Microsoft’s upcoming motion controller for its Xbox 360 home console is on target for release this year, despite some rumours to the contrary, but the hardware has been scaled back a bit.
Microsoft has been receiving a lot of attention for its Project Natal, which aims to add motion control to the Xbox 360 without users having to actually grip a controller as on both Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 3 motion control add-on. Now though, word comes via VG247 that Microsoft has cut the processor from the camera that acts as the sensor for Project Natal in an effort to ensure that the device is cheaper at retail.
Clearly, Microsoft is walking a fine line with its Natal kit; while there are continuous attempts being made to ensure that the hardware isn’t exorbitantly expensive when it launches, in the face of devices like Nintendo’s Wii, there have also been concerns raised about the efficacy of Project Natal’s model for motion control.
Last month, it was observed that a significant number of those reviewers and journalists who have had a chance to spend some time playing with Project Natal have reported that there’s a degree of lag between input and that action being replicated on the screen.
It’s hard to imagine the removal of the processor from the Natal camera will result in that lag being removed, but given how little people seem to have seen of Natal lately, it’s entirely possible that the kinks have been worked out and Natal is ready for some fast-paced play already.