CES: Natal Will Consume 15% of Xbox 360 CPU

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

CES: Natal Will Consume 15% of Xbox 360 CPU

image

Microsoft discussed the technical aspects of the the Natal motion capture system at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Alex Kipman, lead developer of the Natal, spoke with New Scientist about some of the technical hurdles they faced in designing the motion capture system. The Natal blasts infrared light out and based on how that light is reflected, makes a decision on what body parts it is seeing and in what position they are. The difficult part was teaching it how to interpret that data. The team collected terabytes of data on body parts that the AI uses to determine exactly what it is seeing. Because of all this programming, the Natal will consume 10-15% of the 360's processing power. The Natal will be released in November 2010.

"When we train this 'brain' we are telling it: this is the head, this is the shoulder. And we're doing that over millions of frames," says Kipman. "When it sees a new image it can tell you the probability it's seeing a certain body part based on that historical information."

Because of its huge knowledge of human anatomy, the Natal will be able to determine things it can't even detect. "It correctly positions your hand even if it's held behind your back," Kipman says. "It knows the hand can only be in one place."

The Natal will not ship with its own dedicated processor in order to keep the cost of the peripheral down. Therefore, Kipman and Co. (new sitcom!) had to figure out how to accomplish all of this computing without stealing too much processing power from the game developers. But is 15% of the CPU too much? Will Natal games look worse because of the peripheral leeching power? Only time will tell.

Source: New Scientist

Permalink

So no Dead rising style; 50,000 zombies on screen, natal games.

15% isn't all that much for the magic little box of wonder. Still looking forward to this.

I don't really know what I was expecting from this. Of course it will take up a lot of processing power... and 15% is a lot of power that could have been used on draw distance or something. I really hope that the 360 doesn't turn into another Wii...

As cool as all this sounds, I don't think it will be any useful in the games I normally play. Like the Wii, it'll be cool for a few months before it starts collecting dust and you take it back to Gamestop to trade it in for a bunch of Xbox games instead.

still looks like a cheap fad like the eye toy or the wii

I really don't see 15% as that much... is it?

15 percent isn't that much, I doubt we'll get Wii style graphics any time soon.

ProfessorLayton:
I don't really know what I was expecting from this. Of course it will take up a lot of processing power... and 15% is a lot of power that could have been used on draw distance or something. I really hope that the 360 doesn't turn into another Wii...

Giggle, I just had a mental image of Master Chief doing WiiFit. lmao

Reuq:
I really don't see 15% as that much... is it?

I want you to go into task manager right now and see how much power your CPU is using.

I'm surprised anyone really cares about natal still.

Funkymonk761:
still looks like a cheap fad like the eye toy or the wii

Yeah...and one thats going to suck away at precious resources too...

Jesus. 15%?!

That'll hurt. And the 360 hardware wasn't exactly top-notch on release. The peak usage happens during the most action-packed sequences, and that will likely suffer.

Such a shame that Microsoft are willing to tax their hardware so hard for the sake of a gimmick.

Sevre90210:

Reuq:
I really don't see 15% as that much... is it?

I want you to go into task manager right now and see how much power your CPU is using.

Between 5-10%

utorrent
firefox
gameranger
steam
Vista

So I would say that 15% isn't massive.

Reuq:

Sevre90210:

Reuq:
I really don't see 15% as that much... is it?

I want you to go into task manager right now and see how much power your CPU is using.

Between 5-10%

utorrent
firefox
gameranger
steam
Vista

So I would say that 15% isn't massive.

So your Xbox, which has substantially less power than your PC, doing more than all of that while just having Natal plugged in, isn't massive? Imagine the overheating issues while playing a game?

I'm not sure about yet.

And I love how they pronounce natal to make it nothing to do with giving birth.

Sevre90210:

Reuq:

Sevre90210:

Reuq:
I really don't see 15% as that much... is it?

I want you to go into task manager right now and see how much power your CPU is using.

Between 5-10%

utorrent
firefox
gameranger
steam
Vista

So I would say that 15% isn't massive.

So your Xbox, which has substantially less power than your PC, doing more than all of that while just having Natal plugged in, isn't massive? Imagine the overheating issues while playing a game?

I'm sorry, I didn't realise that was for just having it plugged in. I asumd that was for when it was in use. Out of interest I wonder how much the Xbox normally uses while playin ga game, because I can warm my room by running prime95* :P

*Prime95 is a strengh testing program that runs all cores at 100%

Now hold on... if it's that big on anatomy, does that mean my (and many other's) hopes are true about being able to use pelvic thrusts in combat? What about playing Ricochet in the nude?

