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How Sony and Microsoft Hope To Crack the Motion Control Market

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the flailing-of-arms-and-marketing-departments dept.

PlayStation (Games) 138

An editorial at Eurogamer delves into what Sony and Microsoft hope to achieve with their upcoming console motion control systems, despite entering the market several years after Nintendo set the standard. "The cards Sony has placed on the table this week suggest one answer to that question. It sees PlayStation Move as being an upgrade path for Wii owners — an invitation to the tens of millions of consumers who have invested in Nintendo's platform to swim upstream to the more powerful, HD-enabled system. Yet even Sony's most optimistic view of the market will be tempered by a dose of realism here. ... What's more likely — and what Sony are probably quietly hoping to achieve a significant proportion of the Move's success through — is that the technology will expand the appeal of the PS3 in the family setting." The Digital Foundry blog has an in-depth look at the PlayStation Move from Sony's event at the Game Developers Conference, saying, "... if there was one positive you could take away from the event, it was that Move is clearly a far more precise implementation than the Wiimote. Some of the games felt clearly more 'tactile' than the Wii equivalents."

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What's wrong with gamepads? (1, Interesting)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472792)

Am I the only one who's perfectly fine with two analog sticks and a bunch of buttons? Maybe it's sort of neat to be able to wave a wand around and have stuff happen on the screen, but until they get to a point where your "aim" or "cursor" or whatever is precisely where you're pointing, count me out. I want more precision than a wiimote can provide, and I want action games (think Call of Duty), not games built around some gimmick (Wario Ware or whatever the hell they call it). Guess I'm just not their target market.

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472932)

The wii controller can be turnd on its side and used as a gamepad -- so what are you complaint about?

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475198)

It can be used as an NES controller. No analogue sticks, no trigger buttons, little use in most core games, which seems like OP's area of interest.

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (4, Insightful)

sheetsda (230887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472946)

Gamepads are fine, for certain games. Mortal Kombat-type fighters and platformers come to mind. Contrast to Wii Tennis with a Wiimote or an FPS with a mouse and keyboard. You have to pick the right tool for the job: if the challenge of a game is the disconnect between the player and the character being controlled the game will be frustrating rather than fun.

Intentional disconnect between player and game (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472972)

You have to pick the right tool for the job: if the challenge of a game is the disconnect between the player and the character being controlled the game will be frustrating rather than fun.

DDR players can hit more steps per second on a keyboard than on a dance pad (compare Tedo typing 0x1311 [youtube.com] to Iamchris4life tap-dancing A [youtube.com] ), yet players still use a dance pad for some reason.

Re:Intentional disconnect between player and game (3, Insightful)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473120)

Exactly!

I played mario kart on the wii using the wheel and that was really fun. Not more fun or less fun than using a 'classical' gamepad. Just differently fun.

Wiimote can not be the optimal controller to do the job well. But I am not trying to optimize my karting play. I am trying to have fun!

Re:Intentional disconnect between player and game (3, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473124)

DDR players can hit more steps per second on a keyboard than on a dance pad (compare Tedo typing 0x1311 [youtube.com] to Iamchris4life tap-dancing A [youtube.com]), yet players still use a dance pad for some reason.

As a part time achievement whore on the 360 I recently came across the webcam accessory with the game "You're In The Movies". I figured a 20 dollar webcam would be nice to replace my ancient pre-Creative Webcam III cam and the game would offer a few points.

I ended up completing all the standard missions of the game even going so far as to improvise my own green screen to improve detection quality.

My reason?
It was fun.

Re:Intentional disconnect between player and game (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473196)

Because in this case, the "controller" makes it fun. I'd guess the same applies to guitar hero and other music games.

But making such a "specialized" controller the standard controller backfires quickly because they are only suitable to a very small subset of games. I hope you agree that a DDR dance mat doesn't really work for ... well, any game but DDR.

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (4, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473082)

We tend to forget as gamers how unnatural using the gamepad for playing games was at first for many people, you know when our parents tried to pick up the controller and they could barely control the character? The great thing about the Wiimote and other motion is to try to come up with a control scheme that is more natural and integrates into what they already know unconsciously as human being.

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474360)

We tend to forget as gamers how unnatural using the gamepad for playing games was at first for many people, you know when our parents tried to pick up the controller and they could barely control the character? The great thing about the Wiimote and other motion is to try to come up with a control scheme that is more natural and integrates into what they already know unconsciously as human being.

And the bad thing about Wiimote is that you have to keep your hand absolutely still or the stupid thing decides you're trying to swing it around. That's the only kind of control Wiimote's motion control really allows. Shake or swing it, and your character does something, usually completely unrelated to the motion; try to replicate the actual motion of the Wiimote in the gameworld, and control becomes an exercise in frustration due to the lack of tactile feedback and the inaccuracy of motion detection.

Wii games use motion control as a gimmick. The actual control is usually done with the joystick (the "nunchaku") and buttons, and shaking either the joystick or the Wiimote is used as one of the buttons - and an inaccurate one at that, with the added bonus of firing randomly whenever you move. That doesn't make anything easier, just more annoying.

I truly wish we can get rid of this motion control craze back to gamepads with joysticks.

