Console Gaming

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Yahtzee + Extra Credits + Bob = Best thing ever :)

I think this is a great idea. But why is Movie Bob a part of it? Can it just be Yahtzee and James?

Bob has a show over on called the GameOverthinker which is really awesome if you've never checked it out, the earlier episodes are on Youtube.

Seriously go check it out, if you like videogame relates rants they're awesome.

good read, does this mean we're getting more of this..?

considering the OP is called Extraconsideration I think we will see more

MOTION control, on the other hand, I think has a big role to play in the future. From where I sit, the two most broadly-beneficial "how-did-we-get-by-without-this" transformative things to come out of the Wii are the two subtlest: Having a constantly-accessible onscreen "cursor" and turning "shake controller" into a third action button.

Regarding the first - when I "switch back" from using the Wii to using my 360, I INSTANTLY miss being able to click through the menu's "mouse-style" and instead having to do it all by buttons. It's as much an improvement on the console menu-interface as the mouse was for desktops. On a more me-specific level, I think it made the Metroid Prime games the best-controlling console-FPS setup ever.

Sorry but you're saying that because it mimics a mouse - which has been around on PCs for many years - it's a transformitive thing for consoles? Um... I really wouldn't give it praise for being a motion control concept. I personally believe that consoles should have a mouse and joystick peripheral for their games. It would make many of the games better to play. Now between aiming at the screen vs moving a mouse to aim, they're basically the same thing just one is more relaxed (the mouse).

In fact, that's exactly what I use on my PS3.

Very interesting and have to say I do agree with Yahtzee that motion controls are less immersive as there is no feedback and the motions are not related to the on screen actions BUT I hadn't thought that the wii is the only thing that has spiced up this generation, even if it's more the concept rather than execution.

Will you be switching out contributors as time goes on? Maybe get some discussion with the dudes from LRR or perhaps Shamus Young?

Either way, this is very interesting, and I hope for more.

This is a good question. Have you emailed them at ?

Very, very interesting... I'm looking forward to seeing more of this. It seems like a good idea to get three fairly separate viewpoints and have them all discuss a subject with one another. Though I feel this one ended a bit quickly, with the end feeling fairly sudden. But then again, I've been getting that feeling from a lot of things on this site lately... videos and writing alike. Perhaps I just don't like the fact it has to end.

The quick end, I think, came mostly from the elephant in the room - motion controls - being exhausted as a topic, with each party having their own opinions drawn in the sand; because it was more of a discussion than a debate up to that point, I think MovieBob and James Portnow were unwilling to argue with Yahtzee - Portnow is a professional in the industry and has to make sure he doesn't say anything that he'll regret later, and MovieBob may have too much respect for Yahtzee to regard him as an opponent. Yahtzee's comment on private sword-arm use probably didn't help the awkwardness of the situation.

I do wish that they'd elaborated more on innovation in the industry; after motion controls were brought up as an example, it felt like they neglected all of the other potential topics for discussion - indie games on XBLA, WiiWare games, etc. Few specific games that utilized new concepts were mentioned, which I feel is a shame; I think it may stem partly from being unable to know who had played which game, and from knowing that THE innovative success of the moment - Minecraft - was off the table as a topic, because it's a PC game.

As for what Moviebob said about the movie industry reaching a stale point, I think that's beginning to happen again. New ideas aren't selling very well, while movies that make the person watching it feel like they've seen it before are doing great. While I could go with the 'The King's Speech beating The Social Network argument,' I feel that's a bit unfair as The Social Network was a big money maker. Instead, I think the case of Scott Pilgrim is more appropriate, where it's a movie with an unusual artistic direction, story, and overall feel to it, it lost to movies that the audience knew they would like. The same could be said about the movie industry now as the game industry: people aren't willing to risk their money on anything they aren't sure about, so the new ideas don't make enough money to be worthwhile to the company. If it isn't already there, it seems to be heading that way at least.

