Blizzard’s Pardo: Natal may struggle with “spatial recognition”

Monday, 17th August 2009 08:05 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Blizzard design boss Rob Pardo’s claimed Microsoft motion-sensing unit Project Natal might not be the wonder-box the 360-maker would have us believe.

“I’ve got to play with Natal a little bit, and it seems like the difficulty with it is still spatial recognition with moving your hands and doing things,” said the exec, speaking at a StarCraft II single-player event in California last month.

Pardo went on to say that recent ideas for Natal-based strategy games lofted by Ubisoft’s Michael de Plater may not be possible thanks to the system’s “imprecise” nature.

“You’d actually still need an interface that you could do that with, and Natal is still going to be pretty imprecise in the way Wii is today,” he said.

“I mean, I could see the future one day [allowing it], but I don’t know if Natal’s it. Maybe it’s a step towards it.”

It’s worth noting this is the first time Pardo had ever thought about Natal in this sense before.

“I’ve thought about it for all of five seconds right now, so there could be some genius there that I don’t immediately see,” he added.

Natal’s expected to release in late 2010.

Content from the event: impressions here, Rob Pardo interview here, Campaign screens here.



  1. Dannybuoy

    So looks like PS3′s ‘wands’ might have the edge in that department. Out of the three I think Sony’s motion control offering is the most exciting in my eyes. Let’s wait and see what happens when all three are face to face with games for each available. It should be an exciting time!

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Tonka

    MS and hardware…

    #2 5 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    Possible problems were obvious from E3 – “Have you every wondered what the bottom of an avatars shoe looks like?”

    I think he’s probably right, but also that it won’t matter too much. Nintendo got away with it. They can always get everyone to buy add-on dongles to get it to do what everyone thought it already did a couple of years down the line. :)

    #3 5 years ago
  4. tzaylor

    wow, that’s an interesting article. Microsoft may not be as good at marketing as Apple, but they killed it at the E3 conference. They had EVERYONE convinced that Natal was the best thing in gaming since frogger.

    Glad to see some level heads out there are talking. Not that I want Natal to fail, I am loving the direction they are heading, but the stuff they did at the conference was kind of like Wii-mote promises in the accuracy category.

    That being said, Natal is striving to do more than just be a motion controller for games, but also a GUI tool. That part of it I think will work as long as you don’t mind waving your whole hand instead of pressing a button.

    #4 5 years ago

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