Console Gaming

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Greatest thing ever? I think so

I think Yahtzees' on to something about not getting the player physically involved. There are times where I would love to smash a heavy battle-axe into what used to be someone's face, but apart from the likelihood of me hitting the chandelier (again) or scaring the cat, I don't get an innate feeling of control. I am not the character, I am an entity controlling by proxy, with my character swinging wildly because I hit something, and getting his bollocks bitten off while I scrabble around for the controller that I dropped. Then again, I am somewhat clumsy IRL, I think I might have touched on that.

Although James Portnow is probably the person I respect most in this conversation, I find myself agreeing mostly with Yahtzee, at least in terms of opinion on motion controls. I've been gaming with controllers and buttons for some 13 years, it's a good system and it works. If I didn't like that experience, I obviously wouldn't have come back to gaming, nor would the other millions of gamers in the world.

That's not to say that I'm not open to innovation in console gaming, or that I don't think motion gaming has it's place (the sale figures don't lie), but I just don't see any reason to make the move from buttons to motion.

Good stuff. On a slight tangent to the train of thought, does anybody else disagree with the "this is just the last generation in HD" notion? Wouldn't that made the PS2/Xbox/GC generation "just the PS1 generation but better looking"?

The PSWii60 generation has brought us a number of innovations, more fleshed out UIs, online market places, more meaningful and expanded online components and more processing power to tool around with (at least for the PS3/360).

The most the PS2 did was more processing power.

I always suspected that one day The Escapist would just pile all their big name talents into one piece and let them have at it. Looking forward to seeing what sort of topics are to come.

Well damn, this came out of nowhere...

...and it made my day.

Throw Shamus into the mix and you might just destroy the universe. Whoever thought this one up deserves a medal.

Official suggestion: SKYPE THESE GUYS!

I'd pay money to see that. Coincidentally, I'm already paying money to see this hypothetical video in high-res.

Personally, I'm right with it up to the point where James and Yahtzee decided that sports are better when players are not physically exerting themselves... ummmm nah, sorry not to me. We all have a wonderful little switch that turns on our endogenous endorphins in response to exercise. Blood, sweat and tears are SATISFYING when rewarded, crushing when not, but the stakes make it better. And if that makes me a masochist so be it (I'm not really, for anyone who's wondering).

Whoever came up with this idea is a genius.
It was a great read, and I can't wait for the next instalment.

Susan Arendt:

Fr]anc[is:
Dear Escapist, what would you consider your best source of positive reinforcement? Because I want you to continue this behavior.

Yeah, you know, oddly that doesn't really do much for me. So you might want to rethink your approach.

Bother! Now we'll never see another one! Cuurrrse youuuu Francis...!!

Yes! This is exactly what I wanted to see. I would have liked to hear more from James though. Hopefully this becomes a regular thing.

Existential uncertainty? I like it. XD

An interesting discussion here. Oddly enough, I'd have to side with Yahtzee on what makes a good motion-controlled game, but not nessesarily on his reasons for disliking it.

But whatever. I have my own crazy dreams, and they have nothing much to do with this conversation.

Still, makes for an interesting read regardless.

What, precisely would happen if you locked this lot in a room together anyway? XD

Neural Interface woudl have to have an auto Log Out sequence, I mean that is something that kinda scares me for what it could lead to

This is amazing. I love that you guys have started an article that is an actual dialogue between different people about a topic. That it has James, MovieBob and Yahtzee as your starting lineup... definitely the crowd to get the masses interested. ^_^

I really hope you continue with this, and involve other members of the Escapist Staff and gaming/development community. I love the articles and insights you guys have into the gaming world, but dialogues between people are always more interesting and gives people the chance to hear different opinions and beliefs and respond in interactive ways.

Being on another continent, this is the closest thing I'll have to a gaming convention panel. Win! Can't wait to read more!

I don't know who to agree with on the concept of motion controls. I mean sometimes it can feel satisfying to have a victory flail. But if it works like a QTE it just makes me panic. Plus. and I know this is a personal issue, a controller I hold with two hands let's me hold a cigarette and actually smoke it without having to drop the controller or rub a Wii nunchuck on my chin. So I think ultimately I come down on Yahtzee's side, the less the game expects me to do with my body themore relaxed and immersed I can get in a game.

