On Kinect and PlayStation Move

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I feel that people are judging motion controls as one would judge apples to bananas. I feel that they are advertised as bananas when they are not, and I feel this is where their criticism stems from. To be blunt, I don't believe that much time has been invested into what motion controls are (and I feel it dismissive to simply call them shit).

To summarise what I feel has been said; motion controls do not improve immersion, Stereoscopic 3D does not improve immersion, and gross motion control is too slow (and or imprecise), current controls do not need replacing.
Will all of the above I agree. I also feel that this opinion ignores what motion controls could do.

It is a difficult position to take, arguing that the possible benefits make these new technologies worthwhile. However, given the immaturity of the technology, it feels as though too many have shallowly discarded it.

I remember playing two person 'co-op' single player Decent with my brother. For those who don't know, Decent was a space game with axes of controllable movement. In each of X, Y and Z the ship could translate and turn about the axes. Given that all direction had a forward and back, there were 12 buttons just for control. I would take half, including the secondary weapon, while my brother would take the other half.

Most games only have limited movement: translation about the Z and Y, and rolling about X and Y (with jump giving some minute control over Y translations). It is here where I think motion controls could shine. I agree that the current set of controls handles the most important 4 excellently, but I hope that developers (and critiques) would be open to the idea that more is now possible.

Regarding 3D vision and Kinect; I remember crossing a link to "Johnny Chung Lee projects", the specific project being "Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the Wii Remote". Seeing this blew my mind. It uses the technology in ways that are backwards from its design to fantastic effect. I consider the (now very real) possibility of such technology becoming commonplace. Additionally I imagine how 3D could take that idea and improve it further.

To be blunt, I feel that this article is overly focused on one idea:

"See, the hypothetical ultimate model of gaming is total immersion." -YZ

Given this as an ideal then the argument stands. My deconstruction would be to argue that this is one of many ideals. Personally I hope to one day make games that replace school curriculum, so my grandchildren will eagerly take a self directed approach to their education. I can state that my ideal games are educational and compelling, well before they are immersive. To bring this back to the subject of control (before the statement above drifts too far off topic); I feel that immersion would ideally be fully customizable. Casually down the rabbit hole on work days, and all the way down on Friday night.

"Assume that nothing good is coming and wait to be pleasantly surprised." - to paraphrase YZ

I am optimistic that we need only wait. Therefore I think that closing this discussion and dooming the technology is premature. It will be slow.

A good column, although the enthousiasm that drips from 3DS-previews (previews that are made by the same 'thinkers and philosophers') points in a different direction. Especially since thése guys actually experienced it first-hand.

However, there is one sentence in your column that is complete and utter bullshit, and you know it:

Because I don't have an opinion, and won't have one until I actually play the thing.

Come on, Yahtzee. Even though everyone wishes this is true, there is not a single person on earth who isn't influenced by what he sees and hears, even though his brains tell him 'not to get influenced'.

Motion control is useful when you don't want a direct link between thought and result because the process is supposed to be difficult. The best example at hand are golf games, you may want to do a straight shot onto the green but handling a real golf club isn't that easy, it doesn't come with an angle or power control. To simulate that difficulty games have developed all kinds of multi-button kludges. With motion controls you just swing the controller and that's your swing right there, any errors in your ingame swing are results of swinging the controller wrong, not of failing some arbitrary minigame system.

Few games actually want to add difficulty to their actions, only ones based on real world situations the players have seen on TV actually care since only then do players know that the act is supposed to be difficult instead of getting some hollywoodized point-and-click approach. Yet games also come up with ideas like active reload which is also a kludge for making fast reloads not a trivial thing. With motion controls you can require the player to perform certain motions to test his manual dexterity.

A somewhat comparable example would be the DS Japan-only game Super Control Mecha MG, the bottom screen shows buttons and various mechanisms necessary to operate your mech. It's not just a matter of moving regular buttons on the touch screen though because often the really powerful attacks are difficult to perform on the bottom screen. Many firearms require manually loading the shell into the gun.

For a similar real life example in combat a tank's rate of fire is highly dependent on the crew's ability to quickly load the shells into the main gun. A few tanks use autoloaders but the most common ones don't as a good crew can load faster than an autoloader. In a game tanks currently just get a reload bar or fixed time between shots.

