Project Natal gets new name, priced

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This fall Microsoft will be launching it's controller-free Xbox 360 control system, but it won't be called Project Natal. We've always known Natal is a code name, but until now there's been no hint of what the final name will be. Yesterday that changed when Now Gamer shared a rumor that the final name of the product will be "Microsoft Wave."

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Hmm. On the one hand, that name fits perfectly given that you'll be waving your arms around to control your games. On the other hand, it has a real 'me-too' vibe, between Sony marketing their motion controller as Playstation Move and of course Google's Wave collaborative messaging service. In the first case, the cadence and simplicity of the names are very similar. In the latter, while the products couldn't be more different it'd just seem odd to have Google Wave and Microsoft Wave both being talked about, wouldn't it? (Though one could argue that no one is still talking about Google Wave.) I suppose Microsoft is going to name their product based on market research based on their customer base, and only geeks like me will be put off by these similarities.

While we're talking Natal, another leak mentioned pricing. Edge-Online says Natal will cost $149, or be bundled with an XBox Arcade system for $299. Those prices feel a bit high to me; I was hoping for something under $100. I was also hoping for a bundle that featured an XBox 360 Elite system rather than that hard drive-less Arcade model.

So what do you think? Would you pay $150 for a Wave?

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