Today in Wait, What?: Cirque du Soleil Will Be at E-3 Project Natal Event
Microsoft has announced that their showstopping pre-E-3 Project Natal-related event will be “a spectacular live performance imagined by Cirque du Soleil.”
Uh, okay. It’s also said that this pre-show is a “technology free” event, which is the most homey word for “seriously, no pictures, videos, leaks, texting, twittering, or – you know what? We’re just setting off an EMP five minutes before curtain up,” I’ve heard in a while.
We fully understand if you know what Natal is, but don’t know what Cirque du Soleil is, or vice versa, or if you have no idea what either of them are. Allow us to explain why this is weird.
Project Natal is Microsoft’s foray into the realm of motion sensing, a method of game input that Nintendo moved into with the Wii. Sony is stepping up to Nintendo’s standard with it’s candy-looking Move controller for the Playstation, and Microsoft is coming in third with Natal. From what we’ve seen, Natal is a camera that, uh, looks at you and figures out where you are and how you’re moving. No wiggly sticks or glowing orbs required. Audiences are understandably skeptical.
Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian theater company that celebrates the acrobatic and circus arts, with its fair share of contortionists, stuntmen, acrobats, jugglers, and clowns. It’s shows are performed in various made up languages, to strange and unsettling music, with dark and adult themes woven through.
So, uh, yeah. I guess the performers do move a lot. I could see this being really impressive if Natal actually lives up to the hype and captures performer movement in real time, but I suspect that Cirque du Soleil will simply be the sort of fancy backdrop that gets games journalists in a receptive mood to see your product.
In either case, I’d like to remind Microsoft that most gamers are not this flexible.
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