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Input Devices Entertainment Games

The Fall and Rise of Motion Control For Games 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the wave-your-hands-in-the-air-like-you-just-don't-care dept.
Eurogamer has a story about how the design of motion-control input devices has evolved over the years, ranging from the Nintendo Power Glove and Sega Activator up to modern devices like the Wii Remote and the upcoming projects by Sony and Microsoft. Now that the technology has caught up with the ideas, EA CEO John Riccitello said he expects motion-control gaming to rapidly expand, eventually occupying half the total games market. He said, "We almost invested to create a platform extension like that for some of the games we're working on. We're very pleased, frankly, that it showed up at Microsoft, because I'd rather them pay for that. They can leverage it better, and we can build software. But I felt the market wanted that technology and I'm glad it's coming."
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The Fall and Rise of Motion Control For Games

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  • not being all that useful. I'm sure glad the Wii controller is so much better.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Have you used a Wii controller? It sucks hard.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by sonicmerlin (1505111)
        Not with the Wii Motion+ (my god that name is unwieldy and embarrassing)
        • by Brian Gordon (987471) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:39PM (#28327539)
          Wii Motion+ seems to me like the kind of feature that the Wiimote should have shipped with in the first place. You shouldn't have to replace core functionality with better hardware halfway through your product's lifecycle.
          • by beckerist (985855) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:41PM (#28327557) Homepage
            Why not? If it wasn't ready then it's not like the original product didn't work. You choose if you want to upgrade by spending the money or not. I don't see why people don't PREFER options, vs. abhorring them.
            • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @02:46PM (#28328511)

              It's not that people abhor options, but you do have to look pragmatically at both the pros and cons of add-on peripherals in the console marketplace.

              From a simple numbers perspective, it means you've split your consumer-base. An add-on peripheral is never going to be as widely supported as original hardware. It also means that developers will be much less likely to *design* an entire game around the functionality of that new add-on, because they also have to think about how to make the game functional and fun for original Wii hardware.

              Unless it comes with EVERY Wii, new hardware simply won't be taken advantage of to same degree, and with the substantial improvements of Wii Motion plus, it just seems a shame it wasn't working like that to begin with.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by dakameleon (1126377)

                Intelligent developers would have a two-mode support - if you've got it, use it, but if you don't, fall back to the old method. It worked for Sony with the original PSX/PS1 controllers and their Dual-shock replacements with analogue sticks + rumble - by the end of the PS1's life, most games had support for analogue sticks, with fall-back to the d-pad (less ideal) for those who still had the original controllers. Helped that the dual-shock was bundled with the console shortly after its introduction too, thou

                • by Dutch Gun (899105)

                  Having to design for input peripherals with two different levels of capability would discourage incorporating a core game mechanics designed entirely around the new device without severely degrading the experience. They risk watering down what they *could* do with the new device, as well as the risk of people without the new peripheral passing on the game for fear they won't get the best possible play experience.

                  Let's give a simple example: When the Wii and it's controller were announced, people immediatel

                  • by beckerist (985855)
                    It doesn't change core gameplay. Did you buy the expansion pack for the N64? I did, because I wanted to play with bots, but my cousin never did because he only played when we came over (and therefore didn't need them.) The game wasn't changed, it was merely an option.

                    The WM+ doesn't change how the game is played, it merely allows for greater precision. Some hardcore gamers care about this. Your local 6 year old relative will still bowl a turkey before you!
              • You don't have to make it fun(ctional) for the original HW, you just have to make a great game, require a new add-on, and profit.

                It worked with guitar hero and rock band, both games that suck using original hw.

              • by Clovis42 (1229086)
                That's a good point. For example the Wii Balance Board has been a complete disaster for Nintendo. And those crazy guitar shaped controllers also bankrupted their creators.

                Hmmm... oh wait, it turns out Nintendo makes a crap-load of money by creating new hardware to sell.
            • I would much rather they just not have released it until it could do more than "a button push, but you flail instead of tap a button". Yeah, we'd have waited even longer for project Natal, but I really don't think we would have missed vague family flailing for three years while the kinks got worked out.

          • by PaintyThePirate (682047) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @01:15PM (#28327745) Homepage
            Cheap MEMS gyroscopes didn't exist in 2006. They did as good as they could have for a consumer product at the time.

