Thursday, September 30, 2010

Motion Control Front Looking Bleak

Back when I first heard about the Wii, I was really excited to lightsaber duel my brothers with what I thought would be one-to-one motion controllers. When I got one, I realized that the Wiimote's functionality didn't work as anything more than a glorified button. Shake to see Mario spin, hit the tennis ball, play fetch with the dog, whatever.

Four years down the road and they're just now coming out with the Kinect and Move, but I'm skeptical about the support that these devices are going to receive. With the Wii, developers are obligated to design games with motion controls, whereas you're just cutting yourself off at the knee if you choose to make a game for the 5% of gamers who own one of these extra peripherals. Please, name one peripheral that has really taken hold, in the past. The power glo... oh, wait. The Dreamcast microph... no, only one or two games used that.

The sad thing about this is that I think the Playstation Move is great. I tried it out at a local Best Buy, and on top of it being a true 1:1 device, the effect where it superimposes items over the controller is unlike anything I've ever seen. The Kinect, on the other hand, was exciting until I saw the delay between the player and the avatar on screen, but whatever. A lot of otherwise appealing technology is going to fall flat on its face by virtue of this mid-to-late console life release. I'll be pouring one on the curb for you, Move. Rest in peace.

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