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Natal Technology a Gift To the Disabled, Amputees

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the you-and-what-arms dept.

Input Devices 79

SlappingOysters writes "Natal could be capable of a lot more than was originally thought. Gameplayer has some information about how the technology will function in multiplayer, and goes on to reveal how it is intelligent enough to give full-bodied virtual movement to disabled gamers. The site had previously revealed that the Natal dev kits have been with developers for a couple of months, suggesting that the device may not be as far off as has been suggested by some media outlets."

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79 comments

That's Terrible! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28357879)

First God gives these people a crippled body.

Now Microsoft wants to give them a crippled video game system?!

Nice article, Eddie Bernays. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28357889)

Anthropomorphization is an excellent propaganda technique, vaporware astroturfer.

Re:Nice article, Eddie Bernays. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358061)

If they were born gimpy (and, and important distinction here - not made gimpy through stupid wars) then euthanize the motherfuckers. They're better off not living or torturing their offspring because God decided to piss in their gene pool. Use them for cutting-edge medical research or give them the option to take themselves out so that they won't become the burdenous and chicanerous assholes we see trying to berate, shuck, and jive everybody else. Those who have actually dealt with born gimps know what I'm talking about.

Those happy gimps you see in their promotional literature are nothing like the conniving, bitter cripples one encounters in real life. If they could get their dicks up they'd throw their semen in your face out of spite as Multiple Migs did to Clarice Starling. They'd probably want to smell your cunt, too.

I'll believe it when I see it (5, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#28357925)

More likely the game will refuse to move your virtual arm/leg just as your disabled body does.

In other words: Microsoft's Natal Adds Insult To Injury.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358067)

If you were an amputee with a stump for a right arm, surely swinging that like it was a full arm would be enough for Natal to compute that you were making a shot at the ball.

If you've got enough of a stump that Natal can detect the motion, then you've got enough of a stump to use a prosthetic. If you've got a prosthetic, you've already got enough ability to swing around a wii-mote. It doesn't offer anything that the Wii doesn't already offer disabled people, or that these guys don't already offer One Switch [oneswitch.org.uk] if you are more disabled then that. Sure, it'd be nice to have games made for this stuff, but I remain HIGHLY skeptical about this guy's speculation.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358187)

Amputees develop coping mechanisms anyway; they do things in a different way, that's all. It's especially true with congenital amputees because they have never known the use of the body parts they miss, so they really aren't disabled at all. Most of them end up ditching whatever prosthetics their parents try to get them fitted with and do just fine without. See this for example [youtube.com] . It's trickier for people who become amputees later in life though.

Amputees have been playing video games for as long as video games have existed, and quite frankly, I think that Microsoft effort is a just a feel-good, look-how-caring-we-are marketing stunt.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (2, Funny)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 4 years ago | (#28367157)

congenital amputees?!?

they have genes that cut off their limbs?

wow.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28359813)

If you've got a prosthetic, you've already got enough ability to swing around a wii-mote.

You're dumb, and should stop right here. This is provably untrue.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360375)

If you've got a prosthetic, you've already got enough ability to swing around a wii-mote.

You're dumb, and should stop right here. This is provably untrue.

I was going to ask for your evidence, but I wouldn't want to be accused of being dumb, so I guess you win. Congratulations! What prize would you like? Amused disdain, or open contempt?

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28367347)

Cake!

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358837)

In other words: Microsoft's Natal Adds Insult To Injury.

While keyboards are still clearly superior [datahand.com] if you only have one hand, how many other types of controllers are out there if you're disabled?

Maybe the wiimote, but that requires you to wave it around too much.

Possibly, but unlikely (4, Interesting)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#28357967)

Much like most game companies never bother to consider color blindness when picking their display schemes, very few will consider the disabled for motion control. Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri got a nice patch for that, though.

And you probably know how many console games still force one layout or give you a few presets, despite it being relatively trivial to remap controllers these days. I imagine even fewer will allow you to change "swing your arm" to "twitch your nose" after spending weeks training the gesture recognition for arm movements.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (4, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358109)

To be honest, you can't ask companies to consider *all* disabilities. I agree that, for instance, a ramp should be mandatory when staircases are present to access a building, because in that case, wheelchair-bound people just cannot access the building on their own. But color blindness is hardly disabling, it's merely an inconvenience.

