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TrueMotion Game Controller a Step Up From Wii Remote

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the maybe-i-can-actually-putt-with-this-one dept.

Input Devices 187

Harry McCracken writes "One of my top picks at the Consumer Electronics Show was Sixense's TrueMotion, a game-controller technology that resembles the Wii's remote, but uses an electromagnetic field to provide far more precision — it knows the exact location of the controller in 3D space and which way you're pointing it. (The Wiimote only knows which direction you're moving the controller.) TrueMotion-based remotes are due by Christmas, bundled with a PC game for under $100."

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187 comments

I call Bullshit (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407577)

According to the Heisenburg uncertainty principle its impossible to know both where an object is precisely, and where its heading.

Re:I call Bullshit (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407669)

No, it wasn't the hydrogen that made the Heisenberg catch fire, it was the helium paint.

Re:I call Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407927)

Oh, the humanity.

Re:I call Bullshit (1, Insightful)

evol262 (721773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407833)

Uh, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle primarily applies to quantum mechanics. Beyond which, the polling rate on the controller hardly hits arbitrary precision, and can be thought of more as an extrapolation of vectors from known data points.

Re:I call Bullshit (4, Funny)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407907)

That would be the joke.

Re:I call Bullshit (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408633)

In soviet russia, where object is heading IS where object is.

There was a reason I made a far, far worse joke, but the shock of the monstrosity I had created made me forget it...

Re:I call Bullshit (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408683)

woosh...

Re:I call Bullshit (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408113)

i'm going with Zeno's paradoxes and arguing that movement and therefore measurement of it is impossible,

Re:I call Bullshit (2, Funny)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408439)

Newton beats you up with Leibniz sitting in the corner waiting for the tag team.

Re:I call Bullshit (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408407)

You forgot to add "beyond a point of precision."

Turn in your physics nerd badge.

Re:I call Bullshit (1)

weber (36246) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409007)

According to the Heisenburg uncertainty principle its impossible to know both where an object is precisely, and where its heading.

Indeed, however, I believe the accuracy will suffice even for your superior motor control good sir.

Eh... (2, Insightful)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407589)

The Wii remote is accurate enough, for me anyway. I don't use my Wii for anymore then some Wii Sports, Super Mario and Zelda. Consoles aren't meant to be these uber lean mean fighting machines with top of the line parts. If I want that, Ill go play on my computer. Console gaming will never be more advanced then computer gaming and it shouldnt be.

Re:Eh... (2, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407853)

Console gaming will never be more advanced then computer gaming and it shouldnt be.

Console gaming IS more advanced then computer gaming for the sheer ability to just plain work as advertised.

How many console games require a new graphic card, new processor, more memory, DirectX/drivers updates or OS upgrades?

You plug it in, turn it on, drop in the CD/DVD/cartridge and it works.
No half hour installations, needles restarts, patches that take several hours to download and install...

For actual gameplay - consoles have been kicking PC's ass for years now.
But, if you find fiddling around your PC, spending insane amounts of money on hardware upgrades and kicking it once in a while JUST SO YOU COULD PLAY A GAME a part of the experience - well good luck with that.

Only game niches where PC still keeps the crowd entertained with greater efficiency are RTS, FPS and MMORPG games.
For an idiotic reason that console makers refuse to allow onto their consoles games that require plugging in a mouse into their consoles AND comparatively high price for multiplayer gaming.
The second reason being that you need the console+game+online/network access&support+TV screen for each player.
And while each member of the household can validate the need for a personal computer - it is not so with a personal TV and gaming console.
So there tends to be more PCs per household member than consoles, which gives multiplayer gaming on a PC a lower minimum requirement threshold.
Hopefully, with new console's ability to go online something will also move up from the lower regions of the body to the heads of console and console games makers and we will finally enter the era of games that you can JUST PLAY.

Not install, service, update, patch and set up more than you actually play the game.

Re:Eh... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407875)

No, you're confusing ease of use with more advanced. If that was the case, linux would be the least advanced of the big-three OS's out there.
PC gaming IS more advanced due to this extra level of technological requirement, it's because it's always at the edge of technology that it's often seen as unstable and difficult to manage. Your own logic doesn't really make sense at all, if something is more advanced because it DOESN'T require new hardware, then surely each time a new console comes out, they become less and less advanced?

Re:Eh... (0)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407935)

Some people like playing on PCs, some on Xboxs, some on Playstation, some on Nintendo consoles. The rest is just how YOU feel about it.

For instance you CAN'T get even better graphics on a console by upgrading your hardware.
In most scenarios you CAN'T patch the game to fix bugs and flaws.
Some games DON'T play better on a console.

And so on.

Re:Eh... (2, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407949)

Only game niches where PC still keeps the crowd entertained with greater efficiency are RTS, FPS and MMORPG games.

And like nobody plays those!

Only game niches where consoles beat PCs is local multiplayer games sitting in the couch and eventually RPGs.

Re:Eh... (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408221)

RPGs?? I don't so, maybe action RPGs like the japanese ones, but classic RPGs requires better interfaces than a console provides. The few RPGs, like Oblivion that have been on both Console and PC have had an absolutely horrible and useless user-interface.

Re:Eh... (2, Interesting)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408575)

local multiplayer games sitting in the couch

As more and more people hook their PCs up to their TVs, I wonder if split-screen gaming will come to the PC? I wonder if, now, you could plug four wireless USB keyboards and mice (or game controllers?) into a PC, run four instances of, say, Quake 3 in windows (with each configured to use a different keyboard+mouse/gamepad for input), and play a multiplayer game through a server on localhost -- so everyone can play on your big HDTV from the couch? Obviously configuration would be at least a minor pain in the butt, but I imagine the process could be automated -- perhaps by an OSS program with a database of user-contributed "presets" for different games?

