The reports are true; Microsoft’s hotly anticipated Project Natal will release in October.
Confirmation of UK talk show host Jonathan Ross’ tweets came in the form of a leaked release list from UK videogame retailer GAME. The document has the release date of a game called Yoga Natal for Xbox 360 pegged for October 2010. Another hastily deleted preorder page for the game on Amazon.co.uk has the game’s release date set for October 29th.
This leak has provided three useful pieces of information about Microsoft’s strategy for the Xbox in the ongoing console wars.
First off, Microsoft will likely beat Sony to market with their motion controller. Sony’s release date is listed as Fall 2010, whereas Microsoft appears to have a hard and fast release date set (although not revealed). Sony did release a Kevin Butler commercial suggesting a November release for their product. However, that would give Microsoft nearly a month’s head start over Sony.
Second, Microsoft is clearly hoping to tailor the Natal experience to all types of gamers. Niche titles like Yoga Natal will help to attract the casual gaming set. Other titles, such as the ones shown at E3 last year (a sword-fighting game, shooting games, racing games, etc.) will cater to existing gamers. This ties in with what Microsoft executive Aaron Greenberg said about tailoring “brand new experiences” to the console in January.
Third, and perhaps most excitingly, the same GAME document also leaks many of the Xbox’s big holiday titles for this year. They include Call of Duty 7, Crysis 2 and the potentially interesting James Bond Racing among other titles without release dates. It’s shaping up to be an interesting holiday season for the videogaming market.
The leaked documents are below.