I think the affliction that you're talking about is that Hollywood is still making movies for theaters rather than Netflix - still aiming for people that buy into marketing rather than seeing past it. I think that, like music, the distribution of movies is in a transitional phase, and like music, the producers are years behind where the costumers are. In my opinion, the market seems to be gravitating towards a decentralized system where people find what they like rather than obeying instructions of what to like, and are willing to pay less, but buy more.

I think that all forms of media production are becoming less oligopolistic, where a few major studios dominate the entire market, and closer to a perfectly competitive market, which accepts any and all players - the barriers to entry are lower and lower with each passing year, and the communication between producers and customers edges slowly towards perfection. I think that independent producers innovating in order to produce low-budget, high-quality, low-price offerings that are very successful is an inevitability; it's just a matter of when.

Rolling Beast:
I agree with Yahtzee when he says that motion controls aren't quite there yet, resulting in a less immersive experience. Also just give me a "run"-button and I'm ready to shoot/swordfight while being immersed and sitting on the couch. As long as I can do everything from there It'll enhance my gaming-experience in the right way. What my living-room lacks most - and I asume that goes for a lot of us - is space and in the end, that's what takes me out from a game-world the most.

If Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have been paying attention at all, they have surely heard your complaint many times. I do think it's possible to achieve an immersive experience with motion controls, but in my own opinion, the motion itself must be the goal, not the result of the motion. Two of the Wii's most successful titles - Wii Sports and Wii Fit - are such because people liked the *method* of play, not the goal or context of play. People want to swing bats, and punch air, and do pushups, and keep their balance. But this is *not* the same desire as wanting to kill monsters.

The people who care about motion care about their own fitness and exertion, not about escapism. Once the industry realizes that, we'll see a lot of games that will encourage and reward you for getting off the couch.

Jabberwock xeno:

I approve of this.
Please make this weekly! (:


Also, not a single bashing of Halo, YAY!

I'd bay to see this stuff evry week, but I don't have money to pay you guys. I would if I did though.

Tell them that! . Forums are mainly for readers discussing articles with other readers; if you want people working at the escapist to listen to you, email is your best bet.

Mr. Omega:
I agree with Bob's point about shaking the controller working like a third button (if done right, it does add a nice little touch), but also think Yahtzee is right in that making the player exert a lot kind of defeats the purpose. In other words, little shakes, but not full on waving, is the best way to handle motion controls.

Yahtzee hit on this before; small motions are a fun novelty, but mostly because they are an accurate and fast method of input - the more complex or precise the action must be, the greater chance of misinterpretation by the hardware - the more immersion lost.

I guess my only issue I am having is that I have no idea who James (Portnow) is. I know who his little character is from the show, but otherwise it was a very interesting roundtable.

James Portnow's proper introduction was halfway through the first mailbag episode of Extra Credits:


if there IS a direct neural interface, then we will have an inception-like problem, with people not able to tell that they are in a game or not....

That's why you would have to have a hud.

If our technology reaches the point of having a neural interface, there is NO REASON why we shouldn't be able to have a hud outside of the game. I want this.

As for James Portnow's last point on the immersion of games thorugh motion controls: Ive said it once, and I'll say it again: Upgrade the Kinect's precision so we can use non-tiring combinations of simple hand gestures for spell-casting.

I have yet to execute a virtual kamehameha that doesn't involve a controller of some kind. This is an injustice and must be remedied.

I was just thinking last week that it would be great to see more Escapist crossovers, kinda like Doomsday Acade and the ZP/Unskippable "visit" episodes did back in the day. I look forward to reading more, and seeing if anyone else will add contributions.

That actually brings up an interesting thought: for the occasional episode, could you have an industry guest that Yahtzee, MovieBob, and James could discuss/debate with? I'd love it if we could get Tim Schafer or Jason West in a chat with the Escapist crew....

Actually my dream would be if Bobby Kotick would sit down with them for a video episode, but in the interest of civil discourse, perhaps that should held off for a while. :D

I highly doubt Kotick would do anything for the industry that doesn't have a guaranteed immediate payoff for his wallet and his incompetence. That said, again, email the escapist to say that at .

