Project Natal Suffers Lag

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Microsoft’s upcoming motion controller for its Xbox 360 games console may well not see the wide range of implementation that the company had originally hoped due to a noticeable amount of lag between the “controller” and the console.

TomsHardware is pointing to two separate reports that Microsofts attempts to add motion sensitivity to its current console line-up have hit some fairly major stumbling blocks. In both reports on the hardware, it seems that those who had actually had a chance to get their hands on the device were pretty much universally impressed by the innovation, but far less so by the performance, which they described as having lag on the input.

This will be good news for both Nintendo and Sony. Nintendo’s Wii is being fortified now as the only console that can currently provide the kind of real-time motion control that it seems people will demand from current generation consoles. Similarly, Sony’s PlayStation 3’s motion control effort looks that bit more similar to Nintendo’s, in that it boasts its own controller.

By contrast, Microsoft’s project natal simply detects motion on the part of the user actually playing the console, meaning that there’s an awful lot being done by the Xbox itself in figuring out the motion-control elements.

So, it seems that Microsoft’s current motion-sensitive arrangement for the Xbox 360 isn’t quite stacking up as well as it’s been touted, but that’s no surprise, given that it’s all still under development. We’ll be curious to see in the coming months whether or not Microsoft can work the lag out of Project Natal before release. If it manages to, the project will certainly be an interesting one… if not, the Xbox 360 could start looking decidedly less attractive over time.

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