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Nintendo Unconcerned By Motion-Control Competitors

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the it's-not-the-size-of-the-boat dept.

Nintendo 150

The Guardian's games blog reports on comments by Nintendo discussing why it's not worried about competition from Microsoft and Sony after their recent motion-control announcements at E3. Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime said, "The only thing I'll say is a rhetorical question. Is it fun? If it's fun, then I tip my hat and say, 'Well done.' But what's happening sounds to me a lot like, 'Who's got the prettiest picture. Who's got high-definition. Who has the best processing power?' It sounds like technology, when the consumer wants to be entertained. Our focus is how do we take active play and make it entertainment. And that's what we're going to continue to focus on."

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150 comments

It's a tech demo (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#28276523)

Oh, and obligatory:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/6/5/ [penny-arcade.com]

Here's how fun obligatory is ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28276827)

The obligatory:

Niggers!

Games, games, games. (5, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#28276565)

Like with any console hardware... Games are the ultimate measure of success.

If the games are good, the hardware fades away. There are great games for all three platforms. I'm happy with my Wii so far. Was a lot cheaper than the competition when I got it, and for me the family focus is a great asset. With four controllers I can have all kids entertained at the same time in something like Mario Kart Wii, and it's not like there aren't games for more mature gamers too... (Mad World, House of the Dead Overkill, Guitar Hero, I could go on.)

There is no best or worst console out there at the moment. You should really just focus on what games you want to play and get a console or consoles based on that.

Slashdot Moderation - Utter Joke (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28277179)

"There is no best or worst console out there at the moment. You should really just focus on what games you want to play and get a console or consoles based on that."

+5 Insightful for this pathetic karma whore?

What a joke.

Re:Games, games, games. (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278719)

"Like with any console hardware... Games are the ultimate measure of success."

Tell that to Sega. The Dreamcast had what was probably the best lineup of games ever assembled at a console launch and they followed it up with consistently good games. And hardware sales were great... until Sony promised the kitchen sink on the upcoming PS2. Then people stopped buying the Dreamcast and waited for the upcoming console with its own DVD player attached.

Re:Games, games, games. (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279719)

There were management decisions that greatly affected the Dreamcast's success compared to impact of the release of the PS2.

Re:Games, games, games. (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279055)

What my wife and I want to know is when are they going to release a golf game for the wii that has the simple play style of wii sports but lets you select some of the more famous courses in the world. That and Mario Kart 2..

DUH... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28276567)

And thats why nintendo kicks the crap out of the competition every generation.

Because they rely on making FUN games ppl want to play.

And not just having the latest greatest technology metoo buzzwords in their product.

They win because they're not trying to win. Or even compete with the other offerings.

Thats sure gotta piss off ms and sony tho. :D Who just don't get it.

Re:DUH... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28276807)

XBOX kicks ass, but not thanks to Micro$hit. All thanks to XBMC [sourceforge.net]. Oh and what goes for playing games, it's ok, but us that use XBMC know that it's no longer a gaming console once you have installed said software. However since it is Micro$hit that makes the console they of course tried their very hardest to prevent anything like XBMC coming to 360. God forbid Micro$hit to release a good product.

Re:DUH... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28276841)

And thats why nintendo kicks the crap out of the competition every generation.

And the rest of your comment is pretty much based on that lie.

Re:DUH... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28277851)

And thats why nintendo kicks the crap out of the competition every generation.

Nintendo hasn't won a console war since the SNES days, and there is a good point to be made that they didn't win that one, either. Right now, they're winning on hardware sold, but losing on the software side with the lowest attach rate of the generation, because everyone's playing Wii Sports, and apparently not much else on the console.

And not just having the latest greatest technology metoo buzzwords in their product.

The entire focus of the Wii is on a technology aspect, the motion control system, just like the entire focus of the DS is on the touch-screen technology. Both systems took the calculated risk of not using the latest technology in other areas, under a belief that a lower price point combined with a technology that the others did not have would win out in the long term. The gamble is that if the others can manufacture the same technology and attract the same market, or the technology proves useless to most of the audience, they have to rely on their games to win out.

On the good side, though, first party game development should be cheaper for Nintendo than for Sony (and possibly MS as well).
On the bad side, they would still make more money from the system if third party developers could put together decent sales on their system.

Re:DUH... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277885)

The big problem for the Wii is that pretty much only Nintendo makes good games for it.

I just recently purchased punchout and I think probably 95% of my current Wii game library are first party Nintendo titles.

Re:DUH... (4, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278485)

I'm lazy and just reposting an earlier comment, the gist is that Wii has fairly good attach rate, and great software sales when the lower rate is multiplied by the higher install base. Also that even with the game cube Nintendo was one of the largest software publishers world wide, in spite of the low install base. The company kicks the crap out of others in the sense that is makes huge amounts of cash, and that is the job of a corporation. Oh yeah, it starts out as a DS apologist, but does use real numbers too.

I have not played a single DS game where the touch screen is a gimmick, it is almost always unused (e.g. Mario Cart DS), and alternate control method that may or may not be better (e.g. advanced wars), or a fantastic edition (e.g. tap for backup item in NSMB). The Wiimote is a different story though often it is used as a very fun gimmick.

As for attach rates:
http://vgchartz.com/aweekly.php [vgchartz.com] [vgchartz.com]

This is the American charts, it has the attach-rate at about the same as the PS3 and lower than the 360, of course arguments can be made to drop the Nintendo one by 1 or 2, it is still pretty fricken high in raw numbers of sales. If you subtract out 1 from the attach-rate (for Wii Sports) you end up with 150 million to XBOX 360's 170 Million, and PS3s 70 million. This is in the most 360 heavy region (North America).

Where Nintendo really makes their money though is software. Taking out Wii-play and Wii-sports they still sell more than EA on many weeks, and without licensing fees. Nintendo dominates in total money in the industry by such a huge amount that it isn't even funny. As far as the games industry goes Nintendo is a shrewd company, that is miles ahead of the rest.

Even with the Came Cube they were a major publisher by raw numbers, this is competing against companies selling for XBOX, PS2, and Computers.

Re:DUH... (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278195)

And thats why nintendo kicks the crap out of the competition every generation.

Because they rely on making FUN games ppl want to play.

And not just having the latest greatest technology metoo buzzwords in their product.

They win because they're not trying to win. Or even compete with the other offerings.

Thats sure gotta piss off ms and sony tho. :D Who just don't get it.

Yup! They win every single one. Except the last two where Sony did, of course...

They rely on making fun games, completely different from every other company who makes games as little fun as humanly possible.

They don't rely on technology buzzwords, such as revolutionary motion controls.

And of course, they are certainly not competing with their direct competitors. This explains how they're not trying to win, since without competition there isn't anything to win. Which surely pisses off Sony and Microsoft off because, as we all know, not having direct competition really pisses off huge corporations.

Careful. If you suck Nintendo's penis any harder you might choke yourself.

(Disclaimer: I have only got a Wii)

Define win. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278629)

Yup! They win every single one. Except the last two where Sony did, of course...

Units shipped != profitability. If your video game division takes huge financial losses despite outselling your competitors, you still lose, unless you are building some serious goodwill like Microsoft was trying with the original Xbox. If one ignores currency fluctuation, Nintendo has never lost money in a single quarter. And the Wii is still printing money [ytmnd.com].

Re:Define win. (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279577)

Definitions? Pah! This is a console war. Obviously the correct definition is the one which suits my Sacred Corporation best!

See, your problem is you're approaching this from a logical, analytical perspective when you should be coming in with a predermined conclusion and purile fanaticism. You've got to be a team player - for the RIGHT team!

Re:DUH... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28278385)

Yes, lets analyze this comment.

N64 TOTALLY Owned the PS1 and the Dreamcast in THAT generation...

The Gamecube totally kicked the crap out of the STILL selling PS2...

Yea, here's a hot tip.... take your head out of your ass before you speak. It makes for better results and the air is that much less stagnant.

Re:DUH... (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279555)

And thats why nintendo kicks the crap out of the competition every generation.

The Playstation and Playstation 2 would like a word with you.

Project natal (2, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#28276593)

While technologically impressive I have one problem with it, missing force feedback control and no additional controllers outside of behaviors. I cannot see this thing going anywhere except for some sports (especially fitness) games without it.

