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Input Devices NES (Games) Games

Failed Controller-Free Gaming Devices of the Past 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the and/or-present dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "While Microsoft does get points for innovation, Kinect for Xbox 360 isn't the first attempt to make gaming a hands-free affair. Decades before Microsoft would release its depth-sensing camera system, other companies tried to take the gamepad out of the gaming equation. PlayStation, Dreamcast, NES and Sega have all been there. These attempts varied in usefulness, ranging from somewhat functional to laughable and pointless, and from the forgettable to the downright infamous."
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Failed Controller-Free Gaming Devices of the Past

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  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Saturday November 06, 2010 @11:26PM (#34151620) Homepage Journal
    Apparently it is time to rip on the Power Glove yet again. As I, unlike some of the people who write negatively about it, actually owned one, I would like to give my piece on the matter. In particular, I would like to point out that indeed there was one good game that worked with a regular controller but worked exceptionally well with the power glove.

    Unfortunately, that game was not Punch-Out (with or without Mike Tyson). Punch-Out was a massive pile of failure to end all massive piles of failure with regards to the power glove. For some reason some idiot programmer thought that a good way to set up the power glove for punch-out was to move your hand forward for a punch, and then backwards for a power punch. Which of course meant your only power punch was gone pretty well immediately and then you were hosed for the rest of the round.

    No, the game that worked well with the power glove (while not being power glove specific) was Top Gun. That game had very sensible controls; move your hand, move the plane. First two fingers are your weapons. You didn't need anything more than that. Unfortunately few people ever used that great combination.

    I suppose it is probably a good thing that some of the MS engineers who worked on Kinect are actually too young to have ever tried to play punch-out with a power glove. Because if they had, they might have started out with the idea that motion control without a controller could never work properly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 06, 2010 @11:30PM (#34151640)

    IIRC, the Kinect's depth camera doesn't have enough resolution to distinguish between fingers. Having a better camera would have made the unit too expensive.

  • by Boycott BMG (1147385) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @12:04AM (#34151776) Journal
    I never had a power glove, but the kid across the street did. We tried it when he got it on his birthday. Designing games for the thing would have only solved one problem with the thing. Another major problem with the power glove was the weight. Your right arm got really tired holding the thing all the time in a certain position. It meant you had to limit your gaming sessions to 20 minutes at a time.
  • Re:Jaguar controller (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @12:30AM (#34151896)

    On thing people don't realize, is that the keypad was supposed to be simple to use because you'd place an overlay with icons over it. You wouldn't press button 1, you'd press an icon of a pistol, etc. Not losing the overlay is a different matter all together.

    I really wish the Jaguar did better...

  • Re:An Impressive Try (Score:4, Informative)

    by S3D (745318) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @03:12AM (#34152500)
    PrimeSense system had originally had built in depth processing on the chip, and that was planned to be included the project Natal, but at the end MS decided it would be too expensive and moved processing to CPU. Of cause that caused lag. Though I've read in the latest versions they had reduced lag considerably.
  • The U-Force worked (Score:2, Informative)

    by drej (1663541) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @04:17AM (#34152676)
    TFA (yeah yeah, I know, I wasn't supposed to actually read it) seems more like an advertisement for Kinect to me. I actually owned a U-Force and it worked without a hitch, even the flight-stick accessory. But oh well, guess they were going for that whole "Thanks for liberating us from the oh so sucky past, Microsoft! Now could you pay us?" thing.
  • Re:An Impressive Try (Score:3, Informative)

    by iserlohn (49556) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:35AM (#34153260) Homepage

    It's the lag that kills the experience though. Once the novelty wears off, any sort of gaming becomes a drag when there is lag. The used to be a Japanese arcade game like Time Crisis but different in that you had to physically duck to dodge incoming bullets. I played that game once or twice but the lag on it killed the whole experience.

    Think about the Wii. Most of the original Wii sports game made use of the precise timing for controller movements to control the on-screen action. Wii tennis for example is all about the timing of your swing. Latency is the single biggest "hidden" (ie. no visual or auditory) factor that determines gaming experience and any sort of lag will definitely kill it.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

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