Former MS exec says Natal will fail without 360 integration

Thursday, 27th May 2010 16:40 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Scot Bayless, industry vet and former studio manager at Microsoft, has said that he told the company back in 2008 Natal would “fail” unless it was integrated with Xbox 360.

Speaking with Retro Gamer in its latest issue, Bayless said that Natal will split consumers, and put off developers.

“When I met with Microsoft in 2008 to look at Natal I asked: ‘When will you integrate this into the 360?’ Their response was: ‘We’re probably going to wait and see on that.’ To which I said: Then you’re going to fail’”, he said.

“Plays like this always fragment, and the disincentive to developers is powerful; when I’m spending tens of millions on a game, the last thing I want to do is lose 90 per cent of my market.”

Yesterday, rumors about pricing and bundle plans for Natal surfaced, and it was also revealed that Microsoft may announced the formal name of the camera peripheral at E3 – which was not too surprising.

Bayless was a senior producer at Sega of America during the Mega Drive/Genesis era, and was also an executive at EA, Midway, and most recently Capcom.

Via NowGamer.



  1. OlderGamer

    Ya think?

    #1 5 years ago
  2. justiceblob

    point though… how deep will the Natal intergration be. Control menus with your hand will pull crowds in, not games.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Gekidami

    By ‘integrate it into the 360′ does he mean have Natal in the consoles casing? Because thats a stupid idea.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. NGCes26294BIV

    @3 That’s exactly what it means, and yes, it’s a stupid idea.

    Thw Wii has done just fine without its sensor being ‘integrated’ into the console.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Aimless

    Does he mean integrate it into the hardware? If so that’s fairly impractical, unless Microsoft are planning on miraculously miniaturising the 360 into something smaller than the Wii. Such an arrangement might work with my current setup, but what about all those people with entertainment centres and such?

    If he means integrate it into the interface then that’s something of a no-brainer, but then the NXE could do with being reworked a bit anyway.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. raoullduke

    this guy is some kind of idiot. if its integrated into the 360 and not available as a seperate peripheral add on sudenly their are going to be millions of consoles out there that are useless to the natal project.

    either way the user base is going to be split but you would think if its available seperatly and in a integrated system, at least all sides of the market are covered. this guy is a dumb ass of the highest order.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Boris Fett

    @6 Nowhere did he claim it couldn’t be both options.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. revsoul

    Yeah, I think it’s a bit outlandish to assume that he meant to integrate it into the hardware itself.

    Come on seriously, you must know he meant integrate into the “essence” of what 360 is. To make it part of the whole, not just a “side order”.

    He’s saying as a “side order” it might fail, but if it’s made part of the “main dish” it has a better chance of success.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Goliath

    He’s right. When investing in a game that will make use of the technology, there is no guarantee of return on your investment if there isn’t an large install base for the device.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Aimless

    It’s far from “outlandish”, revsoul. His first comment is ambiguous so if it were just that I would tend to assume he meant integration with the 360′s UI, but then he goes on to talk about hardware penetration for the device which strongly suggests he is talking about the Natal hardware being integrated.

    Not that I’m trying to jump on the guy — perhaps he meant ‘bundled’, Natal still being a separate device — but I don’t think anyone’s wilfully misunderstanding him.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. raoullduke

    @8 maybe i’m wrong but when he says, “When will you integrate this into the 360?” i take that to mean intigrate it into the hardware.

    @6 i guess he could have meant have both options available. but his reasoning for needing this is ridiculous. its not going to split the market any worse if its only available as a peripheral.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. kallaz

    I don’t know if Natal will fail or succeed, but in a recent keynote by Microsoft in saudi arabia i believe word floting was that Natal consumes nearly 50-60% of the 360 computing power due to all the face, body and gestures recognition that the system is capable, if that’s comes true, i think that Natal will be more a Wii wanna be than move (PS), the move shows 26ms of delay, that’s all, no CPU deminish, so 360 will be concentrated in Wii ports more than PS move, don’t know if the word is true, hope it’s not, Natal seems more much superior in game integration than move, but i still think that we will need to still use our controllers, ’til no see don’t believe

    #12 5 years ago
  13. raoullduke

    i’m only interested in natal if it can be used with a controller to be honest. imagine an FPS where it mostly plays like normal. but grenades and mele attacks and things where done with hand gestures. you could also use it to give orders to squad mates.
    i have no interest in standard motion controll i have a wii that only gets used during partys for drunk relatives.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. kallaz

    I think that by integration he means integrate Natal in every console in bundle mode, not in the console itself as many said here it’s a stupid idea, but more that bundle Natal as they bundle a controller

    #14 5 years ago
  15. hitnrun

    If he’s right, and I think he is, it means the success of the Natal will depend on the early interest of Viewers Like You (sorry, American joke).