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474666)

And the bad thing about Wiimote is that you have to keep your hand absolutely still or the stupid thing decides you're trying to swing it around. That's the only kind of control Wiimote's motion control really allows. Shake or swing it, and your character does something, usually completely unrelated to the motion; try to replicate the actual motion of the Wiimote in the gameworld, and control becomes an exercise in frustration due to the lack of tactile feedback and the inaccuracy of motion detection.

Wii games use motion control as a gimmick. The actual control is usually done with the joystick (the "nunchaku") and buttons, and shaking either the joystick or the Wiimote is used as one of the buttons - and an inaccurate one at that, with the added bonus of firing randomly whenever you move. That doesn't make anything easier, just more annoying.

Where's the "-1 I only tried it with 2 cheap games and I don't know what I'm talking about" mod when you need it?

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476120)

Where's the "-1 I only tried it with 2 cheap games and I don't know what I'm talking about" mod when you need it?

I was wondering if it was that, or the OP has some sort of palsy.

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473110)

Games like Ghost Squad allow you to calibrate the remote giving you that kind of precision already. Sadly, not all games have this option.

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31473152)

This year gamepads, next year motion control wands, the year after haptic body stockings... aaah....

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473162)

Seconded.

I have a Wii and an XBox. Personally, 99% of the games are more fun on the XBox. Why? Because it can be quite frustrating to aim with a wobbly aiming stick at something. Most of the Wii games are actually gimmicky, geared to showcase the controller rather than actually being a game with a story behind it.

Be honest: Take a Wii game and strip the novelty value of the controls. How much is left?

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1)

arose (644256) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473466)

Be honest: Take a Wii game and strip the novelty value of the controls. How much is left?

Ok, let's take Metroid Prime Trilogy, you are left with a good game with a frustrating control scheme.

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473176)

What's wrong wit reading, or playing sports, or countless other things you could do rather than play games?

Absolutely nothing. Lots of people still enjoy these activities and there's a market for them.

Similarly there's nothing wrong with joypads. Many people find joypad based games are tremendous fun and always will. Some people will enjoy motion control based games even more. Joypads aren't going away any time soon. This just offers more choice.

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473182)

I always thought this video [youtube.com] summed up the difference between PS3 and Wii nicely, one if cheap and easy to get into, the other is gonna cost you more cash but you get a bigger machine. As for TFA it just don't make that much sense to me to try to rip off the wii controller. That demographic isn't going around buying X360s and PS3s, they are playing bowling or golf or a bunch of other fun mini games that don't need the horsepower of the other two.

Putting out Wii style controllers for the other two just feels like trying to tow a tank with a Kia, simply because you saw more folks were buying Kias than tanks, to use a /. car analogy. I just don't see enough casual games to make this worth the trouble, and trying to play ultra hardcore games with a Wii style controller would probably ultimately suck. I mean, who would want to stand there aiming for an 8 hour CoD fragfest?

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473860)

Why would you even play COD MW2 on a Wii? You might as well be playing Duck Hunt (old school nintendo game for all you young punks). That kind of game is made for traditional consoles and the PC(Best).

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31473872)

I agree. Motion control is just not something that I'm ever going to be interested in. The traditional controller is tried and true, and the Xbox 360 controller is near-perfect (just needs a true D-pad).

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474084)

Gamepads are fine for 3D platformers, but are a compromise (meaning, passable but far from ideal) when it comes to other genres; almost anything 2D goes best with an arcade-style controller, and first person shooters really benefit from the precision of keyboard+mouse.

Re:What's wrong with gamepads? (0, Flamebait)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474842)

No, nor are you the only person happy to just have a telephone at home, no use for a mobile. Nor are you the only person to just want a computer with a monochrome display, that also stays at home. Nor are you the only person who just wants to stay at home, no need for fancy air-o-planes.

SO maybe you can shut the fuck up, and stay at home, while the rest of us enjoy the advancing world we live in.

Holy Cow! (-1, Offtopic)

Shashvat (676991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472794)

I made First Post!! ... I think.

Re:Holy Cow! (-1, Offtopic)

Shashvat (676991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472800)

Missed by a minute.

Re:Holy Cow! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472846)

Now you can be modded down twice! Good job!

Re:Holy Cow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31473336)

A 67x series should know better.

surprise surprise (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472810)

is that the technology will expand the appeal of the PS3 in the family setting

Well the PS3 is a 'bloke' machine to show off great graphics on shitty games.

Marketing it as a blu ray player failed. Marketing it as a games machine failed.
They've got to try something else.

typical microsoft... (0, Troll)

hey (83763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472814)

...copy something else. And call it their own.

Re:typical microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472840)

If it s not broken, don't try to fix it.

Re:typical microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472904)

Don't copy that floppy

Re:typical microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31473992)

Winners don't use drugs. Please insert coin.

Games??? (5, Insightful)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472850)

In order to get that market, they will have to provide something Nintendo has for years... Games for everybody. Fun games for all ages.

I'm talking about Raving Rabbids, Wii Sports, and such.

My parents *NEVER* had any kind of console in the house, even when we were kids. They never even liked video games. Until they tried some on my sister's Wii. Now they bought one with many games. They're in their 60s. So unless SONY can target that kind of audience, it won't work.

The Wii has the games, and also the price. It's the least expensive of all three.

Re:Games??? (2, Interesting)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473142)

Exactly. My parent tried my wii when they were visiting me for holidays. As soon as they came back they bought a wii. Guess what they are playing the most : wii sport and link crossbow training !

