Project Natal unlikely to be backward-compatible with existing 360 games

Microsoft has confirmed that it's unlikely existing games will be compatible with their upcoming Project Natal motion-controller for the Xbox 360, suggesting that developers would in effect need to push out fully reworked versions of titles rather than merely issue a compatibility patch.  The news came courtesy of Microsoft Games' Kudo Tsunoda, speaking at the Tokyo Game Show, who confirmed that the company had been forced to significantly alter code in the games they used to demonstrate Project Natal.

Microsoft initially demonstrated Project Natal with Burnout Paradise, and more recently showed Space Invaders Extreme and Beautiful Katamari working with the new controller.  Destructoid's Nick Chester asked Tsunoda how straightforward backward compatibility would be to implement, but was told that "it's not likely" to happen.

Project Natal uses a new sensor bar – complete with cameras and motion sensors – to track gamer position and gestures in what Microsoft say is a far more accurate way than currently possible with Nintendo's Wii.  While an official release date is still unknown, the peripheral is tipped to arrive in late 2010.

[via Register Hardware]