I don't advocate shoehorning motion controls into current games by replacing buttons with gestures but expanding the scope of the gameplay into previously automatic actions by having players perform them manually with a consistent and intuitive control scheme (having a reload procedure consist of several timed button presses is neither).

Dunno 'bout Portal 2. On the one hand, the first game was tremendous. But really, did it need a sequel? Like my other favorite puzzle game, Ico, it was pretty perfectly well contained. I mean, how much of a cop out was it to tack a little extra ending onto the first game where Chell didn't actually escape after all? And now you have to escape the same lab all over again, only now it's messy! and there are more arbitrary gimmicks!

Again, the first game was great, and Glados was an awesome villain who I do look forward to hearing more from. The visuals and environment look great. But I'm not expecting the kind of sparkling gem that the first game was, any more then I would if I heard there was a direct sequel to Ico in the works where the kids were captured from the beach three seconds after we left them and taken back to the castle to try and escape all over again.

If motion controls and 3D are doomed to failure Benny boy just why must you and other critics do ANYTHING much less do any reckless arm waving(which is, ironically, exactly what Kinect appears to be about). Won't it just go away on it's own without your help?

To me the BIG error we've seen with motion controls is that developers haven't tried to find just the areas where they MIGHT improve on what we've got already and as a result we have a zillion Wii games where unsuitable tasks have been allocated extra waggle for t's own sake! That isn't improvement that's just taking the job off a button to do it less well!

Kinect, to my mind, is the weakest of the three for actual games we might wish to one day play. Thing is there's just too many limits put on it by having no controller at all and the thing isn't accurate enough to decipher multiple little actions for the jobs usually done by stick, trigger and button. even if it was up to it that kind of scheme would be RUBBISH to use and I fear MS have gone down a blank alley even where other motion control schemes are concerned.

We've had little of importance from motion= a year after it arrived and I only really saw much of any hope in that Sorcery demo Sony did and one motion control idea that looks Ok for a whole E3 is NOT much. Oh, Zelda looked OK too but after such a shitty display control wise we'll have to wait. Thing is they COULD make a shooter with motion controls that would be better than pad controls long term but that isn't where they think the money is and it's like they gave up on doing hardcore games better with motion after the first MP game for the Wii. Socom4 looks pretty good but as it supports both pad and Move I feel it will be great with what they're used to and a bit half arsed with the motion tech Zipper were probably forced into. In terms of function, though, there's no reason it cannot compete with keyboard and mouse but while Move Party or Kinectimals(spit) are the BIG, important games what's the chance of actual gaming advancements that matter?

Another thing-about the 3DS-Am I alone in thinking "what is the effing point on such a small screen when it's crap on a biggun at the piccys?"?

Does anyone remember Eye Toy? That came before Wii but no one seems to remember it? Anyway I think motion controls are total bull mainly because it isnt fun to flail your arms around and just get tired and be feeling even more pain in the morning. That and the fact that there just arn't ANY games I've ever see on any platform that interested me.

Also Yahtzee have you heard about Fallout: New Vegas? I know you just stated that you don't care about hype but...In your Red Dead Redemption Extra Punctuation review you said one reason why RDR was bad was because you didnt have to do things like eat or drink when yu wereout in the desert, well Fallout: New Vegas has a feature just like that, also you will be able to solve almost all problems with either bullets, stealth or just talking, its even possible to complete the main quest without killing a single person.

Also am I the ONLY person in the whole world who doesnt like a single Valve game?

Just one thought I had for kinect, that might be relevant to making games more immersive; what if an option was added to FPS such that about 10-20 degrees of camera freedom was controlled by you moving your head given the tech specs of kinect it should be able to accomplish it admirably. That way auto-aim and the lack of precision in console games become relics of the past at the same time. Also properly used gesture and voice support could make for a very immersive sci-fi RTS simply make the interface as if you are the general in the war room manipulating units and such on reactive holographic table (like the RUSE trailer all though cooler). Aside from those two ideas though I can see what you mean about motion control being less immersive.

