John Carmack: Kinect is “Fundamentally a Poor Interaction”; PS Move has “Fundamental Advantages”

Legendary Developer and id Software Technical Director John Carmack had a lot of good things to say about both next generation consoles during his keynote at Quakecom 2013, but he had a lot less love to share about Microsoft’s Kinect, criticizing his latency, framerate and mode of interaction with the user. On the other hand he thinks PS Move has a fundamental advantage due to its buttons.

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iamnsuperman1874d ago (Edited 1874d ago )

It is really the button thing. The move is a really accurate piece of kit but the buttons is what makes it. Without the buttons it would be awful. There is no need to learn unusual/unnatural gestures to get things done (UI interface here. Moving your hands in front of you but you have to look at the screen to see what you are doing). Microsoft has addressed this with voice commands but like a lot of people I rarely use voice commands. We have voice stuff in our phones and other things for sometime now and the only reason I would use it (in a phone) is if I was driving (i.e doing something else that requires attention). I actually find it easier to search for things than thinking about what I need to say to get a function done (might have something to do with my dyslexia)

Buttons (in some shape or form) are quite useful. It is why things like Siri and other voice stuff has taken a back seat when people come to buying electrical goods.

RememberThe3571874d ago (Edited 1874d ago )

I only use the "voice commands" in my phone when I don't know how to spell something. Thats it.

I'm not going to tell my console to turn on, I have button on my controller for that. Plus, I don't want my system listening to my every word waiting for me to say "Xbox on." I mean, WTF is that? The XBone would be better than fine and 100 dollars cheaper without that stupid camera.

I've had fun with Move though (bocce ball gets hyper competitive), and with true 1:1 movement it really will change how useful it can be. But even thought I like Move I don't really see me using it outside game like bocce ball.

Who knows, maybe MS and Sony with prove me wrong, but for the most part motion gaming has been horrible.

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HammadTheBeast1874d ago

That's funny edonus, just yesterday you and every other Xbox "supporter" (don't want to risk another bubble) were quoting Carmack saying that the hardware was similar, now his opinion doesn't mean anything?

pixelsword1874d ago

The good and bad thing about motion controls is that you have to think in terms of what the controls do; if you don't, it shows in the games.

The fact that there are hardly any, if any, new genres of games that take advantage of either motion control scheme in a AAA game is a testament to the fact that both control schemes have a long way to go in terms of developer interest.

Using m-controls along with games are a good idea, but only if it is harder to do on a controller; just replacing things that can be done with a button press can be annoying.

RememberThe3571874d ago (Edited 1874d ago )

edonus, I gotta say I respect your opinion. Even though I rarely ever agree with what you say, I respect the way you explain yourself thoughtfully with minimal trolling.

But this article is about his opinion, the event (the talk itself not Quakecon) was about his opinion. If you don't care about it don't click on it and leave us to our "circle jerk."

Motion gaming may have a future but jumping around and waving my arms, outside of a football game, is not for me, and I doubt will be it for most people. As a control medium it's clunky and it gets in the way more than it helps. If I'm using my Xbone for solely Netflix or something then I can see how voice commends and motion sensing with make losing the remote a non-issue. But aside from that I just haven't had the experiences you've had that would make me buy into this "your the controller" stuff.

@pixelsword: Thanks for saying what I've been trying to say better than I would have said it.

grimmweisse1874d ago

Yet most devs made either made rubbish or mediocre kinect games at best. So Camack's interpretation is correct, it's fundementally flawed. You can't just say " make it so it doesn't suck", if the hardware limits you and is flawed then devs can only work within those limitations. Might as well try getting blood out of a stone!

thehitman1874d ago

Lol @ edonus you dont give a fuck about their interpretation? You do know that everything they create is their interpretation of something. For the most part they don't care what they can do for you they care about expressing THEMSELVES that ultimately ends up in our entertainment. If they feel something does not creatively move them they wont create so you can get off your high horse of entitlement. I dont want tacked on and forced anything that ruins the experience. Now do I think all motion controls are bad not really I have a psyeye and the move controller, but to come off saying you dont care what they think is being very arrogant.

Kryptix1874d ago

The Kinect hasn't proven to be beneficial to real gaming in the last couple of years. I expected something like being able to use the controller while also pointing at certain areas on the screen to make your squad go there or attack in that direction at least. But you weren't able to use the controller as you use these motion controls, giving hand gestures or something. The voice commands can be done using your headset. SOCOM on the PS2 was able to do voice commands, where you command your squad to fire at will, hold position, follow, etc. Honestly, the Kinect didn't do anything fresh for gaming. The reason why it became popular is because gamers were brought into the hype or parents wanted their kids to be busy while they did their thing. This Kinect 2.0 is really going to be the same thing with extra features. Wonder how many games in the future will be ruined because of motion controls where the developer patch in a regular controller layout for you to use or make it optional. Which backs up what gamers have been saying, why even make the Kinect mandatory for the Xbox One? The regular controller can do it better. It's the best way to play games on a console, that's why we been using it for over 20 years.

n4rc1874d ago

My phone waits for me to say Google.. I don't see the issue.. I'm all for useful privacy.. But cmon.. And I'm 99.9% sure you can turn off the active listening.

