Industry shows overwhelming support for Project Natal

Almost 50% of survey back Microsoft device, less than 7% 'most' looking forward to PS3 motion controller

Microsoft's Project Natal is the most anticipated technology to be released this year, according to a survey of games industry professionals.

49.8 per cent the Network members taking part in an exclusive poll backed Microsoft's motion control device, due for release around the Christmas season this year.

In comparison, only 6.9 per cent of respondents voted for Sony's PlayStation 3 motion controller, while a further 4.5 per cent highlighted motion control technology in general as a significant step forward for the industry this year.

Publisher support for Project Natal has been more significant, although notably very little software has been shown publicly. Activision, Capcom, Konami, Bethesda, Disney, Square Enix and Sega are all on board, and Ubisoft has said that it has twice as many games in development for Natal than for Sony's peripheral.

THQ has pledged day-one support for both devices, and in an interview with today, EA's Jens Uwe Intat said that EA Sports Active – originally a Wii exclusive – will "extend to the other two platforms."

The PlayStation motion controller – rumoured to be called Arc – has been confirmed for a worldwide autumn release this year, meaning both systems are likely to go head-to-head during the Christmas sales period.

While only two 3D console games were released last year (Ubisoft's Avatar and Namco's Invincible Tiger), the future of stereoscopic gaming also piqued interest in the annual survey (7.1%), as did the future possibilities of cloud gaming services such as Gaikai and OnLive (3.8%).

Other technology mentioned included the rumoured Wii HD, a true successor to the DS console, the evolution of gaming on Facebook and other social networking sites, DX11 for PC gaming and games built using Crytek's CryEngine 3 console engine.

The Network currently consists of 11,414 members.

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