There's one thing that I think most people are missing with Playstation Move that I'm looking forward too - shooters.
The biggest flaw with console shooters, at the moment, is aiming with the right analog stick. If game developers can effectively use Move to track where I'm actually aiming (probably with a tiny bit of jitter correction), I honestly think it could revolutionize how we play shooters on a console.
They key is immersion. Motion controls used properly can enhance immersion, used improperly they kill it.
I, for one, am really looking forward to playing RE5 with Move.

Well-thought-out and well-written. And I'm not just saying that because I have refractive error in my right eye, so 'stereoscopic 3D' means jack-shit to me: the analogy of the dismay of classic movie critics who bemoan the sacrifice of content and quality for cheap parlor tricks is very legitimate.

Hey, I was quoted! AWESOME!
Victory lap around the pool!

I agree about the whole motion controls thing. Even with outdated graphics, just having to do small movements is several orders of magnitude more immersive than current graphics with motion controls. All well and good for a bit of fun, but for a serious experience it's a deal breaker. I can think of many of my Wii games (And I'm sure many others can as well) that would be so much better if it could just have a normal controller.
The Wii is the only system this generation that has failed to get my heart pounding from some kind of suspense. And I don't even like the 360 all that much.

As for the 3DS, the jury's out on this one if you ask me. I'll just wait and see.

I think the whole draw for the motion control is that it's supposed to be a more intuitive alternative for non-gamers who are bamboozled by the xbox/ps controllers with their dozen buttons and multiple sticks. These are people who's last game was probably played with one stick and one button.
The stupid thing is that they're coming out with this stuff two years after Nintendo already saturated that market.

AND
I love that word: Tosspot. What is a tosspot anyway? Is it what I think it is: a pot that one would toss-off/ejaculate into?

Trying to make games immersive always == making controls as 1-to-1/responsive as possible?

The only silver lining to this entire motion-control nonsense is this: everyone I know who bought a Wii doesn't use it anymore. All of the casual/non-gamers who bought the thing because it was popular to own are letting it gather dust right now (Wii Dust).

What percentage of these people would go out and buy a Wii2? When the Wii2 ads start showing up, most of these people are going to glance at the dust-covered Wii sitting on their home entertainment center and I don't think they'll be terribly keen on going out to buy another one.

the thing wich makes morion controls so popular is that they are simple and anyone can potentialy pick up and play (the point of console gaming) any motion control game without having to use a tutorial stage. I see his point on the shortest time between thought and action but for newer gamers it sometimes goes like this: thought --> remembering which button does the action --> pushing the button --> action so for newer gamers i think that motion controls are a great way to get easily into the hobby

p.s. from my standpoint i think the Move i better than natal (the new name is just silly) becouse it has something to grab onto so there is the potential to imitate something and for that reason it could be pretty hard to do anything but extremely casual/gimmicky games where you are basicaly clutching at thin air or flailing around like you got insect crawling around on your body with natal (natal isn´t a much better name than kinect is it huh?)

ChupathingyX:

Also am I the ONLY person in the whole world who doesnt like a single Valve game?

yes. yes you are

I think the biggest problem I have with motion controls is that they remove a lot of ways to have input with a game.

NES controllers had 4 directions (not limited by the hardware) and 2 buttons to interract with the enviroment (usually jump and attack... or attack and use item).

A typical next-gen console controller has 360 directions (maybe more and not limited by hardware) and 12 buttons for more specific intereaction (Halo: Shoot, shoot a different way, pick up a weapon/activate car or turret or console, use special item,, pick up a second weapon, switch weapon, throw grenade, use light, crouch, zoom, hit something, jump, etc, etc...).

The Wiimote (and now Playstation Move). Has 360 degreee movement (not limited by the harware but adversly affected), and up to 8 ways to interract with the enviroment (Buttons A-B-1-2-Z-C, point, and use item). The use item thing is the biggest feature, because you can use the item in many different ways, but it's still just "use item".

Kinect... has maybe 4 directions (limited by hardware) and perhaps 4 ways to interract with the game (use item, pick up item, open door, and attack). Yes yes, your avatar goes into whatever goofy shape you're in; so let's just make games based on all the goofy shapes you can be in, I can just feel the innovation in my gut.