This article (and its coming series) are now officially more awesome than Chuck Norris on crack.

Yathzee, though having a solid point is only looking at things as a gamer. The reason the Wii has been such a hit in the casual market is because a person that has never played a videogame, sees in the wii something that makes "sense". To hit the ball with the racket, you take a swing (and in a well done game, depending on how you move the racket you do a volley or a smash), though long time gamers can do this perfectly with 4 buttons, people that aren't used to them get confused and to an extent baffled by the concept of button configurations, it just isn't as obvious.

Or to put it bluntly, do people actually believe Apple is so successful because of it's products being high quality? Hell no, but what they are is accessible, incredibly so where pretty much anyone can grab one and make sense of one of their products. Basically, the game industry is a lot more than the usual closet gamers that have been powning since the late 80s early 90s and that is the big reason why motion gaming isn't a waste not should be discarded so easily.

On the other hand, yes, the ideal interface will be pure orders given by the mind since that type of input will make perfect sense for both gamers and non gamers and I will welcome it with awe and terror like our new robotic overlords.

Gesture controls are still in their infancy, and as the technology improves expect more. It'd be neat to use specific hand gestures to cast selected spells or perform more intricate actions, and I know that's in the future.

I hope the real future will be interactive 3d. Not the kind that requires a special TV or wonky glasses, but as I move my body the real perspective shifts on screen.

The best thing I ever enjoyed from the Wii was the separate controllers for two handed Mario Kart racing. Much better than the single controller, though the waggling isn't as important to me as all that.

So....PC gaming is dying and console gaming is creativly bankrupt?....oh dear

Holy nuts.
This is the greatest idea in all of space.
Epic idea, man, hope too see more.

I stopped reading at the "$60 roster update". Clearly Bob has never played an EA Sports NHL game in his entire life. Thanks for pigeon-holing me though!

I saw the title and I almost cried. It's a dream team.

If we're gonna go into the viscerals of motion peripherics, I can almost assure they won't live long past this generation. It's Nintendo's market campaign; they don't intend for the Wii to have be a rebruttal to the other two massive consoles in the market at the moment; Nintendo's console is economic genius.


We would have to first take the economic position of games nowadays. In order to make what one would label as a AAA game, a lot of money must be involved in the project, now more than ever, to meet acceptable standards regarding audio and graphical fidelity; with that in mind, Nintendo did one of the most sneaky and genius moves any system has ever done, the offered a gimick that appeals to massive amounts of people, merely because of the fact that it's something new that no one had ever seen before, besides, it's price makes it efurthermore appealing to people who are buying their first "next-gen" console. The main problem with the Wii is that despite being very easy to market and sell, it doesn't have much long-term appeal. I know my Wii has been gathering dust, completely unused (No, don't even make a joke about it), and although it had the best numbers, only a third of the people who bought it still play it regularly; this obviously disencourages 3rd party development even more than the lack of processing power does.

The PS3 and Xbox's new periphericals are pretty much the same, only that it is most likely that they are relying on this sort of short-term appeal to convince players of buying the add-on. It's not something that they expect people to go crazy over, it'll die after a while, leaving nothing but a reminisce of embarrassing movements and a lot of money for it's developers.

Is it the future of gaming? Absolutely not, but is it a smart business operation? Extremely. Nintendo, being the first ones to do this, are already controlling most of the demographic and therefore will make the most profit, but it certainly won't be a loss for Sony and Microsoft.

Depend on Yahtzee to disrupt general agreement by adding nitpicky details! Not a bad thing though, considering how this is a debate.

You know, I really didn't think much about gesture interface until they brought up Tony Stark's holographic interface. I personally don't care much for motion control, but if it brings us that much closer to the interactive hologram, then we can't let motion control gaming die yet! Animating and modeling in 3-D is a real pain right now! I can't think 3-D on a fundamentally 2-D interface! It's like remote controlling a robot to make a clay sculpture in a different room. It's neat, but not nearly as effective as sculpting with your own hands.

Interesting discussion. I surprised myself here by actually agreeing wholeheartedly with Yahtzee. Motion controls definitely pull me out of the experience and back to awareness of my physical reality. They can definitely be enormous fun, as can any physical sport, but immersive? No.

