Microsoft's Bach on Natal, tablets and moreIn an interview, the head of Redmond's entertainment talks with CNET's Ina Fried about everything from the Xbox to the future of tablets.
[ Background music ] >> Ina Fried: I'm Ina Fried with CENT at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. With me is Robbie Bach the head of Microsoft entertainment and devices unit. Robby it's been a big year for so called natural user interfaces the new kinds of ways of interacting with our electronics everything from touch to gestures. Why is this such a big deal? >> Robbie Bach: Well I think what it does is it expands the realm of what consumers can do with technology because it opens it up to consumers who might have been a little bit more intimidated, maybe not as comfortable, maybe it was just harder to get things done. When things come naturally they literally do come naturally and people start to explore more they reach out to do new things and suddenly people are open and excited about doing more so I think it's gonna open the products we provide up to whole nother set of audience that probably hasn't been either using it as much as we would like or has been part of our target audience. >> Ina: You guys have been at the tablet games since I think 2001 with the first version Windows XP tablet PC edition. I'm curious or maybe a couple of years later but I'm curious obviously there's been a huge amount of buzz since the rumored Apple tablet coming to market. What kinds of activities do you think people want to do on a device that's maybe a slate, maybe smaller than a current PC? What types of activities? Is it watching TV? Is it reading? >> Robbie: Well I think like anything else they'll be a whole host of things that people want to do depending on the form factor, depending on what they do and we've certainly seen this on the phone where with the advent of touch people are doing new things on the phone whether that's mapping or whether that's browsing or whatever it might be and I think on different form factors on the PC some of it is about doing different things. Some of it is just about the convenience of the device. >> Ina: I think the thing people want to know the most about is when can I get my hands on Natal and I think that's one of the things you guys are ready to say a little more about. >> Robbie: Yeah absolutely we'll announce that project Natal will be available holiday 2010 so this coming holiday which is very exciting and it's important news not just for consumers it stopped being important for them but it means retailers will want to get ready, our game publishers are busy producing games for project Natal so I think you're gonna see a lot of momentum and a lot of excitement built over that and the combination of having a great portfolio of games plus a portfolio of Natal games plus Natal plus enhancements in Xbox live it's gonna make this our biggest year ever on Xbox and I think that's obviously something we're very excited about. >> Ina: Now if I ask my aunts and friends and cousins for like $25 gift cards to the Microsoft Store am I gonna need a bunch of them to go in on it? >> Robbie: Well we're not actually the 2 things we won't be talking about here are games available and pricing and configuration so we'll the thing we want to make sure everybody understands if you have a 360 it will work with project Natal.