The lights are on
In the interest of courting ever-elusive mainstream press coverage, Microsoft has been spending recent weeks showing off Natal's most basic games to a number of non-gaming outlets. Two of these have been seen a good bit before, while two others have had very little info emerge thus far. The Los Angeles Times is reporting about its experience with the new motion sensitive device, and describes four projects in detail that have been seen in various incarnations over the months since Natal was announced. An Obstacle Course demo presents a sequence of challenges that require the player to twist, duck, and jump over objects. River Rush is a mini-game that has players rafting along past waterfalls and jutting rocks. Ricochet has become the most familiar Natal demo to many, with players spasmodically jerking about in front of the television to bounce balls back and forth. The game also offered Microsoft a chance to show off its facial recognition software, which will allow, among other things, for parents to lock certain games and experiences from their young children. Finally, Living Statue appears to be a continued push on Microsoft's Avatar program. This demo shows off the ability to have avatars dance and sing, with the added ability to email the completed video to friends. Taken as a whole, core gamers will rightfully scoff at the simplistic nature of these early demos. However, it's important to note that these first looks were specifically targeted to audiences without a gaming background. The more robust Natal experiences will undoubtedly get their time in the sun early next week, when Microsoft names their motion controller, and shows off the best the system can offer to serious gamers.
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