Project Natal needs 13 feet of free space

Natal requires you to have thirteen feet of free space to play in your lounge
Natal requires you to have thirteen feet of free space to play in your lounge

Microsoft has revealed that you will need 13 feet of free space in your lounge to properly play Project Natal games.

That's four metres. Of space in your lounge. Not taking into account sofas and coffee tables and bookcases and chairs and other encumberants that might get in the way of you pretending to play a virtual game of tennis on your TV.

If you need to visualise this, four metres is around the average length of a standard family saloon car. Which is, on average, more space than most Brits (and Japanese) have available in their living rooms.

Four metre rule

The latest finding on Natal's requirements comes directly from Techflash, which claims the 'four metre' comment was made at a press event led by Microsoft Xbox division's Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie.

"To be precise, you'll want to clear an area extending at least 4 meters (a little more than 13 feet) away from the television. That's the back edge of the space to be taken into account by the Natal sensors," Techflash reports Mundie as saying.

"In terms of width and height, the field of vision naturally expands as it moves from the Natal device to that back edge, ending up a little more than 4 meters wide and 2.7 meters high (about 8 feet, 10 inches)."

We don't know many Brits with that amount of free space in their lounges, particularly amongst city-dwellers. Also, Japanese gamers (admittedly not the fastest Xbox 360-adopting population in the world) have even less free space in their living rooms that their British counter-parts.

Could the space issue be an area in which Natal might fail to take hold in Europe and Japan? It would certainly seem strange if Microsoft has not taken this into account…

Via Eurogamer

Adam Hartley