Gamesfest conferences to feature special focus on new Microsoft peripheral

More Natal dev details revealed in February

Microsoft has today confirmed it will reveal more details about its Project Natal 360 peripheral to developers at its Gamefest conferences this February.

The news follows our reports the firm is currently touring studios to spur Natal support and hiring developers to make new first-party games for the new peripheral.

It also comes following news that Microsoft’s Gamefest conferences are to return after taking a break in 2009 – with events planned for the USA, UK and Japan.

Microsoft says the USA multi-track event will feature ‘two full tracks solely dedicated to disclosing never-before seen details of game development using Project Natal’.

One track will be about designing for Natal, the other will be about the technical aspects of the camera peripheral.

The description for the design track reads: "Project Natal not only revolutionizes the way people play games, but also changes the way games are designed and created. The Project Natal Design track will present innovative thinking and ideas to help you take your game from office to living room—creating new ways to work, building showcase experiences, divining user intent, and designing gestures for UI versus game interactions. Discover best practices and what makes the “magic” in a Project Natal game."

Meanwhile the tech track’s blurb reads: "Project Natal provides a groundbreaking new way for games to use natural user motion to interact with the Xbox 360. Experience the future now, with this cutting-edge technology! Join us to learn how to develop world-class titles using Project Natal, which provides many exciting new features that can be challenging to programmers. In the Project Natal Technical track, we will walk you through how to overcome these challenges with a combination of classic techniques and new thinking. We will explore the depths of this exciting technology and dive deep into gesture recognition, avatar retargeting, speech recognition, advanced raw stream processing, handling different player environments, and many other topics. No controller required!"

Gamefest will also feature the usual tracks on Audio; CPU and System Programming; Graphics; Live and Networking; Producer and Business Development; Quality Assurance and Certification Visual Arts; and XNA Game Studio. In all Microsoft says the event will feature over 100 talks covering game development on Xbox 360 and Windows.

Those interested in registering to attend Gamefest should head to the official site.

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