My Indepth Reaction To The Project Natal Video

Are they high?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_txF7iETX0

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87 Responses to My Indepth Reaction To The Project Natal Video

  1. soup says:

    I think they’re forgetting their major target demographic: fatties.

  2. Owain says:

    Must be some embedded video or something the firewall is blocking. What am I missing?

  3. Vargen says:

    I can see plenty of uses for visual and voice recognition capabilities. I’m not so sure that Microsoft has though.

    I can’t see replacing the controller with pantomime as actually working. Humans use tools. The Wii works because the remote gives you something physical to interact with.

  4. Cedia says:

    I imagine this could turn any MMO into a heart-attack-inducing workout — if it worked properly.

  5. neispace says:

    Vargen the Eye Toy had several games where you could do that for PS2. They weren’t bad but it was very basic. However some of this honestly seems impossible. I don’t know how a camera could “scan” a skateboard to any resolution as well as be able to pick out the movements to kick it when its floor level. I’m also wondering how feasible it is to pick up separate voices, or to distinguish the separate motions a person makes responsively enough to make a game out of it.

    They would need to have some serious tech to do so, and even then.

  6. Aler says:

    This video is totally fake: No child knows who Millard Fillmore is.

    And no couple will ever choose to watch “Independence Day” together.

  7. Arkenor says:

    That looked awesome, but I have grave doubts that the technology would be anywhere near as good at picking up movements just yet.

    Still, as a vision of where games are heading, its a pretty exciting one.

  8. Tipa says:

    This was fabricated. There’s a real demo which is more realistic and also a lot less fun-looking — essentially, it’s the EyeToy. Except this one knows your name and is voiced by the original voice actors, too, which means, knowing XBL, that voice actors probably spent extra time in the recording studio carefully pronouncing ‘xXx1PwNdU1xXx’ into the microphone,

    What really gets me is the Milo demo. Assuming the heavily, HEAVILY scripted video is at all real (and he will call you by name in his own childlike English accent) —

    1. Why do I care if a game character is doing their homework?
    2. And why would I HELP them with it?
    3. How can the lady be nervous about the E3 demo when she’s an actress in a studio in England probably days or weeks ago? Isn’t acting her JOB?
    4. Why would I even notice the character stumble?
    5. In fact, why would I even talk to it?
    6. How fun would swirling your hands in virtual water be? Would it be fun for five minutes? Ten seconds? Ever?

    Given that unless the Xbox suddenly has enough power to do convincing AI with natural language recognition and the ability to read faces for emotional cues and wants, needs and desires of its own as well as empathy for another (hint: currently impossible with any machine), making this an elaborate joke on gullible E3 attendees — why would I ever play a Milo game? Do I currently want to devote a portion of my life to helping a game character do their homework?

  9. Makaze says:

    If this was actually going to work even remotely close to that well on an affordable piece of equipment in the next 5 years I would be thrilled. Of course it can’t and won’t since the cameras, processing power, and software to make that all happen would cost a small fortune. It’ll happen someday, but whoever green lit this is smoking crack if they think that video is in anyway an accurate representation of the potential capabilities of even next gen hardware and utterly brain dead if they think it will run on a 360.

    Then again I have actually worked with several Microsoft VPs so I can’t say I’m too suprised…

  10. Informis says:

    That family’s carpet is toast.

  11. Vetarnias says:

    Xbox: Proudly creating the next generation of middle-class twits seeking fun, fun, fun from cradle to grave.

  12. Tipa says:

    I do have to admit I’m excited about playing a racing game that requires a real life pit crew to sit around while I play.

  13. geldonyetich says:

    The depression’s on. Why not usher in a new era of buyer’s remorse?

    Of course, what I’m more worried about is that they’re looking at the Wii’s success and thinking, “Hmm… you know, Nintendo was really on to something – ditching their core fan base to cater to non-gamers with gimmick gadgets is the way to go.”

  14. Bonedead says:

    Whatever they’re on, I’ll take two.

  15. wufiavelli says:

    I would not say high, more like a hallucinogenic like lsd or shrooms.

  16. Noel Walling says:

    I’m just as unimpressed by Nintendo’s offerings. The best thing they showed for me was the Metroid & Mario stuff, and yet, I probably still won’t play it because the rez is so poor on modern TVs.

  17. Tuebit says:

    lol … the pit crew game mechanics looked very enjoyable! /sarcasm

  18. midian says:

    Seeing this reminded me of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql-UZv3AS-E .

  19. geldonyetich says:

    Then there’s the inevitable one-upping:

    Bodies? Pah!

  20. Gx1080 says:

    1)With current technology, no way in hell (Or much, much less acurate).

