Feliz Natal [ COMIC ]

Does Microsoft even check other languages besides English before it comes up with titles for products? Natal means “Christmas” in Portuguese, bing (ie. Bing.com the new Mircosoft search engine) means “disease” in Chinese [source], and Xbox 360 means “not a Playstation 3” in Japan.

First off, I’m taking the term “prenatal fuckup” back. As far as I’ve seen on the internet, that shouldn’t be too hard. It’s only used on one other website on the net (according to Google) and only used by one other person, as well. It’s like the term “jacktard”… I’ve heard other people use it as well, but I guess it might be a regional thing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone called a prat, but that doesn’t mean people don’t. Nonetheless, I have submitted the term to Urban Dictionary. I recommend that everyone use this term wisely on your own blogs and in your everyday life. Let’s make prenatal fuckup a part of everyone’s normal life.

Edit: The term “prenatal fuckup” has been approved and is now part of UrbanDictionary.com. You can check it out here.

As far as the Microsoft Natal, I think it looks cool. But I would much rather hear what youse have to say about instead of ranting here myself. So… comment away!


  • I’m so fuckin proud of you calling “natal” a portuguese word instead of a Spanish word (which it also is) ;_;

    HURRAY FOR PORTUGAL, we’ve got latinas.

  • Metacore

    I think they know what Natal means, but it was simply named after a city in Brazil(might be a copyright thing, since apparently you can’t copyright the name of a city. At least I heard that’s why Intel uses cities for codenames). Bing really is stupid though, especially considering the size of China and all. Still, “Wii” eventually caught on, and you know what that means in English speaking countries…

  • Wii fanboys are trying to be all high and mighty by saying they came up with it first… to be honest, the EyeToy did it first… this did it slightly better… but all it required was a limp wrist….
    Prat is a heavily used word around the shack… by shack I guess you could say Europe…

    I don’t know why Microsoft tried to make a search engine… the ironic thing is, a lot of people will use google to get to the Microsoft one…

  • Lord Shplane

    I think Natal looks fake honestly.

    And even if it does work, flailing your arms around like an idiot to play games is still stupid. It’s been stupid back since the EyeToy did it, it was stupid when the Wii did it, and it’s going to be stupid when Natal does it.

    The Sony thing looks like it MIGHT not be completely worthless because it has a bit more precision, but honestly it’s still not as good as a damn controller. Game companies need to learn to make GOOD GAMES, not try to throw stupid control gimmicks around. But of course the stupid amount of money the Wii and DS are making kills any chances of that ever happening.

  • The Anarchyz

    The Bing thing (No slogan intended) reminded me of a Little Gamers comic: http://www.little-gamers.com/2009/06/02/bingo/

    About Natal, in Spanish it’s an adjective that relates to birth: “Mi ciudad natal” is “The city i was born”, but the Portuguese meaning is way cooler.

    About Project Natal, i think MS did a ridiculous showing of it, i mean Don Mattrick applauding himself like he was a religious leader, the guy in glasses going “Bam there it is”, the girl doing a crazy demonstration of Ricochet, the disturbing Milo (meant to be popular among priests), etc. the only thing cool was the 1st video and Steven Spielberg speech…

    Those things aside, i think Natal (if they pull it off) has good potential IF 1) The price is good, 2) the games are good (sports games like football, baseball and boxing are a must, but it also has potential for other genres, NOT ALL, i don’t want a FPS without a control), 3) THE RELIABILITY, for God’s sakes, if i get a “Red Light of Death” in Natal i’ll return it and never look back, enough with Microsoft releasing horribly defective products with 99.9% failure rate…

  • DoggySpew

    Sony’s controllers do look more precise and have so it seems great feedback. Microsoft did not impress me with Natal, which looks almost exactly as any other motion sensing using a camera.

    But, the games is what matter. And I do not like it going all casual.