            It isn't an ideal situation, but it's better for Nintendo than letting Natal and the Sony wand completely obsolete the Wii hardware.
            • The new Xbox and Sony control gimmicks are just that, gimmicks.

              The games that really shine with the Wii remote are multiplayer games, which doesn't work well with a camera.

              The Wii remote *as is*, is far more accurate than any of these camera based alternatives.

              • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

                by Anonymous Coward

                I've had the opportunity to play with Microsoft's Natal, and in short, no. There's no way the Wii remote even comes near. Wii Motion+ is more like it, but only the controller is tracked, as opposed to full body. I've seen Natal support 2 players. I'm not clear at all about Sony's technology, but with their tracking peripheral, there's absolutely no reason it wouldn't support multiplayer. At this point, both technologies are, IMHO, superior to Nintendo's. Only thing that remains is to see if they can d

              • by Gravatron (716477)
                What are you basing this assumption on? Sony's controller has been demonstrated with sub-millimeter accuracy in 3d space, and MS has been hyping up their systems high fidelity and multiplayer aspects.

                As is, the wiimote can't do half the stuff MS and Sony showed off, nor does it have any advantage I can see for multiplayer games.
                • The Wii Remote's position is determined almost entirely by physical sensors.

                  The MS and Sony stuff uses heuristics... ENTIRELY.

                  Let me know how reliably that text to speech application works out for you, vs a physical keyboard.

          • It's strange. Normally this kind of thing is avoided entirely by console makers in that it's not simply a nominally enhanced experience that isn't integral to the gameplay (see classic rumble packs), but rather it splits the functional requirements of the userbase entirely in two.

            It's really going to hinder the studio adoption of the tech, leading to either outright avoidance of it or including optional support in a way that isn't really integral to the game, making it a useless upgrade anyway.

            I'd wager rig

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by CecilPL (1258010)
              Except maybe the two games out right now that are bundled with it, Tiger 2010 and Grand Slam Tennis?
            • by rbarreira (836272)

              The Wii Balance board is well supported by developers, and Wii MotionPlus already has more announced games from 3rd party developers than from Nintendo.

              The Wii has changed a lot of things in the gaming industry. The mantra that peripherals always fail is no longer true.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by bertoelcon (1557907)
        The Wii controller is alot more useful than its given credit for, its a bluetooth HID and actually works really well on a computer, with a driver for it of course. I seen them used to control everything from WoW to a presentation.
    • by binarylarry (1338699) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @01:17PM (#28327751)

      What?

      I love the powerglove. It's so... bad.

    • by aaptel (1574041)
      Indeed, the powerglove did suck [screwattack.com].
  • by WiiVault (1039946) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:13PM (#28327379)
    I find it odd to hear EA talking about how motion controls will "someday" make up 50% of console gaming. Meanwhile the Wii has about 50% marketshare already according to stats put out by the big 3. Seems to me we are already at about 50%.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by seeksoft (579626)
      Yeah, but what you must realize... all the consoles pushed.. maybe 20% still play the wii. Mine's been collecting dust as my brothers and my best friends wifes. She bought wii fit, played it for like 2 weeks then that fad wore off. I play my 360 4-5 times a week.. My wii gets used when someone comes over, and even then the fad has kind of worn off.
      • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:29PM (#28327469) Homepage

        My wii gets used when someone comes over, and even then the fad has kind of worn off.

        You know, that happens as people get older. Nothing to be ashamed of. Get some Viagra if it bothers you.

      • You are the world? (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You must realize that you are just taking numbers out of your ass.
        Hey, its ok, Ive heard turds like Don Reisinger and Belmont (who works for PS3) say that the Wii isnt doing well about 18 months ago because 'the girlfriend' doesnt play it'.
        That's really scientific research.

        In our family, everyone uses the Wii.
        And my wife actually has gotten off her ass and used the damn thing... maybe you should find a less lazy wife?

        Most of the people that we know have Wii for one or two reasons:

        1.Everyone in the family ca

      • by V50 (248015) *

        Yeah, and while having all three consoles (and many games for all), I play my Wii the most, both for Virtual Console, Gamecube and native Wii games. I love all my systems (ye gods, I sound like a parent with kids), but I play with my Wii the most. I usually spend some time playing with my Wii before I go to bed, as it's more relaxing and helps me fall asleep. My PS3 and 360 get more use when a big game comes out, but I find myself coming back to my Wii after some time passes.