The controls might be interesting for a computer that you hook up to the big screen though... Okay, yeah, Kinect is actually innovtion for computer input that replaces the mouse and they're just beta testing it on the Xbox. Kinect would be the first step towards that computer you saw in Minority Report.

However, unless you can make a kinect controller be able to reliably cover an entire warehouse... and then maybe a bunch of people in the warehouse... then have the game projected over everyone and everything... and give that game substance... and... holy crap! That's a holodeck.

I have to disagree with Yahtzee. I think there are two kinds of immersion: Matrix-head-plug and star trek holo-deck, where your own physical body is placed in a simulated world. Imagine being Link, a jedi, or [insert favorite sword wielding character] and fighting their archenemies with your own hands. This is the direction motion controls are heading.

Now, granted, in the end the matrix-type immersion will win out b/c you're avatar will not be limited by your physical limits (or physics themselves). But beyond actually connecting your brain and eyes with wires to the game, I don't see anyway to further that kind of immersion. That kind of technology is in the works, but it is sluggish at best.

So... the two different systems lead to two different ways of playing?

Motion Controls lead to the holodeck?
...while...
Button Controls lead to direct input?

Taken to those extremes, you can tell which one of those will be for hardcore gamers and which is for casual gamers. I've always said that I don't like games that get too realistic.

Holodeck:
My body cannot jump six miles into the air and land on an air-ship. Even if I could, I probably woulnd't be able to pull off a six-button special combo to bring the whole thing down with a sword. Also, my control of magic would be imprecise and wouldn't feel like I'm actually reaching into my soul and pulling out a lightning bolt.

It can also be used to train your body.

Matrix:
Everything is translated to input censors in your brain... which is exactly how it's already done in real life. But a computer can tell your brain that you can direct electricity through your hand or that you can fly. Also... the computer can give you the exact time of day when you think about it and can also have you think about the time when needed. If you're particularly lazy... it can also MAKE you feel like not playing the game anymore and maybe go to sleep for work tomorrow.

This leads open to being able to train your mind so that you're less lazy, feel the need to eat better and excercise... etc...

---

I vote for more of a matrixy form of gaming.

I actually found the Wii motion control thing more immersive than the regular control pad, but I did find that I got worn out more quickly, and I ended up playing not as much as I used to. I do believe that when we're all old and Gray and we do finally have the whole "VR" thing working, that motion control will be viewed as having been a complete failure but a step in the right direction.

well, if the wii shows that the controller based motion stuff works
the move is pretty much the same thing....but with hd graphics

who knows if they'll do it right, i'm still not buying a ps3 till i need a cheap blu ray player

I actually think that controls for computer games have been going backwards for a while now. That is because the world is now ruled by consoles and console owners are forced to use joypads to play certain types of games which joypads are not suited to. Unfortunately that type of game is the most popular type, FPS.

This is not a dig at joypads or consoles. Joypads as a general controller are very good and can do a great job for most games types, driving games, plane games etc. But for FPS and RTS games they are shocking as controllers. They are nowhere close to the accuracy of a mouse. And yes people can use them to a high level for aiming, but until someone wins a game championship using a joypad in an FPS vs others using mice, I won't be convinced joypads are better.

So why bring this up. Well I think Microsoft and Sony would have been better served trying to workout how to bring mouse like accuracy into their controllers rather than spending so much on in accurate and laggy motion controllers. I don't understand console makers hatred of the mouse. They allow you to use other controllers that fit the game you are playing, like wheel controllers for driving games. Why not a mouse controller for FPS. I know one reason was that they wanted to differentiate consoles from PC's. Well that was a good argument when consoles just played games and did not play movies or allow you to surf the internet. I make no bones about the consoles having won as far as popularity vs PC. So why not take the one thing PC's are better at, before it dies as a gaming platform.

And before you ask I am not a fan of then having to us a keyboard for movement etc either. So a controller with an analogue thumb stick for movement and some kind or trackball or track pad for aiming would be the ideal. Or some better idea. Something that give the same functionality as the mouse and Logitech G13 combo I use for FPS and I believe is the ultimate why of controlling these games. BTW, I do own and Xbox 360 controller that I use for games like Assassins Creed etc.