It's like Jesus, Cthulu and Gandhi having a poker game together... (Try guess who's who).

Future future future.... Is it weird that I can't see consoles (As they are Now) having a future. The whole thing feels kind of...I dunno I can't really explain it, it's like crack equivalent. Cheap low brow entertainment with no worries about getting anywhere. As long as you got them Halos, Marios and Gears right?

I blame the consumer. Stats say the average person is much smarter then they were in the past, so start showing it! -_-

The last of the true gaming console, eh?
Only if the Big Three follow Apple's model...it pains me to say that given how most of Steve Jobs' products are overpriced and overhyped.

And yeah, the creativity era peaked with the last console generation. PC was hitting its golden years (ending with the launch of WoW), there was variety amongst the genres and the worst things I had to deal from the gaming community from 2000-2005 were Smash Bros Elitists, Diablo 2 hackers, and Anime-addicts who were only too eager to tell me how loathsome I was for not enjoying Japanese picture shows.
(Well, and Dirge of Cerberus...but I'd consider the fall of Squaresoft a tragedy of their own making)

Today...well....
"Who's up for a game of Call of Duty 4.3!?"
"ZOMG! WoW got another expansion! Now I can grind to 85! LULZ!"
"Franchise reboot! Hellz yeahs!"

Yeah...sequels. And franchise reboots. And general stagnation. What a shocker.
It was at least more entertaining when the worst thing that could possibly happen was EA buying out another business.

The stagnation of individual series is bad enough, but the stagnation of entire GENRES...it's become pathetic. Nevermind the death of other genres just due to the success of the dominant genres.
Why is every other AAA title a shooter? Because Call of Duty 4.3 made over a billion USD in revenue in about 3 months.
Big budget productions have all but choked the life out of game-design process. Titles like Mass Effect 2 may have strong cinematic-like qualities to them, but they make for incredibly shallow GAMES. Some argue that user-feedback helps developers create better titles. But from what I've been able to tell, it simply makes the game lose more and more of its focus.

Hell, from what I recall from Mass Effect 2, the game kept tabs on your playing style. Because of how overwhelmingly popular the Soldier class was, I can probably expect the next game to be even more watered down in my choices (and it's not like there much real strategy in ME2 to begin with.) or at least skewed in favor of that marketing data.

But back to genre genocide...Even when I went looking under rocks, I was only capable of finding ONE decent space-flight game made in the last 5 years (X3, and that game quickly lost my attention on account of the bizarre difficulty curve). The number of great mecha/robot games: ZERO. (it's just "Armored Core 4: For Shizzle For Answer"...and I burned my bridge with From Software looooong ago).
Cyberpunk even as a setting has all but one last gasp left (and I do not count Space Marines, or clones thereof as "cyberpunk") in Deus Ex: Human Revolution coming up. Though I hear that may change soon if the winds stop favoring games with Nazis, Russians, or Terrorists. (At least on a thematic level.)

I still say that there are good ideas still out there; I'd even say that there are marketable genres waiting to be explored further. It's just that nobody has the balls (or according to some, the insanity) to fund them.

Genre diversity is extremely limited outside of the indie-market (which is hit or miss...largely miss, sadly), and even there it isn't all that much better.

When it comes to controllers, my favorite has to be the old school arcade stick with the huge ass buttons. 8 directions, 6 or less buttons. Thats all you need to fuck people up. And you can hit those buttons like they owe you money and they wont give out. Its kinda noisy, its pricey, but I wouldn't know what to do with myself without one.

Here is a pic of the Marvel vs Capcom 3 Tournament Edition Fight stick! Looks sexy as hell!

image

runedeadthA:
It's like Jesus, Cthulu and Gandhi having a poker game together... (Try guess who's who).

Future future future.... Is it weird that I can't see consoles (As they are Now) having a future. The whole thing feels kind of...I dunno I can't really explain it, it's like crack equivalent. Cheap low brow entertainment with no worries about getting anywhere. As long as you got them Halos, Marios and Gears right?

I blame the consumer. Stats say the average person is much smarter then they were in the past, so start showing it! -_-

Jesus = James, Cthulu = Yahtzee Gandhi = Moviebob? Am I right?