A friend of mine is color blind, and his solution for hard-to-see computer images was to disconnect the red VGA pin and reconnected it in parallel with the green. His display is truly atrocious, but apparently much easier to see for him and he likes it that way. Anyway, just saying, a bit of solder and 5 minutes may take care of all problems with video game colors for color-blind people, so I don't think video game companies should bear that burden really.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (3, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358317)

"But color blindness is hardly disabling, it's merely an inconvenience."

You're not color blind, are you?

Yeah, thought not. I guess calling someone a hypocritical asshole is hardly insulting, it's merely an inconvenience. You hypocritical asshole.

Smiley face! :)

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (1, Troll)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358367)

Look, I'm not dissing color blind folks, I'm just saying, unless they tell you they're daltonians, you'd be hard-pressed to know. Sure they have trouble finding tasteful shirts or (in the case of my friend) judging the color of a steel part when tempering it, but it's not like they bump into things, need a white cane or buy books in braille. It's not disabling, it's inconvenient. Everybody has problems like that at some point in their lives.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (2, Insightful)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358463)

Tell that to the guy who has to interpret two different display colors at 2am on a generator status panel that appear to be the same temper of gray to him. (Real situation, fixed by some 2 cent cellophane)

My boss is partially color blind, and it's been an experience trying to rework monitoring systems / internal UI's so he can gain the same meaning from a display that everyone else can. You just don't think about things like that when it doesn't affect you

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358579)

cry me a river

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (2, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358683)

Tell that to the guy who has to interpret two different display colors at 2am on a generator status panel that appear to be the same temper of gray to him. (Real situation, fixed by some 2 cent cellophane)

So apparently, your company's special accommodation for its employee's disability is a candy wrapper and a bit of sticky tape. You prove my point.

My boss is partially color blind, and it's been an experience trying to rework monitoring systems / internal UI's so he can gain the same meaning from a display that everyone else can. You just don't think about things like that when it doesn't affect you

Fair enough. But is your boss able to drive? Does he need adaptations in his house? does he need a disabled parking placard because he can't walk far? Does he need nursing care? I guess not. He just needed a more convenient UI for himself.

I guess in the end it comes down to what can be considered a disability or not. For instance, I can't feel half of my right hand because of an accident I had years ago. As a result, I keep dropping things, hurting myself, etc... but I don't consider myself disabled: I just wear a glove with a sticky rubber palm side when I work on delicate parts, a fireproof glove when I heat things up, and a "chain mail" glove (they are sold at scuba diving stores, for diving with sharks) when I work with tools that drill or cut and I need to hold the part by hand. I suppose I could have asked my boss to pay for them, but that's a bit much don't you think?

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (3, Insightful)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358865)

I am very extremely inclined to agree with you, my brother is partially color blind (I am not sure to what extent as it has never been bad enough to ask about) and he is a qualified electrician and for him its just a mild inconvenience. My mum had a stroke about 15 years ago and lost all control and sensation of her right arm, and a significant amount from her right leg, but has enough control to still walk with a stick.
Now my brother lives a normal life, living a normal job, with 2 kids, 2 cars, a wife and a house. Who occasionally has difficulty telling the difference between 2 different coloured wires. My mum has had to change the way she does things for every part of her life, from getting out of bed, having a shower, to cooking and eating her meals, to driving a car. So to all the parents of this post who say some lame shit like "Tell that to my boss who is colour blind" well I will fucking tell him! It is pale in comparison to what my mum has to deal with, which is a mild disability to a lot of other disabled people.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (2, Informative)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 4 years ago | (#28359571)

My father was color blind. Apart from buying atrocious outfits on his own, it didn't affect much of his life.
Only thing that bothered him, was that he wanted to enjoy visual arts like paintings and tried some oil painting himself.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28359587)

How can someone be "partially" colour blind? You either are or you aren't. Some colour blindness is more severe or different than others, but there is no such thing as partially colour blind.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (1)

lessthan (977374) | more than 4 years ago | (#28365153)

Some forms of color blindness only affects one color, like red/green color blindness. you can't tell the difference between red and green. You can refer to this as partial color blindness, because you can still see some colors. You can also have total color blindness, where the world appears monochromatic. I notice that you are using a "u" in color. Perhaps it is an American English vs British English issue?

