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Project Natal Renamed 'Kinect', Slim Xbox Leaks

Gordon Kelly


What's in a name?

If you're Microsoft and banking on a hugely profitable Q4 that will breathe new life into your Xbox division the answer is one heck of a lot. At 2am GMT (who needs sleep?) we learnt that 'Kinect' will be the brand it hopes will do just that after USA Today leaked the official name for what we'd all known as Project Natal up to now.

Yes it's one of those dodgy Mortal Kombat/Crysis destructions of language that will screw up kids' spelling even more, and it's just the start with impending titles 'Kinectimals', 'Joyride', 'Kinect Sports' and 'Kinect Adventures' set to drive home this linguistic aberration.

Kinect isn't the only thing leaking ahead of E3 either. Beating the world's largest gaming expo by 24 hours is what appears to be a prematurely released ad (above) for a new slim line Xbox 360.

Set live briefly on Italian site Console Tribe, the seemingly kosher ad reveals the model will have integrated WiFi and a 250GB HDD as standard. These certainly aren't outrageous claims and given the Xbox 360's notoriously flaky reliability and noisy operation coupled with ever greater competition from the PS3 Slim it would seem a logical move - and one that has been rumoured for some time.

Is Microsoft about to take E3 by storm? It certainly looks that way - even if some of the surprise factor looks to have been lost...

Update: Microsoft has now confirmed Project Natal will from henceforth be known as Kinect. Let's hope we aren't waiting long for similar positive signs about that skinny 360...


USA Today Game Hunters

Xbox Slim via Kotaku


June 14, 2010, 1:17 pm

Gameplay video


meeto 0

June 14, 2010, 1:20 pm

I dont think they will take E3 by storm. I have yet to see a demo by either 360 or PS3 that isnt a wii sport/resort clone. Sony especially don't even seem embarrassed by how much they are prepared to rip off nintendo.

As for that 360 model. Its so ugly. It reminds me of those tacky PC towers that gamers buy. Its unrefined and Im not sure its significantly smaller which is dissapointing. They should have taken a leaf from Sony. Less is more. Those random angles dont do anything aestheticly


June 14, 2010, 1:30 pm

I don't have any major objections to the new 360 aesthetic. It looks like they were partially influenced by the Boxee Box, but didn't have the guts to take it all the way.


June 14, 2010, 3:04 pm

As often, Microsoft is too little too late with an imitation.

The Wii was a fun party toy for a while, but that hype is over. I think the one that sell now actually sell for the games. Microsoft is expanding into market that will likely be saturated once Kinectic arrives.

As for the Slim, it sure is ugly, but I think it's progress still. At least it's black now. That white X360 looks so cheapishly out of place anywhere I've seen it. And luckily for Microsoft, the PS3 Slim was a major step back in the looks department as well.


June 14, 2010, 3:20 pm

"Is Microsoft about to take E3 by storm? It certainly looks that way - even if some of the surprise factor looks to have been lost... "

How much of a Microsoft fanboy are you? They haven't really got anything interesting up their sleeves, and even Nintendo will have a more awe inspiring showing of games than microsoft. "Kinect"? What a dumb name. Worse than Wii, cos at least that prompted some funny jokes. Microsoft Fail


June 14, 2010, 3:32 pm

I find it interesting that microsoft are emphasizing the new slim 360's compatibility with Kinetic. Surely this is a given, or does it imply that the old 360 won't be compatible? Just a thought........

joey 3

June 14, 2010, 4:25 pm

It doesn't look real to me, looks more like a quickly photoshopped elite. Maybe a slim with those features are on the way but it won't look like that.


June 14, 2010, 4:34 pm

This E3 has the potential to be the worst of all, unless there are some well hidden stellar game announcements.

Alienware not so slim 360, Kinect, Move not interested in the slightest.

Too many suits are in the industry, the likes of Ubi, EA with poor DLC, their IP's are exhausted which means i'm not buying their products. For the first time in years my XBL has downgraded to silver. I do not need HD "wii fit" it's been done before, RDR is a mighty fine nail in my gaming coffin even that showed the 360 is getting long in the tooth.


June 14, 2010, 4:43 pm

That new 360 doesn't really look too great.

Barring 3DS there's not much that I'm anticipating from E3 from anyone.

As an owner of all three consoles (and both portables) I don't care who wins as long as there are some nice surprises to look forward to.