        Your anecdote doesn't equal data

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I usually spend some time playing with my Wii before I go to bed, as it's more relaxing and helps me fall asleep.

          Yeah I find that too.

        • by Boom1208 (1545393)

          I sound like a parent with kids

          I would imagine that's the best type to be.

      • Thats thanks to the game developers, not the Wii controls though.

        I would absolutely love to have almost any game I own on 360 for the wii instead, even with the weaker graphics, simply because point and shoot is so much nicer than trying to aim with a joystick. But aside from a few remakes (RE 4 on the wii is an incredible thing btw) all the Wii really gets is Nintendo games and crap.

      • by pimpimpim (811140)
        She bought wii fit, played it for like 2 weeks then that fad wore off.
        I think she misunderstood the purpose of wii fit. You're suppose to get rid of the fat
    • by Nursie (632944) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:20PM (#28327405)

      1. You ignore the PC, phone and handheld segments

      2. Whilst the Wii has sold well I'd be surprised (but I guess not too surprised) if it made up 50% of the living room console market when games are taken into account.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rob1980 (941751)
      Nexgenwars.com has the Wii at 50% of this generation of consoles - emphasis on this generation. The PS2 still has a pretty wide install base and is slated to continue receiving games through next year. The Wii doesn't have 50% market share.
    • by theaceoffire (1053556) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:46PM (#28327589) Homepage
      Yet most Wii games don't really use motion controls at all... They either ignore it, or convert "Waggle" to a button press.
      • I've said it before, I'll say it again: The good Wii games don't use the motion controller unless it's the primary control system. They use the infrared pointer, and cry a tear of joy about having a gamepad and a mouse at the same time.

      • by Rayonic (462789)

        Yet most Wii games don't really use motion controls at all... They either ignore it, or convert "Waggle" to a button press.

        Punch-Out for the Wii supports both motion and button+pad controls. But to be actually successful at the game, you can't use the motion controls. They're just not responsive enough.

    • Don't forget the mobile market.
      According to NPD, in April mobile sales were:
      1,040,000 DSes and DSis
      116,000 PSPs

      iPhones/iTouches weren't in that report, but going by the quarterly numbers apple releases, they sold 3,793,000 iPhones in the Quarter ending March 28. And they mentioned earlier that there were 18Million iPhones out of 30Million iPhones/iTouches, so holding that ratio constant, they sold about 6,321,667 iPhones/iTouches over a 3 month period, or 2,107,222 devices per month.

      Of course, the iPhone

      • Still, I think it's kind of strange that Nintendo and Sony left accelerometers out of the DSi and PSP Go respectively... don't you?

        On the other hand, DS has a touch screen which provide some (other) kind of natural gesture and point'n'click to the small screen configuration of a handheld screen.

    • by gilesjuk (604902)

      Indeed, talk about sucking up to Microsoft.

      Nintendo took a huge risk and gamble with the Wii and such gambles are often prone to failure. It was a brave move given Nintendo had been the 3rd place console for a while.

      Typical Microsoft to big up the idea they borrowed. Just like they can't stop talking about multitouch being the future and yet as of yet has no commercially available product with it.

  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:27PM (#28327453) Homepage

    I'm sure it's great for party games and other casual things, but I can't imagine playing a first person shooter, or, God forbid a fighter. Can you imagine the conversations you'd overhear?

    1st man : What's wrong with you?
    2nd man : I'm knackered, I was playing Gears of War for an hour last night, I had to rearrange my living room to make adequate room for the cover spots.
    1st man : Yeah, chainsawing is a bitch too
    2nd man : Hey, where's Billy?
    1st man : Didn't you hear? He was playing Street Fighter 4, did a screw pile driver and broke his Coccyx.

    • by Faylone (880739)
      Metroid Prime 3 says it can be done just fine.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Colonel Korn (1258968)

        Metroid Prime 3 says it can be done just fine.

        Metroid Prime 3 says it can be done just fine for very casual players.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by StreetStealth (980200)

          Metroid Prime 3 says it can be done just fine for very casual players.