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28369653)

Perhaps it is an American English vs British English issue?

I'm going to have to say, that I have always used a U in colour/armour/etc. even when I was a child and I am from the United States. The way I look at it is, the language is ENGLISH, you know, the language of England, therefore not speaking/writing it the English way equals speaking/writing it the *wrong* way.
ONTOPIC: I am also colour blind (red/green), and I'm going to have to say that for me it is *very* disabling because of the way many stoplights where I live are set up. Many of them use all three colours on the same panel (eg. green is not the bottom light, and red is not the top light, but there is a single LED panel that changes from red/yelow/green) and I constantly have to do a lot of driving slowly/making unnecessary lane changes to get behind people and then watching their behaviour to decide if the light is green or red.

(also, the black and white /. captchas are some of the only captchas I can easily solve without getting my wife or daughter to help me.)

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (1)

lessthan (977374) | more than 4 years ago | (#28396643)

The way I look at it is, the language is ENGLISH, you know, the language of England, therefore not speaking/writing it the English way equals speaking/writing it the *wrong* way.

Then you deny the thing that makes English great. Language, in some part, defines not only what we can communicate, but what we conceive. If our language is stagnant and unchanging, so shall our ideas be stagnant.

I find your description of the stoplights hard to believe. I'm fairly sure that it is illegal in the States, because of color blindness. Where is this?

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358709)

I'm just saying, unless they tell you they're daltonians, you'd be hard-pressed to know.

And severe epilepsy isn't detectable unless someone is having an attack. I suppose that isn't a disability? Not being allowed to drive is just 'inconvenient'.

Colour blindness [i]is[/i] a disability as it can limit the sufferers ability to do things. The fact that things can easily be designed not to affect them helps, but someone who is red/green colour blind (and no doubt other types) will still come across things including games that they are unable to use because of colour choice. Disabilities vary in severity, and saying something is a disability isn't inferring that people with it are inferior, it merely acknowledges that some people have varying limitations and reminds us to incorporate that in our decisions.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#28359337)

That's a bit overly PC IMO. If I was colour blind I wouldn't mind admitting my eyesight was "inferior" in some respects. Saying "varying limitations" is just another way of saying that some people have bigger limitations, which is another way of saying inferior (at least in the area of vision) to those who have less limitations. Different words, exactly the same meaning.

And he didn't say epilepsy was just inconvenient, he said colour blindness was inconvenient, and he's right. Trying to equate some mild defect like colour blindness with severe epilepsy or missing a limb is stupid. Even trying to equate all types of epilepsy with each other is stupid. Some forms are a lot more serious, while some others are more at the level of 'inconvenient' because the risk of seizure can be kept low by taking medication, avoiding caffeine/alcohol etc and avoiding flashing lights if you are photo-sensitive. Some epileptics are allowed to drive.

And in fact yes, not being able to drive is simply inconvenient rather than essential for living. Certainly for the majority of the world's population, and even for most of the western world where driving is just the done thing. None of my 3 siblings and a lot of my friends have not learned to drive yet, and they seem to be surviving okay out in the big bad world. I myself was banned from driving for 3 months last year and it was actually one of the best things to happen to me for years, because I started walking everywhere again and it got me into the mood for taking regular exercise, which I've continued despite having my license back. Of course we have comparatively small cities and decent public transport in this country, so most places are within walking distance, or if you want you can get wherever you want to go in the country by bus and train. In your country it might be different.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28365467)

Currently the highest moderated post in this thread is a flame. A straight up flame post. Sadly this instrument of contention (if you will) has not addressed nor continued the discussion on the article, at all.
.
Back to point, its pretty clear that in advance of the tech being delivered to the general market what we have is a big pot of speculation. Input on the subject at this point is most encouraging, and what developers do with the tech and ideas will be truly telling. It as been a while since I've been excited about emerging hardware and what games may come..
.
If this finds its way into more common use and ends up adding another gamestyle to video games and another interface for the gui it will do so because it was accepted and popularized by the consumers. From what I can tell that consumer base is wide and varied. This would not be the same machine to all people, we each will have our uses for it, including perhaps some utility for mapping motion control commands. As an accessibility utility the removal of customary input devices and the ability to map/personalize motion commands has some pretty incredible potential. With high resolution tracking and the processing we can expect from next-gen consoles it seems to be largely up to developers' creative ideas to deliver games and stories for us to enjoy.
.
I for one look forward using the motion controlled gui and not looking for the remote/controller. (And waiting for it to turn on, if it has enough battery power.) I can only imagine the excitement the folks without the dexterity to use a standard controller must be feeling as products like this emerge.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28359465)