And damn they are good at those games since they have been playing it about one hour a day last year. How should we call them 'casual hardcore gamers' ?

Re:Games??? (4, Insightful)

toriver (11308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473194)

SingStar, Buzz!, Rock Band etc. (OK not Sony themselves but...)

Before the Wii, the PS2 was the king of casual console games.

Re:Games??? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473270)

Can someone hand that guy an insightful mod? It's about as dead on as it can be.

The Wii is a "fun" console. It's a "party" console. Most games on the Wii are multiplayer, meaning local multiplayer (instead of networked/online gaming as the contemporary consoles). The games are certainly not as "sophisticated" or "hard" as the average X360 or PS3 game, and that's exactly what is wanted. Party games aren't really meant to be played for hours to master so you can participate at a party you get invited to. They have to be "pick up and play" compatible. And aside of some of games like SSBM and similar, the Wii has a lot of party games to offer.

Much like the Gamecube had before it. And these games are actually playable on the Wii.

What this means is that the consoles are known for some features. The PS3 and the X360 are known to be "mature", "serious" consoles with matching games. The Wii offers lighter entertainment, the graphics are not the core selling point and the games are known for its "party compatibility". The point now is that "serious" gamers want control. They want to succeed. And that entails that they want a controller that allows them to control their game better and react faster. "Leisure", "party" gamers want to have fun first. That means that not beating the game or succeeding is the source of fun, but playing itself in the company of others is, and for those, a controller like the WiiMote is perfect. It does not mean success, but it means that people jump around and laugh together. Who wins? Who cares?

If Sony or MS want to tap into that "party crowd" with their controller, that's fine and can work. If they want to convince their "serious" gamer crowd that the motion tracking controller is sensible, they're in for a nasty surprise. Gamers playing to succeed do not like controllers that offer lesser control.

Re:Games??? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475630)

You know nothing about gamers! We don't want fun, we want HD graphics and twitch-aiming dammit!

Re:Games??? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31473340)

The price is really the key. They need to drop the base model PS3 to $199 -- easiest way to do this is to go the "Arcade" route, lose the hard drive and put all the data on a flash chip or SD card. That would allow them to compete on both fronts against the Wii and 360. The next thing they need is to arrange licensing so that publishers can release shovelware at a $40 launch price.

At $299 for the base model and $60 games they're not going to win over any casual gamers. What makes those gamers casual is that they don't care about "upgrading to HD", they just want something that's cheap. The big hurdle to overcome is the fact that the PS3 wasn't built for this kind of sales strategy. Nintendo really cornered the market when they broke ranks and designed a console that is built on last-gen technology. That gives them a competitive advantage no matter where the price goes, because they can afford to be cheaper than the other guy, and their audience cares only about price. Sony and MS now want to capture the huge market of casual gamers but that strategy is poorly supported by the expensive systems that they are trying to sell.

Re:Games??? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475684)

They're trying to do too many damn things at once, that's the problem.

Nintendo tried something like what the PS3 is with the Game Cube in a very limited market. Or rather, they let Panasonic try. Panasonic came up with the Panasonic Q [wikipedia.org] (released in Japan only).

It had such lovely features as:

  • GameCube (duh)
  • Backlit LCD display
  • DVD player
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound

And hey, it only cost five hundred bucks! It turned out that you could get a DVD Player and a Game Cube separately and it would wind up being cheaper than this behemoth.

I completely agree with you. They need to drop the base price by cutting unnecessary features. Most of the kids growing up didn't have the fun of memory cards! (128KB is enough game save space for anybody!)

Re:Games??? (1)

rliden (1473185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473778)

This is it exactly. I'm probably somewhere in the market Sony and Microsoft are targeting. My wife and I are in our 40's with a couple young kids. We all have PCs and play games on them. We also have a Wii for playing console games. We have a Blu-Ray player for watching movies. I can't see us "upgrading" to a PS3 or an XBox 360. At

We play Wii games when we want to play arcade style games or play muli-player together. The Wii is fun and the graphics are good. Before we bought the Nintendo we looked at the PS3 and the Xbox. The cost of the hardware and games was a significant factor, but the deal breaker was probably the game selection. The Wii has a lot of titles that are fun for all of us either in single player or multi-player mode.

If Sony and MS make decent motion controllers I'm sure their player base will be happy, as long as the software works well with the controller. You can tell a sucky game because the controls are clunky. For initial release Sony and Microsoft need to make sure the games that support motion work awesome or people will blame the controller.

The thing that makes motion control fun is how you participate in the game. It doesn't matter if you can technically do something with more precision using keyboard sequences on the PC or button sequences on a standard controller. Neither of those give you the feeling motion control does in SW: Force Unleashed, for example, when you pick up your opponent with Force powers, toss them around in the air, and slam them to the ground.

Re:Games??? (2, Insightful)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474432)

Not only that, the WII is a very nice little box that does takes up very little space and most importantly makes no sound. A PS3 or Xbox on the other hand is big bulky boxes and atleast the Xbox sounds like thunder.

And here I thought people bought the Wii (1)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472864)

Because it was cheaper than the other two. I mean people knew it wasn't HD enabled years ago. I suppose that not being HD is a much bigger deal now that everybody's getting 1080p TV's. But then, the Wii was kind of always the "value" platform. Sony's gonna have to have some good motion games in order to upgrade...because the Wii already has some good brand/franchises going.