Eruanno:
you take it back to Gamestop to trade it in for a bunch of Xbox games instead.

Oh ho ho! Is funny because he's implying you can trade something at Gamestop for a lot of money!

Marq:
Jesus. 15%?!

That'll hurt. And the 360 hardware wasn't exactly top-notch on release. The peak usage happens during the most action-packed sequences, and that will likely suffer.

Such a shame that Microsoft are willing to tax their hardware so hard for the sake of a gimmick.

um, what games are you playing that any of that happens?

the most I have ever seen was when I spawned 500 lock-picks in Oblivion, and that basically crashed the game, beyond that;

I call bullshit.

also, Natal is indeed a gimmick, I don't see any games for it that couldn't be done on the Wii better [yes, you read that right], why? because the Wii was made for it.

Reuq:

Sevre90210:

Reuq:
I really don't see 15% as that much... is it?

I want you to go into task manager right now and see how much power your CPU is using.

Between 5-10%

utorrent
firefox
gameranger
steam
Vista

So I would say that 15% isn't massive.

I think the problem is, most 360's have problems with heat just playing a normal game. Adding another 15% to the mix isn't going to help all the Red Ring of Death issues that stil haunt the console.

In itself, it isn't a huge amount, but it's a bit like jumping up and down on a car over a frozen lake. Sure, it can take the car, but that push might just be enough.

AngloDoom:

Reuq:

Sevre90210:

Reuq:
I really don't see 15% as that much... is it?

I want you to go into task manager right now and see how much power your CPU is using.

Between 5-10%

utorrent
firefox
gameranger
steam
Vista

So I would say that 15% isn't massive.

I think the problem is, most 360's have problems with heat just playing a normal game. Adding another 15% to the mix isn't going to help all the Red Ring of Death issues that stil haunt the console.

In itself, it isn't a huge amount, but it's a bit like jumping up and down on a car over a frozen lake. Sure, it can take the car, but that push might just be enough.

Yeah, I am realising that now. I am used to seeing my PC's CPU usage. I forget that the Xbox is a little erm... shit. I have had three so far.

15% doesn't worry me, I've no intention of buying one.

Reuq:
snip

I don't know exactly what percent of processor power running a 360 game requires either, but if it ever approaches 80% or so, (which it probably does, considering the console isn't new anymore, and developers are likely sucking every bit of power they can out of it by now), then another 15% would be a problem.

Not a big deal though, as any games making use of it will have planned around it from the start, and you'll likely never know the difference.

Reuq:

AngloDoom:

Reuq:

Sevre90210:

Reuq:
I really don't see 15% as that much... is it?

I want you to go into task manager right now and see how much power your CPU is using.

Between 5-10%

utorrent
firefox
gameranger
steam
Vista

So I would say that 15% isn't massive.

I think the problem is, most 360's have problems with heat just playing a normal game. Adding another 15% to the mix isn't going to help all the Red Ring of Death issues that stil haunt the console.

In itself, it isn't a huge amount, but it's a bit like jumping up and down on a car over a frozen lake. Sure, it can take the car, but that push might just be enough.

Yeah, I am realising that now. I am used to seeing my PC's CPU usage. I forget that the Xbox is a little erm... shit. I have had three so far.

Fun times, I'm on my third 360 too. Seems that three is, indeed, the lucky number.

That, or the four fans I had fitted into the 360 helped.

Kalezian:

Marq:
Jesus. 15%?!

That'll hurt. And the 360 hardware wasn't exactly top-notch on release. The peak usage happens during the most action-packed sequences, and that will likely suffer.

Such a shame that Microsoft are willing to tax their hardware so hard for the sake of a gimmick.

um, what games are you playing that any of that happens?

the most I have ever seen was when I spawned 500 lock-picks in Oblivion, and that basically crashed the game, beyond that;

I call bullshit.

also, Natal is indeed a gimmick, I don't see any games for it that couldn't be done on the Wii better [yes, you read that right], why? because the Wii was made for it.

I'm on a PC. I test my limits. Slapping on 15% capacity in dead weight is not something you scoff at.

Do they mean 15% of one of the three cores, or 15% on all of the three cores? Or 5% on all of the three cores? I am not particularly looking forward to natal (looks like a dumb gimmick), but I am pretty sure the XB360's graphical bottleneck is the GPU (Xenon), not the CPU(Xenos) anyway.

I personally don't see what the big deal is. It's just another gimmick. I'll stick to normal games, thank you very much.

Good thing that graphics depend on the graphics card more heavily than the CPU! Physics (and other floating-point calculations) *might* be limited, but that might be a good thing if it means fewer stupid physics puzzles.