To be honest, you can't ask companies to consider *all* disabilities.

You shouldn't reason in binary. Colorblindness affects 7-8% of the population, 10 million people in the US alone. It's reasonable to expect some effort to ameliorate the worst of the problem, even if it's not cost effective to completely solve it.

Particularly when it's trivial to put designers in the color blind's shoes by giving them colored glasses and probably all that's required is some basic color changes or an interface color skin/mapping mode that the colorbind can use.

Maybe there should be a logo to put on packaging that says "this product is color blind friendly".

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28359825)

I agree that, for instance, a ramp should be mandatory when staircases are present to access a building, because in that case, wheelchair-bound people just cannot access the building on their own.

Wrong. Wheelchair-bound people unwilling to sacrifice a small part of their dignity cannot access the building on their own. It is totally possible for most of them to scoot up and down steps on their arse. We have decided that is below their dignity, and therefore we should force owners of small shops to put in ramps for their benefit, even those shop owners don't give one tenth of one shit about serving them and have the legal right to refuse to do business with them for any reason.

Mandating wheelchair ramps on public businesses and for access to public utilities is reasonable; hell, even mandating them on monopolies would be okay. Requiring them across the board is fucking ridiculous, but even that is not as stupid as complaining that a particular video game system might not be as usable if you're missing limbs.

If we choose to live in a capitalist society, we must accept that markets only get served when there's money to be made.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (1)

TheInsaneSicilian (134631) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361209)

Wrong. Wheelchair-bound people unwilling to sacrifice a small part of their dignity cannot access the building on their own. It is totally possible for most of them to scoot up and down steps on their arse.

Assuming they do get off their wheelchair, and "scoot" up a few steps like you suggest, then what? Does their wheelchair magically do the same thing and then they continue on their journey into the building?

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28362343)

While I recognize that I cannot speak for all color blind individuals, still as one such individual I am inclined to agree that it is generally only a minor inconvenience.

It occasionally is an issue for me playing board games (red/green primarily) I've never really found it to be a hindrance in video games. The one exception that comes to mind was a Metroid game that made heavy use of red/green color effects where one color was useful and the other was trying to kill you.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 4 years ago | (#28362995)

When the boss glows green, he reflects melee attacks. When the boss glows red, he reflects ranged attacks. When you're color blind, you just die. Clearly, I need to muck about with my own hardware solution rather than trouble a developer.

Re:Possibly, but unlikely (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | more than 4 years ago | (#28367223)

I thought it was pretty cool actually that WoW has a colorblind mode since being colorblind could really frig up your ability to play certain parts of that game.

"Go get me 12 orange...oh...umm...I mean the blue flower looking...umm...you know what go kill 10 forest boars or something."

Ah, good old Microsoft (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358127)

Now just why would they hype a product that's not even ready for market yet? Including using videos that are acknowledged to possibly not show real capabilities?

Hey, it worked for Pen Windows, didn't it?

Mart

Re:Ah, good old Microsoft (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363887)

You're smart. All the best, most successful companies never market anything until it's on the shelves.

Re:Ah, good old Microsoft (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28374593)

And you're an idiot, because that was not remotely what I said. Here's a hint, peabrain: 'ready for market' does not equal 'on the shelves'.

Mart

Re:Ah, good old Microsoft (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28375727)

Why the animosity? I said you were smart. And you are indeed smart. All the best companies wait until their product is ready for the market before they start advertising it or building hype for it. The world is littered with the success of great, ingenious companies who never hype anything.

You can't walk 5 feet without bumping into a successful company that never markets an idea or product as it's being developed!