It's interesting how sci-fi gaming is divided between super-active holodecks and super-static gaming matrix style...

A lot of games seem to be aiming for a combination of the two, which I disagree with. We need to have established industry examples of perfect "active" games and perfect "inactive" games before trying to nail down what would make a good combination; the guesses that are being made so far aren't doing anything for anyone.

I have to agree with Yahtzee about how a player will usually be immersed in the gameplay. And, really, i think James has got the best way around words and writing so i kinda felt like i was agreeing with him a lot, but in retrospect i didn't agree on this point.

Loved reading this either way and i'm hopeing we'll get to see discussions like this at some later point.

1 March 2011 0:00 am, you say?

I love this idea for a regular column. PLEASE keep it.

OT: for years I have been looking to computer gaming, mostly the freeware/indie scene for anything "new" or different (the recent humble indie bundles showed off a LOT of creativity). The PC has enough cheap development tools that it can be really easy for a single person to innovate something extraordinary (yeah, we're all thinking 'minecraft!'). I think though until a cheaper development route is achieved for PSN/WiiWare/XBLA we'll continue to see only limited "new" ideas on any of those platforms.

And as far as the motion controls go. Uhm, can I vote both? I don't see why regular gamepad gaming shouldn't be viable for pretty much all games, especially if motion control becomes more prevalent. If for no other reason than physically handicapped gamers.

I hope we get more of these. Maybe once every couple of weeks.

I'm not sure who I agree with more on the whole motion control thing. I just know that we're going to get a lot more of it in the future. Eiji Aonuma said that he wants 1:1 sword play in every future Zelda game from now on. It's not leaving any time soon.

A Nintendo fanboy
a highbrow games as art advocate and
a game critic for the common man.

My expectations were met. Incline of the lowest common denominator.

gotta agree with Yahtzee insofar as controllers allow much faster responses than movement does, I'm of the opinion that if motion controls do really kick off they should still be optional on the PS3/360 as they're the home for more 'serious' gamers who'll desperately resent the removal of controllers on new releases. I know I would and I'm not even that dedicated a gamer..

MOTION control,

what is that and where can I get twelve? :D

Also, I'm in total agreement with Yahtzee's last point on motion control. I got the Wii early on to play Zelda: Twilight Princess (one of my favourites, glad I got it), and found that using the sword was rather strange-feeling as I was suddenly aware of my living room. This is the thing with motion, when you move, you become aware of those physical objects in your surroundings. If your aim is immersion, this is the opposite of what you want.

what is that and where can I get twelve? :D

Splitfish Frag :D

They even have a wireless version out.

@Yahtzee If you read the manga/novel "1/2 Prince" The MMORPG that the characters play, they play when they go to sleep. So much of their time gaming takes plays when the body is at full rest, that's probably what your thinking about in your ending statement.

As for my thoughts; a lot of new tech is showing that you don't ecentuly need a console to play good videogames. People are doing this big time with the I-phon, and I-pad, but it also looks like other groups starting to jump onto the ban wagon too, just not in a big way yet. The Xbox-360 has the potential to evolve; with all the games in the Xbox Live marketplace, it could easily have a hand-held that let's you download from your 360. Also it be a good idea if Microsoft dropped the Kinect as the "BIG THING" and turn it into a support; play the game with the controller, but use the Kinect like a moue, think about it.

I can't say much about the other two consoles, I only have the money to support gaming on one, and that too is a problem from what I can see. When the Next Generation two things come to mind, one is that they will be a more robust versions of the previous gen's, two I won't have the money to burn to afford them. So I see myself still playing my 360 for years, like how I still played my PS2 for years after the release of the 360.


MOTION control,

what is that and where can I get twelve? :D

Also, I'm in total agreement with Yahtzee's last point on motion control. I got the Wii early on to play Zelda: Twilight Princess (one of my favourites, glad I got it), and found that using the sword was rather strange-feeling as I was suddenly aware of my living room. This is the thing with motion, when you move, you become aware of those physical objects in your surroundings. If your aim is immersion, this is the opposite of what you want.

