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Greenberg: 'millions of Natals in consumer's homes this holiday'

Discussing specifics of the company's forthcoming Project Natal, Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg told Joystiq, "We think that there will be millions of Natals in consumer's homes this holiday." To put that number into context, Microsoft sold 2.3m Xbox 360 consoles and Nintendo sold 1.7m copies of Wii Fit with bundled Balance Board in the US during the months of November and December, 2008.

"Millions" of Natal units in a single holiday season is certainly an ambitious goal and one usually out of reach of most video game peripherals; however, Project Natal will be released with more than a year of hype behind it, not unlike the highly anticipated Wii Fit. With more than 39 million Xboxes worldwide, there's certainly a large enough platform footprint, and Greenberg (re)assures us that Project Natal will work on every Xbox 360 released to date, whether a hard drive is present or not. "As far as I'm aware, there is no requirement for a hard drive," Greenberg said.

There is a 50mb software package that powers some of Natal's magic, which raises concerns that original Xbox 360 Arcade units wouldn't have the storage availability to use Natal. Greenberg assuaged our concerns, reminding us of Microsoft's NXE outreach, offering a free 512mb Memory Unit or a discounted hard drive. "It's kind of like the digital TV conversion you know, [subsidizing] the box," Greenberg said. "We did that with the New Xbox Experience because it did require some space and so we feel like now we're in an environment where we feel like we're fine."

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