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Failed Controller-Free Gaming Devices of the Past

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the and/or-present dept.

Input Devices 135

adeelarshad82 writes "While Microsoft does get points for innovation, Kinect for Xbox 360 isn't the first attempt to make gaming a hands-free affair. Decades before Microsoft would release its depth-sensing camera system, other companies tried to take the gamepad out of the gaming equation. PlayStation, Dreamcast, NES and Sega have all been there. These attempts varied in usefulness, ranging from somewhat functional to laughable and pointless, and from the forgettable to the downright infamous."

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The real question: (4, Interesting)

Phopojijo (1603961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151618)

I think the bigger story is that after all these iterations... developers still don't know how to properly use the hardware.

People envision that Kinect will be used for sign language recognition and creating custom animations/taunts (actually waving bye to that Pyro wanker's head).

Will we ever see a developer use the hardware? Or will they just use it shallowly and default to what they know for anything of substance?

Re:The real question: (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151640)

IIRC, the Kinect's depth camera doesn't have enough resolution to distinguish between fingers. Having a better camera would have made the unit too expensive.

Re:The real question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153428)

We used one of the Kinect's forerunners for a brief period of time - a depth camera produced by a company that MS later acquired. That model was able to discern fingers, to the level that it could report how many you were holding up. I don't know how its depth resolution compares to the Kinect's, though (reportedly 320 x 240 - I haven't seen any speculation of the range of the depth values themselves)

Re:The real question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153918)

If the image is about 2 meters wide (which is the minimum you'd need for two players side by side), then you'll get about 1.5 pixels per cm. Which is barely enough to distinguish a finger. So let's see what people can do with it.

Re:The real question: (2, Insightful)

parlancex (1322105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155842)

Correct, which is one of the main reasons I can't see it ever catching on. In order to control anything you're going to have to make huge motions with your entire arms like a god damned gorilla, with all the accuracy and subtlety that entails.

Re:The real question: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151906)

If you don't like niggers then you are a racist.

Re:The real question: (5, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151984)

developers still don't know how to properly use the hardware.

Indeed!

This really is the problem. I think this looks like a very interesting and powerful piece of technology.. but if it only ever gets used to make a bunch of wii style "minigames", what's the point!

There will probably be a whole collection of Kinect minigames which though fun will not provide any real substance, and a handful of "real" games with Kinect support thrown in (but not required) for a little novelty. I'm not holding my breath for any serious titles appearing which really use Kinect to provide fundamental unique gameplay.

Re:The real question: (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:The real question: (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152760)

Until recently, I was working at a company that had come up with a demo of something very interesting to do with the Kinect.

Of course, when I left, the project had been shelved because no one was willing to put up money for anything interesting. The publishers all wanted a normal game with some kind of Kinect minigame glued on as a bonus. No one wanted to stick their head out and make a game which you could only play if you had a Kinect.

That's what will kill it. There won't be any game out there that you *have* to buy it for, so most people won't bother to buy one, so the publishers won't back any game that can't be played without one, so no one will buy one...

It's a pity, because on a big screen this demo changed the way I was thinking in a way that no game has ever done before, and I've been a game dev since the end of the 16-bit days.

Re:The real question: (1)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153182)

I've been envisioning a variation of standard first/third person shooter game that would be played with the standard controller but have Kinect support for altering the player's view based on their movements.

Can you imagine leaning to one side to look around a wall? Or ducking to get cover? I think something like this is needed to sell this thing to the gamers. Developers need to accentuate the existing controller interface and not try to replace it with flailing.

I only hope that Microsoft brought Johnny Chung Lee [johnnylee.net] on board with the intension to do such a project. I'd be disappointed if he was just hired to help with Kinect Adventure or something.

Re:The real question: (1)

antiseptic_poetry (1022107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153800)

So why didn't your company develop the concept a little, and then self-publish under Xbox Live Arcade? If it's that good it still would have sold tons, especially at a $4.99 price-point.

Re:The real question: (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154164)

Dance Central may be that "must have" game.

Shape may be the "Wii Fit" of Kinect.

New XBoxes are being sold as either Kinect ready or with Kinect.

I think it'll do ok.

Re:The real question: (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156018)

Maybe you can explain this to me- but why is dance central a "must have" game? It looks like it does dance moves and then you have to mimic it, but there isn't any feedback as to what you are really doing other than what you are really doing is wrong. Not going into the music taste department of the game, just looking at it's fundamentals.

Re:The real question: (1)

H3xx (662833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152140)

I think the bigger story is that after all these iterations... developers still don't know how to properly use the hardware.

It'll be a dark day when companies release a "hands free" console and have the API locked down so tight that the only way to develop for them is to use their hands-free IDE.

Can you imagine what it would be like using a hands-free keyboard to write code?

