Will family-friendly controllers cripple the console giants?

There's no doubt the stars at E3 were the new control devices. Microsoft stole the show with Project Natal, of course, but Sony's PlayStation Motion Controller and the release of Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus kept up the momentum.

All this new hardware might seem unambiguously good news. The desire for more intuitive control methods has seemingly been proven by sales of Wii, DS, Guitar Hero and iPhone, and anything that finesses their sensitivity and accuracy can only be welcomed.

New control methods are good news for the games industry, too, since it gets to revisit games or genres to adapt them for the devices, without any of that awkward messing about inventing gameplay.

In this they're reminiscent of the windfall the music industry enjoyed from the shift from LPs to CDs (although we know how that ended, right?). As for Project Natal, for all the obvious smoke and mirrors, the demos hinted at genuinely fresh experiences. Lionhead's spectacular Milo video was particularly special, albeit better described as concept art rather than a demo – it looked more like a spoof advert from a sci-fi movie than anything we'll enjoy in the next 20 years.

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