Look at it realistically.. What useful data could they possibly obtain? Once it hits shelves, its going to be dissected by the public.. There will be nothing shady

Having said that.. I did much prefer the move to kinect.. Hoping the increased power makes it more viable now..

nukeitall1874d ago (Edited 1874d ago )

Carmack is talking about the first and original Kinect.

There is very little perceptive latency in the new Kinect One. In fact, it can to some degree detect fingers already.

For decades, the controller pad was no good for FPS, but it evolved and now the pad is preferred by many. During those heydays, people said a controller could never replace the mouse.

Fast forward, and guess what, there are far more people playing FPS on console than PC. Nobody ever thought that back then!

The fact, is Kinect is rapidly becoming so darn good that even competitors like Sony considered making their camera standard on the PS4!!!

Also, your devices already know too much about you. Speech recognition of your voicemail, software scouring your storage space in the cloud, and software peeking through you phone content including email, text messages, any voice communication going on, images, calendar, notes and so on.

Yet, you are concerned about what you say in front of Kinect?

Your priority seems completely off.

JokesOnYou1874d ago (Edited 1874d ago )

Agreed nukeitall there was a time when consoles supposedly were not suited for fps because the mouse was THOUGHT of as the ONLY way to play them, NOW no one can make such claims. The original kinect did indeed have some latency issues, space was a issue, along with lighting, it had many limitations that kinect 2 does not and many devs didn't even bother to use its strengths like voice because of course it wasn't standard so all these things kinect2 has fixed. I respect Carmacks opinion and its obvious he has a bad taste in his mouth from the original kinect but things change and I'm glad to see microsoft did NOT give up because they didn't reach their goals with the original kinect. I think one day we'll look back and tell our kids about there was a time when consoles only came with a controller and of course back then gamers ONLY interacted with a controller by pressing buttons.

I think one thing is for sure there are some games like Dance Central that are BEST suited for kinect vs a controller, but I believe the vast majority are BETTER suited for hybrid controls and there are tons of ideas yet to be explored with kinect v2. As a gamer I'm exicited about new ways to interact beyond the status quo.

4Sh0w1874d ago

Carmack is obviously very smart when it comes to hardware but he doesn't like change, he only wants to keep making traditional fps because that's his forte.

Blackdeath_6631874d ago

voice command on phones require a constant internet connection without that voice commands are extremely inaccurate

Godmars2901874d ago

Pretty sure he's saying that he will either do nothing, or at the very least he'll put in the least amount of effort or creativity needed to pass whatever requirements MS puts on a title that needs to be on the X1.

pixelsword1874d ago

@ remember:

No problem. :) I think that motion controls of just about all types have a future, but the games will define it, not just adding them on to games already there like they've been doing for the most part.

tokugawa1873d ago

hammad, it goes both ways. yesterday all the sony supporters were calling Carmack out.

fanboys on both sides flip flop daily. nothing new there

N81873d ago

Some of the reasons xb1 doesn't appeal to me right now. I have no problem pressing buttons to switch inputs and turning on and off consoles. The features it presents are worthless to me I don't need them

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guitarded771873d ago

I disagree with edonus now, and most of the time, but damn... give the guy a break. I think he's aware that most of us disagree. It's not gonna change his opinion, so let it be.

Personally, I own both. I use the Move on occasion because it's fun with the right software. I don't use Kinect very often, because There rally isn't any fun software. The Haunt was kinda fun, but also frustrating at times because the motion controls didn't read well sometimes.

fr0sty1873d ago (Edited 1873d ago )

Carmack is a FPS developer, of course he'll have those types of comments to make when referring to Kinect. Even the new Kinect is not going to be as good as a Move for a FPS game, because of the fact that Move emulates a gun with it's shape and it's trigger. It is just better built for that genre. It doesn't mean there aren't any cool games that can be done with Kinect. It just means that a FPS developer is not that interested in the tech because there are better options out there for him.

Likewise, you aren't going to see someone who specializes in say, a fitness or dance game, to say they would prefer the Move as their motion control device of choice. The enhanced capability of being able to track every limb in full 3D gives Kinect an advantage there that Move just can't touch. So, that developer would favor Kinect.

John shouldn't be bashed for sharing his opinion, because to do so is simply taking his opinion out of the context of coming from a person who makes first person shooters for a living.