  • newmi

    That bing story is another techcrunch sensationalist piece which was addressed here: http://www.liveside.net/main/archive/2009/05/29/some-quick-takes-on-bing.aspx

    I have no idea how DoggySpew can say with any certainty that either device looks more accurate as both demos were using prototype equipment with tech demos. Of all three technologies, personally i’m most intruiged and impressed by the natal as the tech behind it seems far more advanced than precision wands (which is what the others boil down to). But as others have said it’s all about the implementation.

    What people, especially “core gamers” need to understand is that both Sony and Microsoft are not trying to replace the controller as THE gaming control method just yet and are merely supplementing the controller with a new interaction device.

  • Chibi-Acer

    Natal might be cool. If they make the controls like in the movie Minority Report, that would be pretty sweet. Not sure how it will benefit gaming, but I’ll keep an open mind for now.

    As far as choice of names, at least Christmas is associated with something good. In terms of China, they pretty much ban all search engines there anyway, so it doesn’t really matter what they call it there.

  • Actually, it not only means christmans, but it is also related to birth, the name was given due to the fact that one of the project managers, Alex Kipman, is from Brazil and from the city Natal and because in latin it is the word for birth. So its an homage to his home city and has a meaning in latin

  • Anon

    Another console war strip…

  • Joe

    I’ll be more interested if I hear of a Natal demonstration that doesn’t have mysterious additional sensors around the room. Hopefully they get the tech sorted out before they ship it.

  • Malagron

    Natal was a bad joke. There are some pretty blatant control issues. For instance, if you were playing an FPS, how would you move, look, and shoot? Would you only be able to look in the way you’re running? That would suck. How would you move in an RPG (or any other game)? Do you really want to walk/run as much as your video game characters do? What about a hallway that you need to move in that’s bigger than your gaming area? Would you walk in place down a hallway? Isn’t that just as gimmicky as anything that’s been done on the Wii?

    Everyone keeps saying that this is the new way to play games, and bashing the Wii, but there’s some pretty huge issues, that can’t be solved without a holodeck. It’ll be relegated to the gimmicky party stuff that everyone hates the Wii for. I think the idea behind Natal is what Nintendo sat down with to start developing the Wii. To solve the problems, they had to create a controller, but still allowed the motion control. The Wiimote is an actualized practical version of the motion control of Natal.

    The voice control and camera features are nothing new or impressive. Especially when you consider several parts of their Natal demonstrations were scripted. The Milo demo was. The ‘Ripples in Water’ demo was. The racing game was. Probably most of their video demos were scripted, but those are the really obvious ones.

  • Wiimotion+ = Sony’s controller. That’s what most people say and agree with, accept it.

    And to the guy that thought the spanish meaning is not as cool as the portuguese meaning, you can use the portuguese meaning in the same way as the spanish meaning. “É a minha cidade natal” is the same thing as “It’s my home town”.

  • Ein

    I dunno. As interesting as Project Natal sounds, I don’t think that Microsoft should get into the “motion sensing” controllers.

    For me, the Xbox 360’s lure to me was just the wireless controller. It, for me, is what made the console stand out from it’s competitors. It’s a perfect system, save for the batteries, and it shouldn’t be messed with.

    However, since they are going through with Natal, I have several questions about it. Will it be making the previous controller system obselete? Will Natal be required for future games for the 360? The Wii has the Wii-mote, but for most of it’s games you can still use the Gamecube controller or the classic controller.

    I understand Microsoft’s intentions on “keeping up with the Joneses,” but they may have bitten off more than what they can chew with this. It will be interesting to see how they plan on making this work.

  • Gune

    My friend and I watched the demo for that. Looked amazing. Though as he pointed out, its first generation has to be “home to a number of colossal fuck-ups”. And, it’s easy to get carried away with the idea. Towards the end, we were working on something akin to The Sims, Grand Theft Auto, Street Fighter, and Second Life all mashed together with a sprinkling of weapons invention. As for what it can REALLY do, well, we shall see. Regardless, it looks fun, and I certainly can’t wait.