This is bad??? (2, Interesting)

Brianech (791070) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358201)

For such a positive article, there are nothing but negative comments... Its good to see that technology made for gaming can in turn be used to help the disabled. For all the bad press games/gamers get, there is now something really promising that we can say came from gaming. Natal, if it turns out as well as they claim it will, is a impressive piece of technology. To reach a broad audience it will have to be affordable. Makes you wonder what the comments would be like had Sony, Apple, IBM or any other company for that matter had created it.

Re:This is bad??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358957)

"For such a positive article, there are nothing but negative comments..."

Yes, because:

- It involves Microsoft, so all the Apple and FOSS fans instantly see hatred towards it

- It's about a new feature of Microsoft's console that the PS3 and Wii wont have, so all the PS3/Wii fanboys instantly hate it

So effectively then, the only people who will see it as a good thing are those who don't fall into the above category and are capable of being objective and treating products on a per-product basis rather than grouping everything into basic "love it/hate it" groups based on some arbitrary but unrelated value (i.e. the manufacturer).

But one good thing comes from all the comments here. It gives us insight into the amount of people that are ignorant and irrational vs. the amount that are capable of rational objective thought. As you can see, people capable of rational, objective thought are apparently rather rare on Slashdot.

You sir, are one of the few. Congratulations.

Re:This is bad??? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28359861)

You are 100% correct, and it makes me sad (though not surprised) to see you modded as Troll. I remember "back in the day" when Nintendo had their press release for a NES controller for the disabled, you moved the joystick with your chin, you held a tube in your mouth, and you blew on it for A and sucked on it for B or something (the jokes, as always, write themselves.) Nintendo was lauded as the great hero of the disabled, when in actuality they were spending a tiny piece of money (for them) for huge piles of goodwill. In the end, though, that was still just a fancy joystick! Microsoft has here provided us what is likely the next major evolution in gaming, and taken the time and spent the money (I know, big woop) to make sure that it will work for people who are not entirely whole. I know it's not PC to talk about people that way, but that's how it is!

In actuality, having a video game vendor give any attention to the disabled when designing a major system feature is highly unusual; it's not like you can go into a gaming store and buy ANY gaming peripherals for disabled gamers.

Re:This is bad??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28361691)

One random comment, Microsoft didn't create this product. It was acquired when they purchased 3DV.

http://www.techflash.com/Report_Microsoft_in_talks_to_buy_3D_gesture-recognition_company_39737767.html

http://www.3dvsystems.com/technology/tech.html

Re:This is bad??? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361979)

Yeah, if this was something created by Nintendo you know everyone would be saying how wonderful it was. For some reason people get stupid about consoles and companies. They all want your money. If they do something good, praise them, if they do something bad, call them out. But hating on Natal just because it is made by MS is pretty retarded no matter how you look at it.

Such pessimism... (0)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358203)

Sheesh, if this were a Google/Sun/Adobe/Gnu/whatever project, people would be ecstatic. I'm very skeptical this will completely live up to the hype, but this Natal is a pretty big deal even if it lives up to 50% of its hype... and even if it has the name Microsoft attached to it.

Why MS Is So Desperately Hyping This Stuff (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358243)

This is it. This is the end of the eight year long 8 billion dollar Xbox fiasco.

The huge hits to the OS revenue and profits from netbooks and the overall bad economic conditions. The layoffs at Microsoft. The cutting of deadweight projects. There was exactly zero chance Microsoft was going to blow billions on yet another Xbox console.

They had two choices:

1. Dump the entire Xbox train wreck.

2. Try to salvage the existing hardware by trying to copy what Nintendo did with the Wii

They are going with 2.

Repackage the old Xbox 360 hardware with possibly some new branding to distance the new product from the stench of the RRoD disaster and marketing more aimed at soccer moms that 20 something college age Halo fans.

This has been a long time coming. Microsoft has been shutting down their first party studios for a year or two now. Letting former exclusive third party Xbox developers go off be bought out by multiplatform publishers. The clone of the Nintendo Wiis for the Xbox 360. And now the EyeToy style motion controls.