Okay, forgive me if someone's already posted on the topic, but there's a contradiction in the logic:

"Motion controls, meanwhile, are thought → large movement → however long it takes for the console to register that movement → action. It's not immersive, it's going in completely the opposite direction to being immersive."

If I understand this statement correctly, it would appear that your primary objection to a motion controller is that since there's a delay from when the motion is made to when the game registers the motion, the delay will prevent immersion.

This logic ignores the elephant in the room that the current controller ITSELF is ANTI-immersive. Your standard controller with X, Y, A, B, Circle, Triangle, etc. buttons and its two analog sticks and whatnot is a bewildering array of strangeness that doesn't follow intuitively. I still don't know why they don't label the buttons something that makes sense, like North-South-East-West, so I could freakin' FIND them. I'm a twenty-year veteran of video gaming, and I kept getting killed in Brutal Legend because I couldn't tell the Y button from the A button fast enough. A player loses all sense of immersion in Heavy Rain when they have to look away from the screen and down at the controller to figure out which one is the square button.

Whereas in Zelda: Twilight Princess, the motion for drawing the sword was simply to flick the Wiimote. To swing the sword later, another flick of the Wiimote. The action felt like swinging a sword at someone. It was easy to remember, and it was fun. And most of all, it was more immersive than any button press or trigger-flick.

The Wiimote does one thing better than all of its rivals -- the shooter. You yourself have said that the console-shooter can't stand up to the PC-shooter because it lacks a mouse. The Wiimote lets you point directly at your widescreen TV and plant a bullet exactly where you want it. And by definition, pointing at the screen is more immersive than pushing a little plastic puck somewhere near the screen.

The issue here is with the logic. You're arguing that motion controls are anti-immersive because your sense of immersion breaks when you want to blame the controller's lag time for your failure to accomplish something in the game. That is a valid complaint. But it's no different than a sticky button on a controller -- bad equipment is simply bad equipment. When a motion control is spot on, it's far more intuitive than "Press Y to not die". Raising a sword to block a bullet feels more real when you're raising something to block.

Granted, the current crop of motion-controlled games are far, far too gimmicky. Then again, the video game market right now is dripping with gimmickry, as the still-enduring "quick time event" is still present. (Motion-controller or button-controller, it didn't matter to Ninja Blade -- even if you pushed right, the dodge was always to the left.) As the Wii is maturing, there's a lot more shooters coming out, and the wiimote-with-analog numchuk is simply more intuitive than shooting by moving a little airplane flight stick.

The motion-controller is seen as the future because the current controller is complicated to the point of baroque ridiculousness, where only a hardcore gamer can be bothered to memorize every button. What we really need are games that work with the motion controls, instead of gimmicks that just happen to use motion controls. Oh, and more responsive motion controls wouldn't hurt, either.

Norman... not playing a game since the NES and being a 20 year gamer are two very different things. We've had near a decade of Xbox controllers where the Y is the top button and the A is the bottom button. So either you're lying about being a veteran or you're an idiot with brain damage. I haven't played any playstation game for months now and I can tell you that the X button is the bottom one and the Triangle button is the top one... O to the right and Square to the left. That's been there for THREE consoles... they don't mix them up every few years. And even IF they did, you get the buttons down after two games.

Your argument for the Wiimote is based on you being an idiot.

And you don't figure out a game by what the lable of the button is anyway! You get it down pretty early in the game, and after a combined time of 5 hours, it's muscle memmory unless you only play for 5 minutes every week.

The argument against motion sensors being unimmersive is biological. To the brain, all movement is one quick electrical pulse sent to a muscle... not a quick message to a muscle that creates a movement which creates another signal for another movement, that's not a direct flow of electrical pulse. You can make the same argument against button controls... but a small twitch is more easily interpreted as just another medium for the pulse than an entirely seperate flailing of your arms.

You also get some disjointed abomination of "immersion" where your arm flailings match something on TV... but you aren't walking anywhere. You aren't really interracting with anything in the game and flailing around your living room only makes that more apparent.