It's that time again, eh? (5, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151620)

Apparently it is time to rip on the Power Glove yet again. As I, unlike some of the people who write negatively about it, actually owned one, I would like to give my piece on the matter. In particular, I would like to point out that indeed there was one good game that worked with a regular controller but worked exceptionally well with the power glove.

Unfortunately, that game was not Punch-Out (with or without Mike Tyson). Punch-Out was a massive pile of failure to end all massive piles of failure with regards to the power glove. For some reason some idiot programmer thought that a good way to set up the power glove for punch-out was to move your hand forward for a punch, and then backwards for a power punch. Which of course meant your only power punch was gone pretty well immediately and then you were hosed for the rest of the round.

No, the game that worked well with the power glove (while not being power glove specific) was Top Gun. That game had very sensible controls; move your hand, move the plane. First two fingers are your weapons. You didn't need anything more than that. Unfortunately few people ever used that great combination.

I suppose it is probably a good thing that some of the MS engineers who worked on Kinect are actually too young to have ever tried to play punch-out with a power glove. Because if they had, they might have started out with the idea that motion control without a controller could never work properly.

Re:It's that time again, eh? (3, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151666)

Actually I think you hit on the biggest problem with the power glove, very few games were actually designed for the power glove and the creators of the power glove had to assign control schemes to every game. I wonder how long they actually spent testing out each game.

I think the control scheme for punch out was designed solely as a way to advertise the power glove(I remember the power glove commercial prominently featured Punch-Out). What looks really cool in a 30 second ad obviously may wear thin really quickly.

Re:It's that time again, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151672)

Owned one as well. It was... lame.

Yes, there were a few games where you could have modestly decent controls with the PG; but unless the game was specifically designed for the Power Glove (which like, two games were), it paled in comparison to a good old fashioned controller. Or the absolutely epic NES Advantage.

Super Glove Ball was freakin' sweet though. Weird, but awesome.

Re:It's that time again, eh? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151728)

I didn't own a Power Glove, or any NES stuff at the time, but I have a hard time believing that it was possible for it to live up to the hype that came with The Wizard. That scene with Lucas bringing it out and suiting up pretty much killed any chance of it ever living up to the hype.

Stop dissing the Power Glove: enter 3DO chains... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151892)

Do none of you remember that 3DO is the company that thought in their ultimate wisdom to be the first to have only 1 input-port on the console that extends to a controller and then that controller has a port for anothe controller to extend onto and ad-infinitum? Those of us that had USD 300 to blow on that overpriced console quickly realized that the quality of the controller was actually quite good but if ever someone up the chain-link from yours ever was too vicious with activity then it could unplug practically everyone under them. These controllers were well-made so there were simply no problems with the plugs being faulty RS232-like subD-9 serial ports that actually tunneled a stereo audio signal to the controllers for you to use headphones, but just consider how 3DO actually licensed this to be a OPEN platform in terms that there were other companies like GoldStar and Phillips making these consoles and peripherals. Of'course qualitiy control goes out the window when all you have are specifications to embrace, but the verry design was worse than a SCSI chain without the Terminator.

Just for all of you, I just want to post this video of the best video game every made on what I think of Fred "hyper-fag" Savage in the fail-tier movie The Wizard just as he is rectally assaulted by Lucas wearing The Power Glove: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtsNLMJzeJA [youtube.com] . Come on... The Power Glove has been ported to homebrew customizations and even Linux, and is quite useful in non-game-related matters. Hell, I have 2 of them that I wear at the same time while playing with my modified Virtua Boy, while wearing my plastic over-suit inspired by the movie American Psycho. Can't touch this, yo. yo.

One controller port (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153484)

Do none of you remember that 3DO is the company that thought in their ultimate wisdom to be the first to have only 1 input-port on the console that extends to a controller and then that controller has a port for anothe controller to extend onto and ad-infinitum?

Daisy-chaining was by no means exclusive to the 3DO; pre-USB Sidewinder gamepads for PC also used it. But better-engineered platforms used a hub topology:

  • The PC Engine aka TurboGrafx had only 1 controller port, and players had to buy a hub when using multiple gamepads.
  • Before USB, PCs had one "gameport" supporting four analog sticks and four buttons, and PC gamepad makers implemented various implemented proprietary workarounds (such as GrIP's hub and Sidewinder's 3DO style daisy-chain) to add hub support, which each game had to recognize.
  • Laptop PCs for a few years after 1999 had only one USB port because they hadn't yet ditched PS/2 ports or moved the battery slot to the back, and players had to buy a hub for multiple gamepads when using the laptop with an S-Video monitor.

Re:One controller port (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154048)

The old PC game port actually supported only two joysticks and four buttons. The buttons were either assigned four to one joystick or two to two joysticks.

