the videos from Molyneux and the other one that had the douchebag developer on stage to show off a Breakout clone using your body (zzzzzzzzzz). I didn’t see anything that didn’t make me think “Oh boy, another input device that i’ll need to buy and will probably use once or twice (Vision Camera or Eye Toy anyone?) in a game or two that won’t ever really be the main focus of the system! I CAN’T WAIT!!!”

Sure, it looks neat…but let’s face it, it’s yet another gimmick by MS to get our moneys. Nintendo has and continues to do the same thing with each of their systems like the Wii, DS, and DSi. Nobody has had the balls to say this to the game companies out there…


I’m just sick of games attempting to energize the gamer community, yes we’re a fat bunch and if we wanted to lose weight, we wouldn’t be gaming, eating Doritos by the handful, drinking alcohol and Mountain Dew to excess, and staying up all hours of the night doing so. That’s only the physical aspect of the game…don’t even get me started on the facial recognition bit…does any developer out there really want to program that much?

I’m just sick of the gimmicks and how EVERYBODY buys into them.


Obviously, I watched the MS conference as I was pretty bored at work that day. I wasn’t really that interested until I saw the Natal presentation start up.

The concept is neat and I think parts of it could be handy, but I don’t think it will ever be used for serious gaming. We all know this is just an attempt by MS to try and lure some of that mass market(read: idiots) of casual gamers(read: soccer moms) to buy 360’s. I loved the fact that they tried to show off a racing game with it and all I could think about was, “Have they never tried to play Mario Kart Wii?” Your arms get tired pretty quickly.

I could see them using it as a way to navigate the menus on the dashboard or something similar, but all the games that will take advantage of it, especially in the beginning, will be gimmick games like Wii Sports. Facial recognition and voice recognition are two technologies that are still not reliable. But I do have to congratulate MS for letting a porn star wannabe give the presentation.

As for Milo and Molyneux, all I can say is Skynet isn’t that far off guys.


Well I don’t have much of an opinion on the matter, at least yet. It’s still early days for Natal so I’m not going to judge it right now and we didn’t really see much at E3. My biggest gripe with Natal is just the fact that there is no physical object. While the video were surely fabricated, when the guy was driving without a wheel it just looked silly and it wasn’t the only case. Also, while I think if it actually works it would be cool (if uneccesary), I think everyone remembers being let down by the Wii’s motion sensing. Sorry that I haven’t got much else, I don’t have too much of an opinion right now.

Evan Burkey

It’s like Yahtzee said in his latest Zero Punctuation video: People come home from work/school/whatever and play video games to relax, not jump around in front of the TV like a crazy person. It’s a cool idea, and the interactiveability (is that even a word?) is really neat. Regardless, I’d rather sit in a chair like the fat, lazy person that I am and press A to jump instead of jumping in front of my TV and knocking the lamp off the table when the whole apartment shakes.

Ryan Wilson

I see the current trend of motion sensing gaming to be nearly identical to the virtual reality gaming sensation a few generations back. Sure, it looks nice on paper, and the developers will be able to use it well (they did develop it), it will eventually be seen as the gimmick it really is. Motion sensing is just virtual reality 2.0 . You just no longer need the ridiculous headgear anymore. Sure it will sell a bunch of copies, but in a year or so it will be in the closet right next to the Bowflex.

Nik Monroe

Two words. Minority Report, if I can wave through menus as quickly as they were indicating then I’ll be happy. I’m not too bothered about making ‘elephants’ with people and the games that involve a lot movement don’t really interest me. I learnt quickly enough that you didn’t have to be that energetic to complete the games on the Wii and I soon lost interest in the console because of that.

I’d like to think you’ll get a few games companies that can use the technology in really inventive ways, how cool would it be to control an RTS by pointing on the screen where you want your troops to go or attack, that would probably be the best way to experience an RTS on a console, although I would hate to see them try and incorporate into an RPG and make you walk everywhere but it could make an interesting addition to the controls by letting you manage your inventory. If they let companies like Valve or Bioware loose on the technology I’m sure they could come up with some really interesting ideas. My only concern is that Microsoft will let the casual companies loose on it and give in to the easy money that they bring.


Well, there you have it folks, it looks like a few of us are dead set against it, while a few others are a bit more optimistic in their views…bottom line for all of us it seems that we’re all just a bunch of skeptics and think that it will be yet another gimmick that will end up collecting dust. We’ll catch you all next week with another episode of “The Whores Discuss”. Any suggestions for topics or feedback can be given in the comments below or through our email: [email protected]

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