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Microsoft Talks New (Natal-Inclusive?) Xbox For Next Year

CEO Steve Ballmer all but confirms a new Xbox 360 design with integrated Project Natal hardware in 2010.

It seems there was something to the speculation that surfaced on 1UP last week about Project Natal constituting Microsoft's "next console." There was something to it depending on your point of view, at least.

TG Daily reports that MS CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned during a talk today that a new version of the Xbox 360 is on the way to shelves next year, one with a "natural interface" involving technology that's "really, really close" to being realized. The story goes on to say the new Xbox will have a "built in camera with the ability to recognize movement and voice." (TG Daily's words on that one.)

Pretty sure you can see where he's going with this.

Project Natal
If Microsoft is really serious about pushing Natal's feature set as the one true future for the Xbox, it only makes sense to integrate that technology into the console itself and ensure that everyone who buys the system going forward is equipped with it. Calling that the next Xbox console strikes me as disingenuous, though; every unit on the market called "Xbox 360" will still be able to play the same games, provided you have the right combination of peripherals. A new console runs a whole new set of games that no previous piece of hardware can handle. Bolting on new methods of input will certainly extend the 360's lifespan, but it doesn't exactly qualify as the "next" anything in my book.

Brad Shoemaker on Google+
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Posted by Brad
It seems there was something to the speculation that surfaced on 1UP last week about Project Natal constituting Microsoft's "next console." There was something to it depending on your point of view, at least.

TG Daily reports that MS CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned during a talk today that a new version of the Xbox 360 is on the way to shelves next year, one with a "natural interface" involving technology that's "really, really close" to being realized. The story goes on to say the new Xbox will have a "built in camera with the ability to recognize movement and voice." (TG Daily's words on that one.)

Pretty sure you can see where he's going with this.

Project Natal
If Microsoft is really serious about pushing Natal's feature set as the one true future for the Xbox, it only makes sense to integrate that technology into the console itself and ensure that everyone who buys the system going forward is equipped with it. Calling that the next Xbox console strikes me as disingenuous, though; every unit on the market called "Xbox 360" will still be able to play the same games, provided you have the right combination of peripherals. A new console runs a whole new set of games that no previous piece of hardware can handle. Bolting on new methods of input will certainly extend the 360's lifespan, but it doesn't exactly qualify as the "next" anything in my book.

Posted by lordofultima

UUH..

Posted by Chewii101

DS Lite -> DSi = Xbox 360 -> Xbox Natal



Edited by demonbear

of course they're gonna bundle Natal, thats obvious, I dont see the news here. Its just pure logic. Its funny though how that whole natal thing drew the attention away from the fact this console can't read bluray discs still....

Posted by choffy21

Maybe I should just give Microsoft my wallet...

Posted by Coltonio7

Huh...well at least it's coming out!

Posted by TheKidNixon
@demonbear said:
" of course they're gonna bundle Natal, thats obvious, I dont see the news here. Its just pure logic. "
The news is that the wording makes it sound like the Natal isn't bundled into the packaging, but rather built into the new 360. Like, as part of the hardware.

Again, it could also be a poorly written overview by the original reporter. But if the Natal was actually part of the console itself, that would be enough of a change to the core box to constitute a different name and relaunch effort, like Nintendo did with the DS. Twice.
Posted by Leadcat
@Chewii101: exactly what I was thinking.

If this new model is RRoD proof then I'll totally upgrade to it.
Posted by OptimusPrime

i'm not buying, it's that simple.  Natal will never be a part of my household, If i wanted to play that gimmicky bullshit, i wouldn't have sold my Wii.

Posted by Kajaah117

Good thing I'm just getting the add-on. Sucks for the newcomers that'll have to place their new Jet engine right on front of their TV. Unless of course this comes built into a newer, quieter, possibly slimmer 360...

Edited by Radar

360 slim + Natal?

I wonder if Sony is planning anything similar... I guess they have to if they're serious at all about their technology.

Posted by Player1
@Kajaah117 said:
" Good thing I'm just getting the add-on. Sucks for the newcomers that'll have to place their new Jet engine right on front of their TV. Unless of course this comes built into a newer, quieter, possibly slimmer 360... "
I think your taking "built in" a little to literally. I doubt that they will actually put natal IN the xbox. It would one, force them to totally re-invent the inside of the xbox, and two is unnecessary, because the current natal model isn't attached. So I don't see a reason to attach it. 
Posted by TheKidNixon
@Kajaah117 said:
" Good thing I'm just getting the add-on. Sucks for the newcomers that'll have to place their new Jet engine right on front of their TV. Unless of course this comes built into a newer, quieter, possibly slimmer 360... "
I kind of think that it has to be at least a little bit slimmer, if they're expecting people to slot it sideways into their home entertainment center. This is actually the one part where I wonder if the Natal device is actually in the box itself. That seems kinda...unwieldy to me. And yes, quieter would be nice.
Edited by Scieran

Despite the fact of being runned down by PS3 in many aspects and eventually all, they still persist on working on the same console with extra features hoping to get a couple of bucks off the majority of already owned 360 owners and the soon-to-be ones. I find it amusing, despite the fact that games for 360 can't exceed 9GB of data, game developers still develop for it, just for money. Basically, their top priority is money thus slowing down advancement in technology and ideas.

