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Microsoft dismisses Natal launch rumours

Details of launch date and price "weren't accurate," says UK boss Neil Thompson

Microsoft has distanced itself from reports last week on alleged launch details for Project Natal, claiming they "weren’t accurate" and insisting there remain "a lot of things to get decided".

The comments came last night at the London launch of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 autumn update, which launched today, bringing Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm and Zune Video Marketplace to Live users.

Asked if reports on pricing and shipments for its motion control technology were correct, Xbox UK boss Neil Thompson replied: "No. They weren’t accurate, they were rumours. I’ve got nothing more to say about it".

Pressed on whether Microsoft had decided internally on pricing, he revealed: "We’re still very much in the baking on Natal and there’s a lot of things to get decided on it."

Reports claimed Microsoft was aiming to release the Natal camera next autumn at or below GBP 50, with 14 games and 5 million units available on day one.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at the same event, head of Europe Chris Lewis added: "Now you know better than to listen to that stuff! We will announce in good time."

But Lewis was keen to talk up the work going on behind the scenes. "As you can imagine, we’ve shared this technology with our worldwide development partners now for some time, and the pace with which they’re developing the kind of experiences is just amazing," he said.

"I’m not going to be specific about what they might be, I will say however we’re committed to ensure those experiences are unique, compelling and very exciting right from the outset. That has to happen and that will happen."

GamesIndustry.biz will publish the full interviews with Thompson and Lewis later this week.

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