News – Project Natal now Kinect (details)

June 14, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Project Natal, Microsoft’s take on motion sensing, has been renamed, but it’s not the previously rumoured name of Wave. The device is now known as Kinect, of which Microsoft’s Stephen Toulouse feels to be a very fitting name Evoking both “Kinetic” and “Connection”, it embodies so much of what the technology achieves when you actually use it. Sure, it’s a made up word, and others have used it (try and find any pronounceable combination of six letters using he English alphabet that the Internet hasn’t combined). But I like that it isn’t something more common or mundane. The experience of using Kinect is deserving of its own descriptor.”

He understands that not everyone is going to like its final name though “People will either like it or dislike it, proclaim it to be an inspired choice or a mistake that will doom the product to failure.” he said.

But he also rightly suggests that a name is far from the determining factor of whether a product is a success or not “It’s interesting to me how much is put into a technology’s name.  I, like many others, decried Nintendo naming their new console the Wii.  And yet look at how many units it’s sold.  The trick is in the magic of the experience.”

In other Kinect news, the launch titles for the device so far revealed seemingly have a focus on casual gamers, comprising of mini game collections, a dancing game and a fitness game. No surprise’s there, as it’s a clear attempt to follow Nintendo in opening the gaming medium up to a wider audience. Hands on impressions from E3 attendees have been fairly positive, though some have complained of minor lag issues.

Still no word on a price or release date yet. We shouldn’t have to wait long to learn of those key details though, as Microsoft are expected to reveal all at their E3 conference tonight.