Posted by moonhead on Oct 6, 2010
The Notion Against Motion

The Notion Against Motion

Get up, stand up and come on throw your hands up.

The Wii - A great deal to answer for.

Erm no thanks, I don’t f**king want to.

Seriously though, with all three of the home console manufacturers now having their own version of Motion Control peripherals,  it seems they all want your entire family to flail around in front of their TV’s like demented Octopuses.

We, the core gamers, seem to be getting little input on whether we want them or whether we get to control some of our favourite titles without them. So how did we get to this situation, is it as bad as some of us think or do we need to start getting ready to see our favourite hobby changed forever and in our opinion for the worse?

It's all fun and games till someone gets hurt!

All this motion control rubbish started with Nintendo and their sales wonder the Wii. We here at G4A love Ninty with a passion. They always tread a different path from their competitors and the way they can never be second-guessed as to what they will do next, is to be admired. But God-damn it did the Wii have to be the huge success its been? Whilst we don’t begrudge Nintendo their success, had the Wii and its motion controls been a sales flop both Sony and Microsoft would have left well enough alone. Instead we are left with copycat gimmicky motion controls being shoehorned onto home consoles that had been the home of core gamers around the world for the past four or five years. All of this because the Wii has been a runaway sales success and opened up new demographics to video games. When looking at it from a purely business perspective it makes perfect sense but as gamers first and foremost once it starts to impact upon our favourite pastime then it becomes a very different kettle of fish.

No not a row of sex toys it is Move!

Let’s take a look at the Wii first and separate the good from the bad on the little console. Well, the best thing about the Wii is that it is the only place  to be play first-party Nintendo-developed games. Obvious perhaps but nobody, try as they might, can make games like the big N. From Super Mario Galaxy to Metroid and Animal Crossing to Zelda these are games that only Nintendo could make full of originality charm, inventiveness and most importantly, rock solid gameplay mechanics. In fact four years into its life, this is the only really positive thing left I can find to say about the Wii. This is partly because third-party titles have really struggled to sell and, despite some very good titles being sprinkled among them, most are absolutely shocking ‘shovelware’. For every No More Heroes, Okami or Mad World (Games which failed to get the sales figures they deserved.) there is ten abhorrent mini game compilations like Carnival Games or other such dross. The other thing to remember about 95% of good Wii games is that they contain very few if any motion controls.

You too could look like this!

Sales for the Wii have tailed off significantly over this year, partly due to the global financial slowdown. The worlds economic state has impacted on sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360 as well but, it would seem, not to the same extent. I believe this is in part because of a lack of top Nintendo-developed titles and the unbelievable amount of crap third-party rubbish that is out there.

So a mixed picture and one I fear that may begin to repeat itself on both the PS3 and Xbox 360.  With the Playstation Move already available and reviewed by us here this is the one we will look at first. Let’s not fanny around the facts here, the launch line-up for Move is poor.

Look at how much fun it is!

Very poor in fact, and most as we expected are little more than copies of Wii games with an HD graphics facelift. The whole set up is merely a complete rip off of the Wii, granted it is a little more accurate but a complete clone all the same. Sony also have no big name game or app specifically designed for Move inbound for it either. Instead they are leaving it to big name core games like Killzone 3 and Little Big Planet 2 to have motion controls shoehorned in. Thankfully though not at the expense of Dual Shock 3 controls. Even Socom 4 which has been designed from the ground up for Move is thankfully allowing full use of the Dual Shock 3. So Sony do seem to be taking a more sensible approach with a low-key marketing campaign and a softly softly approach.

Kinect: It is black because it is evil!

A quick look at the release schedule for the Move from third-parties already shows a worrying amount of Wii-type ‘shovelware’. To balance this out though Sony have still got a decent line-up of core games over the next few months and fingers crossed this will remain the same in the future. Also Sony’s assertion that the Move is to accompany the Dual Shock 3 and not replace it has us reasonably confident that Sony are taking the right approach.

The one that has us the most worried is Microsoft’s Motion controller for the Xbox 360, the Kinect. Kinect is a controller camera that makes as Microsoft put it “You are the controller.” Basically meaning you need no other controller but your body. Having recently played the thing at the Eurogamer Expo it has us wishing Microsoft would shove it back up the arse of Kudo Tsunoda (one of Kinect’s lead engineers) and forget he and it exists.  The huge amounts of lag and unresponsiveness have plagued it since its debut at E3 2009. It originally looked like it could have been a stroke of genius mainly because of art mock ups, not actual games and the very strange Peter Molyneux child grooming sim that was Milo and Kate. But it was the disastrous showing and launch line-up of games named at this years E3 event that had us dreading its appearance more than that of an Imperial battle cruiser carrying Lord Vader himself.

Yes play Kinect and look like you are taking a dump!

All that has been shown and played on various game trade show floors have been very poor-looking Wii ‘shovelware’ clones with laggy unresponsive controls that have you waving your arms around and jumping about like a tit. Microsoft are also taking the direct opposite direction as Sony in terms of marketing and pushing this as if it were the launch of a new console. Expect to be bombarded by a horrendous marketing assault with adverts everywhere you go come November this year claiming “You are the controller!” and trying to part you with £130. That’s right people, Microsoft expect you to stump up £130 for this piece of tat the same price as a Nintendo Wii. In Microsoft’s defence their core games line up for the fourth quarter of this year and the first of next is still looking very strong. But if Kinect is a success how long will it take for Microsoft to about turn and forget us core gamers in the same way Nintendo seemingly has. Not long at all, I fear.

Or simply like you should be committed!

We just have to hope that both the Move and Kinect controllers are not sale’s successes. But given news of Move selling steadily and Kinect pre-orders selling out, it  does not look likely. So whether we want them or not, (and we don’t) motion control looks like it is here to stay. You can bet your life that the Wii 2, PS4 and Xbox 720 will all come with some form of motion controller as standard in the next-gen. Whilst it’s not all doom and gloom at the moment it is a scary thought and one that has me thinking whether or not come a few years down the line will I still be playing video games regularly? I am sure I will be, but my guess is that it will be very different. Perhaps powerful handheld’s and not home consoles will be where I will get my gaming kicks in the future. Now, when is the 3DS being released?

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4 Responses to “The Notion Against Motion”

  1. drew10 says:

    In my opinion it seems that these devices are designed to see quite how stupid you can make people look.

  2. Cstrfreak says:

    I agree pretty much 100% with this article. I mean really, have you seen the demo video showcasing the Kinect/Forza compatibility. Seriously? You want me to hold my arms out grabbing an imaginary wheel to steer? Who in all of baby jesus thought, “Ooo Ooo I know, this would be cool”. I mean come one. You make a very valid point. Where do the core gamers fit into all of this? Oh yeah, cringing in the corner of a darkened room while casual flailers, I mean, gamers, think they’re having fun. Just my 2 cents 😉

    • moonhead says:

      I have seen the Forza video and have to agree with you that its a terrible idea. In fact shoehorning Kinect features into games that just do not need them is silly. Strangely though I have really enjoyed Kinect and as long as they continue to make stuff tailored directly for it I can see being a good thing. But it is definitely a slightly worrying time for the core gamer. But that said I’m not going down without a fight. Thanks for the comment

    • drew10 says:

      I bloody agree with this. Games like Forza and its ilk should be shying away from Kinect. How can the devs of a game that pertains to be a serious simulation even consider that using an imaginary steering wheel would be a good idea?

      Leave the Kinect/Move to games that are designed for them and leave the rest of us using our pads. Jesus even steering wheels are shit for driving games so how can a pretend one be any good, I despair.

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