Up until now, we haven't actually been able to find out too much about the ins and outs of Project Natal. For all we knew, it's a technology designed in the back stall of a unicorn barn, and the final name will somehow involve diphthongs from both "lasers" and "Robot Apocalypse." All jesting aside, this really does mark the first bona fide announcement about the nuts and bolts behind Microsoft's forthcoming motion sensing add-on for its Xbox 360, and lo and behold, the revealing is being done by the same company we sat down with earlier this month at GDC. Quite a few of you assumed that PrimeSense's webcam was indeed Project Natal in camouflage when we posted up our original hands-on, and while we couldn't confirm or deny those suspicions at the time, we can today. So, what's this mean for you? It probably means that PrimeSense is actively looking to get its 3D-sensing technology (which has obviously been tweaked quite a bit by Microsoft, to its credit) into as many living room scenarios as possible, so what you're seeing in Natal might just appear elsewhere in the very near future. Did your imagination just run wild? No? Have a look back at our GDC experience and try again.
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PRIMESENSE™ SUPPLIES 3D-SENSING TECHNOLOGY TO "PROJECT NATAL" FOR XBOX 360
Ground-Breaking Optical Sensing and Recognition Technologies to Aid Gesture Control Platform
REDMOND, WA and TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (March 31, 2010) – Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq "MSFT") and PrimeSense™, the leader in 3D sensing and recognition technologies, announced today that PrimeSense will be providing its leading-edge 3D-sensing technology for use in "Project Natal" for Xbox 360.
"We've seen tremendous excitement and anticipation for the arrival of 'Project Natal' this holiday," said Ilan Spillinger, vice president of Xbox 360 hardware. "PrimeSense has delivered an important component to the technology, helping us deliver revolutionary controller-free entertainment experiences in the living room."
"PrimeSense's technology enables a paradigm shift in the way people interact with consumer electronic devices. The engagement with Xbox 360 establishes PrimeSense's position as a leading supplier of 3D-sensing technology," said Inon Beracha, chief executive officer, PrimeSense. "We are especially honored to have a partner like Microsoft who shares our vision for bringing innovative and engaging natural experiences to consumers."
"Xbox 360 Hardware Engineering teams developed the 'Project Natal' sensor based on the ™ reference design to support the special requirements of 'Project Natal,'" said Aviad Maizels, president and founder, PrimeSense.
Microsoft recently announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that "Project Natal" will be available during holiday 2010.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a premier video game and entertainment system. It is home to the best and broadest library of games, a streaming library of thousands of movies and TV shows in 1080p HD, and millions of songs connected to the television. The digital center of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content with the largest online social network connected to the television in the 23 million members on Xbox LIVE to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. With the addition of currently code-named "Project Natal" for Xbox 360, Microsoft will forever transform social gaming and entertainment with a whole new way to play - no controller required. More information about "Project Natal" and Xbox 360 can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/projectnatal and http://www.xbox.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
PrimeSense is the leader in sensing and recognition technologies enabling consumer devices to "see" environments and allow users to control and interact naturally with those devices in a simple and intuitive way. PrimeSense offers affordable solutions for consumer markets including visual/home computing, interactive entertainment and consumer electronics. PrimeSense products include the PS1080 System on Chip and PrimeSensor reference design, plus cross-platform enabling software to make application development easy and intuitive.
Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, with offices in North America, Japan and Taiwan, PrimeSense is a privately held company. For more information, please visit: www.primesense.com.