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Project Natal recognizing retail shelves in 2010, says Ballmer (update: maybe not)

Ross Miller

Despite our incessant pleading, not a soul at Microsoft -- including newly-minted media darling Kudo Tsunoda -- would give up a release window for Project Natal, except to say "not in 2009." Well, at least we know we won't be waiting too far into the future. Company CEO and cheerleader Steve Ballmer told attendees to his speech at The Executives Club of Chicago today that the Xbox 360 motion control interface is coming in 2010. That's still a large timeframe, but hey, at least you can go ahead and start planning your block-breaking 2011 New Year's Eve party now.

Update: Looks like Steve might've spoken out of turn. Microsoft just us over an official statement reiterating that they "have not confirmed a launch date at this time." Full reading after the break.

"As the Xbox team stated at E3 two weeks ago, we are not even halfway through the current console generation lifecycle and believe Xbox 360 will be the entertainment center in the home for long into the next decade. Project Natal will be an important part of this platform, but we have not confirmed a launch date at this time."

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