Nintendo Turned Down Project Natal

Tom Goldman

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Aug 17, 2009
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Nintendo Turned Down Project Natal



Nintendo could have had its money-filled mitts on Project Natal, but they were obviously filled with too much money already.

An insider at Nintendo's Japanese headquarters has revealed to CVG that President and CEO Satoru Iwata had the chance to acquire what is now known as Project Natal for a Wii accessory, but he turned it down. Iwata was impressed with the technology, but didn't see it as a Nintendo product. According to the insider: "Iwata-san only ever invests in something he can guarantee will work for a Nintendo audience."

The insider alleges that Israeli firm 3DV Systems visited Nintendo in 2007 to show off an early demo, apparently confirming 3DV's involvement with Natal, if Microsoft's acquisition [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/89529-Microsoft-to-Acquire-Motion-Sensor-Company] wasn't a hint. "3DV showed off a camera that detected motion in 3D, and had voice recognition ... I've heard Iwata describe the prototype he saw at length, and it's definitely Natal," the insider revealed. Cost was one of the reasons the technology was turned down, as "Iwata-San was unconvinced he could sell it at a Nintendo price point. He also had some worries around latency during gameplay."

CVG's source continues: "We remain unconvinced Natal will deliver on the more sophisticated elements of what Microsoft is promising at the price they're aiming for." Natal was recently in the news for removing a chip to become less expensive, but who knows what that actually means. For all we know this "insider" could be leaking information on purpose to put Natal in a bad light. Ultimately, it'll come down to how Natal performs when it is released, and the quality of the software that it supports. If games like this [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/97692-Cancelled-Natal-Game-Was-Hand-Puppet-Brawler] can be pulled off, and they actually work, it could be a very cool technology indeed.

Nintendo just better hope that Project Natal doesn't go the same way as the SNES-CD, a joint development with Sony that was canceled and ended up becoming the PlayStation. Nintendo might be back on top today, but for a while the PlayStation put quite a dent in Nintendo's bottom line.

Source: CVG [http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=232754]



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brunothepig

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I'm still a little hazy on the thing, is it like a better eyetoy? Cause they actually were quite fun, but I could win just about every game with a broom... Anyway, whether it's a massive success or not, I think Nintendo have made enough to skip making the next console, and still have more money than competitors. Interesting though, maybe it will lead to another story saying that Nintendo were idiots. Or they dodged a bullet, and Iwata is a genius.
 

Vek

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brunothepig said:
I'm still a little hazy on the thing, is it like a better eyetoy? Cause they actually were quite fun, but I could win just about every game with a broom... Anyway, whether it's a massive success or not, I think Nintendo have made enough to skip making the next console, and still have more money than competitors. Interesting though, maybe it will lead to another story saying that Nintendo were idiots. Or they dodged a bullet, and Iwata is a genius.
It looks like a totally visual-processing motion-based interaction. It looks like, on that little black unit in the picture, there's dual cameras to pick up binocular vision of a player's motions and facial expressions to control games.
 
Aug 25, 2009
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But... it's a gimmicky product prone to failure and open to a lot of motion sensor frippery and add ons you can sell at exorbitant prices! What were Nintendo thinking? Clearly the head of their 'Get More Money' Department was out to lunch, and the guy from 'Creative Ideas' escaped the dungeon for a few minutes to save us from this.
 

Amalith

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brunothepig said:
I'm still a little hazy on the thing, is it like a better eyetoy? Cause they actually were quite fun, but I could win just about every game with a broom... Anyway, whether it's a massive success or not, I think Nintendo have made enough to skip making the next console, and still have more money than competitors. Interesting though, maybe it will lead to another story saying that Nintendo were idiots. Or they dodged a bullet, and Iwata is a genius.
Yes, it's a modern eyetoy that they are claiming will revoloutionize the industry. It's certainly better than the eye-toy, but I don't expect much from it.
 

internetzealot1

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The kiss of death for Natal. If Nintendo actively makes a decision not to do something, then there are some pretty damn good reasons they don't do it.
 

Tom Goldman

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wow i did not know play station was supposed to be a snes but on a cd...
But after playing wild arms one and suikoden one, i am not surprised.
 

Adzma

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Tom Goldman said:
"Iwata-san only ever invests in something he can guarantee will work for a Nintendo audience."
He should totally invest in a rattle that sits on the end of the Wiimote. They would make billions.
 

Canadamus Prime

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HolidayBrick said:
I would've turned down Natal too. Good move Nintendo.
Me too. I remain unconvinced that this technology has a future. I don't know about other gamers, but I still want a controller in my hands and at least the Wii still gives me that.
 

AceDiamond

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muckinscavitch said:
This comes right back to nintendo not liking outside developpers...
Yeah how dare a company put its own work ahead of other companies. I mean seriously what's wrong with them, liking profits so much.
 

Tom Goldman

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Just this once, I want Peter Moleneuyzuyxwhatever to be right 100%. I want Natal to revolutionize gaming. I want this "gimmicky thing" to destroy our expectations, prove him right, prove the detractors wrong, and knock Nintendo down a peg.

Nintendo turning down Natal seems a lot like a fat kid turning down another slightly less fat kid because that fat kid already ate the pudding. And also the pudding is... wait, my metaphor's gone all wonky on me, who's the fat kid again?
 

Tom Goldman

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MelasZepheos said:
the guy from 'Creative Ideas' escaped the dungeon for a few minutes to save us from this.
So perfecting motion-sensing video game consoles isn't a creative idea anymore? What is a creative idea, Halo 4?
 

Pimppeter2

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WanderFreak said:
Just this once, I want Peter Moleneuyzuyxwhatever to be right 100%. I want Natal to revolutionize gaming. I want this "gimmicky thing" to destroy our expectations, prove him right, prove the detractors wrong, and knock Nintendo down a peg.
And then I want Halo Reach to be the best FPS ever made and HL2:E3 to be cannceled.

Ohh and Yahtzee to be fired.

Then the forums would honestly go nuclear.
 
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internetzealot1 said:
The kiss of death for Natal. If Nintendo actively makes a decision not to do something, then there are some pretty damn good reasons they don't do it.
Not necessarily. As TG said if this turns out to be a revolution and they passed it by, just like the SNES-CD that Sony made into the Playstation, they'll look even more foolish. Nintendo don't always make great decisions; it's just their last one was gold.
 

Adzma

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WhiteTigerShiro said:
Adzma said:
Tom Goldman said:
"Iwata-san only ever invests in something he can guarantee will work for a Nintendo audience."
He should totally invest in a rattle that sits on the end of the Wiimote. They would make billions.
Quoth the fanboy.
You obviously have no idea what the word fanboy means.