Kim: Natal is a relaunch of Xbox 360

"It's not a new hardware architecture."

Microsoft bigwig Shane Kim has stated that the release of Project Natal will be "the launch of Xbox 360", and that no new console hardware will be involved.

"Absolutely. It will be that big," he told Gamasutra. "Now, the good news is that it's not a new hardware architecture; we're not forcing customers to have to go buy a new console because it will work with every existing Xbox 360 out there.

"But in terms of its importance and scale of what we're talking about, yeah, absolutely, it will be like the launch of a new Xbox."

Kim, who was omnipresent at E3, said similar things all show, citing an Xbox 360 lifecycle through to 2015, and explaining that the motion-sensing technology (that has its own processing power) is as good as a new console anyway.

And not only will Natal be "revolutionary", but Kim believes it will transcend comparisons with Nintendo and Sony, as the real goal is "unlocking the potential of the industry": reaching the millions upon millions of people with no console at all.

His comments discredit - but do not disprove - speculation that Microsoft plans to launch a new Xbox 360 console next year. Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg played down rumours of a new machine, too - as did Eurogamer's Digital Foundry blog with technical panache.

Project Natal has no release date as yet.

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