Is Project Natal A Step Into The Future Or A Bump In The Road?

Microsoft has been hyping up their newest creation, Project Natal, and it’s unveiling at E3 this year so hard that it’s knocking some people over. Between press releases and them “insisting” that you place their World Premiere for this new project on your calendar, it seems that we’re being bombarded with Natal. Now, I have to admit that I’m a lazy gamer, and the thought of having a hands-free system that will allow me to just move a little bit or twitch my hands (a.k.a. Johnny Neumonic style), does really intrigue me. I’m all for those sweet, high-tech gloves that Johnny Neumonic used in the movie to surf the web by simply opening up little boxes and so on. How sweet would that be? So will Project Natal really live up to the massive amount of hype being put you? Well, let’s hope so and let’s take a little bit better look at it.

First, let’s keep in mind that Microsoft first started banging on our gamer doors with Project Natal in 2009 at E3. Did it hit shelves and our grubby little gamer hands since then? No – much to my disappointment. But, those who tested it out were convinced that this was truly the future of gaming and more. Project Natal is a full body motion sensitive system used to control games on the Xbox, and is supposed to be set for Windows systems soon as well. Take a second for that to really sink in gamers… think about playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with this system. You get to really move, duck, shoot, run, sprint, you name it… through the game. What a workout! What a fun, kick-rear workout that would be! Or if CoD isn’t your bag, think about playing World of Warcraft with this system. You can really move your hands to craft your good, really swing that broadsword at that Worg’s head, really kick that annoying little murlock in the noggin when he calls his little magic wielding buddy over because he’s dying. Oh the thrills that this little system would really bring to our collective gamer hearts… *sigh* And, since this is a whole body system that takes every single movement you make and mirrors it on the screen… think of the fun victory dances you can do after that gruesome kill.

Ok, back to reality from that wonderful gamer fantasy.

I’ve read some of the critics comments. “Repetitive arm movements hurt”, “Even Wii motion controllers get tiresome sometimes”, and blah blah blah. In my opinion, these are either not hard core gamers or they have not tried this thing out to make up their minds. Being a hard core gamer myself, I have to admit that this system has me foaming at the mouth to get my hands on it, even if it makes me work a bit more in-game. Heck, I could stand to lose a few pounds – what gamer couldn’t?! I am sure that many, many hard core gamers around the world will agree and this system will sell out everywhere – when they release it that is. And, if Project Natal is going to be priced under $100, like some sources have leaked, man, I’ll be headed out asap to get one. I mean, heck the Wii Fit and other gadgets can cost twice that without being half way near as cool.

For those that were sitting in the wings wondering about what Microsoft had planned for this year at E3, well, Project Natal is it. If you are headed out to E3 2010, I would suggest you put this stop on your calendar as Microsoft will be holding their “world premiere” of Project Natal, and you don’t want to miss this “experience”.

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250GB Xbox 360 Hard Drive Released

Need a bigger hard drive for all of the DLC currently filling up space on your Xbox 360 HD? Microsoft finally has a solution for you! That is if you have the $129 in hard earned USD that it will take to get your hands on one. However, if you consider the 20GB hard drive is still hovering around $50 refurbished that price tag isn’t difficult to swallow.

The 250gb standalone drive includes a data transfer kit allowing you to transfer all of your precious saved data to the drive & comes loaded with an amazing array of junk such as HD game demos, videos and several Xbox LIVE arcade trials (which I’m sure most of you will remove right away). Although, if you read the official Xbox.com release info they tend to jazz that news up a bit more:

  • Highest hard drive capacity available: The Xbox 360 250GB hard drive is the largest hard drive available for Xbox 360.
  • Game downloads: Download game demos, Games on Demand, Xbox LIVE Arcade games, game add-ons and more from Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Keep all your game saves handy in one place with no worries about storage.
  • Videos: Download hundreds of movies in standard- and high-definition, as well as television shows, independent videos, game trailers, and lots more.
  • Other media: Rip CDs to the hard drive with reckless abandon and no concern for space constraints. Download music videos, gamer pics and dashboard themes, and store your own photos on the console.

The new standalone drive isn’t anything new to Japan. Fear not though, as of the 23rd it’s available from most of your favorite online retailers.

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