A source claiming to have been on a “secret Microsoft tour” has leaked the supposed details of the Project Natal launch, and if the information is correct, we’ll be seeing it in a year.
In a full-court press designed to drum up development support for its experimental Project Natal, Microsoft has been making the rounds at third-party publishers and studios, sources have told MCV UK – and in doing so have revealed what may be the details of the peripheral’s launch.
Obviously, these are just rumors and there has been no official confirmation from Microsoft, so take everything you read here with an entire shaker of salt, people.
According to the source in question, Microsoft is aiming for a release date of November 2010, perhaps in the hopes that fall 2010 will be as sparse as fall 2009 (with a similar glut of games in spring 2011). Or, more likely, a November release date for the motion-sensing camera might be timed to commemorate the Xbox 360’s 5-year anniversary on November 22nd.
Microsoft is planning on shipping 5 million units to stores for a day one release, and one can assume that further production will depend on the success of the launch (or lack thereof). There will reportedly be 14 Project Natal-compatible games out on shelves on day one, and one can hope that said games will be from major houses like Konami, Capcom, Ubisoft, and Square-Enix that committed to development for the platform a month or two ago at the Tokyo Game Show. However, it is expected that most of the games will be from first-and-second-party developers such as Rare (though Kameo 2 won’t be one of them).
Perhaps the most encouraging news is the rumored price tag of the thing: Though an official recommended retail price hasn’t been pinned down, Microsoft is trying to put the cost in “impulse buy” territory, which means that UK 360 owners will almost certainly be paying less than £50 ($84) for the device, perhaps as low as £30 ($50). Given that the sources in question were all UK-based, there’s no word on what Natal might cost in North America, mainland Europe, Australia or Asia – but I can’t imagine it would be too far off that mark.
Again, these are all rumors, and should be treated as such until Microsoft has something concrete to announce, so don’t go putting your preorder down for a $50 Natal just yet.
Personally, I just hope that Natal will come with Peter Molyneux’s Milo. Who doesn’t want their very own 12-year-old British boy?
Wait, I think that came out a little weird. Is it too late to take that back?