Re:And here I thought people bought the Wii (3, Interesting)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473008)

My experience is that it's really not that much cheaper. But rather it serves a different purpose. It is more for groups to play games and for casual gaming. The PS3 and XBox 360 tend to have games more designed for 'extreme gaming', online play, and long term commitment. Many of my friends who own a Wii say they only play it when friends are over and even at that haven't touched it in months. My friends who have a PS3 or XBox 360 play it at least every weekend, and often use it as a media player during the week.

The console is a tad cheaper and the games are a tad cheaper, but the peripherals, which make a Wii what it is, are expensive and plentiful. In order to play those group games successfully you need four controllers and likely four 'nun-chucks' which is $60 x four players. The PS3 controllers are $55 and the XBox 360 controllers are $35. Then there are balance boards and light sabers and gun attachments and who knows what else to go along with the Wii in order to play all the various motion games they have, most of which you will again want / need to have four of to get the 'full experience'. And now there's some "motion plus" thing to make the controllers more sensitive? Not interested, sorry.

Re:And here I thought people bought the Wii (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473044)

In order to play those group games successfully you need four controllers and likely four 'nun-chucks' which is $60 x four players.

It's still cheaper than buying gaming laptops for all four players.

Re:And here I thought people bought the Wii (0, Troll)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473122)

The Playstation Move starts at $100, I fail to see how the Wii is more expensive for the peripherals.

Re:And here I thought people bought the Wii (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473202)

The suggestion is the $100 is for a bundle of the Move controller, subcontroller and the PS Eye. Without the PS Eye that leaves the shelf price at possibly about $50-$70.

Re:And here I thought people bought the Wii (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473248)

You can get a 2nd controller with Wii Play which effectively gives you a "free" controller with a game. It comes with wireless where as, at least with the 360, you need to buy that and Wii games are generally at least $10 cheaper.

The attach rate as of last summer was 6 games per Wii which is a savings of $60 on software. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=23308 [gamasutra.com]

Supposedly the attach rate jumped up to 8 games per Wii over Xmas giving purchasers a $80 savings on software. http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2008/01/wii-attach-rate-soared-to-81-for-december.ars [arstechnica.com]

Sure some people will buy a lot of peripherals but even then they're generally better deals. For instance you can get Monster Hunter Wii and a classic controller together for less than a PS3/360 game.

Re:And here I thought people bought the Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31475136)

What you get with Wii Play is a $40 controller and a $10 game which isn't worth even that. I sold back the game for about $2 and felt good about it b/c the game wasn't even worth $2 to me, my 2 boys who love everything on the Wii and my wife who enjoys a lot of stuff on the Wii. Saying you get a "free" controller with Wii Play is dishonest at best and an outright lie at worst.

And as far as the free wireless goes, I was in this camp for a long time as I never wanted to play anything on line, but now that I do I need to shell out $20 for a WIRED adaptor. Would it really have cost Nintendo $20 to stick in a jack? 1 little ole ethernet port? I almost can't believe there isn't one back there.

Re:And here I thought people bought the Wii (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475556)

You can argue about the value of Wii Play all you want. Like any game, some people like it and some don't. Had they sold Wii Play on its own it would have almost certainly cost $40 so it is effectively free.

I put it in quotes because of course it's not free but it's sure as hell a better deal than you get buying a controller elsewhere.

Most people won't want Ethernet cables running through their living room. Between all my consoles I have enough cables piled under my tv. I don't need yet another one. So yes they've something out to save on costs and opted to bundle the solution in that most people will want and will have the most people don't have their house networked up and may have their modem in the office where it is quite and they can get work done.

Re:And here I thought people bought the Wii (3, Insightful)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473088)

Exactly. When the PS3 launched here in the UK, it was £425 ($827 at the time), and the Wii was ~£130. Okay, you can get a PS3 now for £250, but the original PS3 even out-priced many serious gamers, you could forget the PS3 being a Christmas gift for most kids too.

New release games are also expensive on the PS3, £39 to £49, compared to Wii's £25 to £35 price ranges.

Re:And here I thought people bought the Wii (2, Insightful)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473174)

Wii used to be cheaper than the other ones. Today, the wii and the xbox 360 are at the same price ( $199 ). But the games for the wii are cheaper. They are a lot of very fun games on the wii for $15. I don't think it is the case for xbox 360 (but I don't own one so I do not know for sure)

Re:And here I thought people bought the Wii (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473238)

Similar packages, one game, one controller (except Wii has a MotionPlus added), Wii in the UK is £170, Xbox 360 £200. They are not massively different in price, yes, however they used to be. That is when Xbox lost market share, and it' going to be hard to play catchup. PS3 is now more reasonable, but still the most expensive out of the three.

Don't controls have to come with the console (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472922)

for the developers to really develop for it?

Re:Don't controls have to come with the console (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472934)

The Balance Board doesn't come with the Wii console, yet games other than the Wii Fit game bundled with the Balance Board support it. The Classic Controller doesn't come with the Wii console, yet plenty of games support it. Controllers 2, 3, and 4 don't come with a console, but games that support them are the whole reason for gaming on a console instead of a PC.

Re:Don't controls have to come with the console (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473474)

Why dont PC games developers support the Wii balance board?

The world is gasping for a Linux version of "International Mapouka Challenge" using the Wii balance board! Even I would pay $10 for it!

Bluetooth, monitor size, and patent threats (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475002)

Why dont PC games developers support the Wii balance board?

I see three reasons:

  • The Balance Board is a Bluetooth device. The Wii console has a Bluetooth radio on an internal USB port, but not all PCs have Bluetooth.
  • Movement on and around the Balance Board needs physical space, and a 17" monitor is harder to see from a suitable distance than a 32" TV. True, newer TVs have VGA and HDMI inputs, but the Wii also supports composite output for older TVs, and few newer TVs happen to have a PC plugged into them.
  • PC-exclusive developers tend to be smaller companies without the resources to defend against lawsuits from Nintendo for marketing software not licensed by Nintendo for use with a Nintendo patented controller.

Re:Don't controls have to come with the console (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474262)

Other examples of aftermarket controls that caught on are guitars and also joysticks for PCs :)

Re:Don't controls have to come with the console (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475028)

Other examples of aftermarket controls that caught on are [...] joysticks for PCs

Citation needed that console-style joysticks for PCs have caught on. As I understand it, most major-label PC games are designed for a separate PC, monitor, mouse, and keyboard per player; social multiplayer games tend to be either console-exclusive or multi-console with no PC version. If there is in fact a healthy market for games designed for a PC, TV monitor, and multiple gamepads, I'd like to read about it.

Or by "joysticks", did you mean flight simulator joysticks?

Re:Don't controls have to come with the console (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475654)

Yup, I just meant regular joysticks. Few computers come with them, yet many games are compatible with them. Yet they used to be ubiquitous for gaming. Granted, not as much any more.

rerun but now in HD! (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475444)

Same old games- and heavily 1st shooters and racing. Now its HD, you can see more details maybe have less gameplay and more realism. Same old thing new look with maybe a big new "revolutionary" feature like some comical weapon or gimmick.

I didn't plan on touching any new systems, I've been there and done that; plus I have more of a life so I can't invest the time to master something that is just version 8 of the same cliche with more controls than version 7! (except no keyboard...)

I ended up with a Wii- because it is new and has some new things plus it encourages real social gaming like we used to have before online games existed. Couldn't care less about the new 1st shooter's 1-2 "new" features.

Good and bad news for PS3/360 owners... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31473014)

The good news is that you can basically think of all of the good or even great games on the Wii and then imagine them with HD graphics and surround sound. The best examples I can think of are Resident Evil 4 Wii edition and Dead Space: Extraction. Both are highly polished, adult oriented, motion controlled shooter titles. Now imagine the graphics of Resident Evil 5 or original Dead Space on the PS3/360 with the motion controller functionality of the Wii.

The definitive version of Resident Evil 4 is the Wii version in my opinion. After using the motion controls I had zero desire to go back to the old pad controller for RE5 on my PS3. And after playing the RE5 demo I didn't even buy the game. If RE5 had the Wii style controls I would probably be playing the game now. At this point Capcom should should be begging MS and SONY for motion control dev kits for RE5 Motion Edition.

And think of added functionality and benefits that recent games like Heavy Rain (PS3) will have. SONY and MS could really take the motion control idea and expand it into games geared towards adults and older gamers.

The real downside is that the motion controls on the Wii have led to an enormous number of gimmick games with little polish. Basically crap titles that are churned out day after day completely watering down the system's library of games. For every good Wii game that comes out it seems around one hundred awful games join the fray.

Sturgeon's Law (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473054)

For every good Wii game that comes out it seems around one hundred awful games join the fray.

It's been that way since the Atari 2600. Sturgeon's Law: every console's library is 90% crud.

Re:Good and bad news for PS3/360 owners... (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474434)

That's Nintendo's fault actually. Since the Gamecube era they've totally lessened the minimum quality requirements to have your game approved for publishing on their consoles. That Nintendo "seal of quality" has completely lost its meaning.

Can you hear that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31473030)

It's the sound of millions of Wii haters who are now very confused; after years of bagging on the Wii's control system, now they have to switch to cheerleading for *their* console's version...

Crickets? (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473980)

It's the sound of millions of Wii haters

Millions?

I'm hard pressed to think of one. Lots of people think the motion control system is a decent idea, they just don't necessarily care about it much for games they play.

I don't have a Wii myself but I admire what they have done, which is to grow the gaming market to places traditional consoles never went.

I honestly can't remember seeing single negative post on the Wii, in a long time...

Re:Crickets? (1)

quax (19371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475944)

I love the Wii. I've not been into consoles or games at all because my professional and family live just doesn't allow me to get sucked into a game like back in the day when I was introduced to Doom.

Once I had some first hand experience with the Wii I realized that this is an entirely different environment. It is so intuitive to use that the whole family down to our 3 year old toddler daughter can enjoy it. It is pretty amazing to see her play tennis and golf on that thing. The Wii allows her to explore things that are a long way off for her simply because of her size. At the Wii she can steer her avatar to do all things her older brother and the adults do. Not surprising that she loves it.

As for myself I love the fact that a console environment can actually make you sweat e.g. Grand Slam Tennis does an excellent job with the sports simulation - you really have to put some muscle into your swings to score. I am now contemplating to combine this with a treadmill to make for a fun workout.

Re:Can you hear that? (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475346)

No, on most gaming blogs I'm hearing a collective "eh" from Xbox/PS3 gamers, who after seeing the enormous amount of 3rd party shovelware available for the Wii have little interest in motion control for their own console.

