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Input Devices NES (Games) Games

Failed Controller-Free Gaming Devices of the Past 135

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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  • The real question: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phopojijo ( 1603961 ) on Saturday November 06, 2010 @11:25PM (#34151618)
    I think the bigger story is that after all these iterations... developers still don't know how to properly use the hardware.

    People envision that Kinect will be used for sign language recognition and creating custom animations/taunts (actually waving bye to that Pyro wanker's head).

    Will we ever see a developer use the hardware? Or will they just use it shallowly and default to what they know for anything of substance?
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Saturday November 06, 2010 @11:37PM (#34151666) Homepage Journal
    Actually I think you hit on the biggest problem with the power glove, very few games were actually designed for the power glove and the creators of the power glove had to assign control schemes to every game. I wonder how long they actually spent testing out each game.

    I think the control scheme for punch out was designed solely as a way to advertise the power glove(I remember the power glove commercial prominently featured Punch-Out). What looks really cool in a 30 second ad obviously may wear thin really quickly.
  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @12:28AM (#34151882)
    I've owned several power gloves, which when combined with the old sega stereo shutter glasses made for a poor mans virtual reality rig.
  • An Impressive Try (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Brianech ( 791070 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @12:32AM (#34151902)
    Its well known that MS actually bought the tech from an over seas company. Either way though its an impressive piece of machinery for a company first try. I picked one up after reading mixed reviews, and being a guy that must have the latest gadgets I decided not to fight my inner geek. I actually love this thing. My only complaint is the most common. LAG! But what I found was despite the fact you have to adjust to the lag, you do. 10mins after turning it on, I was use to doing everything 1/3 of a second early. I wonder if its a USB limitation, or the lack of an onboard processor. The voice commands actually work well, as Im a person that cant enunciate my R's very well, this was a bit of a surprise. Some complaints about unresponsiveness have gone unnoticed by me. When I do something, even in fast succesion it happens on screen (nothing like making your avatar jerk off). I think Kinect was a good step to controller-less gaming, and albeit not perfect, is definitely fun. I have a Wii that I have only used a few times, a PS3 I love for offline gaming (but no Move) and a 360 now with Kinect. I'll still have to get the Move before I make a verdict. But i enjoy bowling/boxing more on the 360 than on the Wii. Not to mention ping pong is a blast!

    I went 3 days after launch expecting to find a ton of Kinects in store after the mixed reviews, but when I went to futureshop there was only a single unit left. I was shooting the shit with the guy in the game/movie section, and he said demand was far higher than they predicted. Interesting considering the device is far from perfect. In the end though, I have had a ton of fun so far. I just dont know when the novelty will wear off (like it did with the Wii) but this is just my 2 cents on the Kinect after a few days use. I really like it, but time and games will tell if it can be a Wii killer, just like the PS Move also hopes to be. At least sales wise I dont think initially this can be classified a failure, and use wise I also wouldn't call it a failure, just not a complete success. Solve the lag issues, get some longer lasting games, give a better menu system than holding your hand over a button (have you ever tried pausing with Kinect while playing?!?! you have to stand still for like 2 seconds) and extend the Kinect use to incorperate voice commands at all times, and it could be.
  • by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Sunday November 07, 2010 @12:47AM (#34151984)

    developers still don't know how to properly use the hardware.


    This really is the problem. I think this looks like a very interesting and powerful piece of technology.. but if it only ever gets used to make a bunch of wii style "minigames", what's the point!

    There will probably be a whole collection of Kinect minigames which though fun will not provide any real substance, and a handful of "real" games with Kinect support thrown in (but not required) for a little novelty. I'm not holding my breath for any serious titles appearing which really use Kinect to provide fundamental unique gameplay.

  • by MauiMaker ( 1802288 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @01:59AM (#34152242)
    The PowerGlove may have been a failure as a game controller, but it was a boon for those of us trying to create Virtual Reality systems with our home equipment. Rend-386 was the software only rendering engine that let us create a virtual handshake coast to coast with powergloves. 3D Rendering went on a MAJOR growth rate curve in the 90s (doubling every 6-9mo). Unfortunately 3DUI didnt do so well. The professional gloves were better than the P-glove, but still not all that great, even 10yrs later. I've still got my dual-glove PC controller. I just dont have a working 386 computer anymore.
  • by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @03:19AM (#34152524)

    The Wii also uses a light and camera, the setup is just reversed. The Wii has the camera in the controller and the light in the sensor bar, from what I heard Move lacks accuracy when it comes to pointing (which is mostly rotation) while of course having more when it comes to detecting controller movement (which is mostly translation). Yes, the Move has a gyroscope but that's not nearly as accurate as the sensor bar setup when it comes to determining where the player is pointing since the gyroscope will drift and the camera cannot recalibrate it (since the light is spherical).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @04:46AM (#34152760)

    Until recently, I was working at a company that had come up with a demo of something very interesting to do with the Kinect.

    Of course, when I left, the project had been shelved because no one was willing to put up money for anything interesting. The publishers all wanted a normal game with some kind of Kinect minigame glued on as a bonus. No one wanted to stick their head out and make a game which you could only play if you had a Kinect.

    That's what will kill it. There won't be any game out there that you *have* to buy it for, so most people won't bother to buy one, so the publishers won't back any game that can't be played without one, so no one will buy one...

    It's a pity, because on a big screen this demo changed the way I was thinking in a way that no game has ever done before, and I've been a game dev since the end of the 16-bit days.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:49AM (#34153124)

    The U-force had a flight YOKE and the stick part of the yoke was inserted into a hole that did not allow for keeping it centered.

    When the U-force did somewhat work it really only worked when it was flat, and then it was only somewhat usable for playing games such as Super Mario Bros. Also consider that even when playing Super Mario Bros. doing the larger gap jumps that required hold right (so hover the left hand over right sensor on left half of the U-force in a flat position) + speed (B Button, so hover the right hand over B-button sensor on the right half) then press jump (A button, oops it's on the same right half so have to use an arm motion to try to cover both sensors on the right half) that detection was quite imprecise. Either the jump was late or else the speed button got released just at the jump point--both of those resulted in falling in the gap not clearing it.

    The concept was good in theory, but all the motion detection was late due to have to use slower and more gradual motions and often times some of the motions were missed if done too quickly. I gave the U-force several tries, then gave up on it due to motion detection problems and went right back to the standard NES controller.

  • Re:Mindlink (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:29AM (#34153776)

    The guy behind the Atari Mindlink was a real interesting piece of work. He'd wander the hallways of the building we were in (the consumer folks had been co-located with the Atari Coinop engineering folks) with the band on his forehead, apparently looking for praise and adulation. He was /so/ convinced that royalties on it (even as an individual developer) would make him a millionaire.

    I tried using it once. Could sort of make a paddle go left and right, and I got a headache.

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