GI.biz reports that Microsoft has dropped an internal chip, responsible for processing a “bone system,” for Project Natal. The reason for the cut was to maintain an accessible price point. In place of the chip, a software solution will be put in place. The change doesn’t have an effect on the existing lag of about 100ms on Natal, but the software solution will allow Microsoft to update the system more easily and frequently via firmware updates.
“The full Natal hardware/sensor combo always looked like an expensive proposition in a market where Microsoft really needs to turn a profit,” said Digital Foundry editor Richard Leadbetter. “The notion of offloading the processing to the 360 CPU in the name of lower costs and easier upgradability makes sense.
“Patching up older games to run with the new hardware now looks rather unlikely unless they have the CPU time to spare, but hopefully this will serve to focus developers on Natal-specific concepts as opposed to revisiting old classics.”
Microsoft announced that Natal will be available Holiday 2010 at their CES press conference.