updated 08:15 pm EDT, Thu June 18, 2009
Ballmer confirms new Xbox
Speaking at an Executives Club event in Chicago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed that a new Xbox 360 is expected to ship sometime in 2010. The upcoming system is described as utilizing technology "really, really, close" to an actuality, with the integration of a "natural interface" and a built-in camera. The sparse details may corroborate rumors that the next Xbox will be revamped with the company's Project Natal system.
The Project Natal technology, unveiled earlier this month, describes a system using a camera to detect a user's body movement. Characteristics such as posture and movement are translated into control signals. A microphone input expands the capabilities to include voice commands.
Users will be able to play games using the system, or even navigate through the menu interface. The technology will serve as a direct competitor to the Nintendo Wii and similar devices.
Although early reports suggested Project Natal systems would be offered as an add-on to existing Xbox systems, Ballmer's comments could be alluding to direct integration of the technology into the upcoming consoles. Recent photo leaks show a Jasper-based mainboard fitted with 4-gigabit NAND flash for 512MB of built-in memory.
Microsoft has yet to announce pricing or detailed specifications of the 2010 Xbox 360. [via IGN and TG Daily]