Console Gaming

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I think I agree with a bit of each of the three when it comes to motion controls.

Yes, motion controls CAN make an experience more involving, and make it more satisfying when you beat your opponent or accomplish your goal.

But I agree with Yahtzee about general waves causing your onscreen avatar to perform skilled moves. It just doesn't work. ESPECIALLY when your attempt at making a certain gesture fails or executes another gesture entirely

I'm specifically thinking about The Fight: Lights Out. Excellent one-to-one tracking of the fists (and I suppose the head tracking would be great if I had a freakin' bluescreen behind me or something) but the game totally falls flat on its face requiring you to do specific gestures for a ton of special moves, which it will misread 80% of the time. Unfortunately, the controls for one-to-one movement can't be used for anything more accurate than flailing your arms about.

Good lord. Nothing makes me feel more intelligent than listening to intelligent people talk about something very technical in an intelligent way, and this convo did that trick quite well. These three are some of my favorite people on the internet, and having them all in one place is a nerd dream come true. Keep it coming, Escapist. Bravo.

This is so awesome!!! I've always imagined something like this SHOULD happen.

Will this column be weekly? Bi-weekly?

Oh man, I'm excited to read more! I don't mind if they have the same line-up or if they mix it up with different people. I agreed mainly with Yahtzee, but James and Moviebob also managed to bring up some excellent points about gaming in general. Although, if I ever got a complete neural interface device, I would totally live in the fantasy world because the real world sucks tremendous elephant testicles.

In conclusion, I would totally mail pizzas and drinks to both the creators of this idea and the people making the debates every single week if it meant I got to see more of this. BTW, I live in the US of A so do expect the food to take a little while to get there... >.>

Escapist. You just found yourself another great segment.

It's rare that I prefer Moviebob to Yahtzee in any situation,but the latter's little spiel about motion controls at the hand just makes him seem quite pathetic. How the hell is a Wiimote waggle 'physical exertion'? Why is 'virtual reality' the prefferable alternative to 'fun little motion-control device'?

If they did invent some sort of Matrix-style neural computer, all it takes is for Blizzard to say 'ooh, that might work well with World of Warcraft' and then we're all truly fucked.

Apart from that, itg was a quite interesting discussion and I look forward to more.

ReiverCorrupter:
There is a diochotomy underlying this debate that Yahtzee just touched upon lightly in his last reply:

The division between a 'GAME' and 'VIRTUAL REALITY'

In a game, the gamer is conscious of the fact that he is controlling the avatar. In virtual reality the gamer IS THE AVATAR. Now granted we haven't really seen virtual reality yet, but that's exactly what the Wii is moving towards. Why go to the gym to play racquetball when you can do it in your own home. In this scenario, the gamer REALLY IS playing a VIRTUAL VERSION of racquetball, NOT a SIMULATION of racquetball.

Will VR kill normal gaming? I don't think so. People who play Star Craft are still going to play Star Craft. They're conscious that they're playing a game, and furthermore, they don't care about feeling like they're "in the action," quite the opposite in fact.

Thus I see the gaming community going in two directions. One will the the VR simulators for casual gamers that will be part of the family entertainment system (i.e. it will also provide netflix, TiVo, internet, all connected throughout the house). The hardcore games will come on consoles.

PC gaming will be die because the PC will die. Well... it won't die, it'll just be spread throughout the house. The PC gamers will just move over to consoles, and the console will probably have keyboard accessories etc, so it'll work more or less like a PC.

The consoles will really be attachments to the integrated home system, that allows one to use it for the more hardcore games.

TL;DR version: technology will integrate such the lines between hardware will blur completely, thus making the terms 'PC' and 'Console' rather obsolete.

Those are my predictions.

I think that you have eloquently put something into words that has been bouncing around my skull ever since the Wii came out. Part of the Wii's success is due to the fact that it is selling virtual reality experiences, not necessarily "video game" experiences. I think that there has been a significant portion of the population waiting for games to deliver just such an experience and then can get something approaching it on the Wii.