Posted by nanikore

DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS


Sorry, had to. It's the only thing that comes to my mind when I hear "Steve Ballmer".

Posted by TheKidNixon
@Player1 Quoting from the actual article in question:

"The console, which was described as having a “natural interface,” will have a built in camera with the ability to recognize movement and voice."

I think again that the original author could be mistaken/confused, but that is certain the impression Wolfgang Gruener (isn't a Die Hard villain?) seemed to have.
Posted by FlipperDesert

Sorry, I'm not buying a new Xbox to wave my hands around like a moron in front of the TV, especially so if you only get a creepy boy and breakout to play with, and there's no mention of an actual controller?

Posted by addictedtopinescent

Meh... 

If they fix how often those things RROD sure, otherwise, fuck that
Posted by Claude

They can call it what they want... next or whatever. If Microsoft learned anything from Nintendo, it's that old technology built new still sales and can sale big. Good for them, their first game should be a fitness game and to make it more fun add a bunch of minigames.

I would get it if Microsoft allowed a trade-in credit for older models of the Xbox 360.

Posted by Bubahula
@Scieran said:
"Despite the fact of being runned down by PS3 in many aspects and eventually all, they still persist on working on the same console with extra features hoping to get a couple of bucks off the majority of already owned 360 owners and the soon-to-be ones. I find it amusing, despite the fact that games for 360 can't exceed 9GB of data, game developers still develop for it, just for money. Basically, their top priority is money thus slowing down advancement in technology and ideas."

this is tottaly the guy who will always say M$ and make me laugh

that said i would rather just get the add on if anything
Posted by TheKidNixon

Final thought (for now) from me: Keep in mind this isn't really for us. They're going to be selling the Natal separately for people who already have a 360, and while they'd probably be keen on you getting one, they're really not doing it for you. They're doing it for the Wii crowd who have been scared of the 360 as a strictly game console. Between Natal, Netflix and all the social networking additions, its finally come to a place to be the thing that Microsoft always wanted it to be: the central multimedia device in your house.

Also, final final thought.

@Scieran said:

" Despite the fact of being runned down by PS3 in many aspects and eventually all, they still persist on working on the same console with extra features hoping to get a couple of bucks off the majority of already owned 360 owners and the soon-to-be ones. I find it amusing, despite the fact that games for 360 can't exceed 9GB of data, game developers still develop for it, just for money. Basically, their top priority is money thus slowing down advancement in technology and ideas. "
Ask Crytek how making games no one can afford to play goes.

Posted by Meteora

This is certainly interesting, yet I'm skeptical about the new Xbox unit being controller free. I wonder how expensive it'll be though, considering Project Natal looks relatively expensive due to the fact it's new (and pretty much futuristic) technology.

It could be fun dicking around when your drunk with Natal.

Posted by Upryse
@Scieran said:
" Despite the fact of being runned down by PS3 in many aspects and eventually all, they still persist on working on the same console with extra features hoping to get a couple of bucks off the majority of already owned 360 owners and the soon-to-be ones. I find it amusing, despite the fact that games for 360 can't exceed 9GB of data, game developers still develop for it, just for money. Basically, their top priority is money thus slowing down advancement in technology and ideas. "
Guess what you need to advance technology and realise ideas?
Posted by InFamous91

Price is all i'm worried about

Posted by LordCraven
@Chewii101:
PSP > PSP GO
Posted by infekt

Let's just see if any decent games come out that require it...

Posted by mordukai

I don't trust anything coming out of Steve Ballmer's mouth. 

Posted by Insectecutor

"It's just a gamecube with a motion controller!"
And it sold megabillions.

Posted by Aydin

I'd rather buy a new version of 360 to replace the one I bought in 2006, instead of buying an add-on.

Add-on is another word for "life support".

But before that, we'll see if Natal-enabled game lineup is a joke or not.

Posted by Chewii101
Posted by jonano
@Aydin:  well man because sony is makeing a moion thing dos that mean the ps3 is on life support as well and d wii with moion plus 
Posted by chililili

I hope its not integrated. I am surprised that no one has pointed out that if this was built in this way you would essentially be forced to put your 360 above your television or in a fairly high and visible spot for the camera to see you, which would seriously fuck a lot of people's home theater set ups in which they put hardware below the TV.

