Microsoft’s Natal Event

OK, so it’s a little after 4am and I’m still up. Partly because I’m crazy, partly because I was clearing out a backlog of work. Anyway, it looks like I’m still up as Microsoft’s Natal/Kinect unveil event is about to take place. Right now two slightly weird events are unfolding on Twitter to do with the event.

One, communications silence – We’d heard a few things about electronic devices being prohibited during the event, and it looks like they were true. It originally seemed that Major Nelson would be tweeting events as they unfolded.


However, just before I started typing this he announced that he was going dark for the duration. It basically looks like there will be no updates during the actual event, as along with the good Major various journalists seem to have vanished in the last five minutes.

Right now it’s looking like we’ll get no news until everything is done with. Of course if we want to experience it, MTV is showing what went down on Tuesday, although I don’t know how that will pan out in Europe.

Two, ponchos. Yes, I’m actually serious about this. At a significant press event about Microsoft’s flagship peripheral, Microsoft are making everyone, literally everyone; from freelance journalists to Tomonobu Itagaki (the guy behind Dead or Alive) wear a white poncho over shoulder pads.

No one has any idea what on earth is going here. Is Natal so extreme that they’re worried about the sweat from demonstrators flooding out into the crowd? I have a sneaking suspicion that they’ll be used as some kind of massive projector screen for the whole crowd.

Whilst this does sound pretty cool, it does have the minor downside that no-one in the crowd would actually see what’s being projected. I’ve actually become more curious about this than anything with the peripheral itself.

Once things have finished we’ll bring you a wrap up of all the events. One final thing before I actually get some sleep, it looks like Kinect has been officially confirmed by Microsoft as the name of Project Natal. Well, getting leaked a few hours early isn’t so bad. Seems the communications silence wasn’t quite as tight as was originally suggested.



  1. Stupid name IMO

  2. Quite a few twitter feeds and stuff buzzing about,nothing new was announced it seems,just a bunch of mini-games,like the ones we’ve seen so far.

  3. Perhaps Major Nelson has an over-active saliva gland and they’re just keeping everyone safe.

  4. it’s that guy with the oversized comedy mallet that smashes fruit, he’s appearing. :)

  5. reports seem to indicate the event was something of a damp squib

  6. “I’ve actually become more curious about this than anything with the peripheral itself.”

    I think that is Microsoft’s entire plan! Distract everyone with clowns, trapeze and ponchos and perhaps they’ll forget how second rate Kinect is by the time they get back to their blackberries.

  7. Are MS going to brain wash everyone wearing a white poncho into thinking Kinect is fantastic so they can write glowing reviews about it? I find it very very suspicious that MS are so cloak and dagger about Kinect so close to it’s release – it’s a bit like when publishers prevent people reviewing their game until after it is released – it usually means it’s crap…

    I hope you update the article when you find out what they were used for, I’m intrigued! I’m wondering if it’s something required for the hands-on demos???

  8. Perhaps the ponchos were an attempt at blocking wi-fi/3G in a sort of tin foil hat way, to stop tweeters… perhaps.

  9. Could be that they made everyone wear white because different colour clothes are still confusing the camera and making it fail to detect properly?

    So far, no-one seems impressed with it at all, it supposedly lags by 150ms, and is rumoured to cost up to $189/£140. If that price doesn’t include a console, they’re DOA, surely? Who in their right mind is going to pay that for a camera peripheral, which – by all accounts – is a bit naff?

  10. But people know it as Natal, so a weird name change tbh

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