Wow! Now THIS Is Cool... [xBox apps for non-gamers]

I am sure most game fans know about this, but for those of you who might not be video game fans, I think you will want to see this preview of Natal for XBox 360. This is not just a video game, it is a control-free concept you should see and think how this might be used in the future.

Although not yet released, reports are it will be arriving at the end of this year, or early next year. They also neglected to mention price.

One of the game students at my school showed me this and I was duly impressed and can already think of multiple uses. Oddly, one of the critiques of the game is “you can’t sit on a sofa and play, you have to stand up!” Uh, gee - exercise is a bitch, but really - that is the complaint?

At any rate, thought some of you who are not up on the newest trends in game design would be interested in seeing this!

I’ve been watching the Natal stuff for a while now, and looks great. I can’t wait for it to come out - I hope it’s half as good as it looks.

I’m going to move this to the Game Room.

twickster, MPSIMS moderator

OK - but the purpose was to bring this to the attention of non-gamers; I have to assume that for those who are into video games, this is old news. Whatever.

Okey doke – I’ll move it back, no biggie.

ETA – edited the thread title a bit to make it clearer what the thread is about.

If this works as well as I hope I am definitely buying an Xbox to go along with my PS3. It could completely change the dynamic of a first person shooter. Imagine having to actually duck and find cover? It’ll have a built in stamina dynamic. Hmm…it may even make some fat video game kids to exercise.

Exactly…there are so many possibilities - imagine an old fashioned game of Tetris where you have to duck and dodge the shapes, as well as put them in order.
Or think about an obstacle course you have to run through…
But it was also cool to see that fashion example…just slide through a series of clothes and try them on - does anyone see any MAJOR online, retail potential there?!!

I think if you look at this technology critically, and not just think in terms of “shoot 'em up” games, there is a whole new world of opportunities out there!

Screams “gimmick”. Hasn’t this been tried with the EyeToy?

Their sensor device seems better, but I’m still not keeping my hopes up.

The thing that keeps me from buying a game system, besides poverty, is the controller. they are just too complicated. I spend way too many times hitting the (#$@ triangle when I was supposed to hit R2 and the #()&@# square.

So this looks very interesting.

Natal is still in development, and all the software (games) for it are still in conceptual phases, since it’s not entirely confirmed what the thing can even do, so almost any video you see of it is entirely conceptual and most definitely done with editing.

When the 360 itself was announced, MS made claims that it would change everybody’s lives in ways that have not come close to happening. Beware lofty claims from hardware developers.

I paid $175 for a used 360 20GB that had 4 games with it. Prices are even lower than that now. I bring that up because this controller will likely cost $200 or so (as a pure guess) and I can’t justify spending more on a controller than on the system itself.

But I’ve been following this for a few months.

I think it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. If the final product can deliver even a subset of the capabilities that are described, it will be really impressive.

But, hopefully it won’t also be kind of skeevy.

I don’t have a hard time believing that they can do motion capture for a single person, but it’s probably going to be limited to simple movements, and I don’t see how they can keep it from getting badly confused if there’s another person moving nearby. I also expect that their voice recognition interface will have to be like an old text adventure game, where if you don’t use exactly the right words, it won’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

I’m having a little trouble seeing exactly what the appeal of this is to non-gamers; after all, the entire demo is based on people playing games except for that brief part with the DVD player, and it’s not clear that this is really an improvement over the remote. It’s definitely a cool toy, but it’s still a toy. (As an aside, the PS3 has real potential for a specific class of non-gamers, and that’s probably going to be its legacy.)

One that I wish Sony didn’t betray. The PS3 slim no longer supports Linux, so I wonder where those scientists are going to be getting replacement parts years from now. Though I suppose the PS4 will probably be available by then.

For the non-gamers, I should note that the reaction to this among most gamers was mixed. A lot of people think it’s unfortunate that motion controls are becoming more popular (it’s not about the exercise, DMark, it’s the fact that it fundamentally changes the paradigm of an activity they already enjoy.) The “pretending to drive and pit stop” portion of that add got extra derision for how awkward it looks.

I don’t agree with this notion but it remains to be seen if and when this will ever see the light of day.

Two other points -

  1. Everything you see in that add is just that, an ad. There is no real working demo yet and those ‘games’ in the ad don’t exist.

  2. One of the driving forces behind Natal is Peter Molyneux. Molyneux is a legend among gamers for dreaming huge and failing to live up to it. He’s a visionary, no question, and his work is important. But the finished product often doesn’t match his enthusiasm for it.

Personally, I hope it all works. It could really be amazing, imo.

The PS3 version interests me less because it doesn’t look like it’s doing anything you can’t do with the Wii Motion Plus. (Also, the PS3 version doesn’t have a movement device like the nunchuck wii attachment, so you have to play with the wand in one hand and the regular fullsize controller in your other hand. Awkward!) And again, the PS3 version is still in development, where the Wii is on shelves now.

Oh God. I didn’t know. So much for Natal.

Did you really just put “amazing” and “Molyneux” in the same post?

Well, it’s not all Molyneux. He’s heavily involved in the one real software project we’ve seen but the hardware’s a Microsoft thing not a Lionhead thing, after all.

And I do think he’s got a gift for dreaming even if reality usually catches up to him. I admire the attempt although I don’t pay full price for the results.

This thread is hugely confusing to me. There are no “non-gaming” applications for Natal because it is being designed as a controllerless control system for playing games.

Also, as has been mentioned by other gamers in this thread, Natal is not hugely different from what the EyeToy and the Wii have been doing for a while. And the motion controlled games for those two have ranged from “Awesome!” to “What the hell?” with most of the awesome games based around motion control that requires some kind of controller.

Apparently, from a contact in Harmonix, the Natal he’s working with will not support individual finger detection.

Well, yeah, but it remains to be seen where Molyneux’s going with his Milo project. It might be a game, it might be a game(ish sort of thing.) It might be a small, imperfect but necessary, step on the way to the holodeck.