Edited by Aydin
@jonano: Yes, they're all on life support. The only reason they're making this stuff is that they can extend their consoles' lifespan and earn more money. This goes for all Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

Upgrading their current consoles is a much better decision in terms of money, since a totally new console would take a few years to develop and it doesn't have the user base as the current ones.
Posted by Psynapse

Awe god... they should of just stuck with a peripheral addition... Then Box them up together, not integrate both of them...

Next nintendo will integrate the Wii and Wii Fit, you'll put the Wii on its side, and jump on it...

Posted by MjHealy

Please don't make me cry. I hope its just an upgrade.... which I won't buy.

Posted by Brackynews

Buncha SKU-happy slappys, these blokes.

Posted by AndrewB

I thought they *just* got done shooting down this rumor?

Posted by Videogames

I figured it out guys, It's a conspiracy

Posted by OldBoyGamer

this cant be some ppl got there 360 on the flor .not on top of there tv :)

Posted by Kajaah117
@Player1 said:
" @Kajaah117 said:
" Good thing I'm just getting the add-on. Sucks for the newcomers that'll have to place their new Jet engine right on front of their TV. Unless of course this comes built into a newer, quieter, possibly slimmer 360... "
I think your taking "built in" a little to literally. I doubt that they will actually put natal IN the xbox. It would one, force them to totally re-invent the inside of the xbox, and two is unnecessary, because the current natal model isn't attached. So I don't see a reason to attach it. 
"
I hope you're right.
Posted by DarkEnzanArikado

Yay, stuff I am totally get going to spend money on!

Posted by Metroid545

no! power to the controllers!

Posted by freakin

I'm a little surprised I need to mention this to a gaming website that should've already known this, but MS announced at E3 that they would package Natal in with every Xbox 360 when it launched.  It sounds like they just reiterated that and you are acting like this is something new they brought up.

Posted by aaronness

does anyone just want to play with a controller?

Posted by TwoOneFive

this is why people abbreviate "Microsoft" like M$

Posted by Swick

Too much to hold out that the PS4 will still have a controller?

Posted by Dethfish

If Natal becomes the main focus of Microsoft then all hope is lost. The gaming industry will become centered around "Wii type" things. All I want is a damn controller in my hand and a game that has 20 hours of solid, in-depth gameplay. Not a game where I wave my arms around for 20 minutes before I realize the "game" is dumb as shit.

I think Natal is alright and even a "Xbox: Natal" would be alright but only if they still cared about the core gamers. I know it sounds dumb but if Microsoft makes a very Wii like console and it sells well then they might just do the nintendo thing.

This whole thing kind of makes me sick though. Not only do I not want camera controls on my console but I don't want another console at all. I just got my 360 about a year and a half ago. I don't want to have to buy another one already.

Posted by mordukai
@nanikore: How about..I LOVE THIS COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Edited by Duckbutter

Microsoft pimps said Natal can easily be implemented into older 360 games and seein how you can play Burnout Paradise with both a controller and a Natal its logical to assume that Natal will be more of an "option" to use for games rather than a Microsoft conspiracy to do away with controllers by 2011.
i think its a good thing tossin a Natal into an Xbox for new customers. they tossed mics in Xboxes and look how much more lively and chatty Xbox Live is. you dont get a free mic with the PS3. been on PSN lately? crickets is all you hear. Microsoft forced avatars on everybody why not shove the Natal up our asses? as long as the Natal doesn't become as useless as the PS3's Sixaxis then its all gravy.
Mike Tyson's Punch out looks like it'd be awesome with the Natal. jab jab jab uppercut block! lets hope they rob Nintendo of that idea.

Edited by MordeaniisChaos
@Player1 said:
"@Kajaah117 said:
" Good thing I'm just getting the add-on. Sucks for the newcomers that'll have to place their new Jet engine right on front of their TV. Unless of course this comes built into a newer, quieter, possibly slimmer 360... "
I think your taking "built in" a little to literally. I doubt that they will actually put natal IN the xbox. It would one, force them to totally re-invent the inside of the xbox, and two is unnecessary, because the current natal model isn't attached. So I don't see a reason to attach it. 
"

Should we take it in any way other then literally? When you say built in, you should mean built in. if you mean bundled, you should say bundled. What the hell else would built in mean if not... actually built in? I agree that it seems silly to actually do that, but I don't think it makes sense to assume they don't really mean built in.

Are they bundling or actually physically integrating it? Cause, physically intigrating something like that doesn't sound logical... Without like, a wall mount... lol
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