In a perhaps unsurprising blaze of techno-hype, Microsoft took the stage at E3 today to launch their latest attempt to wrest back the console market from Nintendo and Sony.
Over the past couple of weeks Twitter feeds from Gamers have been littered with comments along the lines of "Xbox Project Natal is about to launch something amazing ..."
"Amazing" will depend on your personal view but the result of Microsoft's launch is the birth of the gestated Natal embryo as 'Kinect' the (finished?) sensor bar add-on for the Xbox that will interpret your face and hand gestures setting the way for separate game controllers to become obsolete.
Together with the Kinect interface comes a range of games that are "Kinect ready" and with the planned launch of the sensor in the US on November 14th the gauntlet has been laid down for the PS3 and Wii to pick up.
Microsoft also launched the newest iteration of their console as the "Xbox Slim" (good thing the ''slim" word hasn't been patented by their rivals). A new lithesome case with improved cooling - built-in Wi-Fi .11n and a 250GB hard drive.
Online services move up a gear too with Xbox Live! being finally rolled out to all countries that retail the console and a free ESPN feed to Xbox Live! Gold customers.
Oh and a few new games were shown off too!
Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Gears of War 3, a new Halo and Dance Central are on their way with Kinect control built-in.
Gamers in Europe will have to wait until July 16th to get their hands on the new console while in the US they are shipping tonight!
Unless of course you were in the E3 audience in which case you got to take one home with you free & if that doesn't get them a good review I'm not sure what will :)