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MS: "Natal isn't just about gaming"

New hardware is about the whole living room experience, says Xbox 360 GM

Microsoft's upcoming Project Natal motion-sensing hardware has been created as much to enhance the living room experience as it has for playing games with, according to Xbox 360 general manager Marc Whitten.

Speaking to Fast Company, Whitten said that Natal had also been designed to replace the multitude of buttons and remote controls in people's living rooms, and that it might eventually be able to react to a user's response during a television event such as a football match.

"If you counted the number of buttons in your living room, it would send a chill down your spine," he said. "A lot of people can play games amazingly well, but others feel locked out if games involve a bunch of triggers and buttons."

"But Natal isn't just about gaming," he added. "It's about all living room experiences. Imagine a sporting event. Natal could know which team you're for because it sees your jersey, or knows you thought a bad call was made when you yell 'boo.'

"It learns about you and gets smarter to create a more tailored entertainment experience."

Microsoft's Natal is due out before the end of the year. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter recently speculated the new hardware would likely be bundled with a new Xbox 360 slim model for $299.

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