I have never seen a laptop with only one USB port. My old Dell from 2000 has two USB ports, one Firewire port, one parallel port, one PS/2 port and both expansion slots for batteries or additional drives were located in the front. My Compaq from 2002 also had two USB ports and one PS/2 port.

Original Macbook Air (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154434)

I have never seen a laptop with only one USB port.

Allow me to introduce you to the Macbook Air [wikipedia.org] which had only one USB port on the original version.

Re:One controller port (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154866)

The old PC game port actually supported only two joysticks and four buttons.

Oops, brain fart. I was thinking of the four axes, which were traditionally placed on two sticks, and I got confused.

I have never seen a laptop with only one USB port.

Acer TravelMate 721TX, distributed in the third and fourth quarters of 1999 to the Class of 2003 at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Re:It's that time again, eh? (2, Informative)

Boycott BMG (1147385) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151776)

I never had a power glove, but the kid across the street did. We tried it when he got it on his birthday. Designing games for the thing would have only solved one problem with the thing. Another major problem with the power glove was the weight. Your right arm got really tired holding the thing all the time in a certain position. It meant you had to limit your gaming sessions to 20 minutes at a time.

Re:It's that time again, eh? (4, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152488)

But he'll be happier once he reaches puberty to have a stronger right hand/arm!

Re:It's that time again, eh? (2, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151882)

I've owned several power gloves, which when combined with the old sega stereo shutter glasses made for a poor mans virtual reality rig.

Re:It's that time again, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152200)

Dr Angelo [imdb.com] ? is that you?

Re:It's that time again, eh? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151958)

I too owned one. They actually worked pretty good. The problem was I didnt have arms of steel. I could play using one for maybe 20-30 mins tops.

For those who dont know what I am talking about take your arm hold it out in front of you. Now do that for 20 mins. By the time min 20 rolls around your arm will be in some serious pain.

Good idea took some tweaking. With the wii they got it right. The control was light and you could hold it anywhere. The glove you had to hold it pretty much 'just right' for it to work and pretty much in front of you.

Re:It's that time again, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153238)

For those who dont know what I am talking about take your arm hold it out in front of you. Now do that for 20 mins. By the time min 20 rolls around your arm will be in some serious pain.

Bingo.

Good idea took some tweaking. With the wii they got it right. The control was light and you could hold it anywhere

I beg to differ. They got better, but motion controls still suck ass. I sold my Wii within a month because I don't like pain after playing games for a couple of hours. And it's not like it's actually working any kind of important muscle groups, it's just a big pile of repetitive motion injury. I especially disliked how many of the games on the Wii seemed to be stretching to find reasons for you to be using the motion attributes, and in my mind just ended up making the games more of a PITA than anything.

The critical factor in a good controller is comfort and ease of use, which usually equates to as little body movement required as possible. All of these "controller-less" solutions are simply finding ways to make you jump around like an idiot and put a lot of effort into what is generally considered a leisure activity. Until they develop full-feedback neural-impulse driven VR interfaces, I'm not interested in leaving my mouse, keyboard, or gamepad.

Re:It's that time again, eh? (5, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152040)

I never got to own a Power Glove :(

When I saw the advertisements for it, I went apeshit because of the hype. The only way to describe myself in front of the TV was Wayne from Wayne's World chanting, "it will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine". Kind of an obsession for awhile...

Which brings me to my other memory of the damned thing. There was a TV show with Kuppa from Super Mario Bros. Can't remember too much about the show, but I do remember a sweepstakes that allowed you to send a postcard to win a Power Glove.

I ended up sending several hundred postcards into the show and did not win. Of course, I had to take a box of stamps from my father's office that was apparently valued at "severe ass whooping" to do it.

Good thing I was never disappointed by it I guess.

Re:It's that time again, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152042)

What is the Power Glove made from? Is it rubber, or what?

Powerglave is made from...Thetans. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152178)

The souls of Thetans, thoroughly chewed and extruded through the front-teef of Tom Cruise until mouled to a sausage-like tube that fits around the arm.

The electrical interconnects are stripped from the life-support systems of babies, that were captured by African druglords when the air-drop was swayed by a stormy wind from the bowels of Howard Stern's anus.

The stitching is done by children on their break-hours when not sewing Nike Pumps and Soccor Balls.

The ink stain is accomplished by squeezing the genitals of live saltwater octopusii while rubbing salt into their eyes to discharge the ink glands into a cup and then the ink for letters on the gamepad are brushed on The Power Glove using brushes of the finest kitten and puppy whiskers.

Re:It's that time again, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152452)

eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151622)

While Microsoft does get points for innovation, Kinect for Xbox 360 isn't the first attempt to make gaming a hands-free affair.

I thought the whole point was to move your hands, instead of pressing buttons with your fingers. Have all these articles and reports mentioning Minority Report been wrong? And where's the innovation in voice commands? Is it the fact that your XBox won't "set so double the killer delete select all"?

