Back when Project Natal was announced at E3 2009, the product's fact sheet proclaimed that it would include a "custom processor running proprietary software." GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that the holiday-due product may ship without the aforementioned chip, shifting the processing responsibility to the Xbox 360 hardware. Techradar has come across a report that Natal will use 15 percent of the Xbox 360's processing power in order to function properly.
The culprits of the suspected missing processor are likely a lower price point and the possibility of boosting Natal's power via firmware. We've send out a query to Microsoft to see if the promised custom processor is indeed a thing of the past.