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River Rush sighted in Natal video

"Jet engine" to Wii's "invention of flight".

An American journalist has previewed Microsoft's Natal motion controller for Xbox 360, with an accompanying video showing the first glimpse of rapids racing demo River Rush.

The start of the video shows a dinghy pelting down a river, before cutting to the journalist playing the game with his son and a Microsoft rep, frantically paddling with their arms, jumping and leaning into corners. You see them playing the ball-batting game Ricochet, too.

Writing it up for Parade, the journalist, A J Jacobs, said that River Rush "was my favourite, a real head-rush inducer".

We first heard of River Rush back in April when Hollywood screenwriter James Gunn blogged about it. It's not yet known if it's just a demo, a full game, or part of a mini-game package: "these may not be the games that are actually released," Jacobs said.

Overall Jacobs was impressed with Natal. "I had to agree with [my son] Jasper when he said the technology is 'awesome'.

"How revolutionary is it? Well, if the birth of Nintendo's Wii was akin to the invention of flight, Project Natal is more like the invention of the jet engine. It's not the first to the scene, but it's surely a game-changer." He also said it was more "advanced" than Sony's PlayStation Move.

Jacobs' children - aged six and three - showed leveller heads. "Do my sons like Natal better than Wii? Not yet, they say. They'll need more time with it at home."

Will River Rush be present when Natal is officially unveiled on Sunday night in Los Angeles, just ahead of E3? You'll find out right here.

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