Microsoft Project Natal gets its final name: Kinect

The Xbox 360's upcoming motion controller has gotten its official name: Kinect. Formerly code-named Project Natal, the device has made headlines over the past few months for its novel approach to game control. Instead of pushing buttons or swinging a remote around, folks will be able to play Kinect-enabled games by wildly gesticulating in front of their TV sets. The new name sounds like a portmanteau of kinein, the Greek word for "to move," and connect.

USA Today broke the news yesterday, saying Microsoft staged a pre-E3 event at the University of Southern California on Sunday to promote the product. The event involved a performance by Cirque Du Soleil, and it gave attendees a glimpse at upcoming Kinect titles.

According to USA Today's story, those titles will include Kinectimals, Joyride, Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures, Dance Central, and some Star Wars titles being developed by LucasArts and Disney. In case you're wondering, yes, Kinect Sports will effectively be Microsoft's answer to Wii Sports, offering players a choice of "boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, track and field, soccer and table tennis" games all tuned for the new controller.

The report doesn't say anything about Windows support. However, almost a year ago, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates openly talked about connecting a Project Natal device to a Windows PC for office tasks. Considering Microsoft goes through the trouble of packaging Xbox 360 controllers specifically for use with PCs, a Windows version of Kinect doesn't seem too far fetched.

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