Posted on June 9, 2009, Eva Xbox Natal Full of Fail? Speculation Continues
There’s a new spin on the rumor that Microsoft’s Project Natal for the Xbox 360 doesn’t work for everyone. The peripheral free motion control system based on near infrared technology was demonstrated at E3 2009. In a live Paradise demo, media personality N’Gai Croal was unable to steer his car with his hands although his foot controls worked fine.
VGChartz has put a new angle on this conspiracy theory. Author Jacob Mazel cites an article published in the Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing in 2005 on Reliability of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy in People With Dark Skin Pigmentation to support his theory that Microsoft knew the prototype Natal system had trouble distinguishing N’Gai’s motions because of his melanin rich skin. He says he saw N’Gai later that day wearing light colored shoes. He believes this is the reason the Natal demo was so restricted and videos demos of black celebrities trying out the system, like the one following the break, were shown.
The glitch experienced during his demo could have been a known problem that Microsoft couldn’t avoid because of N’Gai’s re pore with the Games Industry. It could also have been a fluke in an otherwise well tested system…
So what do think readers? Is this fact or fiction?
I think that there would be a formidable risk of money and reputation for Microsoft if there was a known problem with the Natal system not responding to a good chunk of the world’s population and it couldn’t be corrected before launch. I’ve also failed to find any recent articles on problems relating to near infrared tech and dark pigmentation.
I’m sure that somewhere Microsoft PR is chuckling to themselves over the furor, congratulating each other on the exposure Natal is getting.