    2)Mainstream =/= dumb. Please, spare us of more commercials of generically cool kids laughing at imapropiate moments. (Was in a guide for making videogames, just with “For the love of what its holy, dont sell your film rights to Uwe Bowl”).

    3)0:07 “Product vision; actual features and functionality may vary”.

    4)Wii its crap, the damn thing never want to pick up when i grab it.

    5)They are high, but just for wanting copy Nintendo.

  21. Vetarnias says:

    Makaze :
    If this was actually going to work even remotely close to that well on an affordable piece of equipment in the next 5 years I would be thrilled. Of course it can’t and won’t since the cameras, processing power, and software to make that all happen would cost a small fortune. It’ll happen someday, but whoever green lit this is smoking crack if they think that video is in anyway an accurate representation of the potential capabilities of even next gen hardware and utterly brain dead if they think it will run on a 360.
    Then again I have actually worked with several Microsoft VPs so I can’t say I’m too suprised…

    And I can’t possibly see how they would manage it from just a little box beneath your TV screen. Full-body motion capture, really? I’ve heard of some mocap technologies that don’t require markers nowadays, but you would still need cameras from multiple perspectives for it to work. Either you hang them around the room like a surround sound system, which is cumbersome, or they’re both integrated within the Xbox (in which case it would probably be shitty when the perspective varies by only a few degrees). And then, what’s the cost?

    Also worth considering is what the impact will be on game developers. So you should leave open a bit of coding where anything can be inserted within a game just by scanning it with your Xbox? So you should have graphics for every possible body gesture your average family can come up with, and it should play in real time?

    When I first watched that video, I thought that that hideous carpet was part of the system, like those dance pads or Twister mats. Apparently not. It’s the only jarring point in the furnishing — that is, if you’re into sterile visions of future home decorating that really exist only in the pages of Better-Than-Yours Homes and Gardens.

    “The only experience you need is life experience”? Doesn’t it seem like the picture-perfect people in the video don’t have a life? And I can’t imagine the conversation and movements around that room with the new Xbox system around — it will probably end up like in those old spy films when the hotel room was full of hidden mikes, and you decided it was a fine moment to enjoy Beethoven at full volume. Here, how convenient, the thing’s a CD player, too…

  22. sidereal says:

    Actually, I think Microsoft developers in general aren’t high enough. If you’re given the concept of total body control and the best you can come up with a skateboarding game, you lack imagination.

  23. Daniel says:

    @soup

    And the home run is hit in the first post. The technology is cool and I can see it being used in lots of places, everywhere except gaming as a matter of fact.

    Overweight middle-aged people are already at a disadvantage in WoW due to age related decline in reaction times. Now you giving them this. FAIL.

  24. Gx1080 says:

    @Vetarnias

    The WHOLE commercial was sterile, because it was done for an sterile marketing team only interested in money.

  25. Exeter says:

    OMGZ! It’s the Wii-killer!
    …or not.

  26. thundercock says:

    the examples they provide are fine and all, but why dont they try showing the larger gaming a community a not gay game demo? like, i dont know, halo maybe since the fanbois love it so much? or maybe KOTOR? or even guitar hero. id like to know how such innovation will replace button mashing.

  27. geldonyetich says:

    Shut up. It will be awesome. A company is at steak.

    Stock tip: There will be horseradish.

  28. John Arras says:

    soup :I think they’re forgetting their major target demographic: fatties.

    I’m not worried. I heard they’re porting Katamari Damacy for us so we can roll around on the floor and collect things as we go.

  29. wilhelm2451 says:

    I am torn between hating this ongoing conspiracy to get my ass off the couch and my love of anything that will keep me from ever having to leave the house again.

  30. Longasc says:

    I would prefer a good computer game over some kind of pseudo-sport workout. I am no fan of the Wii, and this just goes the same route.

  31. Evil Henchman says:

    @geldonyetich
    well done, please.

    And btw. the TV set is way too small 🙂

  32. Makaze says:

    @Vetarnias

    you hang them around the room like a surround sound system, which is cumbersome

    This is the only way I can see it working at all. Even then the current tech is a bit dodgy, and really only works under ideal conditions. Less than ideal conditions like oh say someone wearing a shirt that’s a similar color to their skin or maybe owning a pet that happens to walk by tend to make them freak out.

    Also worth considering is what the impact will be on game developers. So you should leave open a bit of coding where anything can be inserted within a game just by scanning it with your Xbox? So you should have graphics for every possible body gesture your average family can come up with, and it should play in real time?

    I’m sure there would be a horrible v1 API that is borderline unusable and not actually what MS codes any of its 1st party apps in, like all MS APIs. Even then virtually any features you were to include from a system like this would be totally custom. For character controls you’d either have a predefined set of valid gestures or link the players skeleton to the avatar skeleton (provided it’s roughly a bipedal humanoid). Neither of which is hard from a game perspective, but a massive technical hurdle for the API.