That is, unless Lucasarts actually releases the lightsaber game everyone has wanted for years...

Games (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473042)

I think the real factor in how these new motion controllers will do is the games.

IMHO, in all the years the Wii has been out only a few games have been innovative enough to really show off some cool stuff with the Wii mote.
And I have yet to see anything that made me very impressed.

While I love the normal game pad/keyboard and mouse, I believe that motion controllers have a huge amount of potential (not to take over, but to evolve alongside other controller types).

Re:Games (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474442)

That's because the Wii Motion Plus only came out recently, and until then the Wii's motion control sucked.

More precise? (4, Informative)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473048)

"... if there was one positive you could take away from the event, it was that Move is clearly a far more precise implementation than the Wiimote. Some of the games felt clearly more 'tactile' than the Wii equivalents."

It's interesting that their experience is so different from Engadget's.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/10/playstation-move-first-hands-on/ [engadget.com]

Engadget's hands-on found:
* We hate to say this about "pre-alpha" software, but we're feeling lag. An on-rails shooter we tried out, dubbed The Shoot, was discernibly inferior to shooting experiences we've had on the Wii, both in precision and refresh rate of the aiming cursor.
* The system seemed to have a bit of trouble understanding the configuration of our body in a swordfighting stance: even though we selected "left handed," it was putting our sword arm forward instead of our shield. Right-handers didn't seem to have similar problems, and we're sure this will be ironed out in time, but it certainly shows that the controllers aren't magical in their space-detection prowess.

Re:More precise? (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473190)

I would assume the games matter more than the hardware. The gamer press has a tendency to judge hardware based on the software it runs (look at all the PS3 vs. 360 graphics debates when they first came out). Overall, the functionality of Sony's device seems very similar to the Wii's but it takes good software to realize this potential. I'm willing to bet that the Digital Foundry guys were comparing it to third-party, sloppy implementation Wii games whereas the Engadget guys were comparing it to first-party, tight implementation games. If Red Steel (1) is your example of a Wii FPS, then you probably won't have a very high opinion of the hardware (even though it's poor software which makes the controls sloppy). If Metroid Prime is the example then you'll probably think the Wii is great for FPS. Regardless, I'm sure Sony's new control scheme will be taken up by several third-party studios who do a poor job with it and several that do some really interesting things. I can't wait for Media Molecule to get their hands on this thing, but I expect most of the early games to really stink b/c that's what happened with the Wii. It takes time to get a new interface running and suits sometimes have unreasonable deadlines.

Re:More precise? (1, Interesting)

jensen404 (717086) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473724)

The main difference between the controllers is the position of the camera.  The Wii camera is inside the remote, with the target above or below the monitor.  The PS3 camera is by the monitor, with the target on the controller.

The Wii configuration is better for games that have you point at the screen, and the Move configuration is better when you're not pointing at the screen.

Re:More precise? (0, Flamebait)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474460)

Why don't you just not speak about the technology since you obviously have no idea what you're talking about?

Re:More precise? (1)

jensen404 (717086) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475012)

Can you give some more constructive criticism, and tell me what I said wrong?  Otherwise, your post is worthless.

Re:More precise? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31476206)

What you said wrong? How about everything? Lets start with the fact that the Wii doesn't use cameras for motion control, unless you've come up with some new defintion of camera; that no one else has ever heard of.

Re:More precise? (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476594)

What jensen404 said is basically correct. For motion/waggle the Wiimote has an accelerometer and for pointing it does have a IR camera which tracks the two groups of LEDs in the sensor bar. The processing of the picture happens inside the Wiimote and all that gets transmitted over the Bluetooth protocol is the position of the points.

The major difference between both devices in the end is simply that the Move controller, thanks to the camera and gyro sensor, knows where it is in 3D space, while the Wiimote doesn't, it only knows how fast it was accelerated. Thus the Wiimote can only react rather crudely to movements and the aiming is limited to being relative to the sensorbar, instead of to the monitor, thus you need a cursor instead of having the ability to directly aim at targets on the screen as with a lightgun.

They're going to fail (2, Insightful)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473106)

I can't see either Sony or Microsoft succeeding, regardless of the quality of their actual products. The problem is that the "hardcore" gamers, the ones who flock to the Playstation and Xbox, don't want a motion controller. They're content to play games with a gamepad. Meanwhile, the more "casual" gamers have already gone with the Wii. Anybody looking into buying a new system with motion controls will see that the Wii is $200 while the PS3/360 are ~$300 plus the cost of the motion controllers.

This has nothing to do with the quality of the products (I suspect Natal's going to suck hard, though the feedback from Move seems to be pretty good) and everything to do with what people want. If Sony or Microsoft released a new, cheaper console with a motion controller packed in, I could see that being successful. As it stands, I can't see too many people dropping $100 to play LittleBigPlanet with a motion controller.

Re:They're going to fail (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473226)

Hardcore gamers generally want to play with a mouse and keyboard for immediate response in aiming, etc. This may be able to give that to them. The Xbox one worries me, as I'm unlikely to stand up for a 16 hour gaming session.

Re:They're going to fail (2, Insightful)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473430)

Depends on the gamer. I'm a mouse-and-keyboard guy myself, but I know a lot of people who I'd qualify as hardcore who prefer gamepads. And when it comes to a less competitive game (say, a good adventure or role-playing game) I do prefer gamepads.

