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Molyneux: Natal upgrades "countless"

Recent demos out-of-date, insists designer.

Peter Molyneux has moved to dampen fears over Project Natal lag, insisting there have been "countless revisions of cameras and countless revisions of software" since the demo units shown to press and celebrities in recent weeks were produced.

Following a recent London showcase, British TV personality Jonathan Ross commented via his Twitter account that Natal was "not quite there yet", which prompted Microsoft PR to confirm the hardware and game demo Ross played dated back to summer 2009.

Molyneux, who hosted an event with non-specialist media early last week at the same venue in London's Fitzroy Square, expressed his frustration at not being able to show the latest iteration of the Xbox motion-control technology.

"It's always a huge frustration as a designer when you see somebody play a version when you know it's been exceeded many times over," he said, speaking in an exclusive interview with our trade-only sister site GamesIndustry.biz at Lionhead Studios earlier this week.

"It so often happens, because you do a version for a show and then you don't do another version because you're too busy developing the game."

He added: "So very often you get a position that what a person's looking at is two, three, four months, a year old and you kind of want to go, 'no, no, it's 10 times better than that!' So it is very, very frustrating; it always is - there's just countless revisions of cameras since the one at X10 and countless revisions of software."

A Microsoft source went as far as to claim the Natal camera used in the London demos was only "one-tenth as responsive" as the latest iteration. The company is expected to reveal the final version of the hardware and the launch line-up of compatible software at E3 in July, with a release expected in the autumn.

Meanwhile, Molyneux revealed his excitement ahead of speaking at next week's GDC, stating: "I'll be showing off Fable III and we'll be making some announcements about [the game] and I've got a talk which is going through some of the big features. I'm really excited to show all the stuff."

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Johnny Minkley


Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.