Sunday, 20 June 2010

Patriotcast - Episode 32

​Battle for Motion Control.


​A couple of weeks ago analysts announced that Kinect outsold Playstation Move by a ratio of 5 to 1. This news plus the news of Wii games selling 35 million units filled me with curiosity to research as to why in the Battle for Motion Controls, (referred from now on in this article as MC) Sony’s peripheral is not doing as well.

In today’s gaming world MC is substandard, but multiple companies are implementing MC into their products, Wii, Kinect, Move, Android phones, iPhones, iPad and tablets all use it. However the gaming industry is currently driven by the video game giants Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, which all came into the field with different characteristics. The Wii MC system has an infrared recognition and accelerometers, which offered first real motion controlled gaming. PS Move combines a complex system of accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetic sensors to track movements in real time and in three dimensions; plus a glowing ball that is tracked by the Playstation eye. The Kinect utilizes a high tech combo of cameras that position the player in three dimensional spaces and recognizes depth perspective. Smartphones and tablets use similar technologies and are taking the gaming industry by storm as well.

​It seems however that many core gamers are not so pleased with MC gaming and game developers are not ready to take the plunge into full MC gaming.

​Video game developers are usually weary of new peripherals, as time has told. This “wonder” interfacing toys proof to be more fanfare and hype than real innovation in gaming. However this new generation has broken through a little stronger and has made an important part of the public, the “casual” gamer. The impending question is what would make MC a solid standard in gaming. Consider this, suppose next generation of consoles came with MCs only. This means no more eight button joypads, no more charge times (in some cases) and no more learning curve on “oh what’s the run button again?” Take Nintendo for example; would anyone be surprised if the next home console they make comes out with MCs? Third party developers should also learn to take a little more risks, if anyone should it’s them. They should support the companies that make the consoles, the ones that basically employ them. Gearing towards this new technology should be a goal and a learning experience for all of them. Integrating MCs into mainstream games would also help the technology to move forward, as well as making it an in-game option to let players choose how they want to take on a game.

The only question is, where is this technology going? The future is not certain, but it seems this time around they are doing it right. Maybe in the future there would be even more user friendly interfaces such as lightweight gloves with special sensors, head bands, wristbands, etcetera. Console developers should allow more independently developed software; same way Apple does with games like Angry Birds, Tiny Wings or Fruit Ninja. Sony has taken a step into that with the announcement of software that would allow users to create their own move applications. Imagine not only playing great games but making one yourself like one that you might want to share with the world and maybe make some cash. In this battle there is no winner yet but it seems we all might have a common goal.

Javier Bustamante, The Patriotcast.







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