Goodbye Project Natal, hello Kinect

Project Natal, the long-standing codename for Microsoft’s controller-less motion controller, is no more. The device has received its official name: Kinect.

“For lots of people, that controller is a barrier,” creative director Kudo Tsunoda told USA Today which revealed the news just ahead of Microsoft’s Kinect-focused press gathering today. “We set out to make a new control paradigm where anybody can get in and play, without having to read the instructions or learn a complicated set of controls.”

A number of titles have also been revealed, among them Joy Ride, the MIA Xbox Live Arcade racer which recently resurfaced in rumor form, Kinectimals (train and play with different animals), Kinect Sports (guess), Kinect Adventures (the river rafting title rumored earlier) and Dance Central (a So You Think You Can Dance-type experience from MTV Games).

Microsoft is also said to be working with Disney and LucasArts to bring Star Wars and iconic Disney characters to the device in separate games.

Finally, there’s a rumor of two difference Kinect SKUs, the pricier of which — according to a source ‘close’ to Kinect — is to retail for $189 (£129).

The press event is about to kick off, more should come shortly.