Sunday, 27 June 2010

Is There Any Point To Motion Control?


Face it, you’ve already made your decision. What with all the advertising that’s been splattered throughout game shops and on websites since E3, I would be surprised if you haven’t already made your mind up about Kinect or Move. You either love it, or you hate it. Simple as that. But have you asked yourself perhaps the most important question? Don’t look confused. Behind the shiny tech demos there’s a question that needs answering. The Wii has so far failed to reach it’s full potential in terms of hardcore games, and thus it’s up to Kinect and Move to prove to gamers, what is the point in motion control, and does it even have any form of benefit to gamers?

The Wii is dead. It’s gone, and we all know it. There’s no more innovation left in the old girl. She’s tired, she’s had a day and now she’s going to sit the rest of her life out regurgitating Carnival Games and games that end with Z’s instead of S’s. Even the pure, first party games lack any sort of pop that was promised when the Wii was first revealed. It’s limited form of motion control is boring, and we no longer care. However with Kinect and Move, we have the finally have the opportunity to combine top of the range motion control kit, with HD graphics and in Sony’s case, 3-D. Are these a match made in gaming heaven, or a gimmick worthy of the Red Steel award for shittyness?


Lets think of it firstly, in a positive light. Games with motion control are fun. I remember first getting my Wii on launch day. I loved it. I stayed up all night, and for the majority of the day after, playing Wii Sports and of course Zelda: Twilight Princess. I remember thinking “God, this is it. This works, it’s what we all needed!”. Move promises to do everything the Wii can’t. Precise, handheld devices attached to a high definition console. Sony’s controllers are the Wii HD, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With the quality of games coming out for the PS3 at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some innovate and original IP’s being revealed this year exclusive for Move that are actually worth buying. Considering the price of the console and the controllers, it’s also a given that we won’t be seeing the likes of Carnival Games HD anytime soon either.

However it’s Kinect that’s the most intriguing of the two. Controller free gaming is still, even one year on from it’s initial reveal, mind boggling. Kinect gives developers free reign over anything they would want to do. You only need to look at the Star Wars tech demo from E3, to understand that developers are no longer just limited to two controllers, but your entire body. There is no limit to what they could do, and I’ll be the first to say that I expect us to be constantly shocked by what Kinect games will be offering us in the near future. Running, jumping, kicking, punching, shooting, swimming… It’s all there. Most importantly, this free reign means that the potential for quality, hard core titles is higher than it ever was on the Wii. No more on rails shooters folks, Kinect offers us the real deal.


However, what both these devices have failed to show us so far, is any decent titles. True, the potential is present, but that’s all we have. The potential for something truly groundbreaking is coming, but until we see it in action all we have to go on is speculation. At E3 this year, both Microsoft and Sony failed to make any lasting impressions in terms of titles. Sony showed a few rough and tumble tech demos and that Ratchet and Clank…. thing but apart from that the only memorable title was that Dead Space Extraction was coming to the Ps3 with move support. A port of a Wii game? Not a good start Sony. At all. What potential is there for innovation, when already you’re porting over on-rails shooters from a less powerful console? For shame.

Kinect was also suffering from Wii fever, with Kinect Sports, that river rafting game, a dancing… dance… Oh God it bores me to even think about it. Kinect showed off a lot of awesome tech demos, but it showed nothing but Wii Clones in terms of releasable titles. At least Playstation Move had the common decency to not patronise it’s market with Wii Sports on the Ps3. Kinect showed us childish, colourful, fun filled party games, titles we’ve already seen hundreds of times before on the Wii. Microsoft were alienating it’s market, and this is where the alarm bells should be starting to ring. The Wii showed of a lot of hardcore titles upon it’s release, but 90% of them turned out to be nothing more than tech demos. Should we be giving Kinect and Move then benefit of the doubt, or is it a given that history is about to repeat itself?


I want to like motion controllers. I really want to like Kinect, especially, because I can honestly see myself jumping around my living room, holding my arm like a shotgun barking orders and my team mates as I storm an office building, shooting terrorists. I know it can be done, because all of the technology present at E3 proved that it was possible. Yet, I see nothing of the sort being shown to me. No upcoming titles, not even a tech demo. Where’s the hardcore market Microsoft?

As for Sony… nyergh. Move is such a shameless Wii clone that I can’t even  begin to describe my disgust for it. As long as I don’t see “MOVE COMPATIBLE” on Uncharted 3, I’ll happily let it die in a corner. I don’t mind pointless gimmicks being present, just as long as they don’t suffocate me from all aspects of my gaming experience.

In short, Motion control has the potential of becoming something brilliant. Sensational, even. If Microsoft and Sony play their cards right they could have something seriously innovate in the works. In the meantime? I’m sceptical. What they’ve shown us so far is just HD Wii games, and I can’t see that as being acceptable six months or a year into it’s release. Will we see some quality hardcore titles that benefit? Only time will tell. Until then, keep your money in a safe place, because you could well just make a decision that you’ll either appreciate making, or regret for a long time to come.

1 comment:

  1. What about if you haven't made up your mind, and are simply waiting to see what games are coming out that interest you?