June 14, 2010, 4:55 pm

@Kaiser202 - You sound like the fanboy.

Anyway overal i'm looking forward to seeing the press conferences at E3 it should be very interesting this year.


June 14, 2010, 6:24 pm

@meeto_0: "those tacky PC towers that gamers buy" Oi!

@Tim: The 360 Elite has been black for quite some time now. Personally, I prefer the old case to this "slim" one.

@Kaiser202: MS have stated they have a bigger surprise than Natal in store for their presentation (this evening; 6.30pm). We'll just have to take their word for it. Also, they have many popular "core" franchises receiving updates. I don't see how they've "Failed"... yet.

The one thing I'm increasingly worried about year on year, is the death of new IP...


Watch E3 conferences here: http://www.youtube.com/e3

Sony Move footage here (er, "spoilers", I guess). I think it's in... German? http://www.dailymotion.com/...


June 14, 2010, 8:43 pm

@drdark: MS have stated they have a bigger surprise than Natal in store

As a 360 owner here are a few I'd like to see.

1. A Web Browser, seems odd not having one considering it's Microsoft.

2. Get rid of the Gold subscription nonsense.

3. BBC I-Player would be nice.

4. Been able to put my own HD in, rather than been charged a massive premium for there's.

5. Blueray has won the HD War, is it about time Microsoft woke up to this.

I personally don't think I'm asking too much, especially since the PS3 does them all already.

6. Ok, If I have friends round, the Natal/Kinect thing might be nice, but I'd much rather they sorted out 1-5 first.


June 15, 2010, 1:23 am

@Keith - other than for video playback why would Microsoft give a rats about Bluray just now? I am a PS3 owner as well as an owner of a twice broken down and now defunct Elite and while I do love having a Bluray player it makes hee haw difference from a games playing perspective. It'll be something they'll slot into their next gen console affordably mind you (unless streaming services like On Live take off big time).

I really love the look of how Kinect works but due to the horrific reliability issues of my Elite I'll be letting this one pass by and will save all my pennies for the next gen consoles that will no doubt be announced in 24-30 months.


June 15, 2010, 4:26 am

At least with this and unlike with the Wii you won't have to call the insurance company over the screen you've just launched your controller. However you'll still look like a prat prancing up and down in your living room to passers by.


June 15, 2010, 6:07 am

'Kinell... XD


June 15, 2010, 1:57 pm

@Keith: Well, I'm not sure what surprise MS were on about... just read highlights though, didn't watch the conference myself yet.

But about (2) "Get rid of Gold subscription nonsense."

That's unlikely to happen and both Sony and Nintendo are currently considering some kind of "Paid" online services.

The fact is, the best online costs money, and MS have the best online services.

@ffrankmccaffery: Oooh, you cheeky monkey, no one ends up breaking their TV with a Wii controller unless it's their own fault. After all: "there's a strap for that"!

Yes... yes, I'll go shoot myself...


June 15, 2010, 2:19 pm

@Jones: Both Microsoft and Sony claim these devices are meant to be at the centre of your media hub, not just a games machine, that's why they might give a rats. Also you do know that Blueray holds data too, not just video?, IOW: more data for Games, 50 Gig compared to 9 Gig.

@ffrankmccaffery: From what I've seen your able to scan in items that you can then use, I can see kids plastic lightsabers been propelled forthwith. :)


June 15, 2010, 2:45 pm

@drdark: The fact is, the best online costs money, and MS have the best online services.

I've had the Gold on the XBox and multi-player works fine. Recently been playing on friend PS3 and multi-player works fine. :), But you know what multi-player works the best, PC, eg. playing Counter-Strike on the PC is faultless, and it doesn't cost a penny. Why, because people are able to create there own custom servers, I set up one a few years ago for Clan. There is nothing stopping Microsoft/Sony from setting up a HUB like Valve did for broadcasting these servers to the public.


June 15, 2010, 5:14 pm

@Keith: Yeah, but publishers don't like PC gamers any more. We're all pirates apparently.



June 17, 2010, 4:38 pm

@Keith: Way to sound patronising! Of course I know that. I also know that neither the PS3 or the 360 would be any good at accessing games of that size without hefty load times. There is a reason PS3 games dont sit at 50gbs - it isn't needed for starters and the machine would be put under serious strain loading textures and environments etc.

The main benefit of Bluray discs is with video not gaming in my opinion

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