Peter Molyneux: Natal Could Change Interaction Like The Mouse

Peter Molyneux, the guy who designs those Fable games and runs Microsoft's European studios, sees Project Natal as more than just another motion peripheral.

For him, it's the peripheral is akin to some like the computer mouse.

"If you're thinking that Natal is going to give you another version of an FPS, you're just not thinking broadly enough," Molyneux told Gamereactor. "After all, it was the invention of the mouse that gave us computing as it is today - not the invention of the microprocessor."

That, the game designer points out, is how we have come to control our computers.

"The mouse was the real revolution of the PC - not the Intel processor. And who's to say Natal couldn't end up creating something you and I can't even imagine now. It forces us to approach technology in a completely different way. Before the mouse, we only had the keyboard."

But we already have a controller... to control our video games... OK, fine, I see what he is saying!

Gamereactor International - Video: Interview with Peter Molyneux [Gamereactor via VideoGamer][Pic]


    And Fable 2 was oh so unconventional and groundbreaking.... shut up molypukes! all your hype leaves is disappointment!

      Could not agree more with the thoughts behind this comment. I like the Fable games and others that Peter Molyneux has worked on but every word out of his mouth is some sort of garbage about how everything is going to be so revolutionary, so unique, its going to be something that completely changes the way we look at games.

      Now natal does actually have some potential to do those sorts of things but when you get the guy that says that sort of stuff every day it actually makes people believe it less.

    It's a freaking eyetoy! I really don't get the hype surrounding this project.

      The eye-toy was just a camera with 2d image recognition software in the game, very par for the course.

      The natal is a combination of sterographic 3d-camera, and infra-red camera, with hardware-native processing that allows for full 3d skeletal-recognition.

      Instead of finding the outline of the body, like eye toy does, Natal will (ideally) be able to compose a full 3d view of the skeleton of the body (as in, 3d-animation skeleton, not anatomical skeleton. Its not x-ray vision). Furthermore, it has prediction algorithms so that even if your hand is behind your back, it can figure out where it is roughly, based on your other joints.

      It also includes some neat audio-processing, but the focus is on the camera. And, it is a technology leader, it's possibly one of the most sophisticated pieces of tech in its field.

      And I think molyneux may be right, for once. The mouse will NEVER replace the keyboard, but it augments it well, and it does things more analogously and naturally. The same with Natal. It won't replace our existing controllers, but it will add new, more analogous, natural interactive functionality.

      Though honestly, I see its innovation being most useful in terms of productivity, and interfacing, rather than just as a new controller.

    I've said that computer tech is held up by its interface for a long time now. I don't really think Natal is *the* answer, but its a good attempt at shaking things up a little. (philosophically speaking anyway, not sure any of the games that it will be used for will be interesting...)

    Hopefully he doesn't forget that we never abandoned the keyboard when the mouse came out.
    While i like the idea of motion capture adding the the experience, I'm not sold on the idea of it replacing anything, like the the whole 'The mouse is dead cause we have touchscreens' idea.

      although the mouse didnt replace the keyboard, the mouse is arguably the single most needed interfacing tool. it replaced the need for a series of commands and created an intuitive way to acess items on the computer.

      The mouse came about because of the GUI, had it not, PCs would not be what they are today, infact they would probably mirror consoles.

      So with the conception and implementation of a device which can determine a 3d skeleton on the fly, the future of computing will be quite interesting.

      Will it create a perfect interfacing system, no, but it maybe the next rung on the ladder to the perfect interfacing system.

      p.s and although the touch screen is not nearly as popular as the mouse, touch screens are incredibly prevalent in modern society, so if natal does go the way of the touch screen it means its not just "an eyetoy" but a realistic means of interfacing.

    At some point Im sure tech will catch up, there are mind control peripherals out for gosh darn sakes. google: Emotiv PC mind control.
    I for one wouldnt mind foregoing the mouse altogether using something like that.
    I completely get what hes saying, will it be as practical, whos to say?

    It's a gimmick. Get over it.

    i didnt find fable to be that ground breaking?

    While I do believe eventually something could replace the mouse, I don't believe something like natal is it. If they think people would prefer waving their arms about to small wrist movements they're nuts.

    And I am a Unicorn.

    This is so much more than a game controller and I think a lot of people are not looking past that. You could use this tech to superimpose yourself into a movie scene or create a whole new movie altogether. You could do machinima videos very quickly with this tool. Video Conferencing made incredibly easy just by sitting down and telling it to dial your friend and all he needs to do to answer is step in front of the camera to verify his face. How about this tech combined with projectors that can project onto a mini IMAX screen somewhat like the movie "Gamer" where you combine keyboards and natal to bring a super rich internet browsing experience. There are lots of different ways to use this tech and I think it will revolutionize the way we interact and use computers the more it progresses in the next 5 years.

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