After announcing his upcoming departure from Microsoft, Entertainment & Devices head Robbie Bach has characterized the company's upcoming motion-sensing Natal peripheral as a "holy grail" of the console world, thanks to its potential to deliver a new console game experience without resorting to a generational shift.
The comment came as part of a lengthy TechFlash retrospective interview discussing Bach's two-decade tenure at Microsoft, including his leadership of the group responsible for the Xbox platform.
"There's a tremendous opportunity from a business perspective to produce a new experience for people without shipping a new console," Bach said of Natal. "That's sort of the holy grail, in many ways, of the console world."
Bach, who will continue to serve at Microsoft for another six months, said gamers are going to feel "the broader impact" of Natal "over 12, 24, 36 months," and added that "you've got three, four years of some really cool innovation that can happen" -- suggesting the device could prolong Xbox 360's lifespan considerably longer than most historical console cycles.
"It's a jumpstart catalyst," the executive said. "It's a midlife kicker for the 360, and it's an opportunity to really drive that business in a dramatic way."