Ok, so you thought after this last update for your Xbox, with Netflix, and the new Avatar system etc that it couldn’t get any cooler. Well, you we’re damn wrong. Are you ready for Zune, Twitter, Facebook, streaming 1080HD instantly and so much more on your Xbox? Well, GET READY, cause it’s happening.
Head beyond the break to check out 2 more videos, a bunch of screen shots and read about Project Natal, and all the awesome new stuff coming to the 360. WATCH … your favorite films and shows from the largest global TV and movie library on any console. Access thousands of movies and TV shows and manage your Netflix instant Queue to create a true movie theater experience in the comfort of your home, all on your Xbox 360 console through Xbox LIVE.
Zune video. Zune comes to Xbox LIVE to deliver instant-on 1080p HD streaming video on your Xbox 360. It delivers the selection of a video megastore, in the highest possible clarity1 and with the convenience of cable. Watch the movies and TV shows you want, when you want them, with instant-on 1080p video and 5.1 surround sound.1 You can even find your favorite film at the touch of a button using new, enhanced search functions.
Netflix. Watch movies instantly streamed from Netflix, and share in a party with up to seven friends with Netflix on Xbox LIVE. Recommend your favorite shows, update your instant Queue, see the avatars of you and your friends right on your TV, and share movie party night — all only on Xbox LIVE.
BSkyB. The Xbox LIVE commitment to providing the best global entertainment gains momentum with its newest partner, Sky. Now, for the first time, watch live or on-demand TV from Sky, including Sky Sports, right on your Xbox 360. Never miss a moment of your favorite live TV shows, sports, movies and family-friendly entertainment across the U.K. and Ireland on Xbox LIVE. You can even share your favorites with up to seven friends in an Xbox LIVE Party.
In addition to the eight countries already enjoying movies and TV shows on Xbox LIVE through regional partnerships with studios, networks and providers such as Sky, starting this fall 10 new countries will have access to Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace. Xbox LIVE will now deliver the convenience of instant-on 1080p video to an expanded global consumer base including Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Australia and New Zealand.
LISTEN … and perform music in all new ways. Connect to a music catalog of millions of songs in more ways than ever, on the new Xbox LIVE Music Channel. Whether it’s personalized recommendations from Last.fm or even putting on your own concert with “Lips,” Xbox LIVE amplifies the options for enjoying music at home.
Last.fm. Combining the best of personalized streaming music with the entertainment center in the living room, Xbox LIVE and Last.fm crank up the ways to create custom entertainment experiences. For the first time, you have access to high-quality streaming music on your Xbox 360 console. Listen with your friends, manage your personalized radio station by loving or banning specific tracks, or let Last.fm customize a soundtrack for you based on artists you love or any music style you choose.
Music games stores. Download the newest hits or the most memorable classics with new, dedicated stores for “Rock Band” (MTV Games), “Guitar Hero” (Activision) and “Lips” (Microsoft Game Studios). These stores will let you explore and sample new songs and Game Add-ons for these popular music game franchises in one place, without having to launch the full games.
PLAY … the best selection of games in all-new ways. With exciting online competitions such as “1 vs 100,” innovative downloadable games such as “Joy Ride” and “Shadow Complex,” and full versions of Xbox 360 games available digitally with Games on Demand, Xbox LIVE brings a whole new wave of fun straight to your living room.
“1 vs 100.” “1 vs 100” on Xbox LIVE kicks off a new genre of global social entertainment that brings the excitement, anticipation and production value of game shows to Xbox LIVE. In the beta season, play along with friends or match up with opponents of the same skill level as you compete live with thousands of other contestants for a chance to win real prizes. Based on the TV show of the same name, “1 vs 100 Live” is an event where you may play against thousands of other Xbox LIVE Gold members as “the One,” the 100 known as “the Mob,” or “the Crowd.” Prepare to be entertained as the live studio host provides spontaneous and comedic commentary throughout the show, and answer fresh trivia created by a team of experts. The beta season of “1 vs 100” is available in the U.S. and Canada.
“Joy Ride.” Give your avatar a set of wheels with “Joy Ride,” an exciting community driving experience on Xbox LIVE. Filled with wild driving action, “Joy Ride” is completely free to download and lets you challenge and cooperate with your friends as you race on the track, tear up the stunt park, and jump, flip and trick your way to the finish line. With customizable cars, unlockable content and premium Game Add-ons, such as new cars, tracks and game modes, “Joy Ride” gives everyone a chance to jump in and join the fun.
“Shadow Complex.” From blockbuster developers Epic Games Inc. and Chair Entertainment Group comes the next evolution in Xbox LIVE Arcade games. “Shadow Complex” is the height of old-school side-scroller design combined with modern, cutting-edge gameplay, all delivered with incredible graphics thanks to the legendary Unreal Engine 3. Collect items, power-ups and new abilities, and evolve your character into a force of destruction as you explore an ever-changing landscape set in the world of Orson Scott Card’s best-selling novel, “Empire.”
Games on Demand. Convenient and always available, Games on Demand provides 24×7 access to a growing catalog of full Xbox 360 games from the top publishers. Get the games you want, straight to your Xbox 360 from the comfort of your living room. A great selection of Xbox 360 favorites are available to download and enjoy at the push of a button.
SHARE … the fun with your friends on the biggest social network on the planet. From a groundbreaking partnership with Facebook, to integration with Twitter, and movie and photo parties with friends, Xbox LIVE gives you the power to share your entertainment experiences with your friends almost anywhere.