I don't like the idea of direct neural interface, it could lead to the bleeding effect like AC and if someone walks into the room whilst you are connected how would you be able to react? You wouldn't even be aware of their presence, therefore I think button mashing is the best interface we are ever going to have, its immersive enough to let you focus whilst still letting you be aware of the reality around you. Only better thing I can think of is games allowing you to use the environment freely with almost no limitation however the only way that can happen is if programmers program laws and an AI just fills the space bound by those laws.

Wow. You'd think this would be a lot more interesting. These people have way too much respect for each other. Lame!

Literally just like an hour or two ago, I was playing NSMBW, constantly using that spin-move by shaking the remote. I thought to myself how this is like another button, just like Bob was saying. On this particular game, doing the spin requires a very, very small jerk to pull off; it doesn't take hardly any more energy than pushing a regular button. What IS different about it though is that it's easy to remember. The more buttons on a controller, the more annoyingly difficult a game is to control. But the shaking isn't a button, it's more like a reflex.

So really, it's getting more close what Yahtzee was talking about, not further. Really man, how frail are your wrists?

Edit: In fact, while on that subject, I did that finger-pinching-pencil thing you told everyone to do in the Psychonauts episode--multiple times--and it's never hurt me. Dude, I think you might want to get you hands checked out, and until then, take a break from what I assume is your lifestyle of giving ladies high-intensity boob massages all the time.

................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
What? I'm speechless, besides nobody is going to read this.

This is the best thing that has ever been on The Escapist. I approve.

Gotta say, I agree with Yahtzee on the aspect of immersion - Having to realise I have a controller in my hand and THAT is what is driving my actions on-screen is crippling to the immersion. Buttons are a far faster and less INTRUSIVE way into the videogame world. While I'd still appreciate a holodeck, none of the current motion controls feel like anything other than a roadblock on the path to immersion.

James raises a good point on the slow death part. However, if (or more likely, WHEN) Kinect and Move fail to live up to the Wii's motion control dominance, we may see actual innovation.

Anyway, Escapist - More of this.

UltraHammer:
Wow. You'd think this would be a lot more interesting. These people have way too much respect for each other. Lame!

Literally just like an hour or two ago, I was playing NSMBW, constantly using that spin-move by shaking the remote. I thought to myself how this is like another button, just like Bob was saying. On this particular game, doing the spin requires a very, very small jerk to pull off; it doesn't take hardly any more energy than pushing a regular button. What IS different about it though is that it's easy to remember. The more buttons on a controller, the more annoyingly difficult a game is to control. But the shaking isn't a button, it's more like a reflex.

So really, it's getting more close what Yahtzee was talking about, not further. Really man, how frail are your wrists?

I have to agree the question is too open ended, you can't really debate on such a broard topic (entire console business)

runedeadthA:
It's like Jesus, Cthulu and Gandhi having a poker game together... (Try guess who's who).

Future future future.... Is it weird that I can't see consoles (As they are Now) having a future. The whole thing feels kind of...I dunno I can't really explain it, it's like crack equivalent. Cheap low brow entertainment with no worries about getting anywhere. As long as you got them Halos, Marios and Gears right?

I blame the consumer. Stats say the average person is much smarter then they were in the past, so start showing it! -_-

well... halo's been losing ground for a while now (or at least i think it is, damn silent majority) and now that bungie's out of the picture, i'm going to assume it'll go down hill (sadly)

gears is ending after 3 (or so they say)

mario's an insurmountable mascot so he's not going anywhere.

and just for some other examples

mass effect's ending after 3 (or so they say again)

this one's lees fact driven but i doubt assassins creed can spread the plot over the course of multiple games (but, once again, that is nothing but speculation)

i'm sure there are some others, but i'm assuming the passing of these AAA titles might leave a vacuum that new and different games might creep in.

not that i have a HUGE problem with sequels.

Susan Arendt:

Yeah, you know, oddly that doesn't really do much for me. So you might want to rethink your approach.

color me stunned. /sarcasm also yes, please more.

Er, I wouldn't mind it if you guys made it longer.
Or continued this thread of conversation next week or bi-weekly in 4 page increments.

As it was, it did seem kind of cut-off arbitrarily.

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