The sony technology was very close to nintendo however, but there at least force feedback probably will be possible, but additional fine grained controls like nintendo has it on the wiimote also still are missing but could be added theoretically!

However Nintendo should be worried, because of the lack of HD support and their absymal performance in the games area 2008 (which slowly is changing this year).

Re:Project natal (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28276793)

Force feedback is a hack.

It was designed to try and help immerse people in games better but within the limitation that you still had to use a controller.

The whole idea of Natal is moving beyond the controller, immersing people in the game by allowing them to interact directly. Will it work? I have no idea, but to suggest force feedback is important to something like this (hell, Sony didn't even think it was important to their normal controllers but the PS3 still sold well) misses the point of what Natal is trying to achieve completely.

Re:Project natal (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#28276855)

Force feedback is a hack.

Not really more than 3D graphics are a hack.

It was designed to try and help immerse people in games better but within the limitation that you still had to use a controller.

Ditto for 3D graphics. Help immerse people in games better within the limitation that you still have to look at a screen.

Similiar force feedback is trying to compensate for the fact that that you can't feel anything from the game world... when a rocket explodes, when your car crashes, when your jet is starting to stall, when you take a punch, when you foul a ball... force feedback can't (and in some cases [car crash] shouldn't be entirely realistic, but it helps. I like the way Need For Speed gives you different feedback for different driving surfaces... and how you can actually feel your tires start to skip as you make a tight turn. This is genuinely useful feedback on top of the audio and visual feedback.

The whole idea of Natal is moving beyond the controller, immersing people in the game by allowing them to interact directly.

You can't really interact directly without a sense of touch.

Re:Project natal (2, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28276929)

May I direct you here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw [youtube.com]

To see that you can increase the level of immersion without the need for holding a controller that provides force feedback?

Force feedback and 3D graphics cater to the idea that a game world is still something displayed on a flat screen and interacted with only via the controller. As the above demo shows, there are better ways to interact with the game world than simply by playing around with a controller using your hands.

Natal will be able to perform head tracking without the physical controllers in the above demo.

But despite all that, I'm not sure why the assumption is being made that you wont be able to use the controller as well or even use custom controllers. There is little reason for example you couldn't control an FPS in the classic manner with the controller but use your body to physically duck out the way of incoming projectiles etc. using Natal or even use your feet to kick enemies. This is the sort of place where Natal comes into it's own and separates away from the Wii - whether you use the controller or not you have a much greater direct connection to the game world.

I think a lot of people misunderstand the potential that Natal actually opens up. It is not simply a direct copy of the Wii mote, whilst it can have similar applications it also has a whole range of other applications that are not possible with the Wii mote or Sony's offering and that's before you even take into account the ability for it to effectively be able to scan in real world objects on the fly.

The reality is that we wont recognise the real potential of Natal until it's actually released, but it certainly looks promising and has application far beyond any way of currently interfacing with games including the Wii mote and nunchuk.

LOL! Pathetic Xbots! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28277153)

What a bunch of fucking losers.

My god would it be hilarious to go back to 2005 and post these idiotic Project Natal hype comments for the losers Xbots to see that in three years their piece of shit console's only thing to hype from E3 2009 was a rigged Milo demo from Lionhead and old EyeToy style motion controls.

Re:Project natal (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277171)

Just for the record, some Sony engineer had a techdemo of head tracking up and running a year or so ago. So it seems easy enough to add to Sonys solution. And with that out of the way I don't see much of Natal being left that is useful for hardcore gaming. When both your hands grab the 360 controller, you can't do all that much gesturing. So unless Microsoft comes up with an additional split controller, Natal seems rather limited.

whilst it can have similar applications

The crux is that Natal can't do a lot of what Nintendo and Sonys solutions can do, lack of buttons/axis and lack of wrist detection will make the use of virtual tools rather troublesome. Simply pointing at the screen lightgun-style won't work either, unless you use your whole arm.

Re:Project natal (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277241)

I don't really see what it can't do?

Again, the important thing to realise with Natal is that it doesn't exclude the use of additional peripherals, but it does open up new doors on top of that. I think you're making the mistake of many others in thinking that Natal is just a camera, it's not, it's a system capable of full blown motion tracking in 3D space which means you can in fact just point at things.

Effectively you can still produce peripherals like light guns, but they needn't contain any electronics and can just be plastic shells, and hence much cheaper to produce. Take guitar hero as an example, Natal could effectively track you playing the guitar by being able to observe which buttons your fingers were touching so you could effectively have guitar hero with a £5 plastic guitar rather than a £40 electronic one.

It's effectively what was shown in the positional tracking Wii hack video but on a grander scale in that it can track more than just a sensor bar - it can track things equally as simple or it can track something more complex such as the 48 joints in the human body, including fingers, or recognise facial gestures.

I'm not sure why there's so much disbelief over what it can do, it's all tech that's been around before from Johnny Lee's head tracking demo to cheap logitech webcam facial tracking to the fact mocap hardware and techniques have just made the technology that much cheaper. Microsoft's just bundled it all together in a way applicable to gaming.

Re:Project natal (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277349)

I don't really see what it can't do?

Wrist detection, exact detection of button presses, pointing and so on. Basically everything that matters. To take a step back: The way humans consciously interact with the world is for most part just with their hands, while your arms and legs and rest of the body follow more or less automatically, you simply don't think much about them when you move around. What Natal does is putting a heavy emphasis on detecting your arms and legs, i.e. all those things that work automatically, while ignoring the hands that you driving consciously. Its nice that Natal can detect the position of my elbow, but its ultimately not all that useful for gaming. Exact hand and finger movement would be much more interesting.

which means you can in fact just point at things.

Yeah, but with your whole arm. How is that better then a minimal movement of the wrist with a Wiimote? Especially considering that you don't have a button to click on things.

Effectively you can still produce peripherals like light guns, but they needn't contain any electronics and can just be plastic shells,

Very true, but thats my whole criticism of Natal. Microsoft has shown exactly none of that. Microsoft hasn't shown a complete gameplay solution, but a just techdemo that on its own just isn't all that useful. And on top of that they continually praised that you don't need a controller for Natal, so it doesn't sound like they have additional peripherals planed at this point.

Natal could effectively track you playing the guitar by being able to observe which buttons your fingers were touching so you could effectively have guitar hero with a £5 plastic guitar rather than a £40 electronic one.

It very likely couldn't. Look at the video where they form the silhouette of a en elephant, notice how rough the detection of the silhouette is, you are not being able to detect slight finger movements out of that mess.

I'm not sure why there's so much disbelief over what it can do

There is no disbelieve. I fully believe that it can do everything Microsoft has shown. My issue is that what they have shown is by far not enough for decent gameplay.

Re:Project natal (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277433)

"Wrist detection, exact detection of button presses, pointing and so on. Basically everything that matters. To take a step back: The way humans consciously interact with the world is for most part just with their hands, while your arms and legs and rest of the body follow more or less automatically, you simply don't think much about them when you move around. What Natal does is putting a heavy emphasis on detecting your arms and legs, i.e. all those things that work automatically, while ignoring the hands that you driving consciously. Its nice that Natal can detect the position of my elbow, but its ultimately not all that useful for gaming. Exact hand and finger movement would be much more interesting."

Hmm, I'm not really sure what else to say about this as it's simply wrong. It's been pointed out quite clearly that Natal and work all the way down to hands and fingers, I'm not sure what more can be said. It can work with again 48 key joints - that's your knees, your ankles, your elbows, your shoulders, your neck, your waist, your fingers, your wrists etc. covered - all main joints, well beyond just arms and legs.

"Yeah, but with your whole arm. How is that better then a minimal movement of the wrist with a Wiimote? Especially considering that you don't have a button to click on things."

This is really just a carry on from the last comment, it can track much more than just your whole arm and so again this is simply wrong.

"Very true, but thats my whole criticism of Natal. Microsoft has shown exactly none of that. Microsoft hasn't shown a complete gameplay solution, but a just techdemo that on its own just isn't all that useful. And on top of that they continually praised that you don't need a controller for Natal, so it doesn't sound like they have additional peripherals planed at this point."