The_Con-Sept1873d ago

I hate kinect now and I will hate it later. Until it gets fine pin point accuracy with much better response time with its calculations and collision detection... Then I might be interested in it. But I don't see the kinect being any better than what we already have available today. Buttons perform the simplest task much faster than a camera trying to read our input.

My experience with kinect was 3 gaming sessions a my friends house. It is only fun when you play party games. I don't see this being implemented in anything other than carnival games.

So casual gamers.... Buy the XBONE please. Stay off PS4.

mp12891873d ago

"I used to give Apple a lot of grief about the one-button mouse when anybody working with the mouse really wanted more buttons. Kinect is sort of like a zero-button mouse with a lot of latency on it."


abzdine1873d ago

kinect is only better with dancing games, Move is better in everything else. it can be used for hardcore games thanks to its high precision, sports games are much better with move than kinect, just look at sports champions it blows kinect sports on every aspect due to the true 1:1 tracking


the first sentence of your comment....its like you read my mind.

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1874d ago Replies(1)
Hellsvacancy1874d ago

Sorry for sounding stupid, but could you not use a controller and Kinect at the same time? surely somebody could implement that into a game

SoundGamer1874d ago

Yeah, that's essentially how most devs use it, if they use it at all. Controller + voice commands. It has become an expensive and over-glorified microphone.

nirwanda1874d ago

You can but if your hands are on the controller they can't separate to get the benefits from using kinect.

PSN_ZeroOnyx1873d ago

Not on 360. It used DVD storage and Kinect requires too much programming for controls so you might get controller plus voice. But you couldn't have full Kinect controls and controller mapping. X1 being BD could change this though.

Bigpappy1874d ago (Edited 1874d ago )

Good write up. M$ is approaching core games differently with Kinect 2 (So are most developers I have seen use it so far). Instead of trying to use Kinect as a loan input, as Carmack seems to have been attempting, they are using it with the controller. So you can sit there and play the game with the controller and ignore Kinect, or you could learn what added inputs you can perform with light gestures .

Despite Carmack's comments, It all comes down to how the games for it appeals to the masses. Casual gamers will still choose it over the Move, because there is nothing to hold, and the gestures are more their thing, especially for Kids (throw the ball; Shoot the ball; kick the ball; touch the red button...)

The fact that developers can use it with the controller while sitting is going to give it a whole new sense of importance and application that needs to be examined.

The Kinect only games will be games that are suited for that device. Games you would not expect from people like Carmack. I kind of wished he was impressed by the tech, but this does not sway me away from Kinect. I still have interest in seeing what they do with it and can see cool uses already.

nukeitall1874d ago

I agree, and great examples of games designed for Kinect are Kinect Sports and Dance Central.

No other game in the same genre gets as close to those using Kinect is as good. Simply put, they are superior to what is out there.

Some games are just inherently better on Kinect and we just haven't explored that domain enough yet. With Xbox One and Kinect One inclusion in every box, I hope it will be explored a lot more.

Amazing technology just waiting to be applied!

scott1821873d ago

I have never played the Kinect, I imagine it is great too. But I do have the Move and I have always been impressed by how fun the games are for it, and how accurate and easy to use the move controller is. I hope they keep it rolling on the PS4!

GrownUpGamer1873d ago

Oculus Rift + Move + Kinect = EPIC x 100

blennerville1873d ago

The MOVE2.0 should be like the Razer Hydra motion controllers.

Jazz41081873d ago

He is talking about the first Kinect as when this article was taken from kinect two was still under wraps. This is just another blantant attempt to streatch the truth. Fanboys suck and dualshockera is known for this lossey goosey spreading of the truth.

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showtimefolks1873d ago

most core gamers see both as useless and niche

kinect is the reason many core gamers decided in last 3 years to switch back to PS brand and now that MS is trying to Push kinect 2 even harder now that's a true sign of what's to come down the road

if you want to play a game the best way to play is still a controller for consoles and keyboard for PC, motions controls no matter what any company will say are nothing more than Gimmick to trick casuals into buying another device they don't need

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DiRtY1874d ago

Wait, they still sell the PS Move?

HammadTheBeast1874d ago

Yes. Despite not having the 500 million advertising budget, it's sold about 7-8 million less than Kinect.

Bigpappy1874d ago

Some people bought 4 of those. So the user-base is not reflective of the number sold. Sony did not create enough new experiences specifically for Move. So most were not compelled to buy it. They have another chance at it here.

insomnium21874d ago (Edited 1874d ago )


"Some people bought 4 of those. So the user-base is not reflective of the number sold"

So what?

Many bought a backup X360 in case of RROD and they still count right?

Up here in Finland the whole RROD warranty system takes 3-5 weeks until you get yourself a new X360. That's a looong wait for some people so that's why I know several people who bought a backup core-unit.

It's not all so fine and dandy as it is in USA with MS.

soniqstylz1874d ago

"..Some people bought 4 of those. So the user-base is not reflective of the number sold...."

