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Project Natal 'experience' to premiere at E3

Microsoft has sent invitations to a "world premiere" of its motion-sensitive control system, but Natal was shown at last year's E3. What will we see?

The 'save the date' notice for Microsoft's E3 media briefing and 'world premiere' unveiling of the Project Natal 'experience'

Microsoft on Thursday sent out "save the date" invitations for its annual E3 media briefing and the "world premiere" of the Project Natal "experience."

If you haven't been following the evolution of the video game console motion-controller wars, Project Natal is Microsoft's hands-free system that will allow users of the Xbox, and presumably Windows machines, to control much of what they see on their screens simply by their gestures.

Microsoft officially unveiled Natal at E3 last year, so one wonders what the "world premiere," set for the evening of Sunday, June 13 in Los Angeles, will be like. I would assume they'll have Natal in its close-to-final retail form factor, and will be showing it with real products.

Either way, it's nice to know that Microsoft is planning this, especially because until Thursday morning, the company had not acknowledged when it would be having its annual E3 shindig. The Sunday night Natal presentation will be followed by a Monday morning media briefing.

Microsoft has said Project Natal will be available by this year's holiday shopping season, but hasn't said how much it will cost. In November, British games magazine MCV reported that sources said Project Natal should cost under 50 British pounds ($74) when sold separately.

For its part, Microsoft arch-rival Sony gave a formal presentation of its own motion-controller system, Move, earlier this month.