Rumor: Natal to launch with new Microsoft system

So Natal is a big deal, or it hopefully will be for Microsoft’s sake. But I bet you didn’t think it could become an even bigger deal, did you? How big a deal? How about new console big. Rumor now has it that Natal won’t just be an add on for the 360, but will launch with an entirely new Microsoft console as well. Yea, not a new SKU of the 360, a new console with new features and a new name.

The guys at 1Up have talked about what they’ve heard around the metaphorical water cooler and evidently this will be an upgraded system that will focus heavily towards the expanded crowd the Wii has claimed. It’s not a major jump in technology like past console generation leaps, but instead something more like what the Wii did with a simple upgraded GameCube that sold not on new graphics, but creative control and design. The system is not intended to be a 360 killer though, with all games developed being for both the 360 and the Natal system, but some games using the extra muscle and features of the Natal system, much like games on the DSi will start using DSi only functions. The rumored system will be able to play games designed for both better on the new system than the 360 too thanks to the added muscle. 

With developers complaining that they’ve maxed out the 360, and Nintendo still rumored to be releasing a Wii HD this could be a major move for Microsoft to truly try to catch up to the Wii. Then again it does lend a lot of credence to Sony’s early claims that the PS3 was the long term system for gamers. Remember, before you go all crazy, this is a very, very big rumor, but that being said the system could be announced at GDC 2010.

Matthew Razak