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Xbox Project Natal C860b38dYou Might of heard of Xbox's Project Called Natal but do you really know what it is? Here are some FAQ of what its going to be like and a short video of what you might expect it to be. I was amazed when I first heard about it. It will be working for all Xbox 360 no matter which one you got. All you need it a Hard Drive to support it. Sorry if its not the normal news blogs I post I wanted to post something different and something that people always ask me. I will be doing more of these if this gets a hit it won't be every week but it will be something worth sharing. Enjoy! Smile
What is Project Natal?

Project Natal is Microsoft's 3D camera for Xbox 360. It tracks people's motions in three dimensions and has a microphone capable of voice recognition. It is to be used as a controller-free method of playing video games, tracking the player's body movements and voice and transferring that information directly to the gaming console.

Microsoft has described the codename as having several sources. "The name "Project Natal" has several sources. Microsoft Corp. traditionally uses cities as code names. As a result, Alex Kipman, who incubated the project and is from Brazil, chose Natal, a city along the northeastern coast of Brazil, as a tribute to his country. In addition, he knew that Natal also means "to be born" in Latin. Given the new audiences "Project Natal" will bring to Xbox 360, this felt right."

When is it coming?

No official release date has been offered by Microsoft. That said, you can expect it to release in the latter half of 2010. The CEO of THQ, a third-party videogame publisher and developer, mentioned this release window during a financial call earlier this year. IGN has had this expected release period confirmed by developers off of the record as well.

How does it work?

Project Natal uses an RGB camera, an infrared projector and a monochrome CMOS sensor. The RGB camera tracks basic colors and enables features such as Natal's ability to recognize faces. The infrared and CMOS sensors work in tandem to create a 3D image of the room. Microsoft claims that it is this combination of several sensory arrays that allow Natal to work in any light condition.

This data is then combined with proprietary algorithms to map a wire-frame skeleton of the player in real-time. It is this extra layer of processing that allows Natal to continue working even if something wanders between the player and the camera. This wire-frame system also allows Natal to recognize four players at once without getting overlapping limbs confused.

In addition to its visual sensors, Natal has a multiarray microphone that can "locate voices by sound and extract ambient noise." This will allow for individual voice recognition and headset-free chatting in online games.

How much will Natal cost?

At this time there is no information from Microsoft

Will Natal work with a PC?

As of today, Microsoft has only presented Natal as an Xbox 360 peripheral. However, there is reason to believe that it will also be usable on your PC at some point. Bill Gates has been quoted as saying that the Windows group has "latched onto" Natal's technology and is eyeing it for use in home entertainment and office applications.

Given the support for Windows PC that Microsoft has offered to Xbox 360 peripherals in the past -- both the Xbox 360 controller and Vision Camera work with Windows -- it seems likely Natal drivers will be released at some point.

How is this different from Nintendo's Wii remote or Sony's upcoming motion controller?

Natal is the only motion controller that doesn't actually use a controller at all.

Does Natal replace the XBL Vision Camera?
Though Microsoft has not explicitly stated that Natal replaces the Vision Camera, that peripheral has already seen its support all but disappear.