  • Chibi-Acer

    Maybe the premier trailer was scripted, but why do you think the water ripples thing was scripted? You can do that now with the PS3 and EyeToy.

    Besides, I doubt that the gameplay on the Jimmy Fallon Late Show was scripted. It seems to be running in realtime.

  • Dee

    Yeahhhh as soon as my brother and I heard it we were like “PROJECT CHRISTMAS??? WUT??”…

  • DJ

    I think that, in theory, Project Natal is pretty cool. If they can pull it off, it’ll be awesome.

    Where I think there might be some problems, is that, it’s an extra piece of equipment you need to buy. I mean, one of the beautiful things about the Wii, is that it is really all in one. You have your motion controls and the potential to play traditional games without having to spend more than what you originally spent. That’s part of what has made Nintendo so successful with the Wii: it’s cheap. Casual gamers are not going to want to spend oodles of cash on a video game accessory, when they can get it all packaged into one with the Wii.

  • Stuff

    “one of the beautiful things about the Wii, is that it is really all in one.”

    Wii Balance Board
    Wii Zapper
    Wii Racing Wheel

  • ylou

    Sure bing means “disease” in chinese…when used in the right context and with the right intonation. Of course it could also mean “biscuit” or “ice,” among other definitions.

  • The Anarchyz


    … Wii Motion Plus
    Wii extra controllers
    Wii vitality sensor…

  • You don’t NEED all those peripherals though. I mean, who is seriously going to buy the Vitality Sensor? It’s a joke.

    Most of the games can be played with the bog standard equipment. The Balance Board is pretty much only for Wii Fit. The Wii Zapper itself isn’t even a light gun, it’s just a way of holding the WiiMote in a way that resembles one. The Racing Wheel? Just for Mario Kart, and I don’t use it. The extra controllers are just for kids.

    The only thing I would actually buy is Wii Motion Plus, but casual gamers aren’t going to care that it’s more accurate are they?

  • Like ylou says, depending on the tone (or more specifically, the character it’s written with), bing has several meanings. When written as “ice,” Bing is a girl’s name.

    Like my wife.

  • DeadGodMax

    When i saw the project natal, i though that they were joking…

    Oh, they werent…

  • Maubassi

    not and not…
    Yes natal means christmas, i’m brazillian, but the name of the project is because a city here in brazil, called Natal.

  • Gamblore

    Won’t somebody please think of the Eye Toy!

  • @Gamblore Okay. I thought about it and now it’s time to move on.

  • tacothesmurf

    I’ll say the same thing I’ve said for the past 14 years: mouse and keyboard is all you’ll ever need

  • Malagron

    @Chibi-Acer there’s a video on IGN and across the internet showing a ripple being triggered, and then the chick’s hand moving to that spot after it had already happened.

    The Milo demo was mostly scripted as well. It can apparently recognize inflections pretty well, but it has a lot of trouble with vocabulary and questions like “What is going on?”

    The Burnout demo on Jimmy Fallon wasn’t bad. I’m pretty confident any racing game enthusiast would want an actual wheel, but for sake of argument, let’s say they don’t. How do you boost? How does a heel and toe technique work? What about drifting? Are you only able to use one pedal to control it? What if you want to drive standard? How do you shift? How do you put in the clutch?

    I will admit to being a little surprised at how sensitive the motion control is. But even if it was 100% accurate, it still doesn’t solve any of the other problems. It’ll still just be gimmicky games specifically designed for it, like all the garbage for the Wii.

  • @Malagron But average consumers eat up gimmicky games. And Microsoft and Sony are both vying for some of that casual gamers and soccer mom audience that Nintendo has a monopoly on. Big budget titles are huge risks now. It can either make a company a lot of money or sink it on one failed title. That’s why the WiiWare, PSN, iTunes and XBLA games are more appealing to developers… less risk.