Despite rampant speculation.
Microsoft has countered rumours of a Natal-fitted Xbox 360, which was speculated to be launching next year.
Speculation, started by 1UP, that Microsoft would be launching a new Xbox in 2010 had sort-of-but-not-exactly been lent some credibility by comments by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that Microsoft would have a new console with technology “really, really close” to reality with a “natural interface.” Which is exactly what Natal is set to offer.
However, speaking to Kotaku, Microsoft’s Alan Greenburg has fairly comprehensively quashed any such rumours saying “We want to make sure people know that we’re excited about Project Natal, I really believe (Ballmer) was speaking about Project Natal.” Although Greenburg confirmed that Microsoft has considered integrating Natal into a console, “but we haven’t announced any details for something like that.”
The company line, at least for now, is that Natal – when it launches at an as-yet unspecified date – will be provided as a separate hardware package, to be paired with a current generation Xbox. I can’t say I’m surprised.