John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Sucks to Be Nintendo…

natal

I’d hate to be Nintendo right now. What can it possible demonstrate at E3 tomorrow that will surpass or even match the gesture control gaming technology Microsoft (MSFT) showed off on Monday (see video below)?

Project Natal, as Redmond has codenamed it, is a controllerless game control system. It uses a 3-D camera and an array of motion sensors to capture player movements and translate them into in-game actions and, judging from this morning’s demo, it works quite well. Microsoft says Natal will support voice and facial recognition and multiple players by the time it launches. Just when that will be is anyone’s guess; it’s unlikely to be in 2009.

Lucky for Nintendo, because this is going to make the company’s WiiMote look like a clumsy old Atari joystick.

“The next step in interactive entertainment is to make the controller disappear,”said Steven Spielberg, who was on hand today to promote Microsoft’s new technology. “With ‘Project Natal,’ we’ll see games that bring everyone together through technology that actually recognizes us…this is not about reinventing the wheel–it’s about no wheel at all.”

It’s also about innovation–something we’ve seen an unusual amount of today from Microsoft first with Bing and now this. Could it be we’re witnessing the reinvention of Microsoft itself here as well?


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik