Sony and Microsoft Do It Again!

tendo82

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Nov 30, 2007
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Sony and Microsoft Do It Again!

A day late and some common sense short, Microsoft and Sony introduce motion controllers of their own.

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Nurb

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Dec 9, 2008
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wow, with the consoles saying "screw you" to 'normal' and 'hardcore' gamers that made them rich in the first place in favor of those casual game cash cows, the PC is going to have a surge of popularity.
 

HobbesMkii

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Jun 7, 2008
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I think Natal could be really incredibly cool. But like you, Mr. Endo, I have no idea how it could be used for games outside of interactive toys like Milo there. I mean, maybe if the NPCs in Fable III all recognize my face they'll... er... they'll... Fill In Blank Here. I think right, motion control is just gimmicky to everyone but Nintendo. It doesn't serve a super-duper purpose for Xbox and PS.
 

unangbangkay

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Oct 10, 2007
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I don't think what you're proposing, that clarity of vision, is possible anymore with the 360 and PS3, namely because neither platform was designed with the motion controller as central to the concept. The Wii was. Without the remote and nunchuck, you don't have a Wii, even if you do have a classic controller or a gamecube controller handy.

It's that simple. Sony and MS can't tell non-gamers how Natal and DualWand (I'll just call it that because it sounds like DualShock) will change their lives because they won't. It's not that they're lacking in "common sense", it's that what you're demanding that they do isn't possible. Therefore, the only way they could go with that is to tell consumers what their stuff does "that Nintendon't". And they did, or at least tried to.

And yes, you're right. It's WAY too early to be complaining.
 

KDR_11k

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The games are the key point. Nintendo didn't win the new audience just by throwing a new controller at them, they sold to that audience by giving them games they wanted and they used a new controller to do so. Technology is an enabler for games that then sell the system, it is not a system seller by itself. I don't think MS or Sony have the capability (mostly based on understanding, those who think the extended market means "casual gamers who have no taste" or "people just like us who just can't handle difficulty and need easier games" will not reach that market) or desire to build a game library that appeals to the extended market. You can't just take a market like that with one gimmick and a token game, you need to commit to it. MS and Sony are focussed entirely on the core market, they would have to split their attention like Nintendo does. There we have the next problem though: How much attention, i.e. development capacity, do they actually have available for splitting? Both MS and Sony rely strongly on third parties, they have very little capacity of their own that could be used to go where third parties won't (and they definitely won't, they're failing to capture the market on a system that already has a huge number of extended market gamers, they would never do it on a system that doesn't have that market at all).

Finally, the crucial bit that made me think Natal is too late was this: During the conference the guy said the dev kits are going out NOW. That means games can only now START development (and since the concept of Natal is just so different from the regular controller I don't think you'll be able to incorporate it into an already running project without turning it into the controller-less equivalent of waggle*). What does that mean for the game releases? They'll be VERY late in the game.

As such I don't think either of the two will make inroads on Nintendo's market, they lack the necessary skill (the software development, not the hardware), the necessary motivation (they'd rather serve people who actually care about graphics and cinematics and HD) and the opportunity (they could have been there to compete with the WMP this year had they revealed their clones last year but now they're going to be late to even that party and when they finally launch go up against an already matured library which is further boosted by the Wii's previous focus on motion controls and thus involving less shoehorning).

*= To me waggle means substituting a digital input with a gesture so the resulting game could have been played just as well with a button, Wii Sports is NOT waggle because its gestures are analog, the way you perform them affects the outcome. Many core games on the Wii use waggle though because they still get designed for buttons.
 

tendo82

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Nov 30, 2007
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KDR_11k said:
The games are the key point. Nintendo didn't win the new audience just by throwing a new controller at them, they sold to that audience by giving them games they wanted and they used a new controller to do so.
That's the other issue that I didn't even begin to address: That Nintendo, through it's prowess as a first party developer, was basically able to teach other developers the types of games that would work with the Wii. They were able to lead the way, which is crucial for paradigm shifting technology.
 

randommaster

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tendo82 said:
KDR_11k said:
The games are the key point. Nintendo didn't win the new audience just by throwing a new controller at them, they sold to that audience by giving them games they wanted and they used a new controller to do so.
That's the other issue that I didn't even begin to address: That Nintendo, through it's prowess as a first party developer, was basically able to teach other developers the types of games that would work with the Wii. They were able to lead the way, which is crucial for paradigm shifting technology.
Well, you can't discount the price of the Wii (and Nintendo won't do it for you), or the free game that you got. Both of these helped with the initial popularity, and now people are getting used to the control scheme, the games being released are getting better.