          Very cute, but it's really not that different from a mouse-and-keyboard setup. Which, you know, those rather un-casual Counterstrike types tend to like.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by interkin3tic (1469267)

          Metroid Prime 3 says it can be done just fine for very casual players.

          For the 1000th time

          -"Casual" is only an insult to immature gamers who take themselves way too seriously. Using it as an insult makes you and the gaming community look ridiculous. Trying to contrast yourself to "casual" gaming also is ridiculous.

          -"Casual" and "real/hardcore/super duper/other artificial term you come up with to make yourself sound better" are not mutually exclusive. It is actually possible to play wii fit and then play WoW or whatever games you prefer. The videogame police will really not

          • by mobby_6kl (668092)

            "Casual" is only an insult because you're making it one. All the GP post actually said was that it only works for people who play the game casually. In other words, those who don't take it too seriously or spend a significant amount of time on it.

          • by BKX (5066)

            The irony in this whole casual vs hardcore debate is that the casual gamers think the hardcore gamers are just as stupid and unimportant and the hardcore gamers think the casual ones.

            • by genner (694963)

              The irony in this whole casual vs hardcore debate is that the casual gamers think the hardcore gamers are just as stupid and unimportant and the hardcore gamers think the casual ones.

              I was going to throw down some nerd rage but I'll just post this instead.
              http://www.vgcats.com/comics/ [vgcats.com]

              Arguing just cuts into my wow time.

          • Metroid Prime 3 says it can be done just fine for very casual players.

            For the 1000th time

            -"Casual" is only an insult to immature gamers who take themselves way too seriously. Using it as an insult makes you and the gaming community look ridiculous. Trying to contrast yourself to "casual" gaming also is ridiculous.

            -"Casual" and "real/hardcore/super duper/other artificial term you come up with to make yourself sound better" are not mutually exclusive. It is actually possible to play wii fit and then play WoW or whatever games you prefer. The videogame police will really not come to your house and arrest you, your immune system won't kill you if you try to play the other game type.

            Why would you assume it's an insult at all? Most gamers are casual gamers. I'm a casual gamer at the moment and don't feel ashamed or anything. I know a few people who like MP3, and I know a few others who have more experience with fps games and didn't get into it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A friend of mine once broke a leg and, when I asked him what happened, he replied "I fell off a motorcycle." Since we weren't old enough to ride motorcycles back then, I was very surprised. Seeing this, he continued: "A motorcycle at the arcade." This was in the 90's.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I expect it will have best effect when used as a combination of the controller and the motion sensing, i.e. for motion sensing leaning round from cover could be done fairly trivially wheras it obviously won't cut it for running across a battlefield.
      How about casting spells in Oblivion style games etc. Having heard that Natal is capable of tracking 42 joints (or something) I don't think it's too hard to imagine casting different spells by using alternating hands and hand gestures. Maybe even something elabor
  • Daw... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by buttfscking (1515709) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:33PM (#28327497)
    Does anyone else prefer just a standard controller?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by spire3661 (1038968)

      This is why i feel Sixaxis is so underrated. Its a great blend of regular controller with some light motion control when appropriate. The only game ive seen abuse the sixaxis is Lair.

      • Agreed (Score:3, Informative)

        by StreetStealth (980200)

        The Sixaxis, as utilized in the otherwise middling PS3 Super Smash Brothers clone Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic, does exactly what I'd hoped Nintendo would have done with SSB on the Wii.

        The controls are generally as you would expect, but there are some wonderful little motion-based touches: Want to try pulling off a particularly big whack? You jolt the controller in the direction you're punching. Ground-pound area-of-effect attack? Jolt the controller downward as you punch.

        Oh, and there's a "meditate"

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        Its used in a lot of games actually. In Killzone for sniping, Uncharted uses it for aiming a grenade toss (and a few other areas), LBP uses it for head and body angle. Burnout used it for something as well, but I turned it off when I found the option so I am not sure what, exactly, it did.

        I agree with you about it though. As long as its just a here and there implementation and not the main way to control the game, it can be fun.