None of this EyeToy style motion control stuff is going to be ready until late next year. Nor does most of what they demoed actually work as was shown when various gaming media sites exposed the E3 demos being pre-scripted/rigged. So Microsoft has a year and a half of nothing to fill. If they don't keep the hype at an fever pitch they risk losing huge numbers of suckers who are still paying Microsoft 50 dollars a year in online fees.

So that is the trick. How to get the existing Halo demographic fanbase to continue paying the huge online fees for the next year and a half to fund the development of the Wii style replacement for the existing 360. A pretty tough task. A week before E3 if you would of asked the existing 360 fanbase what they thought of Wiimote/Eyetoy style controls they would have laughed at you. Now Microsoft is faced with hyped those very same type of controls to keep the existing 360 userbase from abandoning the console.

Re:Why MS Is So Desperately Hyping This Stuff (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358283)

its funny you didn't mention sonys same "gimmick" motion control they hyped at E3! Your comment is an epic fail on all levels fanboy! Oh and last I checked PS3 was STILL in 3rd place. Which is funny because you guys all claimed the PS3 would over take the 360 in months, not years, even with the head start. Oh and the article you are commenting on states that the dev kits have been out for months, with several games already implementing it... so its not that far off. but again, congrats on the fail!

Re:Why MS Is So Desperately Hyping This Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358469)

"its funny you didn't mention sonys same "gimmick" motion control they hyped at E3!"

Gee, because Sony showed off a massive array of both first party and third party exclusive games.

Microsoft's E3 2009 Disaster was absolutely astonishing to watch unfold.

First Microsoft is stupid enough to try to hype a fake Metal Gear Solid 'action spinoff game' as their big E3 annoucement. Only to be utterly humilated by Kojima the very next day when he disowns the game and makes it perfectly clear that he has nothing to do with it.

As if that epic humiliation wasn't bad enough, the gaming media starts watching videos of the Microsoft motion control demos and sees they are obviously faked with AI object reacting before the people demoing the motion controls moved. Whoops.

And then the final humiliation. We learn from an interview with Nintendo that the very same motion control tech Microsoft just got caught showing off fake demos for was crap Nintendo passed on as being not good enough.

All of that was just painful to watch unfold. Not surprising coming from the same clowns responsible for the RRoD fiasco.

Not nearly as humiliating but even more funny was watching people dig up years old EyeToy demos showing off the exact same crap Microsoft was trying to hype as 'new and innovative'.

Yep, this Microsoft EyeToy ripoff is 'gonna change the gaming world!'

Hilarious.

Re:Why MS Is So Desperately Hyping This Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358623)

I hate to get involved in troll wars, (by the way are the mods on crack in this thread??? time to do some meta modding to punish these morons giving +'s to trolls) but MS developed Natal in house from what I've read. Explain how nintendo could pass on technology microsoft created???? I only own a Wii, but hardly play it, as the gimmick wears off fast. But it seems strange that a story about a motion sensing, body detecting camera could involve the RROD fiasco, or anything else MS released at E3.

A round of applause for the mods everyone!

Please Stop Trolling (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358785)

k?

Re:Why MS Is So Desperately Hyping This Stuff (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28359401)

The difference between Sonys and Microsofts motion controls is that Sony actually demonstrated useful gameplay. FPS, RTS, sword fighting, tennis, golf, graffiti and many more are rather trivial to implement with Sonys solution as shown by their tech demo. What did Microsoft on the other side show? Splattering color on a wall? Great, but where is the precision in that? Fully-Body-Waggle Breakout, well party fun, sure, but isn't really useful as a general game mechanic. And then Burnout, well, sure it might work, but where is the advantage over using a controller or if I care, a real racing wheel controller? Natal just doesn't seem all to useful outside from a few party games and most of the useful things it could do (face and voice recognition) could be done as well with existing technology, i.e. a normal camera and a headset.

Re:Why MS Is So Desperately Hyping This Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358309)

I think it is starting to dawn on the Xbox fans what the reality of the situation is for the Xbox.

Microsoft looks like they are putting in just the minimum effort to support the Xbox 360 before completely focusing on motion controls. Some more Halo milking, a whole bunch of PC ports, only one real third party exclusive, Crackdown 2. All those articles talking about the abysmal 360 2009 and beyond game releases stories make a whole lot more sense now that Microsoft has shown their hands and made it clear they are turning away from the core console market and going for the Wii casual market.