Re:Eh... (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408687)

Followup:

A modern PC* can handily run four instances of Quake 3 at 80+ FPS. And yes, one instance can host a game and the others can connect to localhost. The only issue is control: I suspect that you can only control whichever instance has focus. But I wouldn't be surprised if a program could be written to send the appropriate messages to the different windows.

* Tested on a Thinkpad T61 w. nVidia Quadro NVS 140M and Core 2 Duo at 2.2 GHz.

Re:Eh... (2, Interesting)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408829)

Followup 2:

These guys [youtube.com] had the same idea. In the discussion beneath the video, they talk about using programs called "xpadder" and "autohotkey" to control both windows simultaneously. From the sounds of things, this is a promising approach, but people haven't invested a lot of time into figuring out these program's scripting languages in order to make this work.

Re:Eh... (2, Interesting)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409019)

Followup 3:

It seems that xpaddr converts gamepad button presses to keystrokes, and autohotkey is used to send those keystrokes to the correct windows. These guys [epicgames.com] have gotten this much working. Yet although dual-mouse drivers [sourceforge.net] exist, I have not found people who have gotten two mice working independently in different instances of the game. That said, if you're content with using a gamepad instead of a mouse, this seems to work.

It'd be nice if this mishmash of different software could be bundled together as a single "play games splitscreen" program -- which one could imagine also doing other things, like stripping game windows of borders and decorations, and aligning them all to precisely fill the screen automatically.

A completely different approach would be to use the split-screen desktop [microsoft.com] software that Microsoft should be releasing before too long, which should (hopefully) make this easy.

Finally, in all of this I haven't considered tricks with Wine and Linux; I assume that some things (like multiple mice) might be easier in such a framework. But I think that for games, a Windows-based approach is probably, if we're honest and not too ideological, much more practical.

Re:Eh... (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409207)

Followup 4:

Another approach would be to set up a Xephyr multiterminal [wikibooks.org] and run an instance of the game in each with Wine.

Re:Eh... (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409255)

I'd imagine such a thing would be such a giant ballache it'd cost far less in terms of time and money to simply hook up a console with four controllers. I suppose you'd also need four desks, unless people are supposed to try to balance and keyboard on their laps and a mouse on the cushions at their side.

Re:Eh... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408909)

Only game niches where consoles beat PCs is local multiplayer games sitting in the couch

For people who routinely host play dates with visiting friends or relatives, that's a rawther important niche.

Re:Eh... (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409239)

World of Warcraft is the only MMO played in more than niche numbers, FPSes sell more on consoles than PCs, and the RTS is pretty much a dead genre. I'd say that's pretty niche.

Re:Eh... (4, Informative)

Tainek (912325) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408019)

You plug it in, turn it on, drop in the CD/DVD/cartridge and it works.
No half hour installations, needles restarts, patches that take several hours to download and install...

You evidently haven't used a console recently, I've experienced all of the above with mine.

Not to mention the fact that my 4 month old 360's DVD drive decided to die recently. Now I have to piss about with Microsoft getting the console replaced. If that takes 2-3 weeks, I've lost 2-3 weeks of gaming. It usually takes me on average 30 mins to install a pc game&patch (10 hours a year), and a day to get a new DVD drive, I can live with that.

As far as needing to buy new hardware for new games? I buy a new gaming PC every 4 years, Halfway through my third cycle. I have *Never* needed to buy hardware to play a new game (Excluding of course, the rise of 3D Graphics-Once). I've had to turn settings down a couple of times, but never to the point where poor graphics interfere with gameplay ( In COD4 multiplayer I used to keep all settings low out of preference, not need)

I Spend £500 every 4 years. Even if every PC game I bought was available on the consoles I'd spend WAY more on the extra cost of console games (20 Games a year average, £10 extra cost due to console tax is £800 extra, not including the cost of the console)

I Spend a LOT more money per console in the long run than I do on my gaming PC, despite playing about the same of games on all of them.

Consoles are good, So are PCs. Your arguments alas, are not.

Re:Eh... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409183)

Even if every PC game I bought was available on the consoles I'd spend WAY more on the extra cost of console games (20 Games a year average, £10 extra cost due to console tax is £800 extra, not including the cost of the console)

But if you had two or three other people in the household, how much would you spend on extra copies of the game so that more than one person in the house can play at once?

Re:Eh... (4, Interesting)

rtechie (244489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408089)

How many console games require a new graphic card, new processor, more memory, DirectX/drivers updates or OS upgrades?

The NES, Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, N64, and probably other consoles I can't remember have required memory upgrades to play certain games. The Dreamcast, PS2, Original XBOX, XBOX 360, and PS3 have OS updates and game patches. I can't think of any console that offered a processor upgrade off the top of my head (the Jaguar maybe?).

No half hour installations, needles restarts, patches that take several hours to download and install.

Except the PS3 which requires large hard drive installs for many games. Or Last Remnant, which requires a hard drive install on the 360. I don't know about the giant patches you're talking about. You're probably talking about MMO client updates. There ARE no MMOs on the console except Final Fantasy XI which distributes such client updates on discs.

Only game niches where PC still keeps the crowd entertained with greater efficiency are RTS, FPS and MMORPG games.

The reality is more that genres change. PC gaming used to be dominated by point and click adventure games and flight sims. These genres didn't transition to the consoles, they faded in popularity. "Devil May Cry" style action-adventure games were big last generation, in this generation, not so much. And speaking of RPGs, console RPGs are widely incorporating elements from PC games, particularly MMOs (see FFXII) not the other way around.

Facts: PC game sales have been going up dramatically every year. Certain genres, and even certain games, have dominated PC gaming since it's inception. Those genres change over time.

People have been predicting the death of PC gaming since before it even started. It's not going to happen unless people stop using PCs or manufacturers refuse to make gaming hardware for PCs.

Re:Eh... (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408755)

The NES, Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, N64, and probably other consoles I can't remember have required memory upgrades to play certain games.

