Microsoft: 'Natal does not require a dedicated Xbox 360 CPU core'

Microsoft responds to gamer anxiety over the amount of processing power Project Natal is going to require to work properly with high-end games

Following yesterday's news that Microsoft announced Project Natal would use up to 15 per cent of the power of the Xbox 360's CPU, some development sources are now claiming that Natal will actually use closer to a third of the processing power of the console.

Microsoft has moved quickly to deny the claims, which have immediately led to anxiety amongst gamers concerned that Natal might not be completely compatible with high-end games that require as much processing grunt as their Xbox 360 can provide to be fully enjoyed.

Following the emerging reports yesterday that Natal would use 10-15 percent of the Xbox 360's "computing resources" an unnamed source familiar with the development of Project Natal told Kotaku that the new peripheral would actually need to use up to a third of the 360's CPU.

Kotaku reports how its source explained: "While Natal wouldn't use the horsepower of a full core of Microsoft's three-core central processor, it would need to use a core on its own in order to reduce latency between human input and what happens on a TV screen. That would leave the CPU's other two cores for the other processes needed to run Natal-compatible Xbox 360 games.

Forza 3 Natal still possible

"High-end graphics such as those in a richly-rendered racing game such as Forza 3 could still be possible, the source told Kotaku, but compromises might have to be made for "slightly reduced" artificial intelligence, sound or physics."

Microsoft immediately shot down the claims that Natal would use up to 33 per cent of the console's processing power, stating: "The software behind 'Project Natal' is what makes it special. While we aren't able to share further details at this point, we can assure you that 'Project Natal' does not require a dedicated Xbox 360 CPU core."