        • by donaldm (919619)
          Actually the first time I used the six axis for a grenade toss in Uncharted I ended up getting blown up. The next time I stood up and got shot to pieces. With a little practice I found that could use the six axis to lob grenades to great effect and when I unlocked "crushing" being able to rapidly switch between weapons and grenades was the only way I could make it through the "cistern". Balancing on a log felt "tacked on" but the grenade toss was really appropriate.

          While Killzone is not my type of game I
      • by seebs (15766)

        Lair's motion controls were awesome. It wasn't an abuse; it worked perfectly. There is just one limitation: You had to not be a fucking moron.

        But given that, controls were awesome.

      • by grumbel (592662)

        Which games do use Sixaxis for anything useful? By far most seem to completly ignore it, a tiny few are all motion controls (Rub a Dub, Flower) and another few do make very light use of it (MetalGear4). But overall I haven't seen a single game that uses motion controls for something that couldn't be done with an analag stick just as well. For me SIXAXIS looks like a solution waiting for a problem, but then I haven't seen all PS3 games so I might be missing something.

        • by genner (694963)

          Which games do use Sixaxis for anything useful? By far most seem to completly ignore it, a tiny few are all motion controls (Rub a Dub, Flower) and another few do make very light use of it (MetalGear4). But overall I haven't seen a single game that uses motion controls for something that couldn't be done with an analag stick just as well. For me SIXAXIS looks like a solution waiting for a problem, but then I haven't seen all PS3 games so I might be missing something.

          Lair uses it quite a bit as well as every racing game I've played on the PS3.
          Would like to see more use for it besides turing the controller into a stearing wheel.

    • Yes. Action games bore me. Action games where I have to actually DO the action actively irritate me.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by whoop (194)

        They really need to add some more buttons to the Xbox/PS controllers to be usable to me. Until then, they are nothing but cheap knockoffs for keyboards. A keyboard has what, 100+ keys? Then you add in Shift/Ctrl/Alt modifiers, and that gives you like 5000 combinations. Give me a 5000 button controller, and maybe then I'll think about buying an Xbox, Playstation.

        And don't tell me I should conform to how Sony and Microsoft say a gamer should play games. I'll play them the way I want, or ELSE!! That'll s

      • by donaldm (919619)

        Yes. Action games bore me. Action games where I have to actually DO the action actively irritate me.

        When you say this, please state what games you like so we the unwashed masses can abuse your choice in games :)

    • Re:Daw... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by arth1 (260657) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @02:14PM (#28328225) Homepage Journal

      Short answer: You're not alone.

      Longer answer:
      I think an ideal controller is one that makes up for all the things we CAN'T do well in meatspace, allowing us to do them in bitspace.
      Not one that favours the jocks, but one that favours the brains.

      The wii was destined to be a fad from the start, much like similar approaches in the past in the arcades. Sure, they attracted users due to the novelty, but pretty soon they'd going to discover that hitting a baseball with a make-believe and unresponsive/overresponsive "bat" in front of a computer isn't nearly as fun as doing it with a REAL bat and ball.
      And comparing games to games, they're not as fun in the long run as games where your decisions are more important than your physical coordination.

      Yes, physical controllers are a fad. A reoccurring fad. They have their place, but won't ever take over, because they will always be a poor facsimile for the real thing, and can't compete with the controllers that are designed to let you do MORE than what's physically possible.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        Not one that favours the jocks, but one that favours the brains.

        The reality is that current motion controller games fall into this category already; you need only apply your brain and your reflexes, which last I checked were not considered to be the exclusive purview of the jocks among us. Unfortunately, video games that don't expect you to move around at all truly do engender fat asses and poor muscle tone. Sure, not all gamers have a fat ass, but if all you do is play games you'll get that way.

        Yes, physical controllers are a fad. A reoccurring fad. They have their place, but won't ever take over, because they will always be a poor facsimile for the real thing, and can't compete with the controllers that are designed to let you do MORE than what's physically possible.

        You can do more than is physically possible without a controller, too. We'r

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by CharityA (1576551)
        The wii controller does not really require you to make exactly the same motion as hitting a bat with a ball or throwing a punch. It's a hybrid. You only need to flick your wrist. This does involve reflexes. It does not involve strength and to a lesser extent, stamina. It is still a lot of coordination. I think the old fighting games where you had to punch in a 10 button combination and get "nintendo thumb" is almost the same thing. The range of motion required for the wii mote is only slightly more than the
    • PS2 (Score:1, Informative)

      by Alvare (1430099)

      Does anyone else prefer just a standard controller?

