Sony Initially Offered Natal Tech
As of now, we all know it's Sony's PlayStation Move vs. Microsoft's Natal. But did you realize things could've been very different...?
First things first: you should listen to the podcast of the recent Engadget Show; you'll learn a lot more about the future and potential of Move, and how the technology came into existence. But if you'd simply rather read a brief summary about it, we've got you covered. It seems that 3DV Systems, the company behind Natal, first approached both Sony and Nintendo with their motion control idea, and in this show, Dr. Richard Marks explains why Sony passed:
"We tried a lot of different 3D cameras. I love the 3D camera technology; personally, I like the technology part of it. We worked closely with our game teams at what it would enable, and it enabled making the things we already did with EyeToy more robust. But it didn’t really enable as many new experiences as what we were hoping it would, so it made the things we were already able to do a little bit more robust — which is good — but it added a lot of cost and it didn’t enable some of the other experiences we wanted to achieve."
Marks goes on to talk about why they chose to use those colored tracking balls for Move (it's about helping to control the light conditions, which Natal can't do), but it's most interesting to learn about the early days of motion sensing research for Sony. As for Natal, Microsoft says they've improved the software, despite the fact that the original co-processor in the system had to be removed due to potentially high costs. It'll be Natal vs. Move out of the gate but Sony could very easily have gone with Natal, and that's something worth talking about. Important business decisions are always entertaining.
3/29/2010 10:22:22 AM Ben Dutka