Microsoft’s Kudo Tsunoda says “hardly anyone” plays shooters on the PC anymore because Halo did such a great job of making the genre “all about the console.”
Motion controls have a well-established reputation as just the thing for popping balloons or squeezing in some Pilates before the kids get home, but how they’ll fare in the hands of core gamers remains to be seen. One of the potential stumbling blocks, Tsunoda told GameInformer, is that simply grafting a motion control setup onto existing games doesn’t add up to a great gaming experience.
“You see a lot of motion control games that put the motion technology into a random game and that isn’t the way to make an awesome experience,” he said. “If you think about the way that first person shooters evolved, they started on the PC. People for the longest time tried to port shooters from the PC onto the console. And people said the same things that they are saying now about Kinect – ‘It’s never going to be responsive enough to do this,’ or ‘You’re never going to get a fun first person shooter on the console – it’s only made for a keyboard and mouse and that is the way it is supposed to be played.’ And as long as everyone was just porting the existing shooters over to console, they weren’t as fun as the PC ones. Of course, they were built for the PC.”
It’s a perfectly reasonable position to take: An optimized experience requires optimized controls. But then he went further.
“Halo did an awesome job of building a first-person shooter exclusively for the console, and now hardly anyone plays first person shooters on the PC anymore,” he continued. “It’s all about the console.”
That strikes me as somewhat less reasonable. Dubious, even. Valve seems to be doing reasonably well with Team Fortress 2 and I think you can still find Counter-Strike servers online if you look hard enough, and while EA has dropped PC support for several of its most popular sports games, all the FPSes still get a mouse-and-keyboard edition. Tsunoda’s point about Kinect may be valid, but his comments about PC shooters? Probably not so much.