However, just as you see the PC getting swallowed up into an as-of-yet-unnamed much larger integrated system, I see no reason that consoles would not go this route as well. If the PC will get reduced to a keyboard, then what is stopping the console from being reduced to a controller? If download-only becomes the standard medium of the gaming industry, then a physical console no longer makes any practical sense.

I like having a cursor on the screen as well, thats one less analog stick i have to fidel with, allowing me to hit a more different button. But shaking the controller is stupid! I have to shake it so hard I can't hit any of the buttons on it, and my wii is always so slow on the up take because of how much shaking it needs! If it weren't for those issuses I would like it too, because you can execute alot more actions in the game if you have those options, and then the games are made even more difficult in a good way, vs the bad way where the actions are just made harder meaning the game needs to be simpler.

Valagetti:
Hands up who fully agrees with Yahtzee, yet again.

*Raises hand*

Was a really interesting read, and it was a enjoyable, intelligent discussion too. Rare thing on the escapist :P

I agree with yhatze on the controller shake thingy, in a fps game iif i could remap the controller to not use the shake i would do that in a heartbeat, becuase shaking the controller takes longer time than pressing a button. having played donkey kong country i didn't like shaking the controller, it did nothing for me and i'd rather they used a button for it instead.

while i can see it work in some games, in a fps game i think we are far off from a better solution than a mouse and keyboard. (while some might say the would like an analouge instead of the keyboard i find it kinda wierd since i can move exactly how i want in any fps game, but that's just me..) oh and i also finished super meat boy both with a keyboard and a controller, and my keyboard time is better. (did it once on pc and once on xbox)

Great idea, great read, keep them coming.

I like this quite a lot. Add my voice to the others that wish to have this on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. I would read it any time it was put up.

Anyway, on motion controls: I agree with both parties, but only if the realms of motion controls and standard button fare remain separate. There are certain games were a bit of a flourish can really put you into the experience, and in those cases I think motion controls are absolutely king. This generation has failed to really grab me on more than one or two titles, but I think as the technology progresses, we'll eventually get to a killer app that absolutely everyone has to have (something more endearing than Wii Sports please). When that happens, I'll be on board in an instant. However, I find a majority of my experiences to be far more enjoyable with the simpler control schemes. As Yahtzee said, it is all about escapism, and how would more complex motion control schemes make your favorite game more immersive? The more I have to think about the control scheme, the less I am going to be enjoy slaying dragons or whatever other creature happens to be standing in my way.

I also found MovieBob's comparison to the near film crash to be a great comparison to what we may be steadily approaching next generation. Yahtzee and Extra Credits also have touched on this sort of thing in the past, so I think it's very important that we as gamers take note. Triple-A productions are getting to a realm of absolute absurdity, and we're very steadily approaching very unknown territory as far as hardware developers are concerned. What happens if it turns out that Sony and Microsoft bet on the wrong horse with this motion control stuff and make it a key feature in their next systems? Since they fight over formats and graphics while Nintendo has been more about artistic design, they can very easily tank and lose millions on huge projects that their fanbases might ultimately not have any interest in. Then of course we'll have to rely on the indy gaming industry and current software developers to hopefully stand behind projects that are actually in touch with what fans want. Either way, the idea of a crash is a very real and quite disturbing prospect.

Anyway, I'd once again like to say that this was a great idea guys. Keep it coming.

On the subject of motion controls, I'm more in line with Yahtzee's opinion. The time it takes to swing my sword by left mouse click is much less than it takes to swing my arm and I just find myself more comfortable with that.

The only Wii game I liked was SSBB and that didn't even have motion controls.

Motion controls are as much of a "dead end" as the wii version of resident evil 4 plays worse than the ps2 version.
The mouse was no "dead end" for pc gaming either. It was a considerable enrichment.

