Microsoft's Natal originally passed on by Nintendo

Satoru Iwata

With Microsoft throwing their full weight behind the ambitious Natal project, it’s no secret that the phrase "motion-control" has become something of a hot topic within the industry and many are eagerly anticipating the capabilities of the new tech.

Interestingly, Natal’s future could have been written differently if Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata had more confidence in marketing the technology.

According to a "top insider" corresponding with website CVG, Iwata was shown a preliminary demo of Natal by development company 3DV Systems back in 2007 as a potential accessory for the Wii.

However, while enthused about the tech, Iwata remained hesitant to the marketability of the product, and consequently passed on the investment.

"Iwata-San only ever invests in something he can guarantee will work for a Nintendo audience.

"3DV showed off a camera that detected motion in 3D, and had voice recognition – but Iwata-San was unconvinced he could sell it at a Nintendo price point. He also had some worries around latency during gameplay."

Iwata’s concerns involving controller latency has arisen before among other reports involving pieces of the hardware being removed to accommodate pricing criteria.

While Microsoft has remained silent regarding any specifics to changes in Natal’s hardware or problems thereof, the mention of 3DV Systems by the insider certainly sheds new light on who is confirmed to be connected to the project.

As corroboration, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto has previously stated that the company had ample opportunity in the past to utilize motion-control technology akin to Natal’s, but ultimately forged ahead without it.

"This type of motion-sensing camera technology has been around for quite a while. [We’ve] ultimately made the decision not to take advantage of what they can do."





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Author: Omri Petitte View all posts by

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