Microsoft is promising to take the wraps off of their Project Natal motion gaming system for Xbox 360 at E3, but until then we’ve only rumors and leaks to tide us over. Latest is from the shadowy Taiwanese sources whispering to DigiTimes, who reckon that while Foxconn and Flextronics – Microsoft’s hardware producing partners – will start shipping Natal in August, mass shipments aren’t expected to kick off until 2011.
Considering Microsoft has all but confirmed that Natal will make its retail debut in October this year, that begs the question of just what sort of scale the motion gaming hardware launch will initially see. US pricing is apparently to be $149 for the Project Natal camera bar alone (or $299 as part of a bundle with the 360 Arcade).
One possibility is that Microsoft could launch in limited markets initially, broadening availability of Natal in 2011 when production levels ramp up accordingly. Of course, it’s all speculation at this stage, but we should know more after E3.