Re:eh? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151694)

And where's the innovation in voice commands?

Theoretically (code word for "I'm not convinced this isn't utter bullshit"), Kinect does quite a bit more than just simple voice recognition. It uses the camera to track the player's mouth, so it knows where it should be listening and can then do spatial noise canceling to listen to just the player's voice.

This is according to the articles I've read about the Kinect, at least, and I'm not entirely convinced that the authors of the articles actually know how it works and aren't speculating. So... whatever. That's the innovation they're talking about - combining motion tracking with a microphone to get clearer audio without requiring a headset.

Re:eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151744)

It uses the camera to track the player's mouth

No.

Re:eh? (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152018)

no. the only thing it can do is simple voice recognition. face recognition is completely separate and is used to login different people to xbox live.

Re:eh? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151796)

While Microsoft does get points for innovation, Kinect for Xbox 360 isn't the first attempt to make gaming a hands-free affair.

And where's the innovation in voice commands? Is it the fact that your XBox won't "set so double the killer delete select all"?

Player: Kinect, voice command: rm -rf kin*
Kinect: Kin phone removed from memory ... thank you so much. I feel better already.

Re:eh? (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156046)

ummm.... kin* would be greedy enough to delete kinect too.

Mindlink (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151626)

The first article fails for not mentioning the Atari Mindlink. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Mindlink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151692)

The second link of laughable controllers does.

Re:Mindlink (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151718)

um but it does, its 1 of only 2 controller-free controllers on the list (I dont really count the power glove its just, but if you do make that 3)

TFA is pretty crap, but whoever put up this summary is a tard, TFA has stuff on it not even release yet, so "not from the past" has a jaguar controller so its not "controller-free", and 1 was never released so how could it "fail"

grumble

Re:Mindlink (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151724)

Ah I see there are 2 articles in this summary, my bad

Re:Mindlink (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153776)

The guy behind the Atari Mindlink was a real interesting piece of work. He'd wander the hallways of the building we were in (the consumer folks had been co-located with the Atari Coinop engineering folks) with the band on his forehead, apparently looking for praise and adulation. He was /so/ convinced that royalties on it (even as an individual developer) would make him a millionaire.

I tried using it once. Could sort of make a paddle go left and right, and I got a headache.

Re:Mindlink (1)

falsified (638041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155516)

Where'd you get one? It was never released.

Power Glove (3, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151636)

I love the Power Glove... 'cuz it's so bad.

Re:Power Glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152070)

I love the Power Glove... 'cuz it's so bad.

Best line in that movie. Whatever happened to Jackey Vinson?

MS Gets Points for Innovation??? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151646)

It's a 'me too' device answering to the Playstation glowing-orb-thing, which is a 'me too' device answering to the Wii.

God damn. Imitate if you can't innovate, etc.

Re:MS Gets Points for Innovation??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151686)

And the Wii was a me too device answering to others, at least for the Wii a lot of the 'others' were nintendo devices. They have a good history is failed gimmick controllers.

Once again, the key is a gimmicky 'addon' will never get the full game support it needs to be massively popular enough to give the kind of profits the Wii has. The Wii worked because it was the game system. All games support it.

I thought this was game-controller history 101. Probably somewhere in console history 202 as well.

Re:MS Gets Points for Innovation??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151918)

It certainly isn't a me too device to the Playstation Move, given that it was announced and demo'd long before the Move was.

It's fundamentally different from the Wii, similar mainly in that both are alternative control schemes to the traditional gamepad. The Move is fundamentally similar to the Wiimote, although the different technology might make it better (don't know for sure). It may well be that the Wii's success paved the way for Microsoft to think differently, but it's not really the same thing.

That doesn't mean the Kinect will be a success or anything. I haven't tried one yet. Just that it's different.

Re:MS Gets Points for Innovation??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151932)

The Kinect is fundamentally similar to the EyeToy, although the different technology might make it better (don't know for sure).

Re:MS Gets Points for Innovation??? (1)

Brianech (791070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151966)

Is it though? both new additions are both coping motion yes, but they both went about it in different ways. Playstation used a similar device to the wii, but added a light and camera to improve accuracy. So it technically should be an improvement over the Wiimote. MS went a different way and purchased a company that dealt with cheap motion detection systems. This made their system controller-less and different. Yes both Sony and MS jumped on movement based gaming, but both used different approaches which could turn out to be better. Both companies are bending to demand so obviously the Wii isn't meeting the expectations of some gamers. Gamers are asking for a new solution, why is that bad? Its like saying Porche copied GM.