 
Please cite examples. Of the systems you listed, I've played NES, Genesis, and N64. The N64 is the only one of the group that had the ability to have it's memory upgraded and only a few games required it - (Single Player)Perfect Dark, Donkey Kong 64, Majora's Mask, and (Muliplayer) Starcraft 64 are the ones that spring to mind.
 

The Dreamcast, PS2, Original XBOX, XBOX 360, and PS3 have OS updates and game patches.

I'll give you that the XBOX, 360, and PS3 have system updates and game patches, the PS2 and Dreamcast (as far as I'm aware), do not. Where would the upgrades/patches be installed? They didn't have hard drives and the memory cards on those systems were pretty small in terms of space (at least by todays standards). As I said before, please cite an example.

Slight corrections (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409021)

The NES, Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, N64, and probably other consoles I can't remember have required memory upgrades to play certain games. The Dreamcast, PS2, Original XBOX, XBOX 360, and PS3 have OS updates and game patches. I can't think of any console that offered a processor upgrade off the top of my head (the Jaguar maybe?).

Sega Genesis had the Sega CD, which contained a processor faster than the one in the Genesis. It also had the 32X, which was about half as powerful as the Saturn. But all "memory upgrades" for the North American and European NES (that is, everything but the Japan-only Famicom Disk System) have been limited to memory chips inside the Game Pak, the same sorts of memory chips used for saved games in Sega Genesis and Super NES carts. And what kinds of user-installable OS updates are you talking about for Dreamcast or PlayStation 2?

PC gaming used to be dominated by point and click adventure games and flight sims. These genres didn't transition to the consoles, they faded in popularity.

As far as I know, point-and-click adventures did transition to the DS and Wii. See Hotel Dusk, the Ace Attorney series and Zack and Wiki [google.com] . Even Myst got ported to DS.

It's not going to happen unless people stop using PCs or manufacturers refuse to make gaming hardware for PCs.

Both Microsoft and Logitech make game controllers, but it's hard to buy one with a PC. I just went to HP.com's gaming accessories page [hp.com] and saw only keyboards, mouse, and speakers, not the gamepads that would be useful for two or three people sitting in front of a TV playing an arcade-style game on an HTPC. Dell has them though [dell.com] .

You Are Full of Shit (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408149)

When was the last time you played on a Console. Go ahead, tell us?

You can buy upgrades for the 360.
You can install games onto a console.
You have to patch a lot of games out on consoles these days because of bugs.
PC gaming isn't anymore expensive than the consoles when they're brand new, and when they're brand new, they tend to have more features than their second and third generation counter parts (and so on).

The only thing you might have is gameplay, but that's only because certain types of games don't work to well with mouse + keyboard combo, but gamepads have existed forever to negate that.

So tell us, when was the last time you played on a console? And what Console? Furthermore, when's the last time you did PC gaming? You seem to lack some knowledge on both fronts.

Re:You Are Full of Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408297)

>You can buy upgrades for the 360.

Yes. But assuming you don't buy the most basic XBOX it has all the accessories necessary to enjoy most all games (except those that require special controllers, but that's the same across the board).

>You can install games onto a console.

Yes, and they play just as easy as they did off the DVD/CD. Or or two movements of the controller and it works, every single time.

>You have to patch a lot of games out on consoles these days because of bugs.

I've never done this once, and I've played literally HUNDREDS of console games. The last time I considered patching a console game was Prince of Persia. Instead, I just used the workaround. I've never seen a console game that didn't work out of the box. I've seen so many PC games that don't work out of the box I've come to check for patches before I even try installing it.

>PC gaming isn't anymore expensive than the consoles when they're brand new

Interesting. The release cost of the Wii was under $300. I know you could buy an eMachines at the time for under $300, probably even including the monitor, but with a 2D video card standard, I don't know if you could say it is any good for games. I'd love you to point out where I can buy a PC that's even half decent for games for $300, all necessary parts in. Don't show me any that exist today, show me one that existed on release day for the Wii/PS3, or the XBOX 360 at similar prices for those consoles.

>The only thing you might have is gameplay, but that's only because certain types of games don't work to well with mouse + keyboard combo, but gamepads have existed forever to negate that.

Remember to include the cost of a decent gamepad in the PC price above, since they don't include it. I've yet to find a console that doesn't come with a controller.

>So tell us, when was the last time you played on a console?

12 hours ago.

>And what Console?

Wii and XBOX 360.

>Furthermore, when's the last time you did PC gaming?

When was the PS2 released again? I was turned off PC gaming so much back then I'll never go back unless someone can prove to me the price is right. Then at least when the games are breaking constantly, I don't feel I'm out $1,000.

>You seem to lack some knowledge on both fronts.

You seem to think all consoles are a PS3.

Re:You Are Full of Shit (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409057)

You can buy upgrades for the 360.
You can install games onto a console.

But can I run indie games on a PS3 or Wii without exploiting bugs in the OS to get unsigned code to run?

PC gaming isn't anymore expensive than the consoles when they're brand new

How many PCs do you need for three people to play, and how many copies of each game? Now how many consoles and how many copies?

Re:Eh... (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408165)

Not sure why some tool modded you as flamebait. That's pretty much how I feel about playing on the Wii most of the time. Some of the games I have could certainly use better motion sensing, but other than that, just eh...

Re:Eh... (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409091)

To clarify things, what I meant was as follows.

Consoles aren't meant to have the cutting edge graphics or advanced hardware. If they were, then I'd be paying two grand for a high-end console. If your into all of that jazz, then you should invest in a good computer. Consoles should be like the Wii. Cheap and efficient.

To the tools who are asking "Have you ever played a console"? The answer is yes. Everything from XBOX to Atari to 64.

A big Disappointment (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407601)

This is just slashvertisement hype. My friend stuck this up his butt and got no orgasm whatsoever. Caveat emptor.