I'm guessing you only saw a few tech demos? You should check out the other E3 demos for Natal which will provide you examples countering all points so far in your post from a working tech demo of driving in Burnout paradise, to a tech demo of Tony Hawks skateboarding through to gameshow style games. It's all in there.

"It very likely couldn't. Look at the video where they form the silhouette of a en elephant, notice how rough the detection of the silhouette is, you are not being able to detect slight finger movements out of that mess."

There are certainly issues that remain unresolved, certainly at a fair distance it will struggle with finger tracking and that'll probably be it's biggest disadvantage if any, that it will struggle at distance, but even then the Wii mote with it's sensor bar doesn't work well at distance. I'm not sure how well Sony's offering does when it comes to distance though, hopefully much better as that's certainly an area where there's room for distinction from Microsoft and Nintendo.

"There is no disbelieve. I fully believe that it can do everything Microsoft has shown. My issue is that what they have shown is by far not enough for decent gameplay."

Again, have you seen the actual promotional demos showing it in use in actual games rather than just the tech demos? Have a look here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oACt9R9z37U [youtube.com]

In this video, the fighting sample near the start for example, again there's little reason the ducking and kicking couldn't work alongside a classic controller based FPS for example. You could still easily use a controller to play and shoot whilst using your body to duck, dodge, hide with amazing precision and that sort of thing. That'd certainly lead to far more immersive gameplay than anything on offer currently.

But aside from that whilst we can't look at Sony's offering, we can compare to the Wii and in reality the Wii has really failed to live up to it's hype in terms of what was promised. Wii motion plus might change this, but the limitations of the Wii mote became staggeringly clear quite early on. I do not believe Natal will work 100% perfectly, but I do not see any reason why it would work any worse than the Wii mote, at the same time I do see it opening more doors that aren't open to the Wii mote and possibly Sony's offering however. Natal at very least wont have any problems providing the same old rehashes of party games and then some potential new ones on top that Nintendo have done so well with and I think Microsoft's goal is at very least to compete with Nintendo, if not do better than it. There's no reason Natal wont at least give Microsoft an offering on par with the Wii mote, Sony may be able to top them both but again, we really don't know the limitations and strengths of Sony's offering yet.

Re:Project natal (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277541)

Hmm, I'm not really sure what else to say about this as it's simply wrong.

I like how people make baseless claims. Look at the elephant silhouette demo, detection is not precise enough for real detail. None of the demos have shown finger detection, not even their advertisment video which was all a made up future-vision to begin. How do you think it can do finger detection?

It's been pointed out quite clearly that Natal and work all the way down to hands and fingers,

Where? Source please.

I'm not sure what more can be said. It can work with again 48 key joints

Its 48 *points* not joints, which doesn't really tell us much, because you might need multiple points to reconstruct a joint from the data.

I'm guessing you only saw a few tech demos?

I have seen all of them and all of them support my claims. You accelerate in Burnout by moving your whole leg forward, not by lifting your foot, not by lifting your finger. None of the demos I have seen requires anything beyond arm & leg detection. If you know one, show me.

Again, have you seen the actual promotional demos showing it in use in actual games rather than just the tech demos?

You might want to watch the videos yourself before posting, hint: bottom left corner right at the start:

"Product vision: actual features and functionality may vary"

Beside of that, as said, none of them show finger detection or the use of an additional controller, just arms and legs, nothing more.

In this video, the fighting sample near the start for example, again there's little reason the ducking and kicking couldn't work alongside a classic controller based FPS for example.

Of course it could work, but it would be awkward. Motion detection needs a split-controller to work properly, otherwise both your hands are locked in place and won't have much freedom to move.

Wii has really failed to live up to it's hype in terms of what was promised.

It lived up to my expectations perfectly well, because I based my expectations on its technical capabilities, not on what fanboys hoped it could do (i.e. my expectations where very low to begin with).

but I do not see any reason why it would work any worse than the Wii mote

With MotionPlus I can apply slice to a tennis or golf ball, Natal doesn't have any way to do that.

Re:Project natal (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277767)

"Where? Source please."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/technologybrierdudleysblog/2009296568_e3_new_info_on_microsofts_nata.html [nwsource.com]

http://kotaku.com/5279531/microsoft-project-natal-can-support-multiple-players-see-fingers [kotaku.com]

"Its 48 *points* not joints, which doesn't really tell us much, because you might need multiple points to reconstruct a joint from the data."

Sorry yes to be pedantic you're correct, but of course interest points aren't redundant, you wouldn't have two on the same arm for example, you may have two either side of a joint, or you may simply track the joints themselves so it does tell us a lot, you'd at most need two points to reconstruct a joint but one of those points would overlap with another joint for example so you may have two points on your arm, one on your upper arm and one on your lower arm to track your elbow, but the lower arm one would also work in conjunction with ones on your hand and your upper arm one would work in conjunction with one on your upper body to track your shoulder and so forth. The effect with interest points is exactly the same.

"I have seen all of them and all of them support my claims. You accelerate in Burnout by moving your whole leg forward, not by lifting your foot, not by lifting your finger. None of the demos I have seen requires anything beyond arm & leg detection. If you know one, show me."

See above sources for people who have used it hands on if you want even more evidence, or simply pay more attention to many of the various videos from ricochet to painting to note that hands, feet, wrist movements are all being registered.

"You might want to watch the videos yourself before posting, hint: bottom left corner right at the start:

"Product vision: actual features and functionality may vary""

It's a bit silly to infer things from that to try and make your point, promotional videos always have this because if something is even slightly different, such as a dashboard change not related to Natal itself they are not covered in lawsuit happy USA from false advertising. This is particularly the case when showing pre-release content as they are here, games change all the way up until release and we're probably at very least a year off release of Natal.

"Of course it could work, but it would be awkward. Motion detection needs a split-controller to work properly, otherwise both your hands are locked in place and won't have much freedom to move."

I think you missed the point, there's no reason you need split controllers for what I'm suggesting. My point is that for example, you can have your existing games like Gears of War but use your body to dodge and such on top. The Wii cannot provide anything like Gears of War and other high end shooters as is, so if Microsoft is taking a step even further ahead that's a plus for them. There is concern that because Microsoft and Sony jumped on the bandwagon too late that no one will develop for their new kit, but in the worst case Microsoft's tech can be used to enhance even classic games meaning in the absolute worst case you'll get a raft of titles that are enhanced by Natal.

"It lived up to my expectations perfectly well, because I based my expectations on its technical capabilities, not on what fanboys hoped it could do (i.e. my expectations where very low to begin with)."

There's a difference between what's hoped it could do and what it could actually do. Even Wii sports, it's original headline title fails to respond to the Wii mote correctly sometimes.

"With MotionPlus I can apply slice to a tennis or golf ball, Natal doesn't have any way to do that."

Apart from recognising exactly those motions as we've been through over and over here?

Still, you can't see the evidence when it's right in front of you so I can only assume you don't actually want it to work because of some typical classic fanboyist jealousy.

I guess we'll see when it finally comes out, but of course, bear in mind, people were acting exactly the same you were towards the Wii and it whilst the Wii did indeed fail to deliver to many degrees it was still a success and Natal and Sony's offering could be just as successful. I wont argue with speculation, I'll only go on what's been proven and demonstrated and so for, that's certainly more than the classic Wii mote can deliver.

Re:Project natal (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278097)

Apart from recognising exactly those motions as we've been through over and over here?

Where is the golf game that demonstrates that? Where is the tennis game? Where is the detection of wrist movement? I repeat: *NONE* of the demos showed any of that. And the elephant silhouette demo makes it very unlikely that the precision for that is there (have you even looked at that?). Ricochet doesn't show hand detection either, it simply shows a half open hand the whole time, no movement of individual fingers. I welcome a link to a video that actually shows hand and finger movement, I am still waiting.

While the headline of the Kotaku article sounds spot on, the actual text just confirms what I was saying all along:

Tsunoda said that such detection was possible, though the sensitivity would be different at different distances. He thought my fingers idea was do-able.

So in other words, when you get really close, it might work, no surprise since your hand then gets large enough, while further away precision will be a big issue. Oh, and of course there is nothing in that article that says that they have already implemented that, so much for Ricochet detecting your hands. The other article just flat out dodges the question and doesn't give any hint on how they actually think about implementing FPS controls and such and if their Burnout solution is any indication, it won't be pretty.

