Four year ago, Nintendo launched the Wii, a strangely named video game console that didn’t focus on cutting-edge graphics, top-level processing power or high-definition disc playback. Instead, the Wii went in a different direction: motion control.
The console’s controller, the Wiimote, largely freed games from button pushing, allowing players with little skill in such things to jump right in. Nintendo’s plan worked – the company has sold 76 million consoles so far, nearly the combined total of its two competitors, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Motion gaming clearly spoke to a much larger market than the hard-core gamers Sony and Microsoft were catering to.
Not surprisingly, it’s a market the two companies want a piece of. Microsoft is coming after Nintendo with Kinect, an Xbox 360 add-on that launches Thursday, while Sony has its PS3 Move controller, which was released in September. So, how do the two new entries compare?