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Project Natal unveiled as new 'controller' experience

Steven Spielberg takes to the stage to praise Microsoft for "landmark" technology

Microsoft has unveiled its much-rumoured new motion controller with first details on its Project Natal - a camera-based system which allows gamers to use their whole body as a control mechanism.

The technology, introduced by the platform holder's VP of Interactive Entertainment Don Mattrick, has been shown to a number of game development teams already - and also legendary movie director Steven Spielberg, who admitted that he was impressed by what he'd seen.

"The only way to bring interactive entertainment to everybody is to make the technology invisible," said Spielberg in reference to a conversation he'd had previously with Mattrick.

"Two months ago Don shared with me the Natal experience, and the gamer in me went out of my mind," he continued, adding that the Xbox 360 technology was a "landmark".

Among the games demonstrated on-stage were an action-sports title and a painting application, both of which clearly showed the accuracy of the motion capture technology.

Mattrick also noted that the technology would be compatible with all Xbox 360 consoles out there, those sold both in the past and the future, before Lionhead president Peter Molyneux took to the stage to showcase what the UK-based developer had been doing with Natal - namely a demonstration of adding emotion to the interactive experience.

Molyneux demonstrated an application featuring a virtual boy called Milo, which proceeded to converse realistically with Lionhead team member.

"This is about you meeting a character, a person," he said, before revealing that some members of the press at E3 would be able to meet Milo to see for themselves.

"This is true technology science fiction has not even written about, and this works, now, today."

No timeframe for the release of Project Natal was given.

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Phil Elliott avatar

Phil Elliott