updated 11:05 pm EDT, Fri June 12, 2009
Project Natal and New Xbox
Microsoft's Project Natal could not just be an add-on for the Xbox 360 but the foundation of a new Xbox altogether, according to fresh rumors. Those at 1UP hear that the full body motion controller will be the "cornerstone" of a new console and come with it. Details of the new Xbox itself aren't clear, but it's believed the machine could be an evolution of the Xbox 360 that has extra performance but which could still run legacy games. It would ship in fall 2010 and could be announced as early as the Game Developers Conference in March of that year.
The as yet unnamed system would be an obvious reaction to the success of the Nintendo Wii, which became the fastest-selling console in US history this week by reaching 20 million sales. It has a crude motion detection system relative to Natal but, combined with successful casual games and a typically lower price, has consistently outsold Microsoft's console since its debut.
Sony has been developing a motion-based wand controller for the PlayStation 3 that would sit between Microsoft and Nintendo in terms of features but which would require an Eye cam and isn't likely to replace the Dual Shock as the primary control method on that system.