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Project Natal is now called Kinect and there’s a new Xbox 360

The 4-year-old Xbox 360 has long seemed targeted at hard-core gamers, with a controller that could be intimidating.

“For lots of people, that controller is a barrier,” says creative director Kudo Tsunoda. “We set out to make a new control paradigm where anybody can get in and play, without having to read the instructions or learn a complicated set of controls.

Also a list of this year’s Kinect titles were released:

  • Kinectimals features over 20 different virtual pets, including lions, tigers, and cheetahs, to play with or raise.
  • Joyride has returned to life as a controller-free racing game, apparently.
  • Kinect Sports will offer sport games to play: “boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, track and field, soccer and table tennis.” For each one, you will make motions to play the games.
  • Kinect Adventures has a river raft and obstacle course to navigate — this is likely the demo we saw last week.
  • MTV Games will release Dance Central, where you can cut a virtual rug.
  • And there will be more games announced later featuring both Disney characters and Star Wars characters, in conjunction with Disney and LucasArts, respectively.