Microsoft is considering Project Natal more than an ordinary accessory – in fact, they’re planning on launching the technology with fanfare comparable to that of the Xbox 360 itself.

If you’ve ever been to the launch of a major console, you know it’s a big thing. Midnight parties, lines down the street … everyone wants to be one of the lucky few people to get their hands on the thing as early as possible.

Console peripherals, on the other hand? Not so much. Oh sure, the Wii Balance Board was in hot demand, but were people lining up for midnight launches? Nah.

Shane Kim, Microsoft’s head of long-term Xbox 360 strategy, told Kotaku that the company is planning differently for Project Natal. In fact, they’re intending that the launch of Natal will be like launching a brand-new console, and preparing accordingly – and that includes having a Natal launch line-up:

“It’s going to be that big. We’re not just going to ship it when the hardware and software are ready. We have to make sure that there are enough content experiences that are really good. That’s similar to how you would think of the launch of a new console. It’s got to have a great launch line-up. That’s the same thing here.”

Meanwhile, ubiquitous industry analyst Michael Pachter (that dude is everywhere) said that he thought Natal would require a third-party line-up of approximately 30 games for its launch.

So, what do you think? Are midnight launches for Natal in the cards? Or is MS shooting a bit too high here?

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