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E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)

L.A. Times outs four possible Natal games Pre-E3

by William Schwartz

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The Los Angeles Times has outed four possible Natal games to expect from Microsoft when they unveil a more completed version of Project Natal at E3 2010.  Alex Pham, a columnist at the L.A. Times said that:

Though Microsoft won’t reveal which games will launch with the device until Monday, last month it did show off four “tech demos” to a handful of journalists at its campus here. One can only assume that those games will become part of the package. The lineup is expected to include:

River Rush: What Shaun White would want in real-life river rafting, players instead can indulge in the vicarious thrill on their living room rug. Steering a virtual raft past waterfalls, rocks and other obstacles requires lots of jumping and leaning. The graphics are similar to what you’d find in snowboarding games, with giant visual cues telling players where they can go so they won’t get lost. The mini-game is designed to encourage anyone to jump in and play without having to read a manual.

Ricochet: Prepare to break a sweat. Players use their arms, legs, feet and head to block a frantic barrage of soccer-sized balls. Microsoft showed an early version of this game during last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. The latest iteration lets two people play simultaneously. Using facial recognition software, the camera checks who is playing and pulls up their personal avatars on the screen. The feature would, for example, let parents control which games their kids can play. If the console sees that the person playing is associated with a profile with parental controls, it will restrict the types of games that can be played.

Living Statue: One small step for Xbox, one giant leap for Microsoft’s social media strategy. This game lets players record their avatars dancing and singing karaoke-style, then e-mail the video masterpiece to their friends. The company has long nurtured its ambitions for its Xbox Live online game service, which has 23 million active users, to become a virtual watering hole for people who play video games. Living Statue is the latest attempt to encourage its players to check into Xbox Live and make friends.

Obstacle Course: This imaginatively named title is exactly what it suggests. Players pull, dodge and jump their way through a series of levels resembling what you would find at summer camp, sans the mosquitoes. – latimes

Well we knew about Ricochet, and we’ve all seen the crazy lady paddling her buns off in River Rush, Obstacle Course is a new one, and it’s possible that living statue was shown at E3 last year as well.  There is said to be at least a dozen more Natal licensed titles from third party developers unveiled on Monday and Tuesday, but as with just about everything leading up to E3, Microsoft has sworn them to secrecy.

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