5 things you need to know about Project Natal

1. Your body is the controllerSay goodbye to sore thumbs – Natal sees you ditching the controller and instead using your whole body to control t

1. Your body is the controller

Say goodbye to sore thumbs – Natal sees you ditching the controller and instead using your whole body to control the game. The Natal sensor sits either underneath or on top of your TV, and is like a webcam that follows your movements in a 3D environment, and relays them into your game in real time.

However, it doesn't just work with games. It will apparently also allow you to trawl through your Xbox 360 non-gaming content with a flick of your wrist, and video chat with your friends as well.

2. It gets to know you

Natal will be able to tell the difference between people thanks to integrated voice and face recognition. As Microsoft seems to be putting an emphasis on family gaming (move over Wii), this will prove most useful in multiplayer situations when there are a number of people facing the TV screen.

Even more interesting though, is Lionhead's project Milo. Milo is a fully interactive character who can hold conversations with you and even pick up and react to emotion in your face and voice. Be sure to check out the video demo for a full run through on all it can do.


3. You can personalise your game

Natal will allow you to scan in your own stuff and use it within a gaming situation. So instead of a bog standard skateboard in a skating game, you'll be able to hit the half pipes using an image of your actual board instead, which is a nice little touch if nothing else.

4. It's adventurous – perhaps overly

We hope so, but as impressive as the demo video is – Microsoft has admitted that many of the games shown were a "product vision" rather than games actually in the pipeline. This is disappointing to say the least, but it's not to say it won't ever happen. It's a waiting game to see if the finished product will be a Wii killer or not – we're just keeping our fingers crossed for a reasonable price tag.

5. We've probably got a bit of a wait

Although we've been hands on with Natal out in E3, Microsoft has not allowed for any photography or filming of the product – which usually suggests it's far from complete. They'll probably want to test it out, iron out any glitches and give us access to it at a later date when it's all looking much more polished. Still, even if it is a prototype, we were still pretty impressed. Bring on the finished product...

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the demo video of Project Natal for a look at what Microsoft has planned, and let us know what you think to it all below.