Home Gaming Project Natal Lag Gets The Stopwatch Treatment

Project Natal Lag Gets The Stopwatch Treatment

2 min read


Project Natal is always an interesting topic of conversation on gaming sites.

There is so much speculation surrounding its ability to deliver the goods, largely due to the amount of time it will take for the camera to detect your movement and translate it into the game.

MTV have taken the stopwatch to footage of Natal being played in both the ball-pwnage game thingy as well as Burnout: Paradise and they have come to a final verdict on the amount of delay.

Video and more after the jump.

According to their findings, the lag sits at a pretty consistent average of 1/10th of a second through the gameplay. Is that nothing, is that too much? Being a long time fan of motorsport, I know that in that world, 1/10th of a second is the difference between a loser and a world champion.

Check out the above footage at around the 2:05 mark.

How important is it for Natal? Very, but it all depends on what it’s being used for. A tenth of a second may be a slight problem in super hardcore shooters, but in all honesty, it’s not actually that bad. Seeing the Burnout footage shows that while it may take some getting used to, the input lag seems pretty playable.

When it comes to party games and all that jazz (I should just call them next-gen Wii games) the lag really shouldn’t be a problem.

– Awesome High-Tech Lazygamer Experimentation time –

For interests sake, I just ran my phones video camera and put my hand in front of it, to see what kind of input delay it has and it seems to be roughly the same as Natal. That being said, waving my hand around and looking at the delay has made me realise that such a small amount of lag really shouldn’t be an issue.

If you have a camera on your phone, try it out for yourself and tell us what you think.

– End of experimentation time –

Considering that even the really expensive equipment used in Hollywood still has a bit of input delay, 1/10th of a second is pretty decent and I’m starting to think that it isn’t going to really be an issue at all.

As for the drain on processing power, well that’s a different story altogether.

Source: MTV

[Header Image Note: Neo-Natal – see what I just did there. Booyah.]

Last Updated: February 23, 2010


  1. 1/10th second of lag and more then a average lag of 1 second when playing international = getting pawned everytime


  2. Kale

    February 23, 2010 at 10:56

    Sure you’re not picking up a check from Neotel for that… 😆

    Anyway I think Valve voiced my opinions best:


  3. Goose

    February 23, 2010 at 11:03

    The driving controls actually look pretty sick! I’m surprised!

    As Geoff would say, “this could totally revolutionise the adult entertainment industry”


  4. LacunaZA

    February 23, 2010 at 11:08

    Natal + UFC = Win!!

    Get some of that work stress out. Of course, you’ll look like an idiot, but at least I won’t go to work with a gun…. o_0


    • WitWolfyZA

      February 23, 2010 at 11:24

      would be funny seeing a guy wrestle with a pillow though


  5. RSA-Ace

    February 23, 2010 at 11:26

    Remember the people playing in the video are trying to make it look good. So they not moving fast for a reason. Also there is a nice solid colour background behind them – I highly doubt you will get a free white sheet with your purchase of Natal. The results here are best case. So the best lag you will ever have is 0.1s. If you have other moving objects (people) around you while you are playing then the lag will be greater.

    The thing is your body will eventually react to that. If you play a tennis game for example, you will eventually get used to having to swing earlier than you should. You will get used to it and it will be normal. Then when you play in real life you gonna suck…


    • Fox1

      February 23, 2010 at 11:52

      But if you swing and move around you body at hyper-speed… you would most probably become the one with the lag :biggrin:


      • Nick de Bruyne

        February 23, 2010 at 12:56

        I’d probably become one with the glass coffee table in my TV room


    • SlippyMadFrog

      February 23, 2010 at 13:58

      Actually, as I understand it, the colour of your background won’t matter since it differentiates between you and the background by using depth and not a 2d picture. Picks up movement in a 3d space, not 2d.

      At the end of the day we won’t know for sure until it’s released to the general public


      • Nick de Bruyne

        February 23, 2010 at 14:16

        I think you are right though, I was just thinking the same thing. If it tracks depth then it will be much easier to differentiate between the person and the background.


  6. WitWolfyZA

    February 24, 2010 at 08:41

    Well if this thing is as great as they say it is… then i can finnaly play “Your in the movies” without the background being half of the trailer


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