    Really this is nothing more than a new control set, just like the Wii-mote was and we’d likely see a similar pattern where 1st party titles are good since the control API is written specifically for them while most 2nd and all 3rd party titles are complete crap for a few software cycles as the official API improves and/or the various teams manage to write their own based on earlier failures.

    That’s all speculation mind you, and about a pipe dream of a system that won’t exist anytime soon so it’s doubly worthless 🙂

  33. Makaze says:

    @John Arras

    I’m not worried. I heard they’re porting Katamari Damacy for us so we can roll around on the floor and collect things as we go.

    That would be awesome! Though at that point I kind of wonder why I don’t just make my self a suit made of alternating stripes of velcro and coat everything in my house likewise. New genre LAK – Live Action Katamari

  34. Nerd Rage says:

    Another useless, gimmicky peripheral debuts at E3? I’m truly shocked!

  35. Mark Asher says:

    Tuebit :
    lol … the pit crew game mechanics looked very enjoyable! /sarcasm

    That part made me laugh out loud.

    It all looked ridiculous. Who wants to hold a pretend steering wheel? That’s what five year olds do.

  36. Vetarnias says:

    Makaze :
    @Vetarnias

    you hang them around the room like a surround sound system, which is cumbersome

    This is the only way I can see it working at all. Even then the current tech is a bit dodgy, and really only works under ideal conditions. Less than ideal conditions like oh say someone wearing a shirt that’s a similar color to their skin or maybe owning a pet that happens to walk by tend to make them freak out.

    Also worth considering is what the impact will be on game developers. So you should leave open a bit of coding where anything can be inserted within a game just by scanning it with your Xbox? So you should have graphics for every possible body gesture your average family can come up with, and it should play in real time?

    I’m sure there would be a horrible v1 API that is borderline unusable and not actually what MS codes any of its 1st party apps in, like all MS APIs. Even then virtually any features you were to include from a system like this would be totally custom. For character controls you’d either have a predefined set of valid gestures or link the players skeleton to the avatar skeleton (provided it’s roughly a bipedal humanoid). Neither of which is hard from a game perspective, but a massive technical hurdle for the API.
    Really this is nothing more than a new control set, just like the Wii-mote was and we’d likely see a similar pattern where 1st party titles are good since the control API is written specifically for them while most 2nd and all 3rd party titles are complete crap for a few software cycles as the official API improves and/or the various teams manage to write their own based on earlier failures.
    That’s all speculation mind you, and about a pipe dream of a system that won’t exist anytime soon so it’s doubly worthless

    It also makes me wonder what sort of living room you need to have to play all this correctly. I don’t live in a soulless suburban mini-mansion; I live in a decrepit apartment with little space, and my living room is oblong with the length of the room cut in half by the entrance door on one side and a corridor on the other, not to mention the balcony door at one end of the room. To give you an idea, in the video, the distance between the couch and the shelves under the TV is probably wider than my living room; now imagine having furniture against both walls, and a coffee table in the middle. Oh, and did I mention it is the largest room? Now, try playing the way they do in the middle of that.

    I think the video is just some promotional BS and that 90% of the stuff in there couldn’t be accomplished for the mass market within my lifetime. But really, motion capture? I’d still have to make do with the furniture and the lack of space, but I guess I wouldn’t be part of the target demographic — the vacuous entertainment-till-you-drop crowd that still has money to burn (or thinks it has). Chalk it up to my working-class frugality.

  37. Vetarnias says:

    Mark Asher :

    Tuebit :
    lol … the pit crew game mechanics looked very enjoyable! /sarcasm

    That part made me laugh out loud.
    It all looked ridiculous. Who wants to hold a pretend steering wheel? That’s what five year olds do.

    Until, at 16 or so, they still play pretend driving with a real steering wheel and real traffic.

  38. Xoduz says:

    Ah. In 15-20 years we’ll look back on ads for this wacky product with nostalgia. Or at least with much glee.

  39. Raad says:

    WTF ADS

  40. djw says:

    It does say it’s a product vision, and a very cheesy one at that, but when you see people doing things like
    http://www.etre.com/blog/2008/05/cam-trax_bringing_gesture_recognition_to_your_webcam/
    and
    http://www.cmpe.boun.edu.tr/~keskinc/
    and
    http://symmetri.blogsome.com/2008/06/20/simple-gesture-recognition-2/

    already for free with webcams, it kind of takes the edge off my cynicism a little bit.

  41. Freakazoid says:

    @midian
    I saw eternal champions when they got to the actual gameplay and had a massive nostalgia flashback. Thanks for this!