As much as anybody complains about gimmicky Wii games, anything created by Sony and Microsoft is going to be worse. I expect that at least one title from them will be good, but without a complete shift towards motion controls for the next few years, there won't be enough support to make this pay off.
 

scotth266

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Jan 10, 2009
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I view Natal as more of a tech upgrade than a games controller: I could care less about it being used as a game playing device.

Rather, I'm excited about the voice/facial recognition, and the motion-controlled menus. It strikes me as being tech of the future, today: it gives off the same feel that the Jetsons did.

As far as Sony goes, while they may have released what looks like a blatant ripoff of the Wiimote, I have to give them credit for getting it right from the start. It has a lot of potential if they can back it properly. They stole the thunder away from the WiiMotion Plus, and then some.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Apr 8, 2008
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Amen to your byline, Tom. As cool as all this motion control stuff is, I hope it doesn't mean the end of the classic, non-motion controller. Sometimes I just want to veg out and play something relaxing.
 

azadiscool

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Dec 10, 2008
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From what I have seen (which, admittedly, is not that much) the Microsoft one is just an eye toy, and the PS3 one is accurate but probably won't have the support that, say, Nintendo gives the Wii's motion sensing.

Jeez, do they seriously think that we want motion sensing? There is a reason hardcore gamers hate the Wii...
 

LewsTherin

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azadiscool said:
From what I have seen (which, admittedly, is not that much) the Microsoft one is just an eye toy, and the PS3 one is accurate but probably won't have the support that, say, Nintendo gives the Wii's motion sensing.

Jeez, do they seriously think that we want motion sensing? There is a reason hardcore gamers hate the Wii...
Do they?
 

Low Frost

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Nov 6, 2008
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LewsTherin said:
azadiscool said:
From what I have seen (which, admittedly, is not that much) the Microsoft one is just an eye toy, and the PS3 one is accurate but probably won't have the support that, say, Nintendo gives the Wii's motion sensing.

Jeez, do they seriously think that we want motion sensing? There is a reason hardcore gamers hate the Wii...
Do they?
Depends.
I have generally not been impressed with the Wii, as it's vaunted motion sensor tech is something that has been around since the mid '90s and I still don't see it being applied in anything save the most rudimentary fashion. In fact, it isn't better than the motion sensor tech post 2000, because that could read 3d movement that Nintendo is making you pay for.

A grand number of Wii games would either be the same or better if a standard controller modeled of the SNES controller were used, and Nintendo is yet again continuing their abysmal relationship with everyone else by denying them full access to their proprietary tech. Maybe they do it because they know at the core, Nintendo will make money, if no one else does.
 

zoob123

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I find this quite annoying in the fact that used to be (and maybe still is) the only reason to buy a wii. Basically Nintindo is going to end up in gamer heaven, and we're going to the sony vs. microsoft war between all gamers. Kinda wish dell or hp would release something, to bad both componies are traced back to microsoft anyways. About the motion controllers I'd like to say "YAY! I don't have to buy the Wii" but instead i find myself asking "Microsoft... and sony leave this to the experts who apparently are fixing the controllers anyway." Just like Xbox live releasing the rip off of the mii in order to draw nintindo fans to them. O well it's inevitable now I guess.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
the reason the wii mote took off is because it came with the system and over all worked pretty well, strange add ons like these have a long history of failing so I would guess chances are that the sony and microsoft motion things will really just add to the long list of strange add-ons that didnt quite make it.
 

SomeUnregPunk

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can anyone say GUNCON?
[edit]
I predict that these controllers will be sitting sadly on the wayside with little to no games supporting it.
 

TaborMallory

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Nurb said:
wow, with the consoles saying "screw you" to 'normal' and 'hardcore' gamers that made them rich in the first place in favor of those casual game cash cows, the PC is going to have a surge of popularity.
I feel compelled to agree.

Looking back, I always see Nintendo adventuring out and coming up with the new stuff, while Sony (and more recently, Microsoft) take the easy route and just follow the winner (not with everything, of course, such an assumption is as ridiculous as the very notion).
 

300lb. Samoan

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I don't get it, I understood IMMEDIATELY how the Sony controllers were "going to change my life". Sony came out and demonstrated a practical and useful control scheme and some familiar scenarios which were previously difficult to handle with a d-pad or analog stick.
For the first time ever, I want to play an FPS on a console because I think it will be better than playing with a mouse.