Edit: Oh yeah! There is a different label system for buttons... IT'S CALLED COLORS. If you're too dense to memorize the position of shapes, they gave you COLORS to memorize instead. Granted the red O and the pink Square on PS controllers might confuse your hardwired brain. I'd insult you more but people look down on badgering the mentally disabled.

MikeTheElf:
Games are meant to be gimmicky. They're built around capturing your attention at least long enough for one to buy it, to feed the parties involved with its production and sale. Immersion is just a bonus that everyone feels entitled to. To use an allegory: food works the same way; one can sustain oneself on food that doesn't taste good, but once one tastes more enticing food, one expects more out of all future foods. Everyone was content when 8-bit games were on the market, just as everyone was content pumping quarters into arcade machines for hours or days.

Entertainment has always been a contest as to what can hold one's attention; this results in a battle to see who can produce the nicest gimmick, game or service. This means that when one company does something that is the slightest bit profitable, all companies in the field will do the same; CDs supplanted cartridges, DVDs CDs, Blurays are apparently next. People are attracted to the shiniest object, and the Wii outsold both PS3 and 360. Motion control was naturally the next step. No one cares about innovation; they all want money.

i beg to differ.

while some may consider games mere entertainment that are ultimately gimmicky, you are forgetting that those same gimmicks lessen the attention captive period for a person. a gimmick is essentially a superfluous element intended to attract immediate attention, but failing to keep interest once discovered. examples of such would be diamonds reflecting light or racing stripes on a car.

gimmicks don't make games interesting; the rules of play and game mechanics do that. a golden controller won't make the game you play any more fun (though perhaps you will get a feeling of material accomplishment owning one).

theklng:

MikeTheElf:
Games are meant to be gimmicky. They're built around capturing your attention at least long enough for one to buy it, to feed the parties involved with its production and sale. Immersion is just a bonus that everyone feels entitled to. To use an allegory: food works the same way; one can sustain oneself on food that doesn't taste good, but once one tastes more enticing food, one expects more out of all future foods. Everyone was content when 8-bit games were on the market, just as everyone was content pumping quarters into arcade machines for hours or days.

Entertainment has always been a contest as to what can hold one's attention; this results in a battle to see who can produce the nicest gimmick, game or service. This means that when one company does something that is the slightest bit profitable, all companies in the field will do the same; CDs supplanted cartridges, DVDs CDs, Blurays are apparently next. People are attracted to the shiniest object, and the Wii outsold both PS3 and 360. Motion control was naturally the next step. No one cares about innovation; they all want money.

i beg to differ.

while some may consider games mere entertainment that are ultimately gimmicky, you are forgetting that those same gimmicks lessen the attention captive period for a person. a gimmick is essentially a superfluous element intended to attract immediate attention, but failing to keep interest once discovered. examples of such would be diamonds reflecting light or racing stripes on a car.

gimmicks don't make games interesting; the rules of play and game mechanics do that. a golden controller won't make the game you play any more fun (though perhaps you will get a feeling of material accomplishment owning one).

1- Once the game is purchased, the developer has succeeded; a game does not need to hold attention for the developer to succeed; it needs to hold attention for the game to be considered 'good.'

2- Gimmicks make the games interesting enough from a graphical or interface standpoint. For example: 3D makes people think that the game is inherently more shiny graphics-wise. Lots of people are only concerned with the lustre of their polygons, and many more won't admit that having good graphics is one of their priorities for a game. The fact of the matter is people are drawn to shinier objects, thus interest is drawn when something newer and shinier comes out. This is why HDTV is big, and this is why consoles use disc-based games as opposed to cartridge-based ones.

3- The controller actually can influence the ammount of enjoyment one gets from a game. I enjoy certain controllers over others, and certain button layouts to others. For example: I prefer PS3 controllers over 360, because of the joystick placement, and because the PS3 controller feels more comfortable. I dislike the GameCube controller for the same reason; I just don't find it comfortable. Some of the Wiimote attachments also feel more natural; MarioKart is much more enjoyable with the Wiimote wheel attachment. The controller takes care of the extrinsic factors which affect gameplay, enhancing the gaming experience, and in some instances increasing my level of enjoyment.