Re:MS Gets Points for Innovation??? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152212)

I am not sure there is a demand anymore, everyone that wants a 2005 game console probably already has one, needing more sales they looked at what did out sell them and lately get in on the action

one major problem though, nintendo, and lets face it, they could give you a turd on a stick and it would sell like hotcakes, infact they DID with the standard wii controls and it sold

also nintendo historically is a very gimmicky company, they have products that last in sales but only cause of things like color cases, picachu edition, new backlight, 3d, motion controls, and that is fine cause they are sold and marketed as cheap toys, microsoft and sony items are marketed as investments in entertainment, and this latest fad of "me too's" cheapen the product

sony especially, look at the PSP, there for a while they were introducing new models every freaking year, thats fine for a 99$ gamebox, not so much for a 200$ psp

Re:MS Gets Points for Innovation??? (1)

Brianech (791070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152924)

Haha yeah I had a first gen PSP and all the later revisions really pissed me off. In the end my netbook replaced it as my cheap travel companion because it wasn't a hassle. It didn't require converting movie formats, it didnt require almost weekly updates (which if you used custom firmware became a chore) and could play better games.

Re:MS Gets Points for Innovation??? (4, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152524)

The Wii also uses a light and camera, the setup is just reversed. The Wii has the camera in the controller and the light in the sensor bar, from what I heard Move lacks accuracy when it comes to pointing (which is mostly rotation) while of course having more when it comes to detecting controller movement (which is mostly translation). Yes, the Move has a gyroscope but that's not nearly as accurate as the sensor bar setup when it comes to determining where the player is pointing since the gyroscope will drift and the camera cannot recalibrate it (since the light is spherical).

Re:MS Gets Points for Innovation??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153030)

I had a motion sensing flight stick for my PC back in the mid 90s and this [about.com] is even older. The Wii controller didn't introduce anything all that groundbreaking.

Dungeons & Dragons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151660)

Unless of course you had a ring of dungeon master control...

Nintendo other controller! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151756)

They forgot another of Nintendo's creations that also used motion and rarely anybody remembers! It's the U-Force!

Re:Nintendo other controller! (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152618)

It's the first freaking image!

Jaguar controller (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151784)

I actually found the Jaguar controller to be pretty comfortable.

Re:Jaguar controller (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151896)

On thing people don't realize, is that the keypad was supposed to be simple to use because you'd place an overlay with icons over it. You wouldn't press button 1, you'd press an icon of a pistol, etc. Not losing the overlay is a different matter all together.

I really wish the Jaguar did better...

Re:Jaguar controller (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152810)

If it didn't cost a million, billion dollars it might have done. If you didn't need to plug a CDROM into the top when everyone else but Nintendo was going optical... Or of course, if it had more than three good games

Fred Savage (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151844)

I'm pretty sure one of the kids in that Power Glove commercial is the kid from The Wonder Years.

Re:Fred Savage (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151938)

That was a joke. It was really a full length movie... to advertise Nintendo products. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098663/ [imdb.com]

AVGN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34151860)

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/angry-video-screwattack/34014

Not controller free (1)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151864)

Well that article was short, but riddled with inaccuracies. First of all, none of these devices can be described as "controller-free" - there's no such thing. They are simply alternative controllers to your standard joystick/gamepad/buttons/analog stick/lightgun etc controls. You must have a controller (e.g. a means of interaction with the images on screen) in a video game, otherwise it's not a video game. And the end of the article categorizes the U-Force as "hands-free", when it does require using your hands.

And of course, there's other "alternative controllers" that the article doesn't mention. This includes some of Konami's hardware - like the voice-activated LaserScope for the NES and their motion sensors for games like Police 911 and Mocap Boxing.

Re:Not controller free (1)

volcan0 (1775818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152104)

Police 911: Best arcade game ever. Could play for hours ( or until money ran out ). Damn I miss it.

There's only one way you get me to buy Game Boat (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151880)

And that if they made Knight Boat.

An Impressive Try (4, Interesting)

Brianech (791070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151902)

Its well known that MS actually bought the tech from an over seas company. Either way though its an impressive piece of machinery for a company first try. I picked one up after reading mixed reviews, and being a guy that must have the latest gadgets I decided not to fight my inner geek. I actually love this thing. My only complaint is the most common. LAG! But what I found was despite the fact you have to adjust to the lag, you do. 10mins after turning it on, I was use to doing everything 1/3 of a second early. I wonder if its a USB limitation, or the lack of an onboard processor. The voice commands actually work well, as Im a person that cant enunciate my R's very well, this was a bit of a surprise. Some complaints about unresponsiveness have gone unnoticed by me. When I do something, even in fast succesion it happens on screen (nothing like making your avatar jerk off). I think Kinect was a good step to controller-less gaming, and albeit not perfect, is definitely fun. I have a Wii that I have only used a few times, a PS3 I love for offline gaming (but no Move) and a 360 now with Kinect. I'll still have to get the Move before I make a verdict. But i enjoy bowling/boxing more on the 360 than on the Wii. Not to mention ping pong is a blast!