Facebook. Facebook and Xbox LIVE join forces to connect the largest social network on the planet with the largest entertainment and gaming network on TV. Share and interact with friends from around the globe, post real-time status updates, and check out photo galleries on the big screen from the comfort of your living room with Facebook on Xbox LIVE. In addition, with Facebook Connect on Xbox LIVE you can share your favorite gaming moments with all your friends. Starting with a future version of EA Sports™ golf franchise “Tiger Woods PGA TOUR®” for Xbox 360, take bragging rights to a completely new level.
Twitter. Stay connected with Twitter on Xbox LIVE. Now you can be in the know and keep your social circle up to date by reading, posting and replying to tweets right from your Xbox 360. Follow friends and celebrities, learn about the news at it happens, and let people know what you’re up to all on Xbox LIVE.
Xbox LIVE Parties. Connect and share movies, music, photos and gaming experiences with your friends on the same sofa or from a different coast; laugh, chat, send messages and make new friends. Xbox LIVE lets you have more fun with entertainment in more ways, all from one place.
Xbox LIVE Avatar Marketplace. Truly reflect yourself and your sense of style with the new Xbox LIVE Avatar Marketplace. Download premium items, including branded apparel from your favorite fashion labels and Xbox 360 games. You can also purchase interactive avatar props to fit your unique personality, and even earn cool new items just by playing your favorite games.
GOLD … gives you all this and more, including full, unlimited access to new and exciting features such as Facebook, Twitter, “1 vs 100 Live” beta, Netflix, Last.fm, Sky, Xbox LIVE Parties3 and photo sharing, exclusive weekly deals on movies, games, and entertainment, and early access to game demos. The best multiplayer gaming network, access to the biggest names in entertainment, and all-new ways to watch, listen to and play your favorites with friends from around the world: an Xbox LIVE Gold Membership is hands-down the best value in home entertainment.
“Project Natal,” pronounced “nuh-tall,” is a code name for a revolutionary new way to play, no controller required. See a ball? Kick it, hit it, trap it or catch it. Unlike 2-D cameras and controllers, “Project Natal” tracks your full body movement in 3-D, while responding to commands, directions, even a difference of emotion in your voice.
When “Project Natal” is ready, it will work with every Xbox 360 console so people who have never picked up a controller can finally join the fun.
See below for “Project Natal” 101, a list of terms and concepts to help explain this transformation in home entertainment.
What is “Project Natal”?
“Project Natal” (pronounced na-tall) is the code name for the new controller-free gaming and entertainment experience from Xbox 360. The name “Project Natal” has several sources. Microsoft Corp. traditionally uses cities as code names. As a result, Alex Kipman, who incubated the project and is from Brazil, chose Natal, a city along the northeastern coast of Brazil, as a tribute to his country. In addition, he knew that Natal also means “to be born” in Latin. Given the new audiences “Project Natal” will bring to Xbox 360, this felt right.
How Will “Project Natal” Change the Way I Play?
Controller-free gaming and entertainment. “Project Natal” provides a whole new way to play — no controller required. It uses a sensor to track your body movement and recognize your face, even listen to your voice. If you know how to move your hands, shake your hips, or speak, you and your friends will be able to jump instantly into any “Project Natal” experience.
Full-body play. “Project Natal” provides a new way to play where you use all parts of your body — head, hands, feet and torso. With controller-free gaming you don’t just control the superhero, you are the superhero. Full-body tracking allows the “Project Natal” sensor to capture every move, from head to toe, to give players a full-body gaming experience.
Personalized play. “Project Natal” provides an in-game experience in which the player’s face and voice are recognized. Greet and speak to characters in the game, or simply step into view of the sensor to log into Xbox LIVE and connect with friends. Only “Project Natal” is smart enough to remember voices and faces. Fun has never been so personalized.
Off-the-couch play. “Project Natal” provides gameplay that gets you off the couch, on your feet and in the fun. Each “Project Natal” experience is designed to get players moving, laughing, cheering and playing together. “Project Natal” makes social gaming off-the-couch fun.
Easy-to-play fun. “Project Natal” makes sharing in the fun a snap. Talk or watch a movie in the same living room or on the other side of the world — no headset, no keyboard and no controllers required. It’s just you, your friends, your family and a whole new way to play.
How Does “Project Natal” Work?
“Project Natal” sensor. “Project Natal” is the world’s first system to combine an RGB camera, depth sensor, multiarray microphone and custom processor running proprietary software that brings “Project Natal” experiences to every Xbox 360 console. The “Project Natal” sensor tracks full-body movement and individual voices, creating controller-free fun and social entertainment available only on Xbox 360.
RGB camera. “Project Natal” has a video camera that delivers the three basic color components. As part of the “Project Natal” sensor, the RGB camera helps enable facial recognition and more.
Depth sensor. An infrared projector combined with a monochrome CMOS sensor allows “Project Natal” to see the room in 3-D (as opposed to inferring the room from a 2-D image) under any lighting conditions.
Multiarray microphone. “Project Natal” has a microphone that will be able to locate voices by sound and extract ambient noise. The multiarray microphone will enable headset-free Xbox LIVE party chat and more.
Custom processor (running Microsoft proprietary software layer). A proprietary software layer makes the magic of “Project Natal” possible. This layer differentiates “Project Natal” from any other technology on the market through its ability to enable human body recognition and extract other visual noise.