      The PS2 joystick is awesomely perfect.

      PS3's R2/L2 are too far from the plastic, reducing response, it's heavier, and the sixaxis sometimes bothers when trying to play and sleep at the same time.

      The XBox controller is a joke, it has SEGA like arrows, when you press right and it presses right+diagonals+up+down because of being physically connected, and playing Virtua Fighter is horribly difficult, even comparing to the PS2 joystick, and don't talk about the arcade version!
      It also has the left analog in a har

    • Re:Daw... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by citizenr (871508) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @05:05PM (#28329605) Homepage

      Does anyone else prefer just a standard controller?

      No, I prefer keyboard and mouse.

  • by east coast (590680) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:38PM (#28327525)
    Replace "motion controller" with "virtual reality" and see if you can remember reading this same article circa 1990.
    • by Gravatron (716477)
      The problem with VR was it never got cheep enough to head to a home console. The consoles, at the time, couldn't recreate its graphics, and there was no way to get a cheep head-mounted display, nor the required motion controls. By the time the tech had caught up, people had already adapter the better parts of the idea to other media.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) * on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:53PM (#28327631) Journal
    I want a kunfu game where my actions dodge or hit the enemies. And I don't want it to be cheesy where my moves are interpreted into a set move that could have been done with a joystick or keyboard. I want my punch's(or kick) velocity and hit placement to determine the damage dealt.
    • by am 2k (217885)

      I guess the inherent lack of proper force feedback would be a big problem for this. You can't really punch someone when you can't feel it when you hit the face.

      Same goes for swordfighting. You can't really fight with a sword when you can't feel it when the weapon hit something (like another weapon).

      • by greed (112493)

        I'm not entirely sure, but I've got this suspicion that Wii Sports Boxing only works if you pull your punches. That is, you need a sharp stop to your punch.

        If you would normally rely on a heavy bag or opponent's face to stop your punch, it's not going to work in the game.

        And you're not supposed to punch your friend in the face playing Wii Sports Tennis but I did anyway. So much for the big warning screen.

    • by donaldm (919619)

      I want a kunfu game where my actions dodge or hit the enemies. And I don't want it to be cheesy where my moves are interpreted into a set move that could have been done with a joystick or keyboard. I want my punch's(or kick) velocity and hit placement to determine the damage dealt.

      Err won't it be better joining a Kung Fu group or club. The exercise and immersion not to mention the forced feed back is to die for :)

    • I want a kunfu game where my actions dodge or hit the enemies

      You're the only one. Maybe you're a kung-fu master, but 99.999999% percent of people purchasing the games aren't, so why would they want their inability to actually fight affect their fantasy gaming? I don't want to undergo years of sword-fighting training just so I could play a lightsaber game. I don't want to have to spend weeks learning how to effectively use a whip in order to play the next Indiana Jones game. I also don't want to spend years becoming a guitar hero in order to play the next Guitar Hero.

  • by macraig (621737) <.mark.a.craig. .at. .gmail.com.> on Sunday June 14, 2009 @01:42PM (#28327947)

    I don't see a very practical use for all this motion control in turn-based strategy games - you know, the sort of games that work the mind rather than the reflexes. I suspect that increased availability of these devices and the technology will make FPS and "arcade" style games even more dominant than they already are. They will entice kids to "think with their hands" instead of their heads. It may be true that the majority are already inclined or predisposed to that, but it doesn't help shift the Bell Curve when Big Business panders to the median for the sake of profit rather than trying to help shift the median to the right a little.

    • I don't see a very practical use for all this motion control in turn-based strategy games - you know, the sort of games that work the mind rather than the reflexes.

      So you would prefer a WiiEEGmote? An interesting idea, especially for games with force feedback control.

      • by macraig (621737)

        How would this "WiiEEGmote" work? If it lets me move the mouse and select/click items with a focused thought, that's a LOT more generalized than just a gaming device, no? Hasn't mouse tracking that follows the gaze of the human eye already been demonstrated, too? (Of course that's an error-prone and wasteful method, since you might look at something that you don't need to select or manipulate.) What else would this WiiEEGmote do?