I went 3 days after launch expecting to find a ton of Kinects in store after the mixed reviews, but when I went to futureshop there was only a single unit left. I was shooting the shit with the guy in the game/movie section, and he said demand was far higher than they predicted. Interesting considering the device is far from perfect. In the end though, I have had a ton of fun so far. I just dont know when the novelty will wear off (like it did with the Wii) but this is just my 2 cents on the Kinect after a few days use. I really like it, but time and games will tell if it can be a Wii killer, just like the PS Move also hopes to be. At least sales wise I dont think initially this can be classified a failure, and use wise I also wouldn't call it a failure, just not a complete success. Solve the lag issues, get some longer lasting games, give a better menu system than holding your hand over a button (have you ever tried pausing with Kinect while playing?!?! you have to stand still for like 2 seconds) and extend the Kinect use to incorperate voice commands at all times, and it could be.

Re:An Impressive Try (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152420)

They bought the camera from overseas but it's not the really innovative part of kinect. That involved a lot of R&D in house.

Wrong (-1)

S3D (745318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152480)

Depth sensor is the only thing that count. The rest - skeleton recognition - is not especially hard. And MS doing it not quite well.

Re:Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153084)

huh? The depth sensor is actually the easy bit and has been around a while. The hard bit is definitely the generic skeleton recognition in a non specific environment.

Re:Wrong (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153280)

>>The rest - skeleton recognition - is not especially hard. And MS doing it not quite well.

As someone who worked for a company that licensed tech to do this about four years ago, I can assure you that single camera skeleton recognition is not an easy problem in the slightest.

Re:An Impressive Try (3, Informative)

S3D (745318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152500)

PrimeSense system had originally had built in depth processing on the chip, and that was planned to be included the project Natal, but at the end MS decided it would be too expensive and moved processing to CPU. Of cause that caused lag. Though I've read in the latest versions they had reduced lag considerably.

Re:An Impressive Try (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153854)

PrimeSense system had originally had built in depth processing on the chip

This _IS_ the original reference design, with processing done in asic

, and that was planned to be included the project Natal, but at the end MS decided it would be too expensive and moved processing to CPU.

M$ didnt decide shit, they are using reference design, depth map is streamed to the Xbox.

Of cause that caused lag. Though I've read in the latest versions they had reduced lag considerably.

So there is Kinect V2.0 somewhere already?

Re:An Impressive Try (2, Informative)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153260)

It's the lag that kills the experience though. Once the novelty wears off, any sort of gaming becomes a drag when there is lag. The used to be a Japanese arcade game like Time Crisis but different in that you had to physically duck to dodge incoming bullets. I played that game once or twice but the lag on it killed the whole experience.

Think about the Wii. Most of the original Wii sports game made use of the precise timing for controller movements to control the on-screen action. Wii tennis for example is all about the timing of your swing. Latency is the single biggest "hidden" (ie. no visual or auditory) factor that determines gaming experience and any sort of lag will definitely kill it.

Re:An Impressive Try (1)

angloquebecer (1821728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154024)

Exactly why the Wii is perfect for the casual gamer. They can get into the game without having to learn all the controls. They don't expect to dominate the competition, but just have a little fun.

There are a few games on the Wii that attract a more hardcore gaming crowd. Mario Kart or Monster Hunter Tri, for example offer motion sensor controls but for the players who take the games beyond casual, they always choose to use a Classic Controller or Gamecube. Some Mario Kart tournaments even prevent the players from using the more classic controllers to make it fair for the Wii Wheel players. The Conduit would've been 10x better if we could just use a regular controller, but like the other games it would make it quite unfair for the motion sensor controller users.

Are there an abundance of casual games for the 360/PS3? If so, then Microsoft and Sony might be able to convince Grandma to play. Otherwise, the Wii is cheaper and has the reputation of being more family friendly.

Re:An Impressive Try (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153282)

Its well known that MS actually bought the tech from an over seas company.

Yes... and by 'overseas' we mean 'an Asian company'.

as Im a person that cant enunciate my R's very well, this was a bit of a surprise.

Umm, ya. Like I said, it's an Asian company so it shouldn't have been a sulplise in the first place.

Re:An Impressive Try (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154104)

I too like the thing. We picked on up at the start of the weekend. Had a ton of laughs. The developers need to write to this new interface. Once props can be added this will be over the top. The biggest problem I see is that everyone would like it to do everything. Kind of like asking the mouse to do everything. Well the mouse doesnt type very well.. What our Kinect did was:

1. Got my wife involved in family games (we have the two sports titles and the adventures game that came bundled)
2. Got everyone up and moving. Plus made everyone laugh at some of the adventures game snap shots. My wife would now like me to buy that workout game.
3. Got all 4 of us aged 17 - 50 laughing at ourselves and each other. I also think my daughter loved boxing with Dad.

