Nintendo “Turned Down” Chance at Project Natal Tech

January 27, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under Nintendo, Xbox

CVG has learned that Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata was shown an early demo of what would become Project Natal, but he dismissed the technology as he didn’t believe it could be launched at a mass-market price.

An anonymous source revealed that 3DV Systems – the firm apparently behind the technology Project Natal utilises – showed the technology to a gathering of Nintendo execs in 2007. The company was later purchased by Microsoft, paving the way for Project Natal.

“Iwata-San only ever invests in something he can guarantee will work for a Nintendo audience,” the exec told CVG.

“3DV showed off a camera that detected motion in 3D, and had voice recognition – but Iwata-San was unconvinced he could sell it at a Nintendo price point. He also had some worries around latency during gameplay.

Microsoft has never confirmed that Project Natal uses technology gained from the purchase of 3DV, but this revelation means it’s highly likely that this is the case. The source insists upon this.

“Honestly – I’ve heard Iwata describe the prototype he saw at length, and it’s definitely Natal,” added CVG’s source.

Does Nintendo have any doubts?

“We remain unconvinced Natal will deliver on the more sophisticated elements of what Microsoft is promising at the price they’re aiming for.”

I guess not, but I suppose the bucket loads of money they’ve made from the Wii pretty much says it all.

It’s not the first time Nintendo has decided not to pursue a new form of technology for consoles, as they famously cancelled a deal to jointly develop a CD-Rom add on for the SNES with Sony and Phillips. This technology would later be developed into the Playstation, and that’s one major cash cow that Nintendo missed out on.

Microsoft: Xbox 360 Isn’t “At the Midpoint Yet”

January 13, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, Xbox

microsoft-logo

You can put your cash away, because there won’t be a new Xbox on the horizon anytime soon if what Microsoft says is true.

The senior director of Xbox product management, David Hufford, has told the Guardian that both hardware and software upgrades will help prolong the life of the Xbox 360 for many years to come.

“I think it’s important to say that the Xbox 360 is the console of the long future for us. There is no need to launch a new console, because we’re able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Project Natal,” said David Hufford, senior director of Xbox product management in a briefing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don’t even know if we’re at the midpoint yet.” – Guardian

Hufford also spoke about 3D, saying that the 360 did not need to upgrade to support 3D since Avatar, which has a 3D option, is already running on the console. However, he declined to go into detail about the possibility of a Blu-ray drive or a new chipset.

Personally I don’t believe Project Natal will be the hit Microsoft is betting on (one of the reasons the Wii sold so well is because everything came out of the original box, so are people really willing to buy more peripherals just for something that only a few games might make use of?), but if it prolongs the life of the console then I’m happy with that. Although, another five years or so will see the Xbox 360’s capabilities extremely dated, but at least I don’t have to open my wallet yet.

Check out the rest of the article here.