    If people lap the thing up as soon as it comes out, it’ll do fine. If they don’t, game makers won’t support it, and then there’ll be no reason to buy it.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. NiceFellow

    I doubt he means physically -c’mon guys, do you believe he thinks everyone has their 360 at the right height for Natal? That the camera should be sticking out the top of the case?

    He surely means make it the standard – integrate it to the experience. No Natal no 360. Put it in with every console like the Wii and make it mandatory for using the console – make it mandatory for using the menus, etc.

    You get a Wii you get the controls and you have to use them – there is no split between the controller as an option and the console.

    What he’s talking about is that, under current plans, Natal will essentially be optional – sure, you need it for some titles, but essentially it’s optional. You can buy a 360 that doesn’t include Natal if you want. You can, to be blunt, ignore Natal if you want.

    Personally I think he’s right in principle, but the problem is, given it wasn’t their at launch, MS (and Sony with the Move too, BTW) are now guaranteed to have a split audience.

    There are apparently around 38 Million 360s and around 34 Million PS3s out there without these controls.

    There are over 70 Million Wiis and they all have the basic controls as standard – i.e. integrated with the console.

    So realistically, I don’t think MS nor Sony can afford to make the controller fully integrated (or at least not for a long time). You can’t just shut out your current install base like that.

    It’s the fact Move and Natal are basically optional peripherals vs the main, mandatory controller, that is his concern. After all, Wii Fit aside, how many optional peripherals supporting a few titles have ever sold really well?

    #16 5 years ago
  17. revsoul

    thank you ‘nicefellow’,

    same thing i said but you cleared it up a lot more

    #17 5 years ago
  18. kallaz

    think you nailed it, also i believe that all this integration of Natal (or move) will be stick tightly with the price, so the console that has the more meaningful games, offers an expireince “never seen or gamed before” (hear this sony, NEVER SEEN BEFORE, not a wii wanna be), and the exact price point we as gamers can and want to afford, i mean i just could put 200 for natal or move, i could, but i don’t want to, i’ll feel riped off and stupid if i pay that kind of $$$, for any peripheral i think that anything over 80 is just too much if we have that games are in 60, so 140 for a bundle of game + (move or natal) is a right price, hehe maybe dreaming

    #18 5 years ago
  19. daytripper

    just hope we get some hardcore games that use natal, maybe not for motion control but for things like using your voice in a stealth game or…even mass effect lol!

    i have a feeling ms’ e3 natal showing will be a bit underwhelming, just hope they dont show games like “Throw Da Cubes Against the Wall HD” to attract mom and dad.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. manamana

    So “move” will also fail, right Mr. Bayless?

    #20 5 years ago
  21. KKDragonLord

    I’d call it Hal 9001
    just so people made memes about it being Over 9000!

    #21 5 years ago
  22. frostquake

    Integration means Pack in with every Unit sold Not in the Console you ditzy brits but the camera peripheral being something you unpack along with your console, so you penetrate the broadest market. Your more likely to support hardware that comes packed in.

    Most ppl who have the Natal unit in the box when they buy their 360 will set it up, just to set it up. PPL like us however will not run out and Buy Natal until it supports a game we want. So why would a developer make a game that only 10% would buy.

    This is a HUGE fail. Add-ons typically fail! Now when they release Xbox 720 or whatever and Natal comes in the box with the the unit, then you have nearly 100% market penetration…and ppl who got the unit with their system are more likely to buy more games for it, then ppl who have to adopt the Natal and then buy games.

    Simply put Natal should wait and just be a pack in with Xbox 720. Can you imagine the mess if Nintendo release the Waggle controller for the Game Cube. They were smart they disguised a new console that was basically a Game Cube 1.5 but the real reason was to get 100% Market penetration with the Wiimote…Ingenious really!!

    #22 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.