I play my games on my bed, looking up at my TV, eather sitting, or laying down, but never standing. If I had swing my controller around like a sword, I would be endanger of knocking one of my real swords down onto me. The motion controls force the player to play in a open area instead of "anywhere they damn well please" so for people use to playing games in "their" small area, it's going to feel out of place.

here here... again..

I don't know, while someone could easily argue for buttons over motions, I agree with Bob that the simple shaking control for things such as Mario's spin and Donkey's ground pound are simple and intuitive additions to the game that don't interrupt the flow at all. And it's things like that that still give me faith for the future.

Still trying to process one of the first few lines :

YOU LET THEM BE IN THE SAME ROOM?! (I understand it was probably over the internet but meh)
This is allowed?! One room can contain that? o.o

My mind has just been blown. THAT WAS AWESOME!!!
Now that it got that out of the way I'd like to say that this was a very interesting topic on the state of console gaming.

Like many here, I also agree with Yahtzee. Games are about mental and emotional stimulation, not about losing weight. Nothing says they shouldn't also be about losing weight, but i find the immersion lacking when, for instance, the controller vibrates in my hand or when i'm supposed to move my whole body to do something. The less i move, the faster i'll be, the better i can play, the better i can feel. Oddly enough, consoles have jumped from the easiest and least effort-requiring control scheme to the most.. tiring over time. A huge leap, and not something i approve.

This is awesome!

Ah direct nural interface....... where are you?

Good god, please, please, please make more of these. The three are not only my favorite contributors to the Escapist, they also make for a very versatile cast with sometimes very different points of view. This is like Christmas... the Christmas of a very sad and lonely person, granted, but it's still enjoyable!

I agree.

With all of them.

In all seriousness, my I can see all three viewpoints on motion control gaming, and I'm of the opinion that it's neither inherently good or bad. It's a different cup of tea. I can see the Matrix-style video game ideal, but holodecks ain't half bad either. Like Bob said, the finishing strikes in No More Heroes are ultimately what makes the battling so damn fun.

Zero punctuation is the reason i am premium member. So what can i say the guy is awesome and totally out-classed the others.

I found this to be an awesome read. Please do more of this!

...Eff. Yes. This is freakin' amazing. MORE PLEASE! :D

The ONLY bad thing about this article was that it was not enough advertised on the escapist. If I didn't see the link on moviebob's blog I would have completely missed this awesomness.

Okay, time to break out this bad boy:

Intelligent, high-brow game discussion at it's finest. And with a masturbation joke to boot.

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.

Ah good, I'm not the only one who thinks that. I still have my ps2 and its huge library of great games.

I just hope games don't end up on life support like comic books.

I agree with Bob in how interactive the Wii is, but Motion Plus (as well as Kinect and Move) are where the line should be drawn (as I will never bother with those). I've dreamed about the dreamy circumstances of consciously dreaming in a dreamlike game, as in Yatzee's final statement. I've dreamed of mountains and icy, non-gravity clouds (sort of like Mario Galaxies') and would love to just explore my mind like mad.

Once again I must vehemently disagree with Yahtzee, if only for the one-sidedness of his argument; many people, including your fellow speaker Bob, (and presumably James, though he didn't talk much) DO get extra immersion from motion controls, when done right. I do, and I know many people who do as well. And as Bob stated, having the controller shake be an extra "button" and the pointer aspect are genuinely good developments. Take something like Bayonetta for example; all of your fingers (arguably not the left trigger, though that depends on your playstyle) are always busy with reflex-reliant actions. So why not bind the controller shake to something strategy, not reflex based, such as the taunt? Overall, I find his views shallow, selfish and pessimistic. But maybe that's just me.

Very entertaining read. Hope this becomes a weekly thing. It's 3 of my favorite game critics in one show.

I am also joining the Yahtzee camp that motion controls are unnecessary. I just what the mind to game action connection to be as short as possible.

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