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.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 9 years ago

    For really cramped quarters such as those in Japan or Hong Kong, I can imagine a lot of smashed LCD TVs with this one.

    • blitzy
    • 9 years ago

    damn, its disappointing too see kinect is mostly kids stuff…. ah well

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      You were hoping for the pelvic thrust UI?

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 9 years ago

        That could work as a way to reload weapons, I think.

    • FireGryphon
    • 9 years ago

    Nearly 20 years later, the SEGA Activator idea is going to be popular?

    • steelcity_ballin
    • 9 years ago

    I can’t wait to get my achievement for “Spousal Abuse: Hard Right” Unlocked. Wait… does it have sensitivity senors for a jab verses a haymaker?

    • ronch
    • 9 years ago

    Kinect? They wanna call that Kinect? Why not XSensor or anything with an ‘x’ in it? And no, not Xinect.

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    I can only imagine the awesome of a Natal used in a miniaturized form for a laptop. Instead of touch screens, which invariably involve smearing fingerprints on your screen, you point in the air above the screen, Minority Report-style.

    Sure, a mouse can still be used for fine work, but a lot of what we do is just tabbing between browser tabs, clicking links, pausing and playing videos, etc. Hell, imagine a Natal-based camera that follows your fingers on the keyboard and reads gestures from there, meaning you don’t even raise your hand to control it.

    I’m excited about this technology, but not because of gaming. At least not yet. I think Sony’s closer to the right idea with the webcam + Wii-scheme because it combines a lot of the advantages of Nintendo and Microsoft’s approaches. Not all of them, but a lot of them.

    But I think Microsoft could (not saying they WILL) pull an Apple and revolutionize PC controls with Natal if they really want to. A scheme they could lock Apple out of, a scheme that will likely require more power than a tablet-based OS CPU can handle atm.

    I think Natal has real promise for PC control. I think Natal can be used to great effect for gaming. I just think Microsoft is going to have to get over itself and add Wii-like controls to the platform. If they don’t do it today, they’ll do it when the next Xbox comes along. I think buttons are more useful than they’ve allowed so far.

    However, I think in interface/GUI control this device could be truly awesome. I hope they realize what they have here…

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      I am absolutely not waving my arms around at my computer for 10+ hours a day.

        • HisDivineShadow
        • 9 years ago

        Do you actively move your mouse for 10 hours straight? Or do you use it in bursts and then let your hand rest on it?

        Hell, tell people from decades ago that we’d be “typing for 10 hours a day” and they’d have the same reaction as you.

        Either by touchscreen or air-waving, mice won’t remain the defacto interface forever.

          • indeego
          • 9 years ago

          “Either by touchscreen or air-waving, mice won’t remain the defacto interface forever.”

          But waving your arm out to change an application will?

          A mouse has very precise control. Your arm doesn’t. Try this: Move your hand over your head as fast as you can and stop it right in front of your display.

          Now move your mouse to top right corner and click. Which was more precise? Which instilled more confidence? Which could you do 100 times a dayg{

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        I sort of imagined that you did that anyway.

          • UberGerbil
          • 9 years ago

          No, only one, apparently.

      • Xenolith
      • 9 years ago

      Looking forward to interpretive dance passwords.

        • UberGerbil
        • 9 years ago

        And criticism. “While technically correct, your password sequence lacked grace and passion. The system refuses to recognize it and unlock for you until you really bring your personality into the performance and make it /[

          • Dizik
          • 9 years ago

          I seriously just LOLed at that. +5 points for you.

            • StuG
            • 9 years ago

            The day I die, I plan on still having a computer with a mouse and keyboard.

            • ShadowTiger
            • 9 years ago

            you must not plan to live very long

    • liquidsquid
    • 9 years ago

    So addictive you have to take a dump in your pants rather than head to the toilet. 😉

    Ok, I have a 4yo at home. The explains it.

    • kravo
    • 9 years ago

    a new era of domestic accidents has arrived…

    I have to agree with #9 though.

      • Voldenuit
      • 9 years ago

      and epic Youtube videos.

    • ltcommander.data
    • 9 years ago

    So how does Kinect for Windows office tasks work exactly? If I do a Kamayamaya at the screen does it register as an “A”?

    Now if it could translate sign language into text that would be amazing.

      • khands
      • 9 years ago

      Amazing, but completely unnecessary.

      • TurtlePerson2
      • 9 years ago

      Wouldn’t typing be faster than signing?

      Also, from what I understand the technology would be capable of understanding sign language.

    • colinstu
    • 9 years ago

    kinetic, connect, kin, erect, the list goes on lol

    • Xenolith
    • 9 years ago

    Are you sure about this rumor? Doesn’t look like MS owns the kinect.com domain name.

    Any news on a 360 that isn’t noisy and doesn’t red ring?

    • BlackStar
    • 9 years ago

    Let me be the first one to say: the name sucks. “Kinect” is an ugly hybrid between “kin” (as per the MS product), “connect” and “erect” (yikes).

    What the hell where they thinking?!

      • Fighterpilot
      • 9 years ago

      How about “Kin” as in /[

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        Fighterpilot is on point.

        • BlackStar
        • 9 years ago

        From “kinetic” to “kinect”.

        Must be great having a marketing department run by dyslectics.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 9 years ago

          It’s “Kinetic” and “Connect”.

          The point is that you are *[

            • Ricardo Dawkins
            • 9 years ago

            well done. Looks like the stiff below you can’t: – Think Different (r) –

            • willyolio
            • 9 years ago

            it’s a horrible marketing move, as demonstrated by the OP: the target audience isn’t nearly educated enough to understand the name.

            it’s like when AMD came out with Phenom and people thought they were making up words.

          • Fighterpilot
          • 9 years ago

          Oh my Dog,what are you talking about?

      • Bigbloke
      • 9 years ago

      & #8, Wow you people have sad, sad brains. I bet you spend all season giggling to yourselves when the country has an “election”!

      For a Microsoft product this actually isn’t a bad name. Try finding reasonably short easy to say words that aren’t already in use or registered. Once you’ve stopped giggling!

        • BlackStar
        • 9 years ago

        You forget that native English speakers are a minority in this world.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      PROTIP: putting “erect” in a post doesn’t automatically make it funny.

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        man der. How old are you? putting erect in anything makes it funny!! just ask my wife! she always laughs!

        You’ve been a great crowd!!!

          • kvndoom
          • 9 years ago

          l[

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