Microsoft division president Robbie Bach described his company's 2010 ambitions for the Xbox 360, chief among them the launch of Halo Reach and Project Natal, the latter which he thinks will turn the "gaming" business into the "interactive entertainment" business.
"In terms of Natal, there's a lot of creativity we're going to unleash," Bach said as part of anew, leaked Microsoft-produced video outlining the company's 2010 plans. "We're going to start it in the context of Xbox, but even in the context of Xbox it's not just going to be about games. It will be a much broader context for people. People will think about that as entertainment, not just about games."
As president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, Bach oversees Microsoft's Xbox, Windows Mobile and Zune teams, among other groups. From that high-level view, he grouped the Xbox's Project Natal, the hands-free gaming camera/sensor/microphone full-body control system that his company debuted at the last E3 gaming trade show, with other "natural user interface" projects and concepts underway at Microsoft.
"For us, interacting with technology in the most natural way possible that can be voice, it can be touch, it can be multi-touch, motion, there's all kinds of different ways for people to do that... the closer we can get our technology interface working that way, the better off we are."
Bach declared that 2010 has the potential to be one of the Xbox 360's "biggest years yet". He mentioned the forthcoming Halo: Reach and Natal as two reasons why. Of Natal, he added: "That has the potential to be magic. There's still a lot of work for us to do, but I think there's tremendous potential there."
Natal's magic will be transformative, he added: "I think [Project Natal]is going to revolutionise how people think about the gaming business and actually turn it into an interactive entertainment business. I think we're finally going to get there where people can break the mould of [makes airquotes]gaming and get to real entertainment."
We'll have more CES, Microsoft and Natal coverage as it breaks.