This Week in the Mercury


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Project Natal: Microsoft's Next Big Gimmick Thing

Posted by Earnest "Nex" Cavalli on Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 5:59 PM

E3 2009 was a surprisingly big deal. Nintendo announced new Metroid and Super Mario Bros. games, Sony showed the world that it still, kinda, sorta cares about the PSP and Microsoft ... well, Microsoft gave us this:

That's "Project Natal."

Looks cool right? Yeah, that's what my roommates said too. What both they and you — and the legions of gaming writers who were worked into a frenzy by Microsoft's video — is that this is exactly the sort of thing that we were all promised when Nintendo first showed off the Wii. "You'll be able to skateboard, just like in real life!" they said, and we all believed them, not knowing that the Wii would just be a silly marketing gimmick only appreciable by people who didn't play videogames to begin with.

I'm not saying Natal is destined to fall short of your expectations, or that it will only appeal to housewives and the elderly — people too oblivious to the actual promise of gaming as a medium to appreciate the "what could have been" of the situation — but until Microsoft actually releases this thing and it makes us all wet our collective underoos with delight, I'm going to remain cynical.

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