  42. Dave G. says:

    I’ve never seen anything more ridiculous than that guy changing the tyres on the car. Who on earth is going to sit next to you for hours on end – primed with adrenaline pumping in anticipation of his moment to shine, no doubt – until you get to the one point in the game where you need to make a pit stop?

    “Go into the pits, your tyres are blown!” Yeah, you kind of have a vested interest in that happening buddy, I’m not sure how trustworthy your advice is.

    @Vetarnias

    While I agree the bland, generic, even sickening, completely devoid of any personality family used to portray the ad has all sorts of things wrong with it, I couldn’t let the jabs at entertainment go unanswered.

    What exactly is wrong with wanting entertainment? What is wrong with seeking “fun, fun, fun from cradle to grave”? When your life is over and you’re about to die, you aren’t going to say “gee, I wish I had less fun and worked harder and longer hours – that would really have made my boss happy!” Life is here to be enjoyed, the fact that you can’t enjoy yours doesn’t make other people stupid for wanting to enjoy theirs.

  43. Mist says:

    Someone needs to do one of these parodies for Natal.

  44. Anonymous Coward says:

    I just ran into a friend that works for Xbox marketing and mentioned that I’d seen this dumb video and how ludicrous it looked. He claimed that the whole thing is real and that he’s used the controller and it really works. Kinda boggles my mind. I still don’t really believe him.

  45. geldonyetich says:

    I just ran into a friend that works for Xbox marketing

    There’s your answer.

    He kinda wants to keep his job. He’s not going to talk down the product he sells.

  46. […] Microsfot about to revolutionize the gaming world. Broken Toys My Indepth Reaction To The Project Natal Video from the comments: […]

  47. Einherjer says:

    “What is wrong with seeking “fun, fun, fun from cradle to grave”?”

    Nothing. But along the way, people turn into these sacks of meat and bones who work their asses off and then have mindless driveling fun in front of the bland entertainment du jour. The same mindset that makes people rush to buy a iPhone or the next crap Apple releases with a “i” in front, or flocking to buy the latest Twilight or see the latest edition of Idols or what have you.

    There’s nothing wrong with that. Not everything must be intellectual requiring a college degree to access, but nowadays the “fun, fun, fun” mindset turns anything deep into something shallow for easy consumption trying to reach the maximum number of people using the lowest common denominator.

    By all means enjoy your big mac and coke, your kate perry, your dan brown. I know I do and i really do, not being sarcastic here. But please, for once try anything different, a movie with subtitles, a book about an historical figure, a game about a blob, i don’t know… SWomething different, contrary to the usual definitions of “fun.” People would be surprised how much fun they can have without explosions or sickly sweet romance.

    In other words, grow a pair and move away from the flock once in a while. You won’t regret it.

    And yes, I am a pompous ass (thus invalidating all your rebuttals).

  48. Clade says:

    Too much internet. I got to the end and was expecting to see how the dual cameras and motion capture integrated with their sex life.

  49. gyrus says:

    sidereal :
    Actually, I think Microsoft developers in general aren’t high enough. If you’re given the concept of total body control and the best you can come up with a skateboarding game, you lack imagination.

    This is true.

    Also, I will repeat what I said on MMORPG.com
    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/238314/page/1

    Full body motion capture does have potential for lots of applications but we humans are very peculiar in that we require tactile feedback (along with visual and audio).

    Gaming often requires fine motor skills (in the demo video most of the applications were capturing large body motions).

    It would be great combined with another controller as well though (for the fine motion capture).

    Lots of potential though.

    The voice recognition has the greatest potential for gaming.

    FWIW I do believe the system works – I have seen some other control techs in development that track hand movement, eye movement, facial expression etc.

    But, as pointed out, they can be spoofed either deliberately or accidentally.
    Nothing would annoy gamers more than a controller which failed to interpret their movements correctly (at critical times) on a semi frequent basis. (That’s why I don’t own a Wii – and that controller was very good, just not good enough)

  50. Flimgoblin says:

    Just don’t scratch your nose while you’re driving your F1 car…

  51. Riftstalker says:

    Well, I do remember ANOTHER video (search for “vista voice recognition”)… So let’s just say it won’t work as expected, i.e. like you and I expect it to work.

  52. EpicSquirt says:

    Wtf, no BSODs?

  53. Outlawedprod says:

    http://procrastineering.blogspot.com/2009/06/project-natal.html

    “A large team of very smart, very hard working people were involved in building the demos you saw on stage. The part I am working on has much more to do with making sure this can transition from the E3 stage to your living room”

    “once you have the 3D information, you then have to interpret that cloud of points as “people”. This is where the researcher jaws stay dropped. The human tracking algorithms that the teams have developed are well ahead of the state of the art in computer vision in this domain. The sophistication and performance of the algorithms rival or exceed anything that I’ve seen in academic research”

  54. DoubleD says:

    I be very surprised is voice recognition worked as well. This product would be trashed the first time I would say something and it would register something else and fail the game.