It does make all those claims over the years of how Microsoft was willing to throw any amount of cash at the console market and that the billions in losses mean nothing. Obviously 7 or 8 billion was the breaking point and where Microsoft finally decided to throw in the towel on the console market.

The downside for the most likely failure of turning the Xbox 360 into a Wii style recycled hardware with motion controls tacked on is fairly low. They aren't spending another couple billion to ramp up production of new console hardware. But they have no genius like Miyamoto or the incredible first party lineup Nintendo has.

Re:Why MS Is So Desperately Hyping This Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358329)

replying to yourself as anon doesn't make you cool...

Shh...don't spoil it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358353)

It's more fun to watch xbots hype this eyetoy ripoff stuff without realizing they are hyping the end of the xbox...

MS's Exit From The Console Market (2, Insightful)

Path3 (1338747) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358581)

Microsoft appears to be taking this path for exiting the console market:

1. Close down existing first party studios

2. Stop putting any but the minimum resources into the existing 360

3. Retarget Rare and Lionhead into Wii/casual focused developers

4. Use existing 360 online and other fees to pay for the relauch of the same 360 hardware with motion controls add on

5. Hype the motion control like mad until late 2010 since they really have almost nothing coming out on the 360

Microsoft isn't Nintendo anymore than Apple. There just isn't the culture and people there to create a wildly popular device and ecosystem like the iPod and Wii. But going up against Sony has been a costly many billion dollar disaster for Microsoft. Even something as basic as deciding the next gen movie format couldn't be won with the Xbox 360 as when Sony whiped Toshiba and Microsoft's HD-DVD right out of the market. So much for 'owning the living room'.

The execs up in Redmond must have looked back and billions in losses over the last eight years and said "Enough." Time to move on. Leave the console market to Sony. Losing to Nintendo is much cheaper than losing to Sony.

Nintendo -> Apple
Wii -> iPod
Xbox 360 with motion controls -> Zune

Re:MS's Exit From The Console Market (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363947)

Whatever, dork. Unfortunately for your distorted view of the world the XBox 360 is eating Sony's lunch - please see attach rates, top game sellers, etc...

Re:Why MS Is So Desperately Hyping This Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358639)

How many friggin Mario games do we need before we stop calling it "incredible"?

Re:Why MS Is So Desperately Hyping This Stuff (1)

Ksempac (934247) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358809)

I wonder why i try replying to an anon troll, but I will bite.

Your rant is nice and long (and partially true, for example i hate the way they charge for Live), but could you back it up by facts ? For example, how is the Xbox a train wreck ? how is it dying ?

Quick and dirty google search :
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/microsoft-games-profits-up-by-16-per-cent [eurogamer.net]

The original Xbox was a real money sink, but it was a way to get a foothold in the console market. Now the Xbox 360, while still outpaced by the Wii, is the real deal and a money maker for Microsoft. Moreover, despite being the oldest console, its growth keeps increasing over the past 2 years.

Clueless. Utterly Cluess. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358871)

The first Xbox disaster lost some 4.5 billion or so before the plug was pulled in the middle of 2005.

The second Xbox has racked up 1.1 billion for the RRoD hardware failure disaster. And people at people from Microsoft publicly talk about the Xbox having lost over 8 billion since 2001. So the 360 has lost somewhere in the 2-3 billion range above and beyond the RRoD losses.

What is even more staggering about the Xbox losses is that those are not the actual losses but the net losses that include various profitable products and services. Microsoft was so embarrassed by the Xbox losses that they moved the Mac software guys into the Xbox division to help cover up the massive losses generated by the console in addition to the other profitable products in the E&D division.

And even more staggering is those losses come after including the absurd online fees that are in the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

And what was most likely the final nail in the Xbox's coffin was 8 years since the first Xbox came out and over three since the second Xbox console has been on the market, the losses generated by the 360 were so large from the desperation price cut down to 200 dollars last year that they drove the entire E&D division into the red for the year. That is absolutely mind boggling bad. All those other profitable products and services generating huge revenue and the 360 still dragged all of that down into the red. The third year of a console is when a company should be starting to absolutely rake in the profits.