Is it serious hard core gaming? Nope. I see this targeting exactly us. A family playing and moving together. My wife and I havent touched the XBox for years because we cant twitch with kids on the controllers. This evened the playing ground. For twitch games, the controller of some sort will always be king. But for the games we have, I havent had that much fun gaming with my family in a LONG time.

We do have a proper area in the basement set up for gaming that allows for a lot of space (which we used) so Im not sure how this would work in our family room (definitely not two player any how). I can now see how this tech can be used at my desktop for gesture based computing. Used for the handicap. Used for serious sports/motion training. Rehab. Now that the tech has hit the gaming market, it will improve at a much faster rate. As a society, we pour more money into entertainment than anything else save the military.

To me the Kinect controller is right on target.

Re:An Impressive Try (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154208)

Hm, maybe I am old and slow, or maybe I'm not having that issue of lag - I haven't really noticed it; it's felt pretty responsive to me. I tried it on both an XBox 360 Elite and on my XBox 360 4GB.

Dance Central is FUN! I can't dance to save my life, but it's FUN!

Camera speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155404)

Apparently the camera streams video to the console at 30fps. If the camera worked at 120fps like the PSEye or Wiimote sensor then it would give the console enough time to process it before it had to draw the next frame in the game. For it to seem 1:1, Kinect games may have to run at 15fps.

Odama? (1)

jedcred (1089597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151912)

No Odama or EndWar? Odama was a hilarious exercise in controlling armies composed of tiny men getting crushed by a giant pinball/boulder, and it worked acceptably well.

Hoqe and Chenge (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153518)

The Odama mic is the GameCube counterpart to the Hey You Pikachu mic, which the article mentioned (if I read the same article you read). But almost everyone in my country forgot about Odama after the 2008 U.S. Presidential election campaign as a side effect of having to keep Obama and Osama straight.

Re:Odama? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155764)

No Odama or EndWar?

I thought President Odama was supposed to EndWar. Oh well, I guess I'll go back to the porn channel and watch more Bush.

The Powerglove wasn't fail... at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152056)

The powerglove actually was much much more useful for people developing VR gear at the time and for even a decade after, despite it's ultimate fail on the NES. Not until the Wiimote has there actually been a useable "floating pointer", and the glove actually had finger controls so that VR systems actually could see a "closed hand" and a "giving the finger"

That said, the power glove was ahead of it's time, and rather extremely inferior to the wiimote in terms of how positioning is determined. The Optical flex in the original design was better, and turning a "wiimote" into a "power glove" is in theory practical.

In fact, the patents on the power glove technologies should be expiring or expired, which may suggest why we've never seen any better devices on the market.

The Kinect, and the PS Move is ultimately going to fail, much in the same way the iPhone's touch screen are absolute fail as controllers. They don't address the user friendliness aspect and are a "input device" looking for a game. The Wii made the motion controls part of the "Wii" package, so every game could use or not-use as needed.

When Microsoft get's their ass in gear and actually stops making "cheap breakable crap" like the Xbox360's several revisions, and release the next generation console with this technology built in, then developers may actually fully utilize it, but please don't throw my controller away yet, as not every game can be a song and dance routine.

Look at the DDR and Rockband controllers. These controllers come with the game... no other game uses them, and the people who really love the game buy the more expensive controllers. Every additional game in the line up can still use the first generation controller, as far as we can tell. However I don't think we'll see "playing piano on Kinect." The technology isn't there yet, and you can tell from the cheap low grade cameras in the Kinect tear-down that there is not enough resolution to tell individual fingers unless the player is within 2 feet of the device.

Re:The Powerglove wasn't fail... at least (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153514)

Well, you still fail to adress the issue: Nobody will make games thats innoative and properly uses the controler.
Look at the Wii: We already got tons of horror eksamples of the motion controls are just being used tagged on as a gimmick, instead of doing it properly. The orginal wiimote is accurate, the only downside is that the interlal sensor is inferior to its wiimotion+ upgrade, but it can still detect which way its being swung or tilted perfectly. The nunchuck does suffer from not getting a upgrade, but play a game where its capabilities is not used for swing it randomly around and attempts to properly use it("Dragon Master Spell Caster", while being one of the worst wiiware games, does use the nunchuck correctly). With the wiimotion+, technically you can start aiming off-screen since the wiimote is with it capable of knowing how its turned in comparision to the tv's position(Red Steel 2, you will actually find this under the option meny somewhere, it will have a sword onscreen, which will point in the same direction as the wiimote, you can turn around and swing it around, and it will still be accurate!
But do you see good games for it, except a few killer ones? No.
The same has happened on every other controlers where the controler system can be turned into a gimmick: It does not go anywhere.
The kinetic will likely suffer from this, and there will barely be anything worth playing on it, except gimmick minigames..........