    New level of frustration.

    Cast Fire Ball!

    Casting Feather Fall! The dragon eats you.

  55. Vetarnias says:

    Dave G. :
    @Vetarnias
    While I agree the bland, generic, even sickening, completely devoid of any personality family used to portray the ad has all sorts of things wrong with it, I couldn’t let the jabs at entertainment go unanswered.
    What exactly is wrong with wanting entertainment? What is wrong with seeking “fun, fun, fun from cradle to grave”? When your life is over and you’re about to die, you aren’t going to say “gee, I wish I had less fun and worked harder and longer hours – that would really have made my boss happy!” Life is here to be enjoyed, the fact that you can’t enjoy yours doesn’t make other people stupid for wanting to enjoy theirs.

    Einherjer made a very good comment, but I wanted to make my own.

    The problem with the sort of entertainment portrayed in the video is that it’s the type of empty entertainment that leaves nothing behind. Action games and such. And the films aren’t better — and it’s not even “play film”, but “play movie“. All of it instantly delivered to the comfort of your own home. (Did anyone notice that the house seems completely devoid of books?)

    The video is a celebration of hedonism at its most superficial. I’m sure the bicycle in the background must have two inches of dust on top of it. Virtual communications are favoured over real-life contact. And it tells you to consume for frivolities. You don’t have a dress for the party? Just buy one! If you can afford an Xbox system such as this one, you must have plenty of money, right?

    So many things creep me out in that video: The picture-perfect family always smiling, worthy of Sears catalog immortality. The kid who owns a skateboard, and seems quite good at it, but would rather use a scanned copy of it in a video game rather than play with it on the sidewalk (unless paradises of suburban bliss have dictatorial municipal laws, of course), likewise the rest of his unbearably thin and physically active family (haven’t they dropped enough hints?). The far too trendy elements of the home decorating (did you notice the walls made of blackboard with scribblings on it?), to compensate for the austerity of the setting. The offensively conspicuous affluence of the family (stainless steel appliances, etc.), while you know they’re probably always muttering that their taxes are killing them when they’re not busy smiling.

    If not for the technology, fashion and the black family next door, you’d think this was made in the fifties.

  56. Gx1080 says:

    @Vetarnias
    You know, i do think that dumbing down to the lowest standart just for wanting to copy Nintendo its wrong, but i feel a certaing degree of hostility angainst “the fifties concept” on your side, why bothers you so much? Woooh its looks fun, until they release it, turns out a glorificated, bug filled Eye Toy and people stop buying it.

    Anybody with a degree of knowledge in technology can predict that. No reason for all the anger, i mean you must be pissed when you look at Wii commercials.

  57. Makaze says:

    @Gx1080
    He’s experiencing the same bitterness that is pervading a lot of the rest of America right now. We’re all coming to the realization that the “American Dream” and all that goes along with it has just been a fanciful lie. Our political and business leaders have, through greed and ineptitude, taken what was promised to us as our birthright and sold it for their own short term gain. Seeing a family that embodies that stolen dream (and perhaps carries it well beyond that into annoying territory) tends to evoke bitterness.

    Is any of that correct? Dunno, only Vetarnias knows but I’m willing to hazard a guess that’s at least part of it, even if it’s subconscious. Is it “right”? Again don’t know, and in this case don’t care, it’s what a lot of people are feeling.

  58. geldonyetich says:

    It’s not so much that the video is conceived with this perfect nuclear family because they’re trying to pigeonhole us into this unrealistic expectation. It’s that the video is conceived with this perfect nuclear family because it’s what too many of us expect them to deliver in order to go along with the idea.

    It’s really hard to pitch a technology when the script calls for:

    Little Billy: “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, shit, shit, shit, shit – haha! I was wondering how long it would take those fags to ban me from that server.”
    Little Amy: “You wouldn’t be able to do that if mommy or daddy were here.”
    Little Billy: “Yeah, but mom works three shifts and dad was killed in Iraq. Fuck off, bitch, I’ve servers to ruin.”
    Little Amy: “*Sob* Turn on Milo! I want to talk to Milo! He understands me!”
    Little Billy: “I keep telling you, Milo’s not real. Watch this, I’m going to scan my ass and use it as my avatar. X-BOX Natal! Scan my ass!”
    Little Amy: Sobbing, runs out of the room.
    Little Billy: “Fuck her. If I didn’t get to piss off these bitches, I swear I’d go out back and kill myself.”

  59. tmp says:

    Dave G. :What exactly is wrong with wanting entertainment? What is wrong with seeking “fun, fun, fun from cradle to grave”?

    WALL-E offers one answer, pretty good at that.