Re:They're going to fail (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474494)

So in other words what you're really saying is that you don't fit the target audience, therefore all hardcore gamers don't want this.

I'm actually looking forward to the idea of using motion controls. I didn't get a Wii because it was so underpowered and casual-gamer centric, and I didn't get a PS3/XBox 360 b/c one can get the same experience on a PC.

But motion controls on a PS3? I'm there. And ever since I got my hands on a copy of the original Zelda when I was 5 and was sucked into a world I had never experienced before, I'd call myself a hardcore gamer.

Motion Control? (2, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473218)

I read the title of the summary and hoped that I could watch the comedy as Sony and Microsoft would try to compete against Siemens, GE Fanuc, Mitsubishi, etc, (you know, actual motion control vendors), but then I read it was about video games.

Oh well. So much for "news for nerds"

--
BMO

Re:Motion Control? (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473546)

You couldn't tell by the Playstation controller icon? Let me guess, you're using lynx?

Re:Motion Control? (1)

Singularitarian2048 (1068276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474964)

What kind of motion control are you talking about?

Re:Motion Control? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475144)

Thus sayeth the Wikipedia:

Motion control is a sub-field of automation, in which the position and/or velocity of machines are controlled using some type of device such as a hydraulic pump, linear actuator, or an electric motor, generally a servo. Motion control is an important part of robotics and CNC machine tools, however it is more complex than in the use of specialized machines, where the kinematics are usually simpler. The latter is often called General Motion Control (GMC). Motion control is widely used in the packaging, printing, textile, semiconductor production, and assembly industries.

That kind.

--
BMO

PS3 as an upgrade to the Wii (2, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473254)

We have a Wii - it was the first current-generation console we purchased. We did eventually buy a PS3, but in large part it was because our old DVD player died - we figured if we were going to have to live with discs a while longer, we might as well have the option of watching Blu-Ray (through Netflix; I don't have much interest in purchasing most movies). Of course we did buy a few games for the PS3; but in the end we still end up playing much more on the Wii because it just seems to be more enjoyable.

I know there are lots of Slashdotters that really get into the high-def, shoot-em-in-the-head-repeatedly (or cut-them-into-multiple-pieces) games; but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of variety or innovation in the PS3 games that I've looked at. The graphics are certainly stunning; but so many of these games are just variations on the same theme. If these new controllers end up leading to a wider range of games, then great! But if they end up just offering yet another way to swing that sword or shoot that gun, I can't see them having much impact - the people who want to spend lots of time playing those sorts of games seem perfectly happy mashing buttons.

Re:PS3 as an upgrade to the Wii (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473342)

Check out Heavy Rain sometime.

Re:PS3 as an upgrade to the Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31473590)

The graphics are amazing, and the story seems compelling, but from the demo it appears to be a game composed entirely of quick time events. Is the full game different?

Very different than quicktime events (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474004)

The problem with the demo is that you are not really seeing the effect of your actions. Unlike traditional "quicktime" events where you succeed or fail, in Heavy Rain you don't exactly have failure or success, so much as consequences. If you look compare to something like the God Of War demo, which does have "quicktime events" as we know them, it's really different... consider also that at a number of points (even in the demo) you have many different possible actions to take, it's just that instead of fixed controls the controls vary in context. So it's a lot more like the old school adventure games in the sense you can explore or have choices in how you respond to people or what you ask them... I think it's really immersive.

Re:PS3 as an upgrade to the Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31475000)

SuperKendall really wants you to play the game, so he very neatly sidestepped the question like any good politician. I'll answer it for you:

it's composed almost entirely of quicktime events (which, SuperKendall, have no particular restrictions on having later effects, despite your made-up-on-the-spot definition). You also get to walk by holding a trigger. The gameplay is basically a current gen version of Dragon's Lair.

Re:PS3 as an upgrade to the Wii (1)

notjustchalk (1743368) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473494)

Honestly, I'm hearing as much (if not more) from the "my Wii gathers dust unless people come over" side of things. Outside of first-party games (published by Nintendo), the problem with the Wii seems to be with flash-style shovelware, tacked-on, or same-old wiimote interaction. There seems to be as much a paucity of "variety" in Wii titles as PS3 titles, albeit in different areas. Might I suggest, then, the possibility that you simply enjoy the type of gaming the Wii excels in over the type the PS3 (and ilk) excel in?

In other words, pot-kettle-black?

For lots more variety, look at PSN (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474040)

I know there are lots of Slashdotters that really get into the high-def, shoot-em-in-the-head-repeatedly (or cut-them-into-multiple-pieces) games; but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of variety or innovation in the PS3 games that I've looked at.

Those games, on larger scales, are starting to come out. (Heavy Rain was mentioned, and I'm pretty sure Last Guardian will be pretty unique).

But if you really want something different, explore the games on PSN. There are some really fun things there, Flow was excellent (though short), Pixeljunk Eden has a unique design and fun swinging mechanic (and great music), there's also more family fare like multiplayer trivia games and such.

I think lots of the innovation these days is happening in the smaller game space, so it's worth taking a look even at the older titles on PSN and I'm sure we'll see a ton of interesting smaller titles for the motion controller too.

