Much has been talked about motion controllers since E3 for a good few weeks now with all three systems touting motion controls, or in the case of Nintendo, specifically, improved motion controls.
This blog isn't about the usual argument of which one will be the best, its about the constant invention of these great innovations and developers and publishers failing to use them how we originally saw fit. The potential in such a thing and how most of the time, that potential is never fully realised. I personally find this type of 'abusing of technology' annoying, in fact, I get annoyed just when a peripheral is made and just gets made for a select few titles.
The EyetoyThe Eyetoy was one of the first steps in the whole motion control craze, Just look at what games the Eyetoy had, see, if you clicked that obvious URL link, you would find, it had a good run for its money and I consider the Eyetoy to be a success. The Eyetoy bought some nice innovation to games, but mainly just stuck with Eyetoy branded games and never moved to any other core type of games. It worked and was used to its full potential. Although I only ever played Eyetoy Play.
Next down in this route is the Wii which is Nintendos fantastically successful stab at the big new craze of motion based gaming which we saw the likes of on the Eyetoy, following from the standards set from the Nintendo DS the Wii tries to do something similar. Where the Wii doesn't have in graphics, it makes up with motion controls, codenamed the 'Revolution', the Wii is basically the trigger for this sudden move into motion based controls due to making a console which any one and any age can play which has arguably altered the way the game industry works and thinks.
The problem is, once Nintendo released a few games in the 'Wii' series, everyone saw how popular Wii Sports was and before we know it. Clones of Wii Sports and minigame fests, by no name developers made on miniscule budgets and cut corners everywhere.
Occasionally a game on the Wii works brilliantly and has that interactivity we crave turns up, but ironically that innovation has basically slowly generated the Wii into some kind of fitness system or a personal gym, just something you'd bring out at parties or when gran comes over for Christmas providing her Arthertis doesn't play up. Which might be good for some, but seriously, wasn't the Wii first made to be a gaming console?
The potential of the Wii's motion controls is still there and this can be seen clearly on games such as No More Heroes, Madworld, Geometry Wars: Galaxies, Red Steel, Manhunt 2, Metroid and the HoTD series. Future games from third parties seem to be taking advantage of the Wii's motion controls now, so soon we'll be able to crack skulls, and inflict damage just by waving our nunchucks and Wiimotes around.
Face it, what makes the potential of the Wii's motion controls so cool for us gamers is how much pain you could inflict just by swiping the Wiimote the releative motions that you can do that makes the character on screen do something similar. We want to cause damage, terror and hurt things just like we do in any other type of game, I'm not just talking outright violence too, I'm on about something as simple as jolting the controller to cause some cartoony slapstick pain, consuming something, throwing a rock at something. I just don't want the Wii to continue being a sports and minigame system, because the potential is still there.
Motionplus even furthers that potential and theres no reason why a good game can't be made on a system with less graphics than the other competitors, PS2 games still hold up, so that's making excuses, the Wii has far advanced graphics from the PS2 as the Gamecube was more powerful back then and the Wii is supposedly more powerful than the Gamecube. If the Wii is realised to its full potential we could have some amazingly great games and many system sellers, enough of the useless plastic attachments for sports games to add weight and realism and lets get the ball rolling!
Put a Katamari game up there, Point Blank Wii, Kirby, Starfox, remake Psone's Wild 9 with the rig, Jet Set Radio, go crazy with click adventures, Mario Paint Wii, share pictures and draw together online! Make real use of that new Motionplus!
The PS3 lauched with no vibration due to a lawsuit which Sony was unwilling to cooperate with, so the Sixaxis was born. To be fair, I am a fan of the SIxaxis as it has been proven to work in games such as Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, FloW, Pain, Warhawk and Flower. Sixaxis features have also been built into GTAIV and Saints Row 2 and bring a whole new experience to playing the game whilst driving or flying. Warhawk also brings a great feeling of freedom when flying around with Sixaxis and kept my faith in it.
Finally after many years of a full game working with Sixaxis as the primary controller along came Flower and proved just why the Sixaxis is a good idea. But basically, I want QTEs telling me to yank the controller up to tear off a monsters head in God of War 3, I just hope because of the underused and unperfected Sixaxis use a few years ago, that Flower has now showcased what developers could choose to do with the Sixaxis as a primary controller and as addition input and controls for games such as sniping in killzone 2. I still believe that Sixaxis still hasn't seen its maximum potential yet, but Flower set the chains in motion. Heavy Rain seems to be the next to use the Sixaxis seriously. Sixaxis works.
