Natal will reinvent games industry - Kim

"Magical launch experiences" promised. 

Microsoft bigwig Shane Kim has said new motion-sensing technology Project Natal is set to reinvent the games industry.

"If we'd just come out with something that looks and feels like the Nintendo Wiimote, I think you could have fairly criticised us and said it was derivative. That's not the path we wanted to go down," he told GamesIndustry.biz.

"We could have done that, but we wanted to reinvent the industry and revolutionise home entertainment. That's what we will achieve with Project Natal."

Sony's set to launch its own motion controller in spring 2010. Or not: "They've said many things in the past and missed dates, so we'll see," said Kim.

"We're going to launch when we feel like we have the entire program ready to go, including the experiences and support from third parties. It's not a lot of time between now and the spring, considering it was just unveiled.

"The most important thing is this has nothing to do with Nintendo and Sony. This has everything to do with unlocking the potential of the industry and addressing the many millions of people - the 60 per cent of households who don't have a videogame console at all. That's the real opportunity for us."

According to Kim, developers and publishers are keen to see how the tech can help them reach out to the Xbox 360's userbase - which is already 30 million strong.

"It's not like launching a brand new console where partners make business decisions of when do they decide the installed base is big enough. This is something where we're going to have a lot of customers pretty quickly and we're focused on magical launch experiences to get this ball rolling right from the get go," he said.

Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux is one of Project Natal's biggest proponents. He demonstrated how the tech will work with his new game, Milo and Kate, at E3 last week.

"I've never seen Peter more excited and energised by anything like this since the initial Fable," said Kim.

"And now with Natal and Milo, you get a sense of what he thinks he's capable of. And believe me, Peter wants to lead the way. He's going to apply all of his experience, and it's a great analogy for Microsoft Game Studios. All of those game skills can be applied now with a new canvas with Natal."

You can read the full interview with Kim over on GamesIndustry.biz. Plus, check out the gamepage for our first hands-on with Project Natal and an interview with Peter Molyneux.

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Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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