Uber Waddles:
To Yahtzee: Immersion is in the eyes of the beholder. You might not find motion controls immersive, thats fine. But, simply put, other people do.

I'll just add: I'm not sure I want immersion.

I've spent four hours or so this week playing "Scrap Metal" on XBLA. that game is not only not realistic, but also not particularly immersive. The controls could be better, but aside from that taking me out of "the zone," there's not much that moves me in and out of this whole "immersion" deal.

I want more intuitive controls. I want smooth gameplay. I'm not sure I want immersion. At least, not on a wide scale. Maybe I've got the wrong idea on immersion, but most of my games don't really seem to immerse me. The whole "thought>>>action" portion sounds great, but it doesn't immerse me.

On a similar note, the thing I dislike about the Wii is that most of the time, I just want to play games on my couch. If possible, with 1-3 friends. Preferably, in the same room. I know split-screen is the devil now, because people only buy one copy of the game when they could be milked for 2-16 between them, but screw that. I've played Wii games with two players in my apartment, and even larger spaces, and I'm always worried the spazz next to me is going to take out my eye. Or I'll take out theirs, because it's not like I'm some super-coordinated operator either. Considering the inaccuracy of the base Wiimote, you sometimes do end up making larger flails when smaller ones should suffice. Now, maybe the glowy ball tracking system of Move will help solve some of that, but at the end, only my fears of KOing my friends.

Some ideas are great. I love the drums in Rock Band and Guitar Hero, but between the space and the fact that my neighbours don't appreciate it, I rarely play them. there are cool Wii games, but because they require space and activity I'm not always willing to give, my console is now being used by my mother for Yoga and whatever else she enjoys for physical fitness. but while the Wii could be good for shooters or certain other types of active games, the hardware itself limits it (Sensor bar, lack of 1:1 on the base unit, etc), and even if you can appreciate it, you're not necessarily going to use it. It's going to be even worse with nay game that Kinect has that wants me to move around, because if I have to jump and bob I'm probably getting into the drum kit territory.

Regardless, the controller works for me, and I enjoy it. I don't need no stinking immersion: Competent controls suffice for me. The idea that the point of the interface should push towards greater immersion is, in and of itself, kind of poor.

The current motion controls are a novelty. Wii, Move, Kinect. Eventually, either a less novel approach will develop out of them or motion controls will die. Personally, as long as something like Kinect is optional and I still get my couch games, I hope things like it take off. Voice control and navigation by hand seem like great ideas. And it might actually get Yahtzee the immersion he wants.

Then again, I have a 7.1 surround system. And the rationale for more channels is immersion, too. I'm not particularly sitting there enthralled by the extra speakers. I'm still fine with stereo music and stereo film for that matter. 3-D is cool, and everyone should probably check out at least one well done movie. It's not all that necessary to gamers, though.

Apologies if this is all over the place, it's 5 AM and I should have gone to bed several hours ago.

MikeTheElf:

2- Gimmicks make the games interesting enough from a graphical or interface standpoint. For example: 3D makes people think that the game is inherently more shiny graphics-wise. Lots of people are only concerned with the lustre of their polygons, and many more won't admit that having good graphics is one of their priorities for a game. The fact of the matter is people are drawn to shinier objects, thus interest is drawn when something newer and shinier comes out. This is why HDTV is big, and this is why consoles use disc-based games as opposed to cartridge-based ones.

This is also why VHS outsold DVD for years, until the format was actually killed off officially by studios. And why it took HD DVD and Blu Ray over a year to get combined sales greater than that of said dead (and at that point, LONG dead) format. This is why the best selling console is the one that uses the lowest resolution, has the worst specs, and still uses DVD (Yes, so does the 360, I know). This is why DVD audio was all but abandoned, along with SACD, and non-disc formats.

You can sell shiny to some people, and graphics are a decent department, but it's far from the end-all, or even close. Not even in the realm of consoles does that work.

You doing the voice of Wheatley? Mindgasm.