    • by Dr. Zed (222961)

      I don't see a very practical use for all this motion control in turn-based strategy games - you know, the sort of games that work the mind, but not the reflexes. They will entice kids to "think with their hands" in addition to their heads.

      There. I fixed it for you.

      But seriously, while I am disappointed the direction arcades, in general, have gone (all fps/racing/fighting; hardly any variation on themes), I don't think adding motion means that the games are going to be any more mindless. If you go from "A = Punch; B = Kick; C = Dodge" to "Thrust High = Punch; Thrust Low = Kick; Point up = Dodge", the game is just about as mindless, but it is at least more active.

      Motion sensing opens up a whole new range of game possibilities. How much they

    • by kamapuaa (555446)
      I don't see a very practical use for all this motion control in turn-based strategy games - you know, the sort of games that work the mind rather than the reflexes. I just have to ask, how can you possibly think turn based strategy games work the mind?
      • by macraig (621737)

        I can possibly think it because, not only is it possible, it's actually been and is. Obviously you've never played any of the good ones, if you have to ask that question, and your tone doesn't make me inclined to share, young man!

      • by velen (1198819)

        how about running around your living room trying to hide from illidian's blast in world of warcraft? :)

    • by grumbel (592662)

      I think that depends on the game. A game like UFO for example could certainly benefit from a controller that allows full 6DOF navigation, as navigating height is rather troublesome with a 2D device. And a a pointer like the Wiimote has is of course very welcome as well when it comes to unit selection and such.

      Even something like chess might benefit somewhat, with Natal for example you could map your opponent directly into the game. It wouldn't change the core game, but it would make multiplayer a good bit m

  • In the fight between the three companies -The wii is well set up -Project natal certianly looks good -However I think that Sony's combination of the sixaxis eyetoy and wand will win over in the end.
    • Why do you think Sony will win? They just have a prototype now, with yet a lot of time to go until the product and software come out. Then Sony has an uphill battle to get the userbase to adopt motion controls (with no guarantee the userbase will be interested).

      Nintendo already has the peripheral available at retail, some developed games launched and some waiting to be launched, a willing userbase, and a killer app to sell their motion controls with (Wii Sports Resort).

      Anything could happen, but most likely

      • by Gravatron (716477)
        Wii will win out in terms of sales this gen, but I think the tech sony is using may be the most cost effective in the long term. Natal's camera setup can't be cheep, and has an inherent tactile feedback issue. Nintendos is available now and works, but is costly as a setup, being $80 per player, for a full kit, and still isn't as capable. Sony's got the tactile response of Nintendo's, combined with the tracking/camera functions of MS.

        It won't outsell the WM+, but I think it will hold it's own on the te
  • But I felt the market wanted that technology and I'm glad it's coming.

    Stop astroturfing and "pretend" it's something we are all hyping for. I would be glad it's coming too but the fact is thousands of us already came. We saw, we came, we even put the Wii away and went back to the PC already. Leaving the Wii sit idly in the living room to entertain guests occasionally when we're out of the basement. But generally we got the idea, shall I say, virgin no more.

    To beat the Wii remote, the giants needs
  • I found one on sale cheap. Tried it out. 8 infrared light beams that it would try to detect your hand or foot intercepting as a "high" or "low" event. Terribly useless. You couldn't play a game with it because trying to move your body to break light beams was so much slower than a handheld controller. Try to think about how fast you can move your thumb 1 cm compared to moving your your whole arm half a meter, let alone picking your foot up and moving it.
  • Suzie chapstick pushing that balance board thingie Waa-aay back when... then LIVE! with it's attempt to tie your actions on the video to ringing a bell /gong/drums etc et al...
  • by sgt scrub (869860) <saintiumNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:08AM (#28335425)

    I'm very concerned about the implications physical interfaces will have on future geeks. If game controllers evolve to the point where the user is running, jumping, swinging their arms, etc... gamers will start to develop physical attributes not conducive to the geek culture. Take for instance the young and unawares teen who plays first person shooters for two hours per day. That amount of physical activity would leave the poor individual thin and buff. A person in that condition would NEVER fit in with a crowd of today's geeks. I say ban these devices before any harm can be done!

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