Project Natal – work on new games has begun

Three months ago, at this year’s E3 show, Microsoft showed off its impressive looking Project Natal games system – we covered it in a story called Project Natal – Microsoft outWiis the Wii? Project Natal – thankfully its only a working title – is a games system with no handheld controller, instead, the controller is you, your movements and even your gestures are picked up by an RGB camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone.

Today, at the Tokyo Game Show, there’s been announcements from the who’s who of the games publishing world that games are Project Natal are being worked on right now. That’s companies like Activision Blizzard, Bethesda Softworks, CAPCOM, Disney Interactive, Electronic Arts, Konami, MTV Games, Namco Bandai, Sega, Square Enix, THQ Inc. and Ubisoft – and this group is responsible for more than 70% of third-party videogames. They received game development kits from Microsoft in early June.

“Microsoft ‘Project Natal’ could fundamentally change the way players experience sports games,” said EA Sports president Peter Moore. “At EA, some of our top development teams are experimenting with these tools with the goal of delivering a completely fresh take on genres like sports and racing.”

Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer of Ubisoft, was equally enthused about the new opportunities Project Natal offers. “Ubisoft sees enormous opportunities with ‘Project Natal.’ With the 3D camera, your body can become the interface,” Any barrier related to the use of pad controllers that may have existed for potential gamers is now abolished. Ubisoft is already taking advantage of this major evolution to design new types of gaming experiences and attract more people to play video games.”

In case you missed what Project Natal is, here’s a video demo of it in action. You’ll see that it’s about more than just videogames, there will also be features for other areas of home entertainment.