Inaccurate wiimote description (5, Informative)

Space (13455) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407629)

The statement "The Wiimote only knows which direction you're moving the controller" is not accurate, The Wiimote has a three axis accelerometer in addition to an infrared camera. The camera looks for two infrared LEDs on the "sensor bar" and depending on the distance between the LEDs and their position in the image from the camera the Wiiremote can fairly accurately determine where it is pointed on the screen.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (4, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407715)

Additionally they're releasing the Motion Plus in the future that would allow accurate tracking of where the thing is pointed.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (2, Informative)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407905)

I wouldn't say it's "fairly accurate" at all, it can only determine where it's pointing on screen relevant to the size of the sensor bar. So if you have an insanely large screen, your movements become much more pronounced.
It's also not very accurate in terms of motion. Move too quickly (and it's not that quickly at all) and it gets confused. This is why a lot of games only require tiny movements to make huge movements on screen, the only thing it knows are the velocity and the direction it's moving in.

Since we have Gravity, it knows it's orientation in most directions. Turn the Wiimote upside down and it knows about it, because gravity has went from -1 to +1 on the Y axis, however if you rotate it left and right, the direction of gravity has not changed and thus it doesn't know about it. This is the real reason why we have the sensor bar and why it's not accurately depicting where it's pointing at the screen.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408471)

I wouldn't say it's "fairly accurate" at all,

I agree with that statement. For what Nintendo does with it, though, this doesn't matter -- since we humans can see what our actions do on the screen, and we just act like complicated and squishy feedback controllers to make things behave as we want -- without thinking much about it.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (4, Insightful)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407915)

The statement "The Wiimote only knows which direction you're moving the controller" is not accurate

That statement is accruate.

The wiimote knows that direction it is moving in wiimote space, but not world space. I can prove it to you. Face north, hold the wiimote directly out in front of you with the A button facing up, and move it horizontally to the right. The force will push the accelerometer x-axis to the left, so the wiimote knows it is moving right. Now turn your body 90 degrees so you are facing east. Move the wiimote again to the right. Just like before the wiimote knows it is moving to the right. However, relative to the room you are standing in, you just moved the wiimote in two completely different directions. The wiimote doesn't know that.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408001)

Erm, thats obvious.

Acceleration is the second derivative of position. If you define a certain point as origin (say, a certain orientation stationary on your desk), then you have a 3 coordinate system in which X and Y are complete 0 and Z is 9.8ms^2.

Once we have reference point, we can calculate via acceleration on the 3 axes the velocity through space and orientation of said wiimote. However, the wiimote is only accurate to +/- 3g, which is very acceptable for a game console in such a small profile.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (1)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408045)

On paper, sure. In practice, no. The wiimote is +/- 3g with 10% sensitivity. If you start doing those kind of precise calculations starting with data that is somewhat inaccurate then you are going to end up with data that is nearly meaningless. It wasn't designed to be that accurate. If you buy an expensive accelerometer then maybe, but the wiimote uses a ADXL330 [analog.com] chip.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408285)

If you buy an expensive accelerometer then maybe,

Even an expensive accelerometer has the same problems. Tiny calibration errors add up very quickly. Without some stable truth (like GPS), they end up way off. A week ago, I just such a system running and because it wasn't moving, it couldn't use GPS to tell which direction it was facing. As a result, it's output said it was slowly rotating at about one rotation every two minutes.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (1)

jeffeb3 (1036434) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408599)

If it's so terrible, how do you explain this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw [youtube.com] The wii remote has sensors for accelration, which can't by themselves give you position. The sensor bar gives you position in the room (angle, and distance). The accelerometers are, IMO, secondary to the infrared camera. I think the accelerometers aren't used at all for pointing games, and are used only for broad motion games. I bet they get a lot better for strong acceleration.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (1)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408827)

Your comment agreed with what I said, so I don't understand your first sentence. The only problem I see with your comment is that the sensor bar is only an approximation (and a fairly bad one at that) and obviously can only be taken into account if you are pointing the camera at it.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (3, Informative)

HisMother (413313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408245)

Except that when you're facing away from the screen, the camera doesn't see the LEDs, so in fact, the machine [i]can[/i] tell the difference. Another thing no poster has gotten so far is that the WiiMote can compute z-access position using the distance between the LED images -- as you get closer to the screen, the lights get farther apart. I realize that the system described in the article can do more, and do it more simply -- but people shouldn't underestimate what's possible with the existing hardware. There's more there than meets the eye.

Using the wiimote as a pointer (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408609)

http://blog.dawnofthegeeks.com/2009/01/01/a-better-wiimote-pointer/ [dawnofthegeeks.com]

You have to use the accelerometer data and the IR data in order to figure out where the wiimote is located in 3D space and what direction it is pointing.

http://blog.dawnofthegeeks.com/2009/01/08/elmos-world-the-video-game/ [dawnofthegeeks.com]

Elmo's World: The Video Game is a homebrew product with 3 mini games demonstrating the use of the Wiimote as a pointing device.

The TrueMotion controller uses a lot more sophisticated materials and methods to get a more accurate reporting of location and direction of the pointer. The biggest advantage is not having to be pointed at a light source so you can face it away from the screen and its location is still known.

With the Wiimote the Wii has to make some assumptions about location when the Wiimote can't see the IR lights. In those cases it tries to make use of the accelerometers to figure out how the wiimote is moving to keep everything accurate. As soon as two IR light sources are in view it can get the (somewhat) exact location again.

It wouldn't surprise me if Nintendo as some point releases an updated Wiimote that does away with the IR sensor. The issue for them is always cost. Nintendo seems to try to make the best use of current technology that can be assembled under a certain price point. If they could build a TrueMotion like system and sell it for no more than the current Wiimote they'd most likely do it. In the meantime the Wiimote as is works well enough and meets the price requirements.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (1)

acidrain (35064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408717)

Ok, look. The Wiimote has no idea what direction it is currently moving in. It only knows about *acceleration* in it's local space. So for example due to gravity, (a kind of acceleration) when you hold it still it knows exactly which way is down. But that is about it. Also the accelerometers are bloody cheap, so all they are really good for is triggering an event when you jerk the damn' thing.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (1)

phizix (1143711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407957)

The accelerometer gives the wiimote orientation relative to Earth's gravity in addition to any swinging or other accelerations. It is fairly obvious this is exploited in WiiSports, especially bowling.

Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407971)

Yeah, summary is wrong, TFA is somewhat correct:
(benefits over wiimote) "it can tell exactly where it is and what angle youâ(TM)re holding it at."

Targetting the PC? Did they think that through? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407637)

It's obvious to anyone who's done serious research that the true draw of the Wii isn't its controls, but rather the social interaction through gaming it encourages. A Wii isn't a toy for a sullen adolescent; it's something the whole family can gather around, like the radio in days of yore. A Wii in the home will strengthen any family.

PC games on the other hand, do exactly the opposite. They encourage seclusion and disconnection from others. The only interaction a PC gamer experiences is when he "frags" someone or "pwns" a "n00b". My mother (age 75) comes to play Wii Sports with my family. But would you drag your mother out for a round of Quake? How would you even hook up the keyboards to the TV? It just makes no sense. Adding motion controls to Quake isn't going to make it any less antisocial.

This is just another long line of technologists "solving" the wrong problem. Motion controls won't save the dying PC games industry. A radical refocus on shared, family-room gaming could, but that niche is already filled by the Wii. Why is it that some companies (Nintendo, Apple) "get" that not everything can be solved by throwing more "gigs" or "bits" at something, but no one else can?

Re:Targetting the PC? Did they think that through? (2, Funny)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407801)

A Wii in the home will strengthen any family.

"The family that plays together...stays together."

"The family that Wiis together...is unhygienic."

Re:Targetting the PC? Did they think that through? (1)

Tamran (1424955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408057)

[Citation Needed]

Re:Targetting the PC? Did they think that through? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408099)

PC games on the other hand, do exactly the opposite. They encourage seclusion and disconnection from others. The only interaction a PC gamer experiences is when he "frags" someone or "pwns" a "n00b". My mother (age 75) comes to play Wii Sports with my family. But would you drag your mother out for a round of Quake? How would you even hook up the keyboards to the TV? It just makes no sense. Adding motion controls to Quake isn't going to make it any less antisocial.

1. That's funny because my mom and dad are currently raiding together in WoW. Two different PCs in the same room. (Well, actually four PCs, but they're complete nerds like that.) You don't need a single TV to play together, you know.

Apparently they're getting along better than ever too. Now they actually have a common topic and interest again. So there you go, you can use PCs for the whole family too.

They also played together on other consoles than the Wii too before. There were and are plenty of N64, Playstation, Dreamcast, PS2, XBox, etc, games that can be played together on a single screen. There's a reason why every single bloody non-portable console ever made had more than one controller socket. The Wii didn't invent that.

Heck, there were plenty of games played on a shared screen on personal computers too. E.g., about half the games on the old Spectrum supported two players on the same screen. I'm also pretty sure that a lot of PC games did too (e.g., I remember playing Golden Axe together with my brother or with a visiting friend, on the same screen and keyboard.)

You can play together on two PSP's via its built-in wireless network. I would imagine that the same applies to a DS, though sadly I don't own one to check out.

So let's let this bullshit meme die already. Just because you lack the imagination to gather your family around anything else than a Wii, doesn't make the Wii anything uniquely magical. It just means you lack an imagination.

Note that I have nothing against the Wii itself at this point. But it's just another of the _many_ things you can play together. Let's drop the falsehood that it's the _only_ thing for the whole family, and that PCs are somehow just for antisocial adolescents.

2. Also, Quake is at best strawman there. Not every PC game is Quake. There are PC games ranging from ultra-competitive twitch-games, to cooperative-only games. There are games ranging from from violent like Quake to:

- stuff like The Sims which is a glorified doll house, and sold to a lot of women. So, yes, you could probably drag your mom to play The Sims without turning her antisocial,

- stuff like Catz or Dogz which are a sort of a high-tech Tamagochi. Again, I could see anyone's mom spending at least a few minutes with a virtual kitten. (And if you think that's antisocial loner gaming, note that Nintendo too did release games like Nintendogs.)

- a plethora of Barbie games for little girls, plus a few other similar games without the franchise

- logic games like The Incredible Machines, or the Creatures series which combined caring for cutesy creatures with building elaborate... well, incredible machines, to keep them separated

Etc, etc, etc.

If you're going to address something as broad as PC gaming, then make sure you actually address PC gaming as a whole, not just some convenient niche that fits your preconceived point.

Buying one console+TV+pads vs. buying four PCs (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408843)

That's funny because my mom and dad are currently raiding together in WoW. Two different PCs in the same room. (Well, actually four PCs, but they're complete nerds like that.) You don't need a single TV to play together, you know.

Not every family has enough complete nerds to warrant budgeting the purchase of a PC for each household member and replacements when new games no longer work and old games are out of print. Some families would even have to buy more PCs than household members if they want to host play dates. Case in point: you can buy an Xbox 360 Elite or a slim PC, a 32" 720p monitor, and extra controllers for 1,200 USD. For the same price, you could buy four Eee PCs, but would their video performance keep up with even the GameCube? And you'd still have to buy a separate copy of each game for each player. (Full disclosure: I babysit my cousins.)

There's a reason why every single bloody non-portable console ever made had more than one controller socket.

TurboGrafx-16 had one port (instead using a hub), as did 3DO (instead using daisy-chaining), but that still supports your point.

You can play together on two PSP's via its built-in wireless network. I would imagine that the same applies to a DS, though sadly I don't own one to check out.

Many DS games support local multiplayer through "Ni-Fi", a proprietary non-routable layer 3 protocol on top of Wi-Fi. But a lot more DS games have multiplayer through DS Download Play (counterpart of PSP's Game Sharing) than PSP games, which tend to have only a single-player demo if anything at all, so PSP games cost $70 for two copies when a Wii game costs $50 for one.