Now on the PS3, we have the PSeye (which is very much like the previously mentioned Eyetoy) which has a serious lack of PSeye specific games. Sure, we can use the PSeye as a webcam and put pictures of ourselves in LBP as stickers, have quick shots taken when we crash in Burnout, but there is indeed a serious lack in actual games which the PSeye is the main controller, basically so far, we have as of now, in retail games; 'Eye of Judgement' which has a very limited audience and a few PSN games, which hardly none actually make use of the PSeye.
A proposed game for the PSeye; Eyedentify was a concept I found incredibly intriguing, but the game has basically become vapourware. Luckily we have Eyepet coming out later this year to prove that interactivity, but is Eyepet actually a game?
When are we going to see games which take serious advantage of the PSeye?
Time Crisis 4 for PS3 had a brand new version of the Guncon made for it, "YES!!" I screamed, I'm going to get that!" and still to this day, we just have one lightgun game for the PS3 and due to reviews, I outright avoided Time Crisis 4, also it isn't backwards compatable. Maybe not innovational, but just for one tiny moment I thought we could have a PSN version of Point Blank with regulary updated level packs or a LBP'eque gallery editor to make your own Point Blank challenges, or some HD lightgun games...and so far, nothing but Time Crisis 4, even Guitar Hero or Rock Band pepherials have much more use than the Guncon 3. Massive failure, in fact, even Steel Battalion controllers on the Xbox could at least work on two games.
Xbox Live Vision cam
Yeah...about that. Rare did an interesting thing that you can scan cards in the last Viva Pinata...I feel sorry for anyone without Xbox Live who bought this. Now we have Natal so give it a few years and this'll be rendered useless. Well, even more useless than it is now.
The new technology
Just being an average twenty odd year old in the United Kingdom with gaming as a bit of a hobby and a way to relax, obviously I haven't had a chance to get hands on with the new motion controls both MS and Sony have to offer but seen the E3 footage. See again, everyone sees mass potential in such innovation, but will either actually deliever?
Natal appears to be something that MS has been working on a long time, first of all most people has compared it to both of Sony's previous 'Eye' systems. But Natal seems much more advanced by that, we've all seen the videos, we've heard the hype. It maps each individual joint of your body, but will it deliver? Or has Natal been aimed at a completely different sector of the 360's audience?
I'd like to see click adventures with Natal and I'm like to be able to hold a gun and turn the camera just by moving my arms left, right, up or down. I do not, however, want to drive a car by doing the actions of the steering wheel and cars, I do howver like the idea of interacting with NPCs in real time, I like the idea of me being in a game, objects being scanned directly into games, there is a lot of potential in Natal, but so far I'm skeptical if this is going to be used or what and if it does alter the industry, only one company can produce Natal games, which on the whole will stunt progress, due to patents of technology and systems.
I can see Natal not catering for me due to the fact I play games to chill and relax, I don't want to hop up and down and there's no way my favourite type of genre of game, the platformer could be made for Natal without bringing on a random asthma or heart attack.
PS3 motion controls
I actually like these. Requiring the PSeye to track the 'wands', if the E3 demo shown anything, it shown that Sony seems to be working on ways of in-corperating this controller into real, core games. They want you to sword fight, play FPS games and RTS. This controller has been built in mind for 'real games', I get to hold something like the Wii-mote, the movement is exactly the speed as my movement, it has full 3D tracking and I have buttons to press, the skill is still there. Best of both worlds really. But with Motion Plus already doing this on the Wii, is the HD graphics going to impact what could be done with the PS3's motion wands? Again, am I going to get bloody knackered swishing two wands around, say like in God of War, my arms would hurt like hell, much better suited for simple button pressing.
Accepting and utilising Innovation
Again, this come down to who will deliever on that potential, MS or Sony, who will make the best use of the technology or are they both going to do a little advancement and attempt to steal the audience of the Wii?
Even then, what is Nintendos next move after defining motion controls on consoles, with the Wii, what is the next big step?
Is Nintendo going to steal all gamers on the next console or just slowly turn into a fitness company?
The race is on, the best innovation associated with these controllers wins. This time, developers, companies, manufacturers...do not abuse innovation.
It annoys me and many others too.