Motion controls just have to be shaped into a more elegant, standardized form, then consoles have a mouse that can be used without a mousepad and then some.

On the topic of "waggle controller to swing sword", that's a stupid concept and you can clearly see where it falls apart if you die in a quick time event in the resident evil rail shooter because your waggle wasn't registered fast enough.
Motion controls can never emulate button presses better than pressing an actual button. That shouldn't really be their purpose anyway.

Absofuckinglutley awesome

We Saw some innovation with the Wii as it basically forced developers to change, as apposed to the PS3 and Xbox, just giving HD versions of their former self, so a lot of developers just gave HD versions of their former games. Sometimes we need that push, as Bob pointed out with the Film industry... not that we want that to happen.

From Yahtzee:

Sometimes I have a horrible feeling that creatively, console gaming peaked with the last generation, when consoles were powerful enough to bring one's creative vision to life but development wasn't as arduous. The PS2 with its great third party support still has, to my mind, the best (and biggest) library of any console, and is still one of the biggest selling games machines in the world.

This highlights exactly how I feel about the current console generation. Having started with a NES and looking at the jump in tech and games from previous generations the current PS3/360 leaves much to be desired in that area. They're still good games, but for the most part they're games that could have been made last gen with toned down graphics.

Motion control gaming isn't for everyone, and it could be for any number of reasons.

For me, trying to tilt the controller JUST SO never works out and I end up veering crazily and failing whatever I was supposed to be doing. When it comes to swinging or thrusting with the controller, it ends up that punching as I learned from martial arts does NOTHING while wild flailing got results along the lines of button mashing from a regular controller. And don't even get me started on the point-and-click interface with jittery hands that makes the cursor jump around no matter how still I try to hold. Something that actually looks at how I'm standing and reacts to that is out of the question simply because I lack the stamina to flail around as needed for more than maybe twenty minutes before hurting something. I'm just too physically frail for games that require physical work.

Other people have a better time interfacing with motion sensitive controllers and find them fun for those moments where you can (crudely) act out punches and kicks and watch the avatar pull off some cool move. It's easy to think that these people would be in great shape, or at least close enough to it, but that doesn't mean that over- or underweight people couldn't get through a sport game and do very well.

A brain interface would be interesting to see some day, if only to see all the bugs that happen if the interface isn't fully calibrated to a person's brain. I don't know if a full overwrite of the physical senses would be allowed right away, but those twitch-shooters would have a blast at not having any delay between seeing movement and turning to fire. It would also be fun to watch when their minds overreact and screws them in the end. *wicked grin*

TLDR: Motion controls are not for everyone. Brain interface could get buggy. Watch spazzy shooters twirl at real or game sounds in their ear.

Fantastic read. Hope this becomes a weekly thing.

Yes, so much yes.
Defiantly continue with them.

As soon as I saw this article, I heard the sound of 50,000 fanboys creaming their pants. Not me. I'm a fangirl. ;)

Seriously, the problem I have with motion controls is only partly that it takes longer to do the actual motion than just to indicate it with a button press or what have you. It's the entire overuse thing that was reported after the Wii originally came out. Overdoing the motions to the point of torn rotator cuffs, sore muscles, sprains and so on.

Tactical Fugitive:
Cool. You guys should do a video talk show, with callers and all, discussing what's hot in the gaming world.

i second to this.
OT: it was unexpected but awesome. the best minds on escapist arguing for a better gaming future xD.
can't wait to see more.

I like this. Is it going to turn (bi)weekly? And will you have other contributors -like Shamus Young, Paul Saunders/Graham Stark, or some of the staff, too? I love these three guys (especially James, although he didn't say much this time), but it would be interesting to hear different voices.

Fr]anc[is:

(=Nemesis=):
Bother! Now we'll never see another one! Cuurrrse youuuu Francis...!!