Even if Microsoft wasn't going through the massive cost cutting and layoffs the chances of anyone giving the Xbox team the green light to create another console were close to zero.

Slap some motion controls on the old 360 hardware and see if it goes anywhere in the market is a cheap solution to the Xbox mess. When it fails the losses will be minimal compared to the Xbox and Xbox 360.

The upside will be Microsoft will most likely turn back to the long neglected and dying PC game market.

Mod Trolling at its Best! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358815)

Im sorry but the mods need to stop smoking crack. How is an offtopic troll thread "interesting." The story is about a piece of hardware being used to help the disabled. HOW does that involve the Xbox 360's success/failure. HOW does it relate to what the xbox 360 components are. If EyeToy was so great why did it not have the same repercussions? It doesn't matter that the xbox is failing (even though the latest numbers put it in 2nd IN THE USA, not worldwide), it doesn't matter that microsoft keeps recycling old franchises, it doesn't matter that the Wii had motion gameplay first. This post DOES NOT RELATE IN ANY WAY TO THE STORY. Therefore it is "offtopic."

Re:Why MS Is So Desperately Hyping This Stuff (1)

SlappingOysters (1344355) | more than 4 years ago | (#28359581)

You're referring to the actual press conferences. Behind closed doors however Sony let no one play with the Wands, but Microsoft did let journos play with Natal

If Natal delivers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358357)

... on half the promises that are being written. I may have to seriously switch from Linux back to Windows. I may also have to give Satan another shot...

I was going to buy a new Xbox but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28358417)

... I think I'll wait and save my money for Natal to come out. I think I'll save all the money I was going to spend on games for the Natal stuff too. I can't imagine why anyone would buy the Xbox right now since the new Natal stuff is just going to make it all obsolete soon anyhow.

Re:I was going to buy a new Xbox but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28360329)

It's FOR the Xbox 360, it's not a replacement. I don't know how it could possibly make something it needs to work "obsolete".

rtfa, please, editors... (3, Informative)

polle404 (727386) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358577)

I know, I know, i actually read tfa...
it's all speculation, by an Aussie reporter, that it MIGHT be beneficial to disabled gamers.
according to tfa, he speculates, that since it's supposed to work with partially obscured body parts, eg. swinging an arm behind someones back, it might also be usable to amputees.

While i applaud the idea, I'd like to see it in action before we proclaim it our new controller-less overlord.

I'm still waiting for the generic, computer/tv/dvd/ect. peripheral for remote-less control of electronic equipment in my home.

Points to gameplayer (2, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28358657)

TFA has a picture of adult hands holding a tiny premature baby, with the caption

Where we're going, we don't need hands

There's something disturbing about not only the caption by itself, but the combination that is brilliant.

Not sure that means what you think it means (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360229)

"Natal Technology a Gift To the Disabled, Amputees"

GIFT
Considering that "gift" pretty much presupposes there's no compensation given in return, and this is Micro$oft we're talking about, I'd imagine any serious editor would change that simply to BENEFIT.

I know accusing /. editors of sloppy editing is like calling water wet, but hey.

Re:Not sure that means what you think it means (1)

SlappingOysters (1344355) | more than 4 years ago | (#28369071)

that would be a matter of perspective wouldn't it? To a disabled person it might feel like a gift

Really? A miracle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28360395)

"...for someone who hasnâ(TM)t been able to hold a tennis racket in their hand and hit a ball, or had the luxury of running on sound legs, itâ(TM)d be nothing short of a revelation. A miracle even."

I would have to think that someone using a prosthetic limb would be far more satisfying and much more enjoyable than swinging their stump and having a virtual limb hit a virtual ball on their tv.

Isn't it the opposite? (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 4 years ago | (#28362047)

Legit question here as I am probably missing something, but how would a controller requiring motion (Be it MS's, Sony's, or Nintendo's) be helpful to those with _limited_ mobility? Would'nt a controller with buttons be easier? I would think even hacking a controller to work with whatever physical disability you may have would be easier then something requiring say moving a leg if you don't have any? Quite curious.

no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28420449)

NATAL didn't even work for fully functioning normal human beings (ever wonder what the bottom of an avatar's shoe looks like? wellBAM *avatar has a seizure*), how is it going to work for the disabled?

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