Don't get me wrong... (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409131)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying consoles (Wii included) don't have their advantages. In fact, I'm usually on the console side of PC-vs-Consoles flamewars. So I'm not going to argue with you much about the price, etc.

My main problem is merely with the false dichotomy of, basically, "Wiis are for the whole family, PCs only have Quake-like stuff for antisocial teenagers". It's just plain old not true. The average PC gamer is actually in the 30's nowadays, and even the retired senior citizen extreme is actually on the rise in, say, MMOs. And I fail to see how cooperative gaming, local network or MMO counts as antisocial. That is really my whole problem with the OP's point.

That said, actually you don't need that expensive a PC to play some games. WoW for example does run semi-acceptably even on an Eee laptop, and there are Youtube videos documenting it. (Only since you mention the Eee in your example.) Admittedly, you won't play Crysis Warhead on that, and even WoW will have some 8 frames per second, but it can be played on it if you must.

That said, though, you can buy a semi decent PC nowadays for a couple of hundred Euro, and it won't be as handicapped as the Eee. A cheap lowest-end integrated Intel chipset and a proper desktop CPU (as opposed to the underpowered Atom), will run WoW plenty fast. I know people who play it on such low end old computers. So maybe you won't buy 4 of them for your $1200 limit, but two or even three is definitely possible.

I'm looking on Alternate at the moment to check it -- and it's not even the cheapest internet store -- and I see some decent mini-tower systems for 399 Euro. (Google says that's 539.0091 U.S. dollars, but bear in mind that prices are _including_ a rather large VAT here, so maybe you can get the same cheaper in the USA.) I'm talking stuff like dual-core Athlon 64, a semi-decent ATI or NVidia graphics card, and 1 GB RAM. It's not just plenty enough for WoW, it could even run COH more than acceptably. You could certainly fit two of those under that $1200 limit.

Again, I'm not dissing consoles in any form or shape. Just saying that a family playing an MMO together is certainly feasible too nowadays. You no longer have to be a millionaire to afford a second computer.

Re:Targetting the PC? Did they think that through? (1)

ChangelingJane (1042436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408349)

They encourage seclusion and disconnection from others.

That must be why my brothers and I would play Age of Empires networked, in the same house, and then chat about it afterward.

I mean, it did encourage disconnection when we played Unreal Tournament, but that's only because I kicked their asses so bad they got mad at me...

Erm, ok. (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407659)

Im sure it will work for Windows..

What kind of an API can we get for the Linux side? I mean, I can think of some rather cool ideas (like using one to trace a wall for input on a virtual wall and using the remote to draw on the v-wall).

And what's the power output like, along with frequency?

Soo may questions, so little information.

Useless, like all innovative PC hardware (4, Interesting)

listen (20464) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407665)

There is no economic sense in a game developer using this. Until Microsoft mandates that a bit of hardware is required for a "Genuine" windows machine, it will not factor in to any rational developers plans. And in this case its never going to happen, because it notionally excludes laptops, and no matter how painful it is in reality to play a mouse and keyboard game on a touchpad, its still "possible".

Anyway, MS want PC gaming dead just as much as everybody else now that X360 has been a relative success: any hardware innovation has to come from single source manufacturers, and in reality that means console manufacturers - and only Nintendo actually wants to even try - and Apple. All the clone makers just like to cower in a corner and pray for a behemoth like Intel, MS, or Google to innovate for them...

Its sad really, that the 80's with myriad incompatible silos of innovation seem so bright nowadays...

Gamers no touchpad Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407701)

Any serious (or even medium) gamer who uses their laptop for gaming will have long ago paired a mouse up with their laptop.

It's not the case that gaming with the touchpad is possible, it sucks. The case is that people just grab a mouse. Who here can honestly say they don't know where they could get a free usb mouse?

Re:Gamers no touchpad Re:Useless (1)

listen (20464) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407745)

Its a point about the politics of the thing - nothing to do with the practicality. MS will never require a piece of hardware that laptops can't have built in to be a "genuine" windows machine, and no game dev will spend their own money ( rather than a hardware manufacturers VC money ) on supporting a peripheral that is not required.

Re:Gamers no touchpad Re:Useless (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407975)

They could set up a standard for a "genuine" PC gaming system. I doubt they would, but it would be an option.

Re:Gamers no touchpad Re:Useless (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408597)

MS will never require a piece of hardware that laptops can't have built in to be a "genuine" windows machine

Laptops can have at least a Wii-style sensor bar built in: just put a couple LEDs at the top corners of the LCD.

no game dev will spend their own money ( rather than a hardware manufacturers VC money ) on supporting a peripheral that is not required.

Activision and Konami [gamasutra.com] spent money on including a plastic guitar with the Guitar Hero games. Or would you count video game publishers as venture-capital-supported hardware manufacturers?

Re:Useless, like all innovative PC hardware (5, Insightful)

Nicolay77 (258497) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407797)

For me at least, if PC gaming is dead, then windows is dead.

OSX and Linux are more than adequate for my Internet and business applications.

Re:Useless, like all innovative PC hardware (1, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408563)

For me at least, if PC gaming is dead, then windows is dead.

If PC gaming is dead, then indie gaming is dead. The vast majority of indie games are developed on and for PCs running Windows, Linux, *BSD, or Mac OS X, or they are developed on one of those for a phone.

Indie gaming possible elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409191)

Not really, because indie gaming is possible on Linux, and Linux doesn't only run on PCs.

Re:Useless, like all innovative PC hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409263)

Indie games will always persist, "PC gaming is dead" has always referred to the unique commercial PC game culture. $10 casual PSN/Live games are basically making even indie PC games irrelevant. Wher did all the good sim games go? What happened to PC gamepads and joystick market? Modding is even dead now.

Re:Useless, like all innovative PC hardware (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408753)

That sentiment isn't just yours. I along with a number of my friends have a Windows partition solely for playing PC games. If it wasn't for PC games Windows wouldn't be installed.