  60. savagex says:

    Novel. Hope it works as well as they say it does. Probably vaporware though.

  61. Mortarion says:

    geldonyetich :
    “X-BOX Natal! Scan my ass!”

    In the name of one-upsmanship, I posit that (were this thing actually to ever be released and actually somehow work like it shows in the video) within five minutes of release, hundreds of douchebags would have their junk scanned and posted anywhere you could use ‘scanned’ items.

  62. Random Poster says:

    Eh this was actually hooked up to burnout paradise and worked. The only problem was the throttle, basically you moved your foot up you were full speed down and it was no throttle, no gradiation between it. All other controls worked, could use your hand like it was on a gearshift and such. I didn’t say you won’t look rediculous playing it 😛 All on a game that was never designed for it so yeah it COULD work, I just don’t know. Prior to the release of the Wii I would have said no way in hell would something like this sell. I hate using the Wii because people tend to look retarded when playing the damn thing..this is more so in my mind but who knows.

  63. Vetarnias says:

    Makaze :
    @Gx1080
    He’s experiencing the same bitterness that is pervading a lot of the rest of America right now. We’re all coming to the realization that the “American Dream” and all that goes along with it has just been a fanciful lie. Our political and business leaders have, through greed and ineptitude, taken what was promised to us as our birthright and sold it for their own short term gain. Seeing a family that embodies that stolen dream (and perhaps carries it well beyond that into annoying territory) tends to evoke bitterness.
    Is any of that correct? Dunno, only Vetarnias knows but I’m willing to hazard a guess that’s at least part of it, even if it’s subconscious. Is it “right”? Again don’t know, and in this case don’t care, it’s what a lot of people are feeling.

    Pretty much, but with a few differences.

    -I’m Canadian, not American. The national vision up north prides itself on not being American, so you don’t get an exact replica of the “American Dream” up here.

    -I am not “coming to the realization” that the American Dream is a lie. Being from a working-class background (though I have a university degree in one of the more useless disciplines), I’ve been exposed to the middle-class “me, myself and I” all my life. As not one of the beneficiaries of the American Dream, I am immune from it. In a way, this recession has just opened people’s eyes, but I already know that nothing whatsoever will change during or after it. The poor were already invisible before it; they will continue to be so, no matter their numbers. It’s not part of your culture to acknowledge their existence, unless you can attribute their poverty to a fashionable culprit, like racism.

    -Opening up a can of worms here, but I still can’t understand why Obama is being regarded as a saviour. The political system that put him in place is the same that put Bush in the White House, and it hasn’t changed a jot. I tend to believe that he is an elitist who does not care much for the blue-collar or rural demographics, and I wonder what would have happened if the Republicans had not self-destructed. I’m almost expecting their comeback in 2012.

    -What bothers me about this video is how blatantly advertisers can be hypocritical without being held to account. It’s the high-profile marketing mentality that still considers it’s business as usual out there, that they can go on peddling expensive, superfluous products as though they are living in a self-contained bubble that bears no resemblance to the real world. (GM is finding out about that, too.)

    It’s so similar to the fifties that when I read “nuclear family” I cracked a smile because of the unintentional pun. It reminded me of that scene in the last Indiana Jones film, before Indy uses the fridge as an atomic shelter. You know, those mannikins in front of the TV about to be blown off as part of a nuclear test? They reminded me of this perfect family here, as though there was some horrible fate waiting for them just after the cameras were turned off.

  64. Gx1080 says:

    @geldonyetich
    You are a bad, bad man.

    Swaping ther subject, how the Xbox Live current community would react to the casual-friendly community of the Nintendo-ripoff?

    That would be an epic battle. And filled with heavily edited penises. The litteral e-peen competition.

  65. hkedi says:

    Not really, THIS is what somebody makes when they are high.. Full of awesome too.

    http://www.thebeatlesrockband.com/cinematic.php

  66. Gx1080 says:

    @Vetarnias
    Ohhhh. I see. Personally, i always thought that the “American Dream” does exist, its just that its reserved for the mafia and/or politicians.

    About Obama, thers 4 reasons for his popularity:

    1)Hes black.
    2)Hes a democrat.
    3)Mc Cain its senile and the others are just dumb (Lesser evil).
    4)Hes realist in the fact that he cannot fix the economical mess in 4 years.

    Commercials arent supposed to represent reality. They are supposed to make people buy stuff. And sorry, thats not going to change anytime soon. Dont let it bother you too much 😉

  67. Frank says:

    Lot of cynics up in this mug.

    Gx1080 is right. This is a marketing pitch. Marketing pitches have been full of campy, contrived stuff for years. The rise of Viral Marketing, or hard-edged sales pitches, hasn’t really had value until the parallel rise of the Intarwebz, where people can trade opinions about something back and forth instantly. This necessitates a change in Marketing in general that hasn’t quite taken hold (as shown by the Natal vid here).

