Project Natal hands-on review emerges

First impressions of the machine given after London hands-on

The mainstream and tech media have gotten hands-on with Project Natal - and given the first real concrete details on what consumers can expect.

An early hands-on review from Ireland's Silicon Republic reports that the motion detection 'isn't perfect, but it's very close - probably as close as it needs to be at this stage.'

It adds that 'Natal knows when you are moving forwards, backwards or even turning around in a full circle, revealing a detailed understanding of the dynamics and make-up of the human body.'

The site only got to play on the same Dodgeball demo as celeb Jonathan Ross, and noted that: 'Unsurprisingly, Microsoft was keen to point out that the aim of the exercise was merely to show that the technology works.'

Its journo says gamers 'walk up to the Natal sensor and it instantly recognises not just your body, but your arms and elbows, hips, legs and feet, replicating your entire body in an on-screen avatar.'

However, it says the biggest problem is not lag, but stamina: 'Having enough physical stamina to play for longer than four or five minutes at a time. The demo game forces you to jump, punch and kick almost non-stop for around a minute - we found even five rounds exhausting.'

The site concludes: 'For Microsoft, last night's proof-of-concept demo fulfilled its purpose, but didn't exceed it: we know it works, but not much more than that. The true test will be in December, when the first suite of Natal titles and applications are unveiled, and the most important critic - the consumer - delivers its verdict.'