Another person offered acceptable tribute later in the comments. I am also learning from my mistake, and will update the potential positive reinforcement in the next test.

SCIENCE!

Be careful. I hear that 54% of women are violently allergic to chocolate.

Dear Escapist members who are skeptical about motion controls:

Dance games are fun. Dance Central is some of the most fun I've had with my non-gaming wife and sister in years.

Why are you so critical of a $130 peripheral that could essentially be used only for the games you deem acceptable as motion controlled (driving sim, sword fighting, rail shooters, dance games, etc), and yet you profess your undying love for something like Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Wasn't Rock Band just a $200 motion controller peripheral for pretending to be in a band? Why can't the Kinect and Move fill a similar niche?

I think that the gaming market has vastly expanded in the past decade, and like the hipster who whines about their favorite band becoming popular old school gamers are whining that their hobby is no longer as exclusive. Great AAA titles are still being made every year (Arkham Asylum, Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption, Alan Wake, etc) alongside the silly motion games like Dance Central or a Move capable Killzone 3.

Not only that, but the indie market has never been more accessible and available than it is right now. Thanks to digital distribution people who would never have even considered playing indie games are pouring money into titles like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Emberwind, Shank, and Limbo.

You are all taking on an overly negative view of gaming because you don't like the fact that its become mainstream, and our formerly exclusive-to-nerds hobby has become marketable.

I say bring on the casual gamers and the teeming masses, stop looking at the past with nostalgia tinted glasses, and realize that gaming now is at the best that its ever been. I feel privileged to be a part of the industry as it is today.

Four way ultimate battle royale...
MORE OF THESE!!

EDIT: I can't fucking count! :D

Thumbs up, Id like to see Shamus in here too.

I agree 100% with Yahtzee about motion/gesture controls.... IMO they are a STEP-down for gamers in general... I mean just look at all the games that have been produced with them? Those games can't compare at all to games that were made with traditional controls. Would I be able to ever play a game like HL2/TF2/RTS/MMO on a motion/gesture control.. no way in hell.

I will agree that motion/gesture controls are a STEP-up for casual/non-gamers. Pretty much gamers who have no clue what a good game really is and only play in social settings with other non-gamers.

The only thing I don't agree with Yahtzee on is the Star Trek Holodeck..... I would love to have that.

The main problem with this series is:
A: No Shamus Young
B: people will be too focused on how deeply awesome the combination is, to take any notice of what they're actually saying.

Hijax:
The main problem with this series is:
A: No Shamus Young

Indeed, bring on the Young!
Shamus always has a lot to say on the topic of gaming and he already referenced both Yahtzee and James in his articles, so why not add him to the round table?

Me: What?
Internets: Yah. Moviebob, Yahtzee and James from Extra Credits made a...
Me:
image

Me likey!

Yahtzee put down some pretty valid points in that last part of his.

This...might be the most brilliant idea you guys have ever had.
Though like what the others have said, this really would be much better in video format, and if cast members were alternated between different contributors of the Escapist.

It's perfectly fine if it stays in this way though. It's good enough to have Bob, Yahtzee and James conversing over something. Maybe they just need a more controversial topic.

Cracking read, I really hope this becomes a permanent article.

I'm not sure I agree with James re the active participation deal - if I want to play football I'll go and play football. The reason I'm playing FIFA is because I do not want to/am not able to play football. I find myself agreeing most with Yahtzee along the basis of less thought = more immersion, but (as much as I dislike motion controls) I find myself hoping Bob is right with the 'rifle-butt smash' control allocation, that would make FPS games far more satisfying (espescially when irritating gob-shites are screaming down the mic). I might even buy into motion controls just for the ability to do that.

Just going to put out there one last time before I go to bed how absolutely brilliant this crossover of contributors was, and I hope it can continue on a weekly basis, perhaps shifting in and out different people.

This as even a 10 or so min pod cast would outstanding. DO IT!

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