And yet, Natal is still a gimmick that's going to fail hard.

Marq:

Kalezian:

Marq:
Jesus. 15%?!

That'll hurt. And the 360 hardware wasn't exactly top-notch on release. The peak usage happens during the most action-packed sequences, and that will likely suffer.

Such a shame that Microsoft are willing to tax their hardware so hard for the sake of a gimmick.

um, what games are you playing that any of that happens?

the most I have ever seen was when I spawned 500 lock-picks in Oblivion, and that basically crashed the game, beyond that;

I call bullshit.

also, Natal is indeed a gimmick, I don't see any games for it that couldn't be done on the Wii better [yes, you read that right], why? because the Wii was made for it.

I'm on a PC. I test my limits. Slapping on 15% capacity in dead weight is not something you scoff at.

thank you for pointing out that you dont play on a 360, and dont know the capabilities of the games that it plays, I no longer have to take you seriously.

Jadak:

Reuq:
snip

I don't know exactly what percent of processor power running a 360 game requires either, but if it ever approaches 80% or so, (which it probably does, considering the console isn't new anymore, and developers are likely sucking every bit of power they can out of it by now), then another 15% would be a problem.

Not a big deal though, as any games making use of it will have planned around it from the start, and you'll likely never know the difference.

As people above have pointed out, it might be a problem even if current games only take a use a small percentage. In fact, that might make the problem worse.

A bump from 60% to 75% is relatively less than a bump from 15% to 30%. And if a 360 already tends to overheat playing normal games, a 15% increase might just push it over the edge a lot quicker.

Eh, I don't really care. The EyeToy never became more than a gimmick, and I doubt Natal will be any different, no matter how much they try to hype it. I just don't see the practical applications of it, past a few Wii-like things. Just give me a good controller and I'll be happy.

Well if the figures are similar for sonys attempt, then the cell processor may come into its own.
And also, we are taking this 15% as a massive increase on the basis it will be playing cpu intensive games like Halo 3 or Gears of War. The whole idea of Natal is to appeal to more casual gamers, so maybe the games will be less cpu taxing and this 15% hike wont matter as much.

Kalezian:

Marq:

Kalezian:

Marq:
Jesus. 15%?!

That'll hurt. And the 360 hardware wasn't exactly top-notch on release. The peak usage happens during the most action-packed sequences, and that will likely suffer.

Such a shame that Microsoft are willing to tax their hardware so hard for the sake of a gimmick.

um, what games are you playing that any of that happens?

the most I have ever seen was when I spawned 500 lock-picks in Oblivion, and that basically crashed the game, beyond that;

I call bullshit.

also, Natal is indeed a gimmick, I don't see any games for it that couldn't be done on the Wii better [yes, you read that right], why? because the Wii was made for it.

I'm on a PC. I test my limits. Slapping on 15% capacity in dead weight is not something you scoff at.

thank you for pointing out that you dont play on a 360, and dont know the capabilities of the games that it plays, I no longer have to take you seriously.

As you wish. Have a nice day.

w-Jinksy:
I'm surprised anyone really cares about natal still.

This, To the Max

Its just Eye Toy with a new name

Sevre90210:
So your Xbox, which has substantially less power than your PC, doing more than all of that while just having Natal plugged in, isn't massive? Imagine the overheating issues while playing a game?

No where in the article does it say that Natal takes up 15% while 'just plugged in', only when in actual use.
And I'm assuming that if the thing is doing everything that it can do.
Just having it plugged in won't tax the CPU any more then having a disk drive plugged into your computer that isn't in use. And any game that ends up supporting Natal will know this ahead of time, and they can plan and program accordingly.

So what's the big deal?

More on topic, I'm looking forward to see how Natal is used.
I don't think anyone doubts the silly shovelware that is sure to spawn, but there are bigger opportunities here then playing 'Breakout' with your hands and feet. Imagine it being used simply as a lean command when playing a shooter. I lean right, my guys leans right. Sweet!

Or, for another shooter example, imagine a multiplayer FPS (Or TPS) where your mic chatter is heard by everyone near by (Sort of like Halo 3), so in order to remain stealthy, you can issue orders and commands with hand movements (Think Navy Seals). Not too obtrusive, yet still pretty cool.

There is plenty of potential here, we'll just have to wait and see how it's used.

I'm more worried at the fact that:-

a)It has a brain
b)It can see through your body and know what you've got behind your back
and c)It has complete knowledge of human anatomy

When the machinces take over natal will kill us all.

... stupid natal... thinking anyone gives a shit about you or your technical lingo...

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here