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GDC: Harrison - Game Controller Ease Key To Industry Growth

Gamasutra writes: As part of the GDC Luminaries Lunch attended by Gamasutra, Phil Harrison has been colorfully explaining the over-complexity of current game controllers to the average non-gamer, suggesting: "You hand someone a game controller and it's like you've handed someone a grenade with the pin taken out."

The wide-ranging discussion at the lunch turned to the concept of reaching the wider market when Peter Molyneux asked the provocative question: "Do you think that we've failed as creators when you compare [the 8 million sales of Halo 3] to the 200 million people playing casual games?"

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jlytle12343353d ago

so a universal remote must be too complex for "casual" tv watchers. it has tons of buttons and runs multiple devices. the problem is if you want to watch tv youll figure out how to work the freaking remote. if you really want to play video games youll learn how to work a freaking controller. and its not like a game is required to use every button on a controller. so i think it has nothing to do with the controller.
next thing you know keyboards will have to many keys for casual typers.

Gorgon3353d ago

But sony and MS aren't after the people that "really wants to play videogames". They are after evreryone, incluiding non-gamers that may be converted into consumers of games. Hence, they want something that you can start playing in 30 seconds, not 30 minutes.

Let me give you an example. A friend of mine had his mother come to his house and her mother tried out his new Wii. After a while she was saying that she wanted him to order one for her. Why? Because even by beying a non-gamer she got instant gratification from the start. If it was a PS3 or Xbox 360 she would have said simply that "its to dificult to use this thing". She simply would not spend the time to learn how to use it.

What you have to bear in mind is that Sony and MS are not in the gaming business just to please gamers. They are here to make has much money as they can get and that includes going after the average joe who will drop a controler unless he is having fun 10 seconds after starting up a game.

jlytle12343353d ago

the point is the majority of games need to be for the people who spend 250 hours on a game not for someones mom. you can keep the controllers the same and make a few games that either only require one or two buttons to play or if you want to really make money make some games that
are designed for some casual gamer controller you can buy. the point is the gaming industry was created for people who wanted to play games. and
the gaming industry grew because a small portion of the population really liked playing games. they form the base of the industry. dont go changing the industry and ignore those people to capture that huge population who can take or leave gaming. on the grand scheme of things there are more people who can take or leave football than are die hard football fans. should we change football to bring in that majority or people who dont really care for it? thats american football.

jackdoe3353d ago

I've played video games for years so any controller is easy to use for me. However, my parents, who have never played a game in their life, would find it difficult to just pick up and play with a PS360 controller. A Wii controller, they have no problem with. I agree that ease of controller use does lead to industry growth, for example a DS. What is easier than just using a stylus to do what you want to do? And look at the incredible DS sales.

davez823353d ago

yah but how would you play halo with the wii controller i dont think it would be fun at all, well then i guess no halo, that would suck, but the rest of the 200mil gamers wouldnt even notice, this is called the downfall of the hardcore gaming market, and you can thank nintendo.

3353d ago
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