Rumor: Xbox Natal Could Be Actually Microsoft's Next Console?

Are we seeing a new approach on the side of console manufacturers? This looks like very profitable model. Added iterations, instead of 5-6 years complete overhauls.
As much as it seems profitable, it doesn’t really seem profitable for me[ as a gamer]. I think I’m finally joining PC gaming, if this really holds up to be true.

I’m about to suggest Xbox fetal, the 360 but with a more humane shape.

I can believe that they’ll rebrand the thing. I can believe that they’ll have hardware that looks different (it’s past due for a 360 Slim, isn’t it?).

I have a much harder time believing that they’d change the capabilities at all, and thereby fracture the development base.

Now /that/ makes this Natal idea more interesting.

What a bumbling and breathlessly absurd misconstruence of the facts.

This is interesting. Explain please :]

Prediction: nothing will happen.

eh, i call BS on this “rumor”

If PS3 wants to compete they need to go the opposite direction. Wii and Xbox are going with the “get up and jump around like a fool” mechanics. PS3 should be geared more toward the hardcore gamers.

Here’s how I’d do that…


Yes. The couch is the controller. Advanced buttsense technology combined with sticks and buttons built into the arms, and pedals that pop out from underneath. You never have to get off the couch to have a full body control experience.

The new Xbox console is said to be aimed directly at a mainstream audience – and will launch before Nintendo is able to release its Wii HD.

urrent Xbox 360 games would be playable on it, but future games would be able to take advantage of the added muscle. Similar to what we see in the PC space, games played on the more advanced Xbox would look or perform better, but publishers will still be able to support owners of both systems.

Why would MS release an upgraded 360 for a mainstream audience? I could see them releasing a 360 with a new design and a new name, but why would they need “added muscle?” The 360 is already more powerful than the Wii, and the Arcade is cheaper. Suddenly the casual care more about fidelity than core gamers?

Their examples of the Gamecube-Wii, DS-DSi, and PSP-PSP Go are mainly irrelevant, too. The DSi and PSP Go are still aimed at the same people who bought the DS and PSP, respectively. And the Wii was the death of the GameCube - how many games were released for both? One?

Yea, screw “You are the controller!” THE COUCH IS THE CONTROLLER!

Translation: there will be a new sku with natal bundled in, oh and there will probably be some slight revisions to the hardware.

They are trying to turn obvious statements into news here.

I’m expecting more RAM, a few gigs of flash built in, a bundled Natal, and maybe a smaller form factor. If they’re smart they’ll also commission a dumbed down version of Lego Rock Band that uses Natal to let you play air guitar and put that in the box.

Edit: Also, zero standard controllers in the box. If you want those you’ll have to pay extra. That keeps the price down and helps the updated hardware look friendly. “No complicated buttons to learn!”

Nah, I don’t see them adding more RAM (or CPU/GPU power). A gig or two of built-in memory, sure. Smaller form factor, yes. With the current hardware in the 360, I thought I’d read/heard somewhere that they could make the box smaller. I still think they’d pack a traditional controller in there as a way to sell these people traditional and XBLA games, but you’re probably right that all the instructions would have directions for the motion stuff instead of the controller.

I do not want to play a race game or a fps where I have to hold my ups the entire time to play.

Shieldwolf is out, guys.

LOL. God, that is fucking brilliant. I want a couch controller!

I agree. A significant control peripheral already has the problem of fragmenting your userbase. You have 40M Xbox 360s out there (by next year) and sell 10M project Natal* things over time. Yay! Except now developers have to ask themselves if they want to support ALL 360s, or just the smaller set that has the peripheral. Or do both with a game that has both regular and Natal-based controls, but that rarely has a great outcome.

Can you imagine if they split it FOUR ways in one fell swoop? You’d have 360, 360+Natal, new faster 360, and new faster 360+Natal. UGH.

Even if you completely ignore the Natal thing, a developer has to ask if they’re going to put in the effort to make their game look better or whatever on the new console. Or if that power would be required to run it at all.

MS can eliminate some of this by saying that nobody can make a game that requires the upgraded hardware - that you can only make a game that fully support both, with some enhanced graphics (1080p, longer view distances, 60fps instead of 30fps, whatever) on the new box. That would mitigate things somewhat.

I don’t buy it. More powerful hardware would cost less than simply a smaller-chip or combined-chip revision of the current hardware. They’re already trying to get people to buy this accessory as well, which adds cost.

I’m willing to bet something is getting lost in the communication of the source and rumor mill here. What I see as a reasonable tactic would be:

  • A rebranded Xbox 360 that comes with the Natal peripheral and maybe even no controllers. Perhaps with a different shape. The “upgraded hardware” has nothing to do with RAM or the CPU or GPU, but things like built-in Wi-Fi (which they desperately need if they want to increase the Live base), maybe no hard drive but instead a big hunk of flash RAM (instead of the small chunk in the Jasper units), maybe a slot-loading DVD drive, whatever.

I don’t think the expanded RAM idea floating around in the thread is a good idea. That’s no better than a more powerful CPU or GPU, really. It still splits the market with regards to game support, and it increases costs without a direct way to recoup it (ala Wi-Fi to get more systems online and onto Live) or as a necessity of design (slot-loading DVD for a slim form factor).

  • Okay, really, come up with a name already. This code name is killing me every time I type or say it.

They could call it…

Xbox 3rd World
Xbox Home
Xbox Home + Natal
Xbox Premium
Xbox Premium + Natal
Xbox Ultimate
Xbox Elite
Xbox with X-Couch
Xbox Jonah Falcon Edition

Then they’re approaching the Vista and Windows Se7en SKU schema.

I didn’t say I think it is a good idea. I said it’s what I’m expecting. I’m expecting this to be Xbox NGE. “We don’t like the audience we have now. They’re not lucrative enough. Let’s ditch 'em and try for the lucrative audience.” The results will be entertaining, but not very pleasant for anyone involved.