Rumor: Microsoft to Release New, Project Natal-Centric Xbox Hardware Next Fall

1Up ran a story yesterday that Microsoft is planning to release an updated Xbox console this fall that will focus on Project Natal's motion-sensing technology. We're not sure we believe it.

The rumor states that Microsoft will be debuting a totally new console that will include native Project Natal support, full backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 software, and with slightly updated muscle to handle newer games. Supposedly, it'll be released in fall 2010.

Microsoft did mention that with the debut of Natal, the Xbox 360's lifespan is "less than halfway done," but we think it'd be a mistake to release a game-changing new control system as an entirely new console rather than a more affordable peripheral when we've seen that a peripheral is all that's needed to handle Natal. Further, the way Microsoft has phrased talk about the Xbox 360's lifespan implies to us that the humble white console is going to be around for awhile: "There's still an awful lot left we can do with that piece of hardware, so we're going to continue to do that," said Microsoft's VP of Interactive Entertainment John Schappert.

We don't think the rumor really makes sense, but maybe it's just wishful thinking; we don't want to have to buy an entirely new console, but we just might have to if that's the only way to get our hands (well, our entire bodies) on Project Natal. [1UP]