    Honestly, it isn’t motion control that drives this evolution (or malarkey, if most of you prefer to call it that) of gaming but more of a desire for immersive, interactive game experiences. The family/casual gamer is simply an easy target audience for profiting from that desire. I expect the core games to take advantage of the technology in future years, should the sales trends for this stuff continue (sorry guys, the sales figures don’t lie – people eat this stuff up even if it isn’t your cup of tea).

  68. djw says:

    You should read the link posted for Johnny Lee’s blog (http://procrastineering.blogspot.com/2009/06/project-natal.html), which also contained this one in the comments

    http://kotaku.com/5276789/from-stick-figure-to-mind+blowing-controls

    I becoming more convinced I think…

    It’s not hard core gamers that they’re going for, though I bet they include an ‘old-style’ controller in the box for them 🙂

  69. J Malcolm Grey says:

    I had this exact same conclusion, word for word, run through my head after 20 seconds of watching that trailer. And now I don’t feel so alone.

  70. Random Poster says:

    When this launches I would like to see a “real” game alongside whatever party game that is going to be packaged with it. Get a feel for what it can do with a game designed around it.

    I do wonder when it will be ready, nothing was mentioned of a possible release for it and if it goes past 2010 that puts it close to the next console cycle. A notoriously bad time to be introducing any kind of peripheral.

  71. Makaze says:

    Random Poster :
    I do wonder when it will be ready, nothing was mentioned of a possible release for it and if it goes past 2010 that puts it close to the next console cycle. A notoriously bad time to be introducing any kind of peripheral.

    Well if it were to work anywhere near that well then it would be a great time to launch as it would drive new console sales and let them win that generation of the console wars. See the Wii for an example.

  72. Beene says:

    I expect this to be a reality just as soon as Duke Nukem becomes a reality. How about Duke Nukem on the Natal? Nothing like seeing 8 year old Billy get a lapdance then blow away some bad guys.

  73. Yumi says:

    It reminds me of the original ads for the Xbox (the first Xbox).

    As for the “mindless entertainment” point of view.. unfortunately, we have managed to create a generation which seems to believe that anything that is not your job should just be mindless, because after all, if there was any demand for it there would be jobs, and if you were any good at it they would be your job.

  74. Mortarion says:

    The other question is, if it even works, how much is such an advanced piece of technology going to cost? I can’t imagine that a system that has the power of a modern console *and* this advanced camera scanning facial/body recognition hardware and software is gonna be cheap.

    Is there really a market for consoles more expensive than the $600 PS3?

  75. Random Poster says:

    Makaze :

    Random Poster :I do wonder when it will be ready, nothing was mentioned of a possible release for it and if it goes past 2010 that puts it close to the next console cycle. A notoriously bad time to be introducing any kind of peripheral.

    Well if it were to work anywhere near that well then it would be a great time to launch as it would drive new console sales and let them win that generation of the console wars. See the Wii for an example.

    If it were to wait that long they would be better off just not releasing it for the 360. People would accept it better as part of a new system better than they would as a peripheral for an old system that happens to work on a new one.

  76. Centuri says:

    Or just make it work on both the 360 and the newer model. Provided you by a $69 “adapter.”

  77. Yumi says:

    I think they’re saying that if there is an Xbox 720, it’ll be an upgraded 360 with all games compatible. Lots of industry people are saying that there just isn’t going to be another “console cycle” because the point of diminishing returns has been reached, and content is only getting more expensive.

  78. EpicSquirt says:

    So, does nobody think that this is some kind of unfair advertisement? Even without Peter Molyneux it all looks like nice vaporware to me.

    Probably a good chance to squeeze some more money out of Microsoft (hello European Union Competition Commissioner).

  79. Random Poster says:

    1: They aren’t actually selling anything at the moment. It doesn’t even have a proper name yet

    2: Showing the hoped for capabilites of a product in the future isn’t false advertisement. It doesn’t become so until the product is made and doesn’t meet those claims but still advertises them.

  80. EpicSquirt says:

    What happens if we find someone who wanted to buy a Wii and didn’t because of Project Natal and then if we find out that Project Natal was just a dream which didn’t deliver the promised functionality? People are already writing about how it will kill the Wii.

    Think we can safely conclude then that Project Natal was a vaporware from the beginning.

    It’s not like Microsoft hasn’t been cought with vaporware before (http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/claw/Vaporware.htm). From what I rememeber an anti-vaporware-law in the makings didn’t pass in the US.

    I find the amount of bullshit going in the industry nowdays quite astonishing (Mythic with DAoC Origins, 3D Realms with Duke Nukem Forever and now this).

    I think that if you advertise something, you should be legally forced to release it within a specific amount of time, bound to the features which you have announced.