I think you missed the point, there's no reason you need split controllers for what I'm suggesting.

When you don't have a split controller you throw 90% of what Natal can do out of the window. Of course you can do that and it might even improve the game a little bit, but it would be a huge waste of resources and nobody is going to ever do much with that as its simply not worth it. All that ducking and dodging could have been done back then with Eyetoy, but nobody even tried, as its just not worth it.

Still, you can't see the evidence when it's right in front of you

The evidence strongly supports all the points I have made. While it provides close to zero evidence for hand & finger tracking.

so I can only assume you don't actually want it to work because of some typical classic fanboyist jealousy.

The thing you don't realize is that the fanboy is you. You see Natal as what you want Natal to be. I see Natal as what it is and what the demos have shown of that.

Re:Project natal (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278287)

Yes, that's what most fanboys tell themselves too. That it's always the other person. It doesn't matter how much evidence, how many resources the other person can provide to back up their claims, the fanboy doesn't need to do the same, all they have to do is speculate in return because they're right.

Come back with some actual evidence, and you might have a point, until then, all you're doing is speculating, guessing and outright making things up.

Re:Project natal (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278457)

Come back with some actual evidence, and you might have a point, until then, all you're doing is speculating, guessing and outright making things up.

You don't get it. You are the one claiming that Natal can do something that isn't shown in a single demo. I don't believe you because I have seen nothing that shows finger detection, thats all.

Lets try something else: Lets just assume for a moment that all Natal can do is arm and leg detection. Now go back and watch all the tech demos and the product vision videos again. Which of those demos would be impossible to produce with just arm and leg detection? Name one and you might have a point.

It would also be nice if you just wouldn't ignore the clear contradictions that I have pointed out in your argument. First you claim that Ricochet and Painting detects fingers, then your own link provides a Microsoft persons comment that they haven't actually implemented that. Yet you continue your believe its there, how so, even when its not seen in the video? You also still haven't commented an the elephant silhouette and the lack of precision it shows.

You both need lives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28278559)

The title says it all

Re:Project natal (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278673)

"Lets try something else: Lets just assume for a moment that all Natal can do is arm and leg detection. Now go back and watch all the tech demos and the product vision videos again. Which of those demos would be impossible to produce with just arm and leg detection? Name one and you might have a point."

You mean like the Burnout one where he uses just his foot to accelerate?

You're still making shit up even, I've not suggested ricochet and paint detect fingers, I'm pointing out that they detect wrist movement, ankle movement, neck movement etc. which is far beyond the simple arm/leg movement you seem to have made up in your own head.

I don't even understand why you've made that up for yourself, I mean if they can track arm and leg movement, if they can track facial gestures, which they've shown they can, what makes you think it's so hard for them to detect ankle, wrist or even finger movement?

We're not talking about technology that just records video like the Eyetoy or Logitech cameras (although that technology is part of it) we're talking about two cameras that can perform full depth perception that coupled with the Logitech style tracking of key points can allow Natal to build a full 3D understanding of what it's looking at and can track those keypoints within that world and with 48 key points per person that's quite a detailed image of the world it can provide. I get the impression you think this is just basic video recording and image parsing and don't actually understand what Natal really is because if you did you'd understand that there's no reason they can't track far more than arm and leg movement and have quite aptly demonstrated in a fair few videos that they can track more than this. You can see quite clearly in the on stage demo where he demonstrates logging in on the console via facial recognition that at very least wrist and ankle movement is detected, already demonstrated how false your assertion is that it's just legs and arms, but no doubt you'll pretend you can't see it again and therefore claim it's not really being shown. All this despite the fact in just those few seconds of simple basic video recognition of neck, body, legs, arms, facial recognition have all been demonstrated. It is much easier to perform recognition of fingers in 3D space than it is of facial gestures.

If you could at least explain why you don't think anything other than leg and arm recognition is possible even though it's demonstrated right in front of you it would be one thing, but you're not even doing that, you're just insisting that's the case without any reasoning or logic behind it it seems.

Re:Project natal (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279097)

You mean like the Burnout one where he uses just his foot to accelerate?

Try again. You use your leg to accelerate, not the foot, listen to the voice right at the start of this video [youtube.com]. You can find the same info in other sources. No foot detection, just which leg is forward determines if you break or accelerate. Which again, confirms my point.

If you could at least explain why you don't think anything other than leg and arm recognition is possible even though it's demonstrated right in front of you

It hasn't been demonstrated (neutral hand position != detection) and the elephant silhouette demo shows a clear lack of precision (which you continue to ignore).

Re:Project natal (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278425)

So you say realism is improved because you cannot feel things!

Re:Project natal (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278947)

No, realism is improved because you can directly interact with things rather than having to be forced to go through an external device that bears no resemblance to how you interact in real life. You do not have a weird shaped device with buttons in your hand (well, maybe you do, but I'd hope not) when you go and talk to people, when you fire a gun, when you play football and so on.

That's quite a big difference.

Re:Project natal (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277089)

Sony have released Dual Shock controllers for the PS3 now, they couldn't release them at first because of a patent lawsuit AFAIK.

Anyway, force feedback is a different thing from simple vibration/'rumble pack' type stuff. It would be impossible to do force feedback on full body movement unless you are wearing some kind of suit or are being moved around by robotic arms etc :P Only joysticks and steering wheels do force feedback; joypads, mice, etc just rumble.

Re:Project natal (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277147)

I think regarding the patent lawsuit that probably was the real reason. Microsoft had the same issue but simply paid for a patent license so, so I think there is some truth in what Sony said that they as a company didn't feel any kind of feedback was important - but not simply that it wasn't important, just that they didn't feel it was important enough to pay the license for it I guess.

You're right about forcefeedback too, it really is just rumble as you say. I still actually have my old force feedback stick for my PC here, it's just a shame force feedback only seemed to come along around the time flight sims, one of the few games they were good for, started dying off and becoming much less common.

Re:Project natal (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277253)

Yeah there haven't been many interesting space or flight sims in the last few years. It's definitely one of the major oversights in the current PS3 catalogue of games at least. I hope Elite IV doesn't go the way of Duke Nukem Forever..

Why Microsoft Got Caught Faking The Natal Demo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28277273)

Microsoft was desperate going into E3.

Just look at what the Xbox team was facing:

1. They had now been in the console market for 8 years and had racked up more than 8 billion in losses

2. The Xbox 360 was supposed to be the console that got all the things right after the first Xbox fiasco

3. The Xbox 360 racked up almost identical losses as the first Xbox even with the cheapest and shoddiest hardware ever created for a console

4. The massive cost cutting and layoffs going on at Microsoft ensured that the Xbox team wasn't going to be given more billions for a third console even though it desperately needs a replacement with the RRoD and other hardware faults, smaller than last gen disc format, and graphics that are getting humiliated by the PS3 by a margin never seen before in a console cycle

5. The smallest and weakest first party developer lineup. Sony has some 4-5 times the number of first party devs and Nintendo has about 2 to 2.5 times as many as Microsoft.

6. The main justification for Microsoft's entry into the console market, 'owning the living room', was a compelete failure in its one and only test, the next gen movie format war where Sony kicked the shit out of Toshiba and Microsoft's HD-DVD format.

Trying to refocus the Xbox as a Wii style console was the only option other than just shutting the whole Xbox mess down. But in their desperation, Microsoft blew it. They oversold their tech and got caught faking their demos. Even if they hadn't of faked the Milo demos they still would have been in bad shape with a release date more than a year and a half away. And of course the complete lack of games using the motion control tech.

Microsoft really should have followed the most basic rule of lying: You have to make you lie believable and not easily exposed.

So now Microsoft is faced with a situation where their core fanbase, the Halo crowd, sees the Microsoft abandoning them, and the Wii crowd saw nothing of any interest to them and even if they did it wasn't going to be available for a long time.

Re:Project natal (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277893)

Nintendo does force feedback really well in augmenting the motion sensor system to make it feel more like there's a tactile element to moving across items on the screen. In the end, it's up to the manufacturer to give the developers enough fine-grained control over force feedback options to make it possible to add to the immersion, and then the developers have to use it well for it to provide that capability.

Neither motion sensor technology nor force feedback are worth using if they're used improperly, and frankly, 99% of the time I don't want either one when I'm playing a game. However, when either (or both) is done well, it can definitely enhance the experience of playing a game.

