Project Natal name revealed… to be rather stupid. (update)

Less than 24 hours until the E3 starts and one of Microsoft’s big reveals slips. Undoubtedly the biggest reveal would be information on Project Natal, Microsoft’s answer to the Wii motion controls. For over a year we’ve been comfortable with calling it simply “Natal”, apparently Microsoft wasn’t happy with that. Today an ad on an Italian gaming website featured an ad for a new 360 model that said it was compatible with the “Kinect”. So either Microsoft is unveiling another addition to the Xbox 360, or we have the official name of Natal.

The latter seems the most likely, a not so subtle alteration of the word “kinetic”, but what seems more interesting is the ad this tidbit was tied to. While no price on either the Kinect or the new 360, there is a share of information on the new Xbox 360. The visual design is quite different, looking less round than it’s larger cousin, but features a 250GB hard drive and built in wi-fi.

What I find particularly interesting are the large air vents on the side. They contour with the design, but are likely there to help with cooling problems to assist with avoiding the dreaded RROD. The price of this product and the Kinect are yet to be seen, but all will be answered tomorrow during the MS press conference.

Update: USAToday is revealing that the new name is indeed official. Along with this confirmation comes a few games. Kinectimals, a Kinect focused pets game. Joyride, a Kinect based racing game that was originally separate from the project all together. Kinect Sports, the name says it all. Kinect Adventures, white water river rafting with the Kinect. Dance Central, a Dance game utilizing the Kinect by MTV games. There’s also an untitled Star Wars game that uses the Kinect, it’ll probably be focused on lightsaber swinging.

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