Re:Useless, like all innovative PC hardware (2, Interesting)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407821)

This maybe has a chance:

If they make the API open and give dev's a way to easily integrate.

If they collaborate with other device makers to settle on a common ground for functionality. This type of device, I am guessing will make it's way into PC mainstream at some point. One standard will come out on top. They need to make sure they help drive that standard.

If they allow other hardware makers to create devices that also work against that API so the developers aren't putting an effort into something that no one will care about or use.

Also, a killer must-have game would help. Maybe they should make a super cheap version that works with that killer game.

It's shaky ground, but it might happen.

I for one see these things as "just another device to clutter my life". That's why I never got a racing wheel as cool as they are.

Re:Useless, like all innovative PC hardware (3, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407901)

At my former job I used to create softwar for Polhemus sensors, which apparently use the same principle. Let me tell you that the wiimote is nothing close to these devices. The Wiimote really looked underwhelming : orientation is approximative, aiming is impossible, lag is big. Here [t-immersion.com] is something using such sensors. The games are not on par top what Nintendo can produce, but try to accurately position a lightsaber in the hands of someone with the wiimote (everything is realtime in the video)

Re:Useless, like all innovative PC hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408021)

Anyway, MS want PC gaming dead just as much as everybody else [..]

You're right, Microsoft wants PC gaming dead just as much as the PC gamers.

Re:Useless, like all innovative PC hardware (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408041)

lol, I would so much hate an Apple console.

Price would be as a PS3 (high), hardware specs like a PSP (hit&miss on features) and the software would be like Wii sports (good idea and easy to pick up but missing out on depth.)

Re:Useless, like all innovative PC hardware (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408251)

That's what they said about guitars, and drums sets, and dance mats, and 3D cards, and steering wheels, and flight sticks with throttle and rudder. But it doesn't stop people from making tons of money selling these things.

Not if it's expensive (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408707)

It'll make economic sense when the consumer can get the controller for under $50 and can make use of it with software they already have.

I put together an Elmo game

http://blog.dawnofthegeeks.com/2009/01/08/elmos-world-the-video-game/ [dawnofthegeeks.com]

for my daughter who's not quite 2 yet using the Wiimote and the XNA Game Library. But since it costs $40-50 for the controller plus $20 or so for a bluetooth adapter there's probably not going to be much demand for Wiimote enabled games on the PC.

However if PCs came equipped by default with a bluetooth adapter and games started making the Wiimote an optional controller it would be tempting for people to purchase a Wiimote even if they don't have a Wii.

Likewise if this TrueMotion controller costs as much or less than any other high end game controller and has a lot of support in existing games people would spend the money to get it. The TrueMotion people need to work with Valve, Id and others to encourage them to come out with a free patch that makes the TrueMotion controller work with the popular games already out.

The only thing I don't like about using the Wiimote with the PC is that connecting isn't as easy as pressing the A button. If TrueMotion is easy to use for the consumer and gets below $50 I'd definitly switch from messing with the Wiimote.

Does anyone think these things through? (3, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407681)

I don't know about you, but when I use my computer, I'm sitting at a desk with a keyboard and a mouse. I'm too close to my monitor to start pointing a remote at it.

I also can't imagine putting the remote down, use the keyboard, picking the remote again, repeat.

The Wiimote is a great idea because we can't really use a mouse when sitting in front of a TV, and crappy, small, over-touchy analog sticks on a gamepad is a stupid idea to begin with.

Re:Does anyone think these things through? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407819)

It could be better, the motions that it wants aren't very good ergonomically for many. Pointing and rotating at the same time is something which is quite stressful on the wrist.

Re:Does anyone think these things through? (1)

dredwolff (978347) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408389)

The motions the game wants? I don't know what you saw, but I saw a guy holding some device, not some medieval wrist wrangling torture machine twisting his arm behind his back until he begs for mercy.

I just tried the pointing and rotating thing with my wrist, it felt fine, no stress at all - you might want to go visit an orthopedic doctor and get your joint problems looked at ;)

Also, think of the awesome light-saber battles you could have with this thing!

Re:Does anyone think these things through? (1)

dredwolff (978347) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408313)

I don't believe you have to point a remote at anything for this to work.

Since it sounds like you don't want to give up your mouse, you could probably use this device as a mouse if you wanted to, and limit it to a 2d plane - then when something calls for it, you pick up the controller and use it to detect motion in 3D.

What is it with people being so resistant to change?

Re:Does anyone think these things through? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408615)

I don't know about you, but when I use my computer, I'm sitting at a desk with a keyboard and a mouse.

In other words, you "don't know about" home theater PC owners. Some people use their HTPCs to watch video; others use them to play games. Unlike a console, a PC can play indie games.

I also can't imagine putting the remote down, use the keyboard, picking the remote again, repeat.

Then put a half-gamepad in the other hand. Nintendo sells such a half-gamepad for Wii under the name "Nunchuk".

Finally! (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407683)

Now people will be able to bump against walls of the room and fall out of windows as they try to duck the enemy fire.

That's cool but.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407733)

when can I strap one of these things to my dong and control some kind of dildo device on the other end of a camera?

Re:That's cool but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407881)

now [wikipedia.org]

Re:That's cool but.... (1)

ChangelingJane (1042436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408719)

All he needs now is someone on the other end!

If they provide Linux drivers (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407843)

...or at least good specs, there will be lots of people developing for this thing. At least one, me :-)

If it's as bad as the movie... (2, Insightful)

minsk (805035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407887)

Perhaps I'm overly cynical of input technologies, but my take from the movie is that this is a *disaster*.

Start with the best configuration the company could manage for the demo, with in-house software, and an experienced user. The system is still laggy and periodically jerky. It has the same lack of feedback as the Wiimote, so you need similarly simple gestures to make it usable. Their one advantage is that the position sensor should be orientation-independent, whereas the Wiimote's camera needs to see the sensor bar.

If memory serves (and it often doesn't) the two major problems with EMF position sensing in AR are range and interference. Range should be solvable for a local input device. Interference worries me. With a near-optical system, interference sources are obvious: if your Wiimote has problems, look around for the strong light source.

Of course the blog-based press releases do not bother communicating actual benefits or limitations of the technology, beyond "ooh, shiny!" and "ooh, revolutionary!".

Not new, just cheaper (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407903)

This isn't new; it's just cheaper. Magnetic motion tracking devices [polhemus.com] have been around for two decades. I had a chance to try "virtual ping pong", like this thing does, on an Autodesk system demoed at the Hacker's Conference two decades ago. All the gloves-and-goggles systems use magnetic trackers like this. So do some of the tracking systems used for motion capture. If you've been to SIGGRAPH, you've probably seen a dancer up on a platform wired up with multiple sensors, driving an animated character on a screen.

The early systems suffered from serious lag, noise, and accuracy problems. The sensing was noisy enough that it had to be low-pass filtered, which introduced lag. You moved, then waited for the display to catch up. This was a killer problem with head-mounted VR. Accuracy was a problem. Even relative accuracy wasn't that good. When I saw these things at SIGGRAPH, I'd sometimes gesture to the dancer demoing the thing to put her hands together, forefinger to forefinger. If the character on screen showed the forefingers touching, the system had decent relative accuracy. Usually it didn't.

It's hard to tell from the video how accurate this new version is. With single-sensor demos, you can't see if there's serious error. But it's cheap. The Polhemus systems cost thousands of dollars.

When proportions of actor and character differ (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408693)

If you've been to SIGGRAPH, you've probably seen a dancer up on a platform wired up with multiple sensors, driving an animated character on a screen. [But...] Even relative accuracy wasn't that good. When I saw these things at SIGGRAPH, I'd sometimes gesture to the dancer demoing the thing to put her hands together, forefinger to forefinger. If the character on screen showed the forefingers touching, the system had decent relative accuracy. Usually it didn't.

Some of these real-time motion capture systems have a cartoon character with exaggerated proportions on the other end. Character proportions in some art styles are supposed to differ from those of the actor; that's how we get Precious Moments figurines that are 2.6 heads tall [wikipedia.org] , not the typical 6 to 8 of a human. How would you expect a mo-cap system to correct for short, stubby fingers on some characters?

Sounds like the expired Wacom patents (1)

K8Fan (37875) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407945)

I could give a damn about a 3D game controller. But I would very much like to see cheap 3D input devices for animation and motion capture. Perhaps we'll first see this new Wii remote retrofitted to 3D software like Max. Can't happen soon enough!

Re:Sounds like the expired Wacom patents (1)

dredwolff (978347) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407993)

Not only that, but talk about perfect for designing 3D models!

Re:Sounds like the expired Wacom patents (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408311)

Or you could just use one of those $700 spaceball dohickeys. Talk about overpriced. You could basically accomplish the same thing with a couple $50 joysticks.

Head Tracking Dream Machine!! (1)

dredwolff (978347) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407961)

Am I the only one that saw this an immediately thought this would be perfect for head tracking and full immersion software?! This is EXACTLY what I have been waiting, *especially* if you can use multiple devices! 2 would be perfect for an FPS, one for the hand and one for the head - then you just add in a set of those "personal theater" eyeglasses with two inputs instead of one an you can add stereoscopic vision to the package! Seems like we're just a year away from a pretty ideal full-immersion home gaming system!

Latency (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407977)

Latency seems to be pretty high, doesn't it?

Can this be used for 3 motion capture for 3d model (1)

ancient_kings (1000970) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408395)

model animation? Like those used in hollywood?

Re:Can this be used for 3 motion capture for 3d mo (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408447)

Yes, mocap suits fitted with a bunch of inertial sensors exist. It's cheaper than optical systems (with the "ping pong balls"), and in some ways easier to use (you don't need to worry about occlusion, for instance), but integrator drift is always a problem.

Due by Christmas !? (1)

j741 (788258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408463)

I love the part that says "due by Christmas". So does that mean that it's currently at least 3 weeks late, or does someone have a really aggressive marketing department that likes to announce things waaaay too early?

Nintendo Announced this LAST YEAR (1)

Kagato (116051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408465)

The Motion Plus is a small device that snaps into the bottom of the Wii remote to increase precision. Look for it soon to be packaged with Wii Sports Resort as well as a stand alone package.

It was demonstrated at E3 and looked very good.

+5 points for the idea, -500 for being months behind Nintendo.

This is why I never took to the Wii. (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408653)

It didn't really seem that sensitive and the lag really bugged me.

EM field (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408673)

As an added bonus, you can automatically play the "Mess with Grandpa's pacemaker" game.

(Note, if you are going to start blabbing about how the field isn't strong enough or something like that: preemptivewoosh)

Magnetic fields = bad (1)

Wookash (1450111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408983)

The joy of the WII controller is that it uses only infrared light, which to my knowledge, has never been shown to be harmful to humans. The idea that all sorts of little children playing video games will endure hours of magnetic field influence on their bodies should scare the Slashdot population. There are numerous cases where magnetic fields emminating from electric lines are blamed for increases in cancer rates, especially amongst children. Exposing children to more magnetic fields is probably a really bad idea. There's another problem of course with magnetic fields, which is that they degrade quickly at the edges. This can lead to significant problems with game play. Having worked on virtual reality systems, I'd experience this often. The key thing is that the user must remain within the field. Though it is a field, so it naurally curves and is inconsistent. This can really hamper multi-player ability since keeping the magnetic field weak not to interfere with other electronics, will limit the size of the field. The other solution is of course to increase the strength of the fields, which could lead to other problems like those mentioned above. This is not new technology in any way, neither is it particularly innovative; no news. That they'd create a controller that is potentially harmful to the audience they're serving, well that's not something I can support.
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