Re:Project natal (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278881)

Yeah, certainly. Ideally we'd have props for everything - an M16 that actually feels like it's firing for example to shoot at the screen using a natal style system to allow you to duck, take cover, reload etc. The problem is of course how you'd ever go about implementing that without having all sorts of crap cluttered around your house for each and every different game.

Microsoft's Motion Control E3 Fiasco (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28276889)

Microsoft is unlikely to recover from their E3 motion control demo fiasco.

To have people participating in the demo give interviews immediately afterward where they either admitted or made it clear the demos shown off were faked was devastating. The fact that Microsoft had nothing that was able to be shown or tried out on the E3 floor like Nintendo did back when they introduced their Wiimote should have been the first warning sign that Microsoft had nothing but vaporware.

Plus the late 2010 date is far off enough to make anything they demoed irrelevant to everyone in the console market.

If Microsoft had:

1. Immediate motion control hardware for sale on store shelves

2. At least a handful of Wii quality games with the same mass appeal

3. New and reliable and cheap hardware to replace the absurdly defective Xbox 360 hardware

perhaps they would have a slim chance of having a fraction of the Wii market due to not having anyone of Miyamoto's caliber to create games in any of Microsoft's tiny first party studios.

After having lost some 7-8 billion dollars on console hardware over the past 8 years and huge cost cutting going on at Microsoft obviously giving up on the traditional console market and jumping into competition with Nintendo was a logical move for Microsoft. One that they botched terribly in execution.

 

Re:Microsoft's Motion Control E3 Fiasco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28276985)

It is bizarre to see Xbox fans suddenly falling all over themselves with claims of how Microsoft's motion control demos were 'teh future of gaming!!!' 'revolutionary!!!'.

I guess if you are a hardcore Xbox fan there really was nothing else to hype from Microsoft's E3 conference. They got humiliated like no company ever has before when their 'big surprise' turned out to be a fake Metal Gear Solid game that Kojima, the creator of the MGS series, came out the very next day and disowned and made it clear he had nothing to do with. Ouch.

So it was the motion controls that are all Xbox fans have to try to hype.

There are two major problems with what Microsoft showed off. First the AI stuff they demoed has had the developer responsible for it talk about how it wasn't real and people who have watched the conference can see how the AI demos were just scripted and pre-canned. And second the non-AI stuff that actually was real that was hyped has people pulling up old youtube Sony EyeToy demos showing the exact same stuff from years ago.

The only upside for Microsoft is that when this motion stuff fails it isn't going to be as costly as their failure in the console market so far since they are just going to use the same old Xbox 360 hardware with motion controls tacked on. Just like Nintendo did.

MS = OJ Simpson in the Naked Gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28277381)

Microsoft's E3 was an epic failure.

* They tried to claim they were getting 'teh next Metal Gear Solid'

Turns out its a fake Metal Gear 'action spinoff' game that Kojima has nothing to do with and humiliates Microsoft the next day right on stage at the Sony conference where he disowns the game Microsoft just made the highlight of their conference

* The got caught faking the Milo demo

Almost immediately after the Microsoft conference people watching videos of the Milo demo see that it is obviously rigged and just a carefully scripted event with a poor attempt to make it look like revolutionary AI was being shown off

* Their motion control tech turns out to be junk Nintendo didn't want and passed on

Just when you think it couldn't get any worse for Microsoft, on top of the rest of the E3 fiasco it comes out that the crap Microsoft was hyping as 'revolutionary' came from a company Nintendo passed on for not being good enough for their standards. And the final humiliation for Microsoft motion control fiasco comes as day by day more and more Sony PS2 era EyeToy youtube videos surface showing off the very same things Microsoft was claiming were 'revolutionary' and 'innovative'.

It was like watching that OJ Simpson death scene from the first Naked Gun movie in real life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YembxTLnuzQ [youtube.com]

 

Re:Project natal (4, Insightful)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277005)

However Nintendo should be worried, because of the lack of HD support and their absymal performance in the games area 2008 (which slowly is changing this year).

In other words, they shouldn't be worried. Most people don't understand or care about HD. I'm sure you've seen people buying huge TVs and then connecting them with composite cables to their DVD player. They're happy about it too.

Nintendo is still selling at more than 50% market share (even though total market share is not quite there yet), and they keep breaking PS2's sales records. The Wii is doing fine.

Project Natal == Project Faked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28277023)

The only impressive about Microsoft's Project Natal was just how stupid they were to think they could get away with trying to fool the gaming public and press with fake demos.

What is so inexplicable about Microsoft's rigged motion control demos was just how obvious it is to see the computer agent reacting BEFORE the people supposedly performing the action that was supposed to trigger the response.

Watching the video of the demos is like watching some comically bad movie fight scene where people are reacting to getting punched in the face before there is any hint of contact.

Re:Project natal (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277125)

I think the biggest issue with Natal will be detection accuracy and lack of buttons/joysticks. So far everything we have seen of Natal shows that it can only detect arms and legs, but not feet, hand or wrist movement. This means that the control will be really limited in what it can do, i.e. everything that requires the use of a "tool" (tenis, golf, FPS, etc.) won't work properly, as there is no way for Natal to figure out how exactly you are holding the tool. Same goes for lack of buttons and joysticks, being able to move your virtual arms around 1:1 is all nice and cool, but you also have to walk around, grab things, shoot things and so on and that won't work without finger detection or even if it would work it would be rather awkward to shoot something via gestures.

Now these problems aren't unfixable, an additional controller with a gyro build in could give you easily all the wrist data and buttons you need. And for golf or tennis a simple plastic toy without any electronics build in could likely be enough. The finger problem on the other side only seems solvable by moving your hands much closer to the camera, so you get the fingers proper, but lose detection of much of the rest of the body.

My biggest worry so far is simply that Microsoft's marketing seems to be focused completly on controller-less gameplay, while they haven't really shown any interesting gameplay that would work properly without a controller.

If this is about what the consumer wants... (5, Interesting)

realcoolguy425 (587426) | more than 4 years ago | (#28276635)

Stop sitting on quality games that have been released in Japan and release them elsewhere! I'm still waiting on fatal frame for the wii, and won't be buying another Nintendo game until I can purchase that! Tecmo hasn't had a problem releasing the other 3, and the sales have not been that bad in the states/Europe. UGH, I guess I'm still jaded that they're holding onto a shiny that I want, and am willing to part with money for.

Anyway, where are the good wii games anyway? I walk through the store and look at the Wii releases, and it feels like I'm in the kids section. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I guess. There is no reason not to offer them if that's what your consumers want, but why Nintendo (not Nintendo in Japan apparently) won't you release your high quality games over here? Will it ruin your family system image that for whatever reason you're doing your best to keep? It still makes no sense, there are already other more violent games out there!

Yeah yeah, the internationalization process... Tecmo has not had an issue, like I ranted earlier with the previous 3, and they were interested in having the 4th come out! Why is Nintendo sitting on it's hands? Why is Nintendo sitting on it's hands when people are willing to give them money? Especially when they have a couple of gems just sitting in their laps! They have so few 3rd party developers making quality games [most will max out their gfx capability on the PS3 or 360, at least when it comes to the AAA class titles, and many get exclusive with a certain console, Nintendo cannot afford not to support it's few quality 3rd party developers!

There's a petition to get the game moving forward [I guess to show there is potential for sales]. I guess I should go sign up for it.... actually I forgot which one I saw first, there's at least 6 going on out there! so I won't link any specific one...

Well I guess if they don't want to compete, and earn money, eventually economics will catch up with them. The NES/Super NES will remain the period in their legacy I guess. Minus the few gems out the 64 crowd, it has really gone downhill for Nintendo. I can't think of a spectacular game since the gamecube came out. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Point being I think they should be marketing everything they have, unless they realize, that they are really just shoveling garbageware for the first few years, and only plan on releasing decent games after that phase has passed [if there were the must have games, people would not bother with the junk, at least most wouldn't.]

Final warning to Nintendo: Compete or die. It's the law of economics... Unless you're GM...

Re:If this is about what the consumer wants... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28276779)

Hardcore gaming is not their market anymore. Look at the DS and its sales. Then look at the number of sales of games considered high learning curve and games like brain age and nintendogs.

