Microsoft Kinect Unveiled At E3

The platform formerly known as Project Natal makes its debut.

Microsoft kicked off E3 2010 with the long-awaited unveiling of its motion-sensing gaming platform. The company offered an early glimpse of the technology last year, when it went by the temporary moniker Project Natal. But on Sunday night Microsoft debuted a much more complete, full-featured array of games and gave the platform a new name: Kinect (a blending of "kinetic energy" and "connect").

Demonstrated during a lavish performance by Cirque De Soleil, the Kinect presentation featured families jumping, twisting and flailing in front of a TV to complete objectives in a variety of games. The technology behind Kinect rests in a new 3D-sensing camera, which sits below the user's TV and can accurately capture the movements of anyone who stands before it.

The games that were demonstrated — which included a "Star Wars"-themed title that allows players to engage in light saber duels — proved that Microsoft isn't just aiming for children with this new innovation. Here's a quick rundown of some of the Kinect titles:

"Joy Ride"

Initially just an Xbox Live driving game, this game was been redesigned to support Kinect. Players can steer their chosen car simply by holding their arms out in front of them and turning an invisible steering wheel.

"Track & Field"

A collection of team-based minigames ranging from the 100-meter dash to the javelin toss to, oddly enough, bowling. It seems to be Microsoft's answer to Nintendo's popular "Wii Sports" series.


Another nod to Nintendo's past successes, this yoga game features a digital tutor who can walk players through complex positions. An on-screen representation of your character tracks every movement to ensure accuracy.


A rhythm-inspired game that allows players to learn choreographed dances step by step. The game checks the accuracy of your moves and will even slow down the pace if you're too far off.

"Natal Animals"

Users can purchase stuffed animal creatures that, when held up to the Kinect camera, become in-game characters that can be played with. Users can even teach the animals tricks such as how to jump and how to play dead.

"Star Wars"

The biggest response came from the appearance of a "Star Wars"-themed game, which allows players to wield a light saber and take on the Empire. The on-screen Jedi follows the players' every movement, allowing for graceful ricochets and powerful explosions.

Unfortunately the demonstration didn't feature any hands-on time with the games, but MTV News will get to try out many of the above titles on Monday evening. Check out MTV Multiplayer for our latest impressions of the Kinect.

Don't miss "World Premiere of Project Natal Experience, Imagined by Cirque du Soleil," airing on MTV Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET!