Bethesda dev: Microsoft should allow non-gaming Natal apps

By on May 20, 2010, 11:32 AM
In the run-up to Natal's debut, more and more developers have gotten the chance to see Microsoft's upcoming motion-sensing peripheral in action. Among them is Bethesda' production director Ashley Cheng. Writing on his blog, Cheng said he was "blown away" by the potential of Natal and believes that Microsoft should take a page out of Apple's book and open up the device to non-gaming applications. In his view, Natal "seems wasted on games" but if the company were to provide access to the device's API then hobbyist developers could really take things to a new level.

Cheng's comments follow similar calls for 'openness' from Valve CEO Gabe Newell regarding the PlayStation 3, and Ubisoft calling both Natal and the PlayStation Move "revolutionary".

Indeed, Microsoft has expressed interest in taking its motion-sensing technology beyond console gaming. Without delving too much into details, Bill Gates said about a year ago that Natal will also come to Windows and that its depth-sensing camera won't be limited to gaming use, but for media consumption as a whole. He also said Natal could even find a place in the business world for interacting in meetings, communicate and collaborate.

Initially, however, the focus will more likely be on gaming. Project Natal should finally get a more consumer-friendly name at E3 in Los Angeles next month, where Microsoft is expected to officially launch the device.

User Comments: 4

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Guest said:

From previews i've seen natal is set to be a huge bust, all I'm hearing is hype with no real facts or videos on quality just fake trailers that preview no actual functions. It should open up natal to everything and i bet there holding off to make more money off it, you know 360 everything has a price.M$

Guest said:

Would love see an application for Natal that could respond to commands done with hands like sign language. Never have to look for the remote ever again.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It would be great for navigating a file system on a computer.

Minority report had a pretty good "future" computer. One thing I really wish I could do is smoothly move playing media across devices, like they did in the movie. So if you're watching a video on one computer, you could move it to the side of the screen and onto an adjacent screen, like a tablet, and have it smoothly transition and keep playing on the new device with no interruption.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

i agree that Natal should be used elsewhere. I don't have an Xbox & don't feel to ever get one this gen but who knows maybe later on.

I'm a PC & PS3 gamer so will certainly MOVE in 3D sometimes in the future.

MS Side i've been a fan of 'SURFACE' & quite impressed with Natal but i'm not really sure to want it for gaming, maybe for general purposes, so i wish someday it comes to the PC-Windows platform & then you can be sure i will buy it, even if it is for some games, but mostly for automation.

Imagine the PC connected to a few OLED monitors here & there, with some wireless Natal cameras connected - the possibilities are just great & i'm sure i'll even add SURFACE to the big kit

OK, it's official, Natal & Alan Wake are my ONLY actual Xbox360 envy. SURFACE works with the PC.

Let's wait & see.


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