They are competing... on a diferent market. If you are like me and those "casual" type games dont amuse you then Nintendo is no longer for you.

Signed: Proud owner of a N64 the last real console of nintendo for gamers. My definition of Gamer isnt "everyone that plays for a nano second is a gamer"

Re:If this is about what the consumer wants... (2, Informative)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#28276923)

Hardcore gaming is not their market anymore. Look at the DS and its sales. Then look at the number of sales of games considered high learning curve and games like brain age and nintendogs.

They are competing... on a diferent market. If you are like me and those "casual" type games dont amuse you then Nintendo is no longer for you.

You've got to be kidding ... the DS has like 7 billion games available, covering pretty much every imaginable genre in great depth.

Sure there are vast quantities of "brain age" and "kanji master 10" type games, but there are vast quantities of every type of game on the DS....

Re:If this is about what the consumer wants... (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277017)

Hardcore gaming is not their market anymore. Look at the DS and its sales. Then look at the number of sales of games considered high learning curve and games like brain age and nintendogs.

They are competing... on a diferent market. If you are like me and those "casual" type games dont amuse you then Nintendo is no longer for you.

You've got to be kidding ... the DS has like 7 billion games available, covering pretty much every imaginable genre in great depth.

Sure there are vast quantities of "brain age" and "kanji master 10" type games, but there are vast quantities of every type of game on the DS....

Yes but the main problem with the DS as well is the overpresence of kids games on the store shelves, for every
adult game are 10 pony games and 20 disney movie tie ins. It seems that those games simply sell on the Nintendo consoles!

Re:If this is about what the consumer wants... (1)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277367)

the main problem with the DS as well is the overpresence of kids games

Considering that adult gamers are vastly outnumbered by children, why is this a surprise? Nintendo did not fall for the BS concept of the "adult gamer" which has translated to big losses for MS and Sony's loss of it's lock on the #1 position in new console sales.

Re:If this is about what the consumer wants... (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279429)

You've got to be kidding ... the DS has like 7 billion games available, covering pretty much every imaginable genre in great depth.

Sure there are vast quantities of "brain age" and "kanji master 10" type games, but there are vast quantities of every type of game on the DS....

Yes but the main problem with the DS as well is the overpresence of kids games on the store shelves, for every adult game are 10 pony games and 20 disney movie tie ins.

I don't get that impression at all -- while there are certainly are lots of games aimed at kids, there doesn't seem to be any really dominant genre on the DS; it covers most of them pretty well. Given that it's a portable system, of course, there probably are more quick pick-up-and-go type of games than on TV consoles.

Granted, game stores near you may be different than game stores near me; maybe near you, there are simply lots of kids with DSes, and the stores stock accordingly. [I live in Japan, which probably has a more widely entrenched gaming culture than the U.S.]

Actually, the vast majority of people I've seen using DSes in public are young adults, as are the majority of people browsing in the DS section in games stores (in that sense, the DS is noticeably different than e.g., the gameboy and the GBA -- the majority of gameboy owners did seem to be kids in my experience; the GBA was a bit less so, and the DS much less so). Oddly enough, the majority of people I see playing the PSP in public seem to be kids!

Re:If this is about what the consumer wants... (3, Informative)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#28276857)

Stop sitting on quality games that have been released in Japan and release them elsewhere! I'm still waiting on fatal frame for the wii, and won't be buying another Nintendo game until I can purchase that! Tecmo hasn't had a problem releasing the other 3, and the sales have not been that bad in the states/Europe. UGH, I guess I'm still jaded that they're holding onto a shiny that I want, and am willing to part with money for.

Anyway, where are the good wii games anyway? I walk through the store and look at the Wii releases, and it feels like I'm in the kids section. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I guess. There is no reason not to offer them if that's what your consumers want, but why Nintendo (not Nintendo in Japan apparently) won't you release your high quality games over here? Will it ruin your family system image that for whatever reason you're doing your best to keep? It still makes no sense, there are already other more violent games out there!

The main issue is that there is an overpresence of kids games on the shelves while others clearly exist.
Okami, Tenchu Shadow Assassins, MadWorld, Godfather Blackhand Edition, Resi4, Metroid, Okami, Sam and Max, Strong Bad, Excite Truck, Excite Bugs, Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings, Red Steel, Disaster Day of Crisis, Endless Ocean, No More Heroes and many others I probably can dig up none of them I would call a kids game. The games are there, but if a Barby whatever game sells more all the sovelware gets the space!

Re:If this is about what the consumer wants... (1)

Clovis42 (1229086) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277589)

That's a nice list of games that a mature demographic can play, but most of them suck. Okami is good. I haven't played Metroid yet. Comparing that list to what is available for the other systems (or the PC) is laughable though. The developers (and even Nintendo themselves) are just not putting money into developing good Wii games.

I essentially bought my Wii because I assumed a great boxing game would have to come out within a few years. There have been a few but they were awful. This is partially because the controls aren't as good as was originally claimed. Perhaps holding two Wii Mote + Motion Control controllers will allow the Wii to have a game that is at least as good as Fight Night (not graphically tough, of course).

To be clear, there have been really good games on the Wii, but most of them didn't really take advantage of the motion control. Boom Blox did, and it was really fun. Mario Galaxy was great, but a lot of the motion control got in the way. Rock Band\Guitar Hero are fun, but not as good on the Wii. Even Okami, which allowed you to paint with the Wiimote, also through in super annoying waggle combat. You have to admit that shaking your Wiimote to attack was just awful. Also, the graphics were muddy. ::sigh::

That and Wiimote gimicks (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277745)

There seems to be the idea, and I don't know if Nintendo promotes it or if it happens on its own, that since the Wii has the motion tracking controller, that you have to use it. The problem is, some games are poorly suited for it, so it ends up being a real gimmick. One of the best examples I can think of is the Zelda game. Now it made good use of the basic Wiimote function in that you could use it to point at things on the screen for mouse-link menu control. Good idea, a mouse interface is rather nice for menus and such. However they couldn't just leave it there. For some reason there also has to be silly gestures requires for various actions. Like if you wanted to do a sort of spin attack, you had to wave the controller in a sideways arc. Very annoying, a button press would have been much better.

There are also a number of very gimmicky games in general, that seem kinda neat but quickly become very silly.

I somewhat wonder how the Wii's attach rate (meaning games sold per console) is. Reason I wonder is a know a few people who've got them, and they tend to just sit around. After playing with it for a bit, it gets put by the wayside. Now that's just a few people which is why I wonder if this is an overall trend or not. However among the people I know, it seems like the Wii is a shiny toy they buy, and then realize it isn't nearly as much fun as they'd hoped.

Re:If this is about what the consumer wants... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28278013)

I seem to recall a recent E3 where a developer was ranting about Nentendo not providing competitive hardware with the other two console manufacturers. His main point (which I find to be a very good one) is that with two of the consoles so much more powerful - you have to specially develop for the Wii. Companies don't want to do that... two user bases is better than one - or so the high up execs think so anyway... and most economics professors as well. When forced to make a choice, developers will side with the Microsoft/Sony camp more often than not for this reason. That means that by shorting the Wii on hardware to slash the price - Nentendo efficiently condemned it to a host of shoddy third-party shovel-ware. Still - we shouldn't be so surprised by this move since, historically, its been the first-party titles that have kept Nentendo so far ahead of the competition. Take away those titles and Nentendo is nothing. It is not unreasonable to compare the Nentendo business model to the Apple model... make everything proprietary... make it better than the competition. It is a model that has proven itself in the past - but I don't personally see it ever holding the vast market share in America for very long... I'd love to hear an economist's take on this.

Re:If this is about what the consumer wants... (1)

Leviance (1001065) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279365)

Compete or die? What are you talking about? Right now Nintendo has been padding their accounts with success of a console that actually makes money for every unit sold. I don't know if 360s are not turning a profit, but the PS3 is still being sold in the red. Most people don't have HDtv yet. Being on Slashdot, you probably surround yourself with a small group of people who happen to be very tech savvy. The majority of the world hasn't upgraded. All of this translates to something simple: Nintendo will be able to transition well to a new generation. They will be able to produce a new console at a lower price as the tech costs fall. By coming out with something new, they will likely force Sony and Microsoft to come out with something (anything) to try to show their own innovation.

