Monday, June 22, 2009

Thoughts on E3 (Part IV)

Rounding out my thoughts on Microsoft, I’d be remiss not to mention The Beatles: Rock Band. Awesome – play through the Beatles’ career, which is the best music, and the “instruments” it comes with are super cool representations of the real instruments they used. Combine that with the chance to harmonize, and you don’t need to say anything else.

So let’s talk Project Natal.

Microsoft pretty much blew everyone away with the demo of their new motion sensing camera peripheral (project name, Natal). They showed a 3d tech demo where a girl interacted in a 3d space in order to play a 3d variant on the old Breakout formula – hitting balls as they came to her to knock out blocks at the end of the space. Also was its ability to recognize faces and voices. At the show, it was on the floor where people could play an insanely fast racing game – Burnout Paradise – without using a controller – simply by mimicking the motions of driving, much as the girl in the trailer does in the previous hyperlink. But as cool as all that seemed, this was the coolest part of it. Lionhead – the studio that made Fable and Fable 2 (which was my pick for game of the year last year) has been messing around with the Natal technology, and if you watch their Milo video, you’ll see that the possibilities for the technology are vastly interesting and ridiculously appealing – and knowing that Epic Games and Bungie have already been looking at it makes my dreams all nice and fuzzy (in a good way). It might be a long time off, but I am seriously counting down the time until this platform launches and I can play around with it in my home.

- Goodchild

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