The Wii is on notice: Yesterday, with the help of Steven Spielberg and the two surviving Beatles, Microsoft unveiled a device for the Xbox that allows one to play without a controller. Instead, the Project Natal (yeah, that's the name) uses a camera, voice recognition software, and infrared technology to follow players' movements and commands. It'll also have all sorts of fancy streaming capabilities.
Like a nerdy gladiator swaggering onstage to do battle with breathlessly expectant fans and naysayers alike, Microsoft utterly wowed with "Project Natal." I mean really wowed. Yeah, it's kind of a dumb name, but it may turn out to be the most impressive show item any company's crowed about in years.
In a slightly creepy twist, you'll no longer have to sign into your Live account; the system will know who is playing it by your face. Peter Molyneux showed off a game called Milo, where an animated character talks to you and you can talk back. Water shows your own reflection. You can draw a picture and show it to the television, "giving it" to a character who then interacts with the image. The level of interaction looks amazing.
Microsoft doesn't have a release date for the product.
And finally, the Google/Seattle tech wars continue: Just as Microsoft is taking aim at Google's dominance in the search engine field, so is Google taking aim at Microsoft's dominance in operating systems. Acer, Inc., the world's second largest laptop vendor, will release a laptop that uses Google's Android as an operating system instead of Windows. Competition in operating systems? Say it ain't so!