Sony's offering rocks (4, Insightful)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 4 years ago | (#28276907)

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm the most excited about the motion-controls that Sony demoed. Just check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiX-26VL4bM [youtube.com]

It's hard not to be impressed by the demonstration of what gamers have been dying to be able to do for ages now: true 1:1 positional tracking, a sword and shield in-game, PERFECT.

So, in my mind, Sony's got the lead on next gen just from that. Falling to last place has actually done some good in this case, it made Sony try.

Behind Sony I'll place Nintendo. They need to up the ante for the next gen, but we can almost guarantee they'll have at least a decent offering, of not totally cutting edge, and that's fine. Sony may once against price themselves out of the market and make a horribly complex console--time will tell, but we know Nintendo won't make that mistake.

Then there's Microsoft, with their faked Lionhead / Milo demo. The controller without a controller? It had better be perfect, or they're sunk.

Lastly, we're all still waiting for someone to show off the final kicker: Johnny Lee style head-tracking for simulated 3d: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw)

Whoever can pull that out of their hat AND positional input will capture the public's imagination. Can't wait for the next gen :)

Re:Sony's offering rocks (2, Informative)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277019)

So, in my mind, Sony's got the lead on next gen just from that.

In reality Nintendo has already launched Wii MotionPlus, they have completed software ready to launch and 3rd parties have already launched games which use Wii MotionPlus. Now Nintendo can focus on making a control scheme for their next software, and they have tons of experience with motion controls.

Sony is just playing catch up for now.

Oops, for their next hardware I mean (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277029)

Now Nintendo can focus on making a control scheme for their next software

... for the next hardware generation I meant.

rbarreira is an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28277081)

Wii MotionPlus is nothing more than less crappy motion sensing. Finally after two years delivering what they promised. No 1:1 like Sony showed off at E3. Not surprising since Sony has the longest experience with motion controls of any console company - going all the way back to 2002. Four years before Nintendo jumped on the motion control bandwagon with their GameCube+Waggle bolted on combo.

Microsoft is the real loser. The faked Milo demo and old EyeToy tech. Late 2010 release date.

Re:rbarreira is an idiot (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277299)

No 1:1 like Sony showed off at E3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acND4sO3pJs [youtube.com]

Looks pretty damn 1:1 to me. Where Sony is now is about where Nintendo's tech demos were 1 year ago.

Re:rbarreira is an idiot (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277443)

Its much closer to 1:1 then the Wiimote alone, but it still can't measure its absolute position in space like Sonys solution. If you look closely in the above video you will see that he never actually moves the remote completly freely through space. The remote is completly invisible till he starts a swing motion and once done it disappears again. This is due to the Wiimote not having a way to measure its position in space, all it can do is dead reckoning from a given predefined starting point and judging from that video that only works for a few seconds after which it has to reset to the neutral position.

So yeah, its a big jump from the Wiimote alone and will allow much more then the old style waggle-button-replacement, but its still limited to fast swing motions and can't really give you full 1:1 which you need for some gameplay elements (i.e. free form stacking of blocks driven by a physics engine in 3d space).

Re:rbarreira is an idiot (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277499)

You could be right, but there's no proof. That was just an early demo, and the fact that they show it that way doesn't mean they couldn't keep tracking its position.

Of course the IR can be used to know the actual position in space (together with the Wii remote sensors and Wii MotionPlus), but that won't work when the remote is not facing the sensor bar. In reality though, it's probably close enough to 1:1 for most games. More importantly, we can already play with it, whereas the competition's motion controls will have an uphill battle for adoption which is not close to starting yet.

Re:rbarreira is an idiot (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277599)

You could be right, but there's no proof.

The proof is simple: There is no data to detect the absolute position. Even the IR bar won't help, as two IR points aren't enough, in theory it could work with a new sensorbar that uses four points instead of two, which the Wiimote can detect, but that would be far out speculation and Nintendo has announced nothing of that sort.

Or to put it another way: I believe it when I see it. When no demo or game uses a feature, there is a good chance it doesn't exist. Well, most of the time anyway, the DS has a pressure sensitive touch screen and I only know that is because a homebrew drawing app makes use of it, I have never seen an official game use that feature.

In reality though, it's probably close enough to 1:1 for most games.

Yep, especially considering that Wii games don't make that much use of physics engines it is probably close enough to 1:1 for most games to not make a difference. PS3 on the other side is full of games using physics engines and there the 1:1 mapping could be much more useful, as it would allow a much more direct and non-scripted way to interact with the world.

Re:rbarreira is an idiot (4, Informative)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277663)

Actually invensense (the company behind the Wii sensors) has stated absolute position and orientation is possible by combining the IR with accelerometers and gyroscopes (i.e. MotionPlus):

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2008/08/wii-motion-sensor.ars [arstechnica.com]

"This value proposition was embraced by Nintendo. We don't manufacture the [MotionPlus] accessory--there's been some confusion about that--but we offer a multi-axis MEMS gyroscope to Nintendo that, when combined with the other sensors and the sensor bar, offers a true six-axis motion controller experience."

Six axis meaning six degrees of freedom, i.e. absolute positioning and orientation.

There's a lot of information if you combine these three things together... The gyroscopes give you angles, the IR gives you the distance from the TV and the accelerometers can help to improve the accuracy of the previous measurements.

Re:rbarreira is an idiot (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277753)

Six axis meaning six degrees of freedom, i.e. absolute positioning and orientation.

Well, yeah, but as the LiveMove2 video has shown that is still only a relative position and it is only precise for a few seconds or so.

Knowing how many axis the thing has, doesn't really tell you how precise the results are or for how long they will be useful till you need to reset/recalibrate. And the distance from the IR sensor also only works as long as you are pointing straight at it, as soon as you are sitting at an angle things get troublesome.

When I see a demo or a game that shows absolute position detected for long periods of time, I'll believe it, so far that hasn't happened and I consider the tech just an approximation to 1:1. Which of course is still the best consumer motion sensing tech we will have for at least another year, so there really is no shame in that.

Re:Sony's offering rocks (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279607)

Even from the demo at E3, Wii MotionPlus still looks little laggy. And a little input lag goes a long way in gaming.

Re:Sony's offering rocks (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277107)

Er, I think you may be a little biased.

You attack Microsoft's offering, and then talk about your most wanted thing being head tracking which is exactly what Natal is capable of and the other two aren't? What's more, it can do it without the need for something to be attached to your head.

What makes you think the Lionhead demo was faked? Sure the kid wasn't actually understanding and interpreting what was being said to him, AI isn't that advanced and wont be any time soon. It certainly seemed to be able to map what was being said and what actions were being performed and was able to map that to specific actions though. That's effectively all that happens in current games, where you get pre-scripted responses to actions. The only difference here is that they were using Natal for input rather than a controller which made it appear far more immersive. I see little reason why it would need to be faked when all it was showing was a new input device being used to interface with existing widespread technology.

Re:Sony's offering rocks (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278647)

This video [youtube.com] nicely shows why the Milo demo was faked. That said, I agree that the tech behind it might real, as its really not that special (bolt voice regonition on something like Facade and you pretty much have it).

Re:Sony's offering rocks (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278833)

Well no, again you're making things up. It doesn't show that the demo was faked, because being faked suggests that the whole thing is essentially a non-interactive video, yet clearly the water situation where her image is shown from the camera and rendered onto the water debunks that.

All that YouTube video does is back up my point that the responses and actions are entirely scripted, but that this doesn't detract from the fact those scripted actions are occuring in response to real input.

You'd have to be an idiot to think Microsoft have produced AI capable of slaughtering the Turing test although this is effectively what the video suggests if you take it at face value. What they have done is allowed you to interact directly with the game using 3D depth perception hardware, voice recognition and gesture recognition.

It's a little misleading of Microsoft to the uninformed who would certainly take from this that Microsoft has produced some strong AI, but certainly to anyone who understands the basics of technology and can properly analyse what they've done with an understanding of the technology and how it's possible it's fairly clear that she is in fact interacting with the demo, even if the responses to her interactions are entirely pre-scripted.

Re:Sony's offering rocks (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279231)

It doesn't show that the demo was faked,

So you believe that the game features a totally weird perspective that makes no sense when you stand in front of the TV?

yet clearly the water situation where her image is shown from the camera and rendered onto the water debunks that.

