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Nintendo Turned Down Natal Technology

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According to an inside ninja at Nintendo HQ, in 2007 Nintendo President Satoru Iwata was offered the “opportunity” to acquire the rights to the device that now powers Microsoft’s Project Natal. He turned the offer down for a a few interesting reasons.

Although impressed with Israeli company 3dv’s prototype, he wasn’t convinced that it was right for the Nintendo market. "Iwata-San only ever invests in something he can guarantee will work for a Nintendo audience," said the ninja, who may actually be a ninja.

"3DV showed off a camera that detected motion in 3D, and had voice recognition – but Iwata-San was unconvinced he could sell it at a Nintendo price point. He also had some worries around latency during gameplay."

"Honestly – I’ve heard Iwata describe the prototype he saw at length, and it’s definitely Natal," added Nintendo’s shinobi..

"What we witnessed at E3 was smaller and the facial [reading] stuff had improved, but it’s the same technology. We remain unconvinced Natal will deliver on the more sophisticated elements of what Microsoft is promising at the price they’re aiming for."

Pretty damning stuff from Nintendo – but with more recent reports of Microsoft removing the CPU, piggybacking on the 360’s brain and developer complaints about latency, it may just be the truth.

Of course, with the Wii having released in 2006, it would have just been stupid for them to go with a completely new motion sensing peripheral just a short while later. Time will tell if Natal lives up to Microsoft’s promises.

Source : CVG

Last Updated: January 27, 2010

One Comment

  1. Bobby "Dollar Bill" Kotick

    January 27, 2010 at 11:10

    :blink: I’m starting to have flashbacks to the ill-fated Sega CD peripheral (and yes I’m that old) or the Tony Hawk Ride board.

    On the other hand, this sounds a bit like Nintendo is taking a page from Microsoft’s play book (i.e. Go for the proverbial jugular, because a press release is your best weapon… young judoka)


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