That somewhat lackluster tablet introduction wasn't all Microsoft had to show the crowd at CES last night. The company also played up Project Natal, saying the upcoming full-body controller will become available for "every Xbox 360" in the 2010 holiday season.
In case you missed all the commotion last year, here's how Microsoft describes the technology:
"Project Natal" combines an RGB camera, depth sensor and multiarray microphone running proprietary software that brings "Project Natal" experiences to every Xbox 360 console. The "Project Natal" sensor tracks full-body movement and individual voices, turning you into the controller for social entertainment available only on Xbox 360.
The depth sensor uses an infrared projector and a monochrome sensor to "see the room in 3-D under any lighting conditions," while the multi-array microphone can "locate voices by sound and extract ambient noise." Microsoft showed this promotional video with clips of Project Natal in action during its CES keynote:
While Microsoft's CES press materials don't mention PC compatibility, Shacknews points out that Bill Gates evoked non-gaming uses for Windows last summer. Gates said Project Natal could be hooked up to a PC and used for "meetings, and collaboration, and communication." Since Microsoft goes through the trouble of selling a specially packaged Xbox 360 controller for Windows, a Windows version of the Natal hardware may not be a stretch.