EA: We nearly had Natal first

James Batchelor
EA: We nearly had Natal first

EA’s John Riccitiello has revealed his company could have been the first to use the motion-sensing technologies unveiled by Microsoft and Sony at this year’s E3.

The publisher’s CEO told Kotaku that EA had been working on the camera-based motion control system before Microsoft announced its Project Natal, but decided against pursuing it.

“We almost invested to create a platform extension like that for some of the games we’re working on,” he said. “We were looking at a camera system. In fact, we were looking at the camera system they ended up going with. The technology’s pretty compelling.

“We’re very pleased, frankly, that it showed up at Microsoft, because I’d rather them pay for that. They can leverage it better, and we can build software. But I felt the market wanted that technology and I’m glad it’s coming.”

Riccitiello also claims EA had prior knowledge of the technology used by Sony’s wand-like motion controller.

“I’ve been playing with that and it is cool,” he said. “And we saw that two years ago. In fact, I think we introduced Sony to it.”

The EA CEO has expressed his belief that motion controls are the way forward, and has pledged to improve his company’s efforts on the Wii. However, he recognises the technology’s limits when it comes to the gaming audience, believing standard controllers will never be abandoned completely.

“My guess is that where this up is: motion controllers end up with half the market,” he said. “And the other half still ends up with a more traditional game controller.

“I really don’t know if you’re going to want to play FIFA with a motion control device – a 75-minute session would be frigging tiring.”

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Tags: Electronic Arts , ea , natal , motion control

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