Re:PS3 as an upgrade to the Wii (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31474878)

You would have been better buying a stand-alone blu-ray player. The PS3 is a power hog when it comes to playing movies - almost 200 watts, as opposed to stand-alone blu-ray players well under 20 watts - and SILENT. And with stand-alone blu-ray players at $100, the PS3 is a no-buy as a BD player. Hot and noisy.

http://www.hardcoreware.net/reviews/review-356-3.htm [hardcoreware.net]

Microsoft won't copy Nintendo (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473498)

Microsoft won't copy Nintendo. Microsoft innovates. Steve Ballmer said so.

what sony really hopes. (1)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473844)

I believe what Sony really hopes is that it will help developers create games for the Wii and PS3. The difference between the two will not be that huge other than one has HD. However, the huge problem for Sony is that this controller isn't in the hands of the 32+ MILLION PS3 owners. The other problem is that the vast majority of PS3 owners currently don't really buy the "casual" games and thus the games don't reflect the market base. Now Sony getting the PS3 down to 300 in the U.S.A has helped a ton, but the market here still buys the hard core games for the PS3 a lot more.

Re:what sony really hopes. (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475674)

PS3 owners do buy "casual" games, but they buy them via PSN. Which kind of leaves the PS3 in a bit of a pickle. The kind of folks who find the Wii appealing don't know about PSN or the fact that there are party and casual games on it. They can see the Wii's "family game night" library, but they see the PS3 with it's "Shooter of the week" lineup and don't look elsewhere.

Re:what sony really hopes. (1)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476182)

I agree totally. I also own all the R&C games for the PS3, and LBP. The sad part is how hard you Sony pushed LBP to have it sell like it did. Granted the game has some great legs but it is still sad. Then you compare R&C to Resistance and you see why Insomniac would focus on FPS for the PS3.

Meanwhile, at Nintendo (and elsewhere)... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31473912)

...they are already designing the next bombshell for MS and Sony to run behind. ^^

And that is why they won’t actually catch up.
It’s old. Go ahead MS and Sony. Control that market for the time it dies while getting replaced by the next big thing.
The big thing that won’t be coming from you. ;)

Re:Meanwhile, at Nintendo (and elsewhere)... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475800)

Alot of wii systems out there, but not alot being used in the same way 360s and PS3s are. Both the HD consoles are digital advertising platforms. The Wii's online offerings are really sad in comparison. They sell pretty much only games and most of it is 20 year old NES stuff. Wiiware is ok, but not enough of it and its mostly meh quality. Alot of Wii consoles out there, but very few making long tail money for Nintendo

Too much hype... (1)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475442)

There is ONE thing that REALLY annoy me with these reviews, it's all the buildup-hype.
Too many times I've been disappointed with all these augmented reality devices that are set to change the world every time they're released.
The only controller that "surprised" me in a positive way was the WiiMote, it was truly revolutionary, but the Wii itself - way behind our time due to it's slow speed, low-resolution non-HD graphics.

The PS3 camera was a HUGE disappointment for me, especially with EyePet, this thing needs 300-600 watts indoor lighting (no - I am not kidding, I have this thing!), and it sucks donkeysballs.

The Nintendo DSi (with camera) sucked even worse, the augmented reality games for the camera, was a joke, and the resolution a lowly 300k pixels, for the release price, this thing was a pure ripoff. At least they could have included some InfraRed LEDs to illuminate the face with, but no...

The PS3 SixAxis function is a joke. It's not even accurate in any way, it's flimsy and shaky at best, no wonder most games doesn't use it, it's major FAIL.

The wiimote's major advantage is it's infrared-camera in front of the wiimote. This gives a fairly accurate aiming function as it tracks the two infrared-led in the illumination-bar that it comes with. Still - unfortunately...the accelerometer is a bit on the flimsy side too, and yes - the wiimote suffers severely from lag, so no REAL skill is involved (which explains why it's so popular with elders & mothers) If you want to test this, you can sit down while you play golf / wiisports etc...and barely rotate the wiimote lightly at will..there are no kinematic weight-transfer from your body to the wiimote, hence...it's more a novelty than a real augmented reality unit.

Project Natal (to me) is what seems like the most likely new unit to have something really NEW to offer, as it comes with a 1080p High-Resolution camera AND an Infra-RED camera (yes - two cameras!) and therefor will be able to be used in almost total darkness, hence work the way these cameras should work with games.
However - adding a unit with a more precise accelerometer - wouldn't be entirely stupid either, then we're in business.

The new ps3 controllers (wiimote clones with a led-bulb and the camera on the other side rather than in the remote) is technically the same as the wiimote, I just hope that the accelerometer is more precise and more capable of measuring weight (power transfer from your body) to "feel" your energy, then it might stand a chance.
What worries me - is the Eyetoys epic crappiness, as an owner of this camera, I know it's weaknesses, out-of-focus, narrow-angle-view, low-light, out-of-whitebalance piece of junk. My asus Eeetop computer has a better webcam than this, and it can see almost in total darkness, which is exactly the oposite of the PS3 Eye that needs several hundreds of WATTS to even work.

I read that as 'crack down' on the market (1)

myocardialinfarction (1606123) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475626)

I'm getting too cynical, but I wonder about the ratio of patents filed to the number of people beta-testing and suchlike. And this http://xkcd.com/187/ [xkcd.com] makes me think the people shouting are the company PR guys.
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