Malisteen:
Dunno 'bout Portal 2. On the one hand, the first game was tremendous. But really, did it need a sequel? Like my other favorite puzzle game, Ico, it was pretty perfectly well contained. I mean, how much of a cop out was it to tack a little extra ending onto the first game where Chell didn't actually escape after all? And now you have to escape the same lab all over again, only now it's messy! and there are more arbitrary gimmicks!

Again, the first game was great, and Glados was an awesome villain who I do look forward to hearing more from. The visuals and environment look great. But I'm not expecting the kind of sparkling gem that the first game was, any more then I would if I heard there was a direct sequel to Ico in the works where the kids were captured from the beach three seconds after we left them and taken back to the castle to try and escape all over again.

Portal needs a sequel if lots of people want a sequel it's just good business

Portal is a fun puzzle game with a sence of humor I don't consider it to be anything more it certainly shouldn't be considered untouchable

Portal 2 looks better in everyway the only new thing I don't care about is those tunnels, the best new additions are the Aerial Faith Plate and Repulsion gel

wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

so true
why does no one realize that nintendo got it wrong!

Here I thought the theories and opinions I formed about motion control and 3D gaming were unique.

Fuck that.

I have to say I completely disagree with Yahtzee's theory of immersion.

Immersion is not me thinking something and then that something happening. It's me performing an action and then having that action replicated in the virtual world. I'm not a fan of the Wii since it's just designed so poorly (and there are so few worthwhile entries), but I do think that motion controls are the future.

Or, at least, part of the future. We still have to overcome the obstacle of having to look into a TV to see the game world instead of seeing it through a headset or something.

Zachary Amaranth:

MikeTheElf:

2- Gimmicks make the games interesting enough from a graphical or interface standpoint. For example: 3D makes people think that the game is inherently more shiny graphics-wise. Lots of people are only concerned with the lustre of their polygons, and many more won't admit that having good graphics is one of their priorities for a game. The fact of the matter is people are drawn to shinier objects, thus interest is drawn when something newer and shinier comes out. This is why HDTV is big, and this is why consoles use disc-based games as opposed to cartridge-based ones.

This is also why VHS outsold DVD for years, until the format was actually killed off officially by studios. And why it took HD DVD and Blu Ray over a year to get combined sales greater than that of said dead (and at that point, LONG dead) format. This is why the best selling console is the one that uses the lowest resolution, has the worst specs, and still uses DVD (Yes, so does the 360, I know). This is why DVD audio was all but abandoned, along with SACD, and non-disc formats.

You can sell shiny to some people, and graphics are a decent department, but it's far from the end-all, or even close. Not even in the realm of consoles does that work.

As I've stated: they just need to grab attention long enough for the target audience to purchase them; it doesn't have to be a successful object. Case and point: Laserdisc. For those of you who don't know what it is, I'll save you a wikipedia trip. It's the first attempt at DVD. It's a disc the size of a record, and it too flopped horrendously. Because of its shiny appearance, schools across America purchased them left and right, because of its array of educational videos.

1- VHS outsold DVD because no one had DVD players, due to their expense. Same thing with Bluray. As soon as the technology becomes cheaper, people jump on it.

2- The Wii is the best-selling console because it is a gimmick.

3- You pointed out that both Wii and 360 use DVD. Despite the fact that only one current-gen console uses Bluray, I consider Bluray a success, because it hasn't died out yet. HDDVD was jumped over (similar to Laserdisc), and now everything will be released on DVD and Bluray, until DVD cycles out.

4- What sort of television do you think most people play video games on? I'm using a craptastic CRT circa 1995, and it is absolutely horrendous for gaming. The resolution on it is so ridiculously bad for current-gen games. You know why? Because current-gen games are designed to be graphical (except for those for the Wii). I can't figure out what is going on in half of my PS2 games, let alone Assassin's Creed (Hell, Lego Harry Potter is difficult to figure out; that's how bad my television set is). Most 'gamers' use HDMI output, massive Plasma, LCD or LED LCD sets, etc..

It's nice to see the opinions I have espoused for months have been legitimized in a respectable publication. Motion controls and 3D are little more than parlor tricks, substitutes for, well, actual substance. Spend an extra few dollars on hiring competent voice actors or script writers instead of tech that requires me to "waggle" or wear giant goggles so I can see images 4 inches closer than normal.

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