Actor in front of the TV doing motion, everything else is inserted in post production.

I am not even sure why you try to argue that. I never claimed that the technology behind the demo was fake, that might very well be real or at least close to the demo. But the demo video is certainly not authentic and has been tempered with.

Re:Sony's offering rocks (2, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279617)

"So you believe that the game features a totally weird perspective that makes no sense when you stand in front of the TV?"

It's not a game, it's a tech demo, it's scripted to look good which from the camera angle they chose to record from such that they can capture the system and the person using it it does actually look good and it works.

"Actor in front of the TV doing motion, everything else is inserted in post production."

Oh including the dynamic water effect which would be pointless anyway because it's more work to make a fiddled version than it is to just use their existing Fable 2 rendering tech with Natal in the first place? Yes I can see that makes a lot of sense.

"I am not even sure why you try to argue that. I never claimed that the technology behind the demo was fake, that might very well be real or at least close to the demo. But the demo video is certainly not authentic and has been tempered with."

But you're trying to claim the whole demo is fake, which is silly really because it's almost certainly more effort to fake it than it is to simply make a scripted scene using Lionhead's existing tech. with Natal to make a scripted character respond to certain prompts.

You're using a conspiracy theory that simply makes no sense because it's just as much work to go through with your conspiracy theory than it is to just do it for real in the first place. Why exactly do you think they'd even need to fake it? When you step back and look at what they've done it's entirely unremarkable in the context of the new technology - which even you are saying you accept is real. I can go upto characters and interact with them just like that in Fable 2 and many other games using classic controllers and menu choices instead, all that they've changed is the input device and made a scripted scene to go with the technology for the demo.

It's not a real game that they're planning to release, it doesn't matter if it doesn't look right to the person using it as long as it looks good for the cameras and again as there's absolutely no logical reason why they'd need to fake it because all the technology is real and most the resources (like the scenery etc.) appear to be straight out of Fable II then why would they?

Re:Sony's offering rocks (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279701)

I should add to my other post by the way, that whilst what the video says is true - that to an observer looking at the screen the character would not be looking at them, it ignores the other dimension, that when you have another observer, observing the observer and the character on screen it would not then appear as if the character was looking at the initial observer as it does in their demo. It thus makes sense that they did it this way to give a better impression for the demo that the character is looking at the initial observer even if that wouldn't work for an actual user of the system.

In the context of the demo then, the character is actually quite correct. If they took the advice of your YouTube video then the exact same effect they mention would make it appear as if the character was looking at those of us observing the overall demo and hence would not appear to us watching the demo that he was talking to the girl in front of the demo.

This is the problem with conspiracy theories, they often miss key points and features like, say, context at which point the theory breaks down tragically.

Re:Sony's offering rocks (1)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279255)

I'm actually more a Nintendo fanboy than anything. And I like Microsoft better than Sony, thus the lead of my comment being amazed that I'm advocating the Sony solution. In this case, I'm just plain impressed with Sony's motion controls. They are a perfect solution, and that blasts through my prejudices.

Natal does do head-tracking, but won't be able to do fine-grained implement tracking like Sony's. And none of them do head-tracking based pseudo 3D like the Johnny Lee head-tracking demo I linked. If you had watched the link you'd know what I was talking about. Tsk, tsk.

Re:Sony's offering rocks (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279741)

No, that's the point Natal can in fact do that because it can track your eyes in relation to the screen - it's not just a single 2D camera, it has the ability to track in 3D space which means it can adjust what is rendered depending on where you on in relation to the screen.

Natal doesn't just record silhouttes like previous offerings such as the XBox Live vision camera and the eye toy, it does full blown 3D tracking which allows for exactly the sort of things in Johnny Lee's demo and as someone else pointed out to you, Johnny Lee is even working at Microsoft on this.

Sony Only One With 1:1 Motion Controls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28277321)

It shouldn't be surprising that Sony is the company with the most impressive motion controls. They've been at it the longest going all the way back to 2002 and the EyeToy. Long before Nintendo hopped on the motion control bandwagon.

Nintendo's MotionPlus isn't 1:1 like the Sony tech.

Microsoft are the major losers coming out of E3. Not only did everyone learn the Milo demo was rigged/faked, but we also learned that the company that created the Microsoft EyeToy style motion controls was earlier rejected by Nintendo for not being good enough.

Re:Sony's offering rocks (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278637)

I agree that Sony's demo was impressive, but you're jumping the gun on the 360 a bit. Adam Sessler at G4 got a hand-on demo and said that it did indeed deliver on its promises. Of course they're both ripping off Nintendo at this point, but Nintendo's hardware has never appealed to me as a serious gamer.

Re:Sony's offering rocks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28279259)

ROFL the PS3 is a miserable flop, no one even wants the console let alone some crap rip off of what Nintendo has already been doing for the last few years on top of the rediculous price of it.

It doesn't matter what Sony do, as a company in the games industry they're dead already. Even the company as a whole is losing money now, we'll almost certainly see Sony filing for bankruptcy in the next few years and all the PS3 fanboys crying that no one makes games for it anymore because of that. Not that it ever really had many games to start with.

Good grasp on consumer demand (0, Redundant)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28277801)

Is it fun? If it's fun, then I tip my hat and say, 'Well done.' But what's happening sounds to me a lot like, 'Who's got the prettiest picture. Who's got high-definition. Who has the best processing power?' It sounds like technology, when the consumer wants to be entertained.

This is why Nintendo has managed to remain a top dog in a field where it is dominated by 1080i high definition graphics and 5.1 surround sound. It gives players what they want - FUN. Not that the other giants can't give it as well, but they better not forget about it either.

Re:Good grasp on consumer demand (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278781)

This is pretty standard nintendo BS if you ask me. Sony and MS put out plenty of fun, enjoyable games. It's just nintendo markets itself as the fun console, because they can't compete with their rivals in terms of technology.

Nintendo won this gen by basically selling consoles to the casual crowd, given them simplistic, easy to digest games, tossing the occasional first party epic along the way. Minigame collections sell the console, which when combined with expensive accessories, a cheep hardware cost, and the fact the majority of best sellers are first party games means they are rolling in it.

Nintendo should be concerned (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278257)

This may just be my personal experience, but I play my 360 when I want to have fun - I play my Wii when I have people over. Nintendo was smart for diving into the casual gaming market, but if the other players (MS and Sony) are diving in there as well, I'd be very, very concerned if I was Nintendo because I simply cannot compete.

Re:Nintendo should be concerned (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278601)

The difference between Nintendo and the rest is that Nintendo has a complete solution, they not only have the hardware, but also the games that make use of it. Both Microsoft and Sony have little to none in that area, they have only the hardware, but not the game concepts to make use of it.

Or to put it another way: People go out and buy a Wii because it has Wii Sports, not because the Wiimote has theoretical potential to be useful for future games. At the moment nothing that Sony or Microsoft has shown has the same casual appeal as what Nintendo did, that of course might change in a year, but that still plenty of time for Nintendo to solidify their position.

And Nintendo also stated this as a P.S..... (3, Insightful)

gosand (234100) | more than 4 years ago | (#28278817)

P.S. Nanny nanny boo boo we had the cool technology before you did.

Seriously, we wouldn't be even talking about the wii if it didn't have the cool technology controls. Without that, many of their games would be re-hashed old ones, or not even possible.

So it's all about entertainment - once you have the technology. And don't think that Nintendo isn't ALSO working on the technology aspect of it.

Nintendo Is a sham (1)

CASP3r (1573835) | more than 4 years ago | (#28279777)

They got the graphic up to speed yes.. but almost every game they make is ages behind XBOX and Sony in detail. Is it just me or is every WII game smooth bubble characters bobbling around? and if your gunna say they have other games... so what all "those" games are on the other consoles too. Now hands down WII is great for kids.. little kids.. but this is like comparing Lincoln logs to Transformers - there is no competition and no adult gamer (which is most of the gaming population) wants to play a kid game ALL the time.. maybe im biased but i've owned all 3 consoles and the WII is good for exercise, drunk parties, and kids... but not worth the money....and not even close in graphic detail.. not to mention when it comes to adult gameworthy games aside from sports... the control is a joke....
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