Re:The Powerglove wasn't fail... at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153612)

ea redesigned nhl's controls for the better, drastic overhaul

how to rock the powqerglove (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152082)

old school [funnycoolstuff.com]

new school [photobucket.com]

Power glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152098)

For what it's worth I had a lot of fun playing mike tysons punch out with the power glove esp loved the uppercut combo. You would always get a better score with a max but it was fun.

I hope the new xbox controller is accurate and not laggy. Wii games would have been a lot of fun if you did not have to fight the technology.

Guaranteed clickization (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152100)

The internet today is primarily composed of top 10 best or top 10 worst lists. They sure make up a lot of content, and I suppose they get a lot of clicks. Heck, they even slipped that iphone pinball advertisement in there without losing their cool.

Re:Guaranteed clickization (1)

chibiace (898665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152832)

although when looking for a movie to watch or a book to read those lists are somewhat handy, im very desensitized to advertising now anyway man i thirsty i could go for a coke.

Activator (1)

dasherjan (1485895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152106)

I was so happy when I got the Sega Activator for my birthday. That lasted for all of 20 min...and that's including setup time.

PowerGlove was good for Garage VR (2, Interesting)

MauiMaker (1802288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152242)

The PowerGlove may have been a failure as a game controller, but it was a boon for those of us trying to create Virtual Reality systems with our home equipment. Rend-386 was the software only rendering engine that let us create a virtual handshake coast to coast with powergloves. 3D Rendering went on a MAJOR growth rate curve in the 90s (doubling every 6-9mo). Unfortunately 3DUI didnt do so well. The professional gloves were better than the P-glove, but still not all that great, even 10yrs later. I've still got my dual-glove PC controller. I just dont have a working 386 computer anymore.

PowerGlove hacked for use with a 286 PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152320)

I bought a PowerGlove specifically so I could use it with some DOS-based VR app that was developed for a 286, way back in 1992 or so. I cannot remember the name of the app, but it allowed me to use the PowerGlove to interact with objects in a 1990s-era virtual reality world. You could reach in, pinch an object to grasp it, pull it "outwards", rotate it, etc.

Does anybody know the name of the app that I'm talking about? Best use of a PowerGlove - I even bought a 2nd one so I could (successfully) modify it into a left-handed PowerGlove, but sadly my programming skills back in 1992 was nonexistent and I was never able to get two PowerGloves to get recognised by the app. The PowerGloves has long since been consigned to the trash, but I probably still have a copy of the app on one of the stacks of 5.25" floppies in the attic somewhere.

Next Up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152544)

..Failed SlashDot Articles of the Present

The U-Force worked (2, Informative)

drej (1663541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152676)

TFA (yeah yeah, I know, I wasn't supposed to actually read it) seems more like an advertisement for Kinect to me. I actually owned a U-Force and it worked without a hitch, even the flight-stick accessory. But oh well, guess they were going for that whole "Thanks for liberating us from the oh so sucky past, Microsoft! Now could you pay us?" thing.

Re:The U-Force worked (1)

darthyoshiboy (1086569) | more than 3 years ago | (#34152942)

I question if you actually did own a U-Force, as I did and while it could sometimes be said that there was a function being preformed there, "working" would hardly be the word that I would have used to describe that function over 90% of the time.

Re:The U-Force worked (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153124)

The U-force had a flight YOKE and the stick part of the yoke was inserted into a hole that did not allow for keeping it centered.

When the U-force did somewhat work it really only worked when it was flat, and then it was only somewhat usable for playing games such as Super Mario Bros. Also consider that even when playing Super Mario Bros. doing the larger gap jumps that required hold right (so hover the left hand over right sensor on left half of the U-force in a flat position) + speed (B Button, so hover the right hand over B-button sensor on the right half) then press jump (A button, oops it's on the same right half so have to use an arm motion to try to cover both sensors on the right half) that detection was quite imprecise. Either the jump was late or else the speed button got released just at the jump point--both of those resulted in falling in the gap not clearing it.

The concept was good in theory, but all the motion detection was late due to have to use slower and more gradual motions and often times some of the motions were missed if done too quickly. I gave the U-force several tries, then gave up on it due to motion detection problems and went right back to the standard NES controller.

EyeToy was no failure (2, Insightful)

FromWithin (627720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155084)

From the article: "Sony dabbled twice with console-based webcams over the last two generations, and it only got any success after it introduced the Move."
From Wikipedia: "As of November 6, 2008, the EyeToy has sold 10.5 million units worldwide.".

10.5 million sales is most definitely a success by any definition.

The whole article strikes me as a Kinect advert: "Despite the occasional misinterpreted gesture, Microsoft's Kinect offers impressively immersive game controls and voice commands, all without needing to lay your finger on a single button."

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