  81. Eric Kearns says:

    American Dream? What the hell is that anyway? I’ve lived here for 35 years and I dont own and run a business… I dont have picket fences… I dont have 10 acres and cattle… I dont own a gun…

    I guess I have some freedom to do quite a few things I want and say a few things I want.

    The problem with this market jive is the message in itself. We cant make a car in America that doesnt suck ass and we cant compete with so many of the top producing electronic nations. Why the hell would I think this is any different? Getting someone on the phone to handle some paper work screw up for an insurance claim is like pulling every tooth out of my head with a pair of snips. Getting a repairman to the house in less than a month is impossible. Counting on something made in America to work at all is futile. Why should I not be skeptical? Vista? Used that turd lately?

  82. Random Poster says:

    EpicSquirt :
    What happens if we find someone who wanted to buy a Wii and didn’t because of Project Natal and then if we find out that Project Natal was just a dream which didn’t deliver the promised functionality? People are already writing about how it will kill the Wii.
    Think we can safely conclude then that Project Natal was a vaporware from the beginning.
    It’s not like Microsoft hasn’t been cought with vaporware before (http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/claw/Vaporware.htm). From what I rememeber an anti-vaporware-law in the makings didn’t pass in the US.
    I find the amount of bullshit going in the industry nowdays quite astonishing (Mythic with DAoC Origins, 3D Realms with Duke Nukem Forever and now this).
    I think that if you advertise something, you should be legally forced to release it within a specific amount of time, bound to the features which you have announced.

    “What happens if we find someone who wanted to buy a Wii and didn’t because of Project Natal and then if we find out that Project Natal was just a dream which didn’t deliver the promised functionality? People are already writing about how it will kill the Wii.”
    In the future I will be designing a car that gets 750 MPG.

    Are you going to NOT buy a car now?

    It doesn’t meet the requirements of false advertisement. You have to HAVE a product to advertise it. Right now it’s not an official product.

    “Think we can safely conclude then that Project Natal was a vaporware from the beginning.”

    Can’t do anything of the sort. Everything Natal does is possible to a degree now so I think it’s pretty safe to assume SOME form of NAtal will ocme out. Whether it delivers everything they think it can is another story.

  83. geldonyetich says:

    You know, I’m as cynical as the next guy, but I’m willing the humor the possibility — and it would have to be a remote one based off of what we’ve seen so far — that Project Natal can indeed do what it says in the video.

    Of course, it would have to be really slick coding to not overwhelm the X-Box 360 (which has a fair amount of computational firepower but wasn’t designed with massive optical I/O exchanges in mind) and it might involve certain aspects you don’t see in that video (such as having to wear extra transmitters and deal with glitches) but they might manage a passably good imitation of what you see there.

    The thing is, what’s portrayed in the video is not all that different from technology we can already see, such as the EyeToy. They just have to take the implementation a little further. And why wouldn’t they be able to? That was a PS2 the EyeToy ran on.

    That said, if anyone designs a game where I’m forced to find a family member to jump off the couch and navigate a stupid minigame so I can continue playing, I’m marking it down as complete casual-player crap before I even see a screenshot.

  84. geldonyetich says:

    Three days ago at E3, apparently Playstation 3 announced their version.

    Looks a lot more realistic – this is probably what they’ll end up having on Project Natal too – the players will actually have to hold something.

    Of course, we’ve known since the WiiMote that tracking the X,Y,Z of a contrller was possible. The really ballsy thing about the Project Natal video is suggesting the players can do it without any controller in their hands at all.

    Very tricky business, getting the digital to recognize the analog like that. However, impossible? Not necessarily. The EyeToy managed to provide some control via this interface and (again) it ran off last-gen hardware.

  85. EpicSquirt says:

    @Random Poster
    It’s not about desinging something in the future! It’s about pretending that something is almost ready for the market, as Microsoft does it right then when two major competitors are about to present their new/upgraded controllers. Did you actually watch the videos, especially the one with Peter Molyneux?! He clearly says that it’s working today already.

    “Microsoft Whacks the Wii: A First Look” – http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1902208,00.html

    I have a superior camera, a superior microphone, a superior scanner here at home (in comparison to what Project Natal will provide) and even with some alien software I don’t see the devices tracking 48 of my body joints or scanning drawings on the fly and incorporating them into a virtual world instantly or distinguishing me from my buddies.

  86. djw says:

    http://wham.canoe.ca/360/2009/06/01/9638836-sun.html. This is the second columnist I’ve seen who has actually played with this hardware – the other link above is a game that already exists with this controller retrofitted into it (Need for Speed I think?). Seems fairly substantial vaporware.

    Personally I bet it’s an adapter and they get to keep the installed base as well as having a lower price point.

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