Same with Kinect, except that people bought ones and never hooked it to an Xbox, but hacked to their PC or Mac and created stuff from it. It's good hardware, it just sucks for gaming.

BitbyDeath1873d ago (Edited 1873d ago )


Kinects are bundled with consoles so the number sold are even less reflective of the number wanted.

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Eyeco1874d ago

Couldn't care less about the motion control nonsense or any other controller gimmick, just give me a standard controller or mouse and keyboard and leave it at that.

Veni Vidi Vici1874d ago

It's attitudes like that that would prevent us from getting something like the Oculus Rift or something even better in the future.

Progress is going to have many bumps in the road. They are required bumps. Every bump teaches us something new. Only once we've accumulated enough information and learned how to use that information will true progress be made. This can be applied to MANY fields and MANY items that we use every day.

devwan1873d ago

Were you around in the early 90s when VR was supposed to be the next big thing? 20 years later it's almost there and potentially living up to the old promise.

Maybe in another 10 or 15 years people will come up with a worthwhile implementation of motion controlled gaming, but for now, not for me.

T21873d ago

Dude hes right ms/kb and gaming controllers, are simply convenient and minimal in effort , lag , and error....
Waving your hands and arms in front of the tv will always be a fad cuz when u get tired of it ur always going back to controllers

nick3091874d ago

I own both kinect & ps move and i gotta say.. Cant get into any of them.

Abriael1874d ago

Same. Carmack says he's not sold on kinect, but I'm not sold on move either. At least Sony doesn't force it down my throat lol.

Gamer19821874d ago

Thats the killer though ain't it? You get the choice with Sony. Its holding the tech back for them but its a selling point for most. The buttons on MOVE though makes it the killer tech over Kinect. Forget the lag you get with Kinect and the small rooms as they say its fixed with 2.0 (not confirmed) that wasn't the major issue. The major issue was it was useless outside your dancing/fitness games because your interaction was limited to on rails. Voice interaction is all well and great but its not a game changer and your not really gonna buy one version over the other for voice interaction.

Bob Dole1874d ago

lel he called it a "zero button mouse"

insomnium21874d ago

Try Okami with Move. You'll love it.

Eyeco1874d ago

What I learned with the Wii and Move is that they actually added nothing to gaming, did anyone ever play a Wii game when the controls were like "OMG AMAZING REVOLUTIONARY OUT OF THIS WORLD" like it was hyped up to be ? well I didn't at best motion control was responsive, at best it just worked, other than that it was a completely useless gimmick and at it's worse it rendered games totally unplayable.

The best game on the Wii is arguably Super Mario Galaxy, would that game be any worse if it was configured to a standard controller ? I really don't think so, 10 years from now we're gonna look back at this stupid fad and laugh at how useless and silly it made us look playing games, especially at Kinect, jumping around like a meth addict, good riddance to motion control.

garos821874d ago

Try of the best examples of a great motion control game, there are plenty more but that one will do

Knushwood Butt1874d ago

+1 for Tumble.

And Killzone 3 with the Move is awesome.

n4rc1874d ago

Omg.. A huge noooo Lol

I saw those Kevin Butler ads for kz3 and the sharpshooter and said "oh hell yes!"

Boy did that suck.. Lol.. Didn't realize how awkward it would be to move and turn.. Used it maybe 3 times and havent touched it since.. Lol

insomnium21874d ago

Okami HD with Move is faneffingtastic!

SoundGamer1874d ago


I absolutely love how Guerrilla Games implemented the Move with Killzone 3. I didn't use the sharpshooter, but I sat down with the Move and navigation controller. It worked wonders for me. I was almost always at the top of the board every time I played. I couldn't play multiplayer without the Move after I started. I even platinumed the game with the Move.

kneon1874d ago


I completeled KZ3 on elite using the sharpshooter and the only complaint I have was that it made it too easy. It's too accurate and responsive.

RIP_Cell1874d ago

of course people love using Move on KZ3, you get crazy aim assist, aim at an enemy and the recticle would follow him even behind walls

Knushwood Butt1873d ago

Never used the sharpshooter, but Move along with the nav controller.

Was good with SOCOM 4 too, but not as good as the Killzone 3 implementation.

Really shameful how third parties haven't added Move implementation to their multiplats.

T21873d ago

Ya,in fact once the novelty wore off , some most annoying wii games were ones where a vital move was mapped to a motion control ... It actually hindered the game and that was just a simple flick of the wrist... Imagine anything requiring more movement and how annoying that would be

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Tyre1874d ago (Edited 1874d ago )

Kinect leads us into a world of bad interfaces & poor interaction, yeah thanks Microsoft! I've always said these motion control hype is just a superficial innovation. Thx Carmack for stating the truth.

pyramidshead1874d ago

Get ready for a lot of angry replies lol