Here’s my immediate decision on Natal, and the future of gaming. Playing video games started with stereotypes of “nerdy people” with “no life”, and evolved into a stereotype nerdy people with no life looking as dumb as possible. If you aspire to look like a monkey on top of a barrel, then definitely keep reading.
In a recent LA Times article about Microsoft’s “Natal” technology, they announced a list of titles they had been given hands on time with earlier in the month. The titles include:
River Rush: Players are tasked with rowing a virtual raft down a vicarious river whilst evading your everyday river based obstacles. There is giant visual cues alerting players to the right direction to take around the course so you don’t get lost. This mini-game is designed to get players involved as simply as possible and not have to have them read a instruction manual.
Ricochet: Perhaps the best known Natal title. Ricochet sees players smack bang in the middle of a long corridor as dozens of red rubber balls are thrown at them. It is then your responsibility to throw your limbs around awkardly to stop the balls from achieving their goal of global domination. Two people can play this game, which I couldn’t imagine working well when you’re jumping around the room like Michael J Fox dancing in Back to the Future II.
Living Statue: Ever had the sudden urge to record your Xbox 360 Avatar dancing, singing and being an all round embarrassment? Yeah, me neither but none the less Microsoft caters for every individual need. Living Statue will let you record your Avatar singing and dancing, then beam it across the world to your friends.
Obstacle Course: Obstacle Course as the name suggests, allows players to jump, dodge, duck, dive and crawl through a virtual obstacle course. Not much else to discuss. Move along. My only gripe with this is, why are we actively replacing physical action with virtual action. Why pay money to do something you can more than likely do for free down at your local park?
It’s rumored that as many as a dozen Natal titles are waiting to be announced on Monday and Tuesday, but Microsoft has forbode the developers from uttering a word about them until after it’s keynote at E3 2010.