Sony would like to take this entirely coincidental moment to remind gamers everywhere that it has conducted extensive research into hands-free motion controls and determined beyond a shadow of a doubt that it just doesn’t work very well.
“With EyeToy we really wanted to explore new gaming possibilities, so we tried different things where you use your body in different ways, some things using your head, some things using your hand, lots of kind of moving your arms about,” Sony Senior Research Richard Marks said in a video posted today on the PlayStation Blog. “We really looked at a lot of different avenues of what people might like.”
“It seemed that we kept running into kind of a limit of the kind of game experiences you could do with just your body,” he continued. “We had some really fun things you could do, but they tended to be shallow and kind of mini-game-like. [With] EyeToy we had the ability to select buttons with just your hand and that was kind of neat and magical, but it actually got pretty tiresome.”
Fortunately, Sony was able to develop a more flexible and precise motion control system using a handheld “wand,” which opened up a far greater range of gameplay opportunities. Even better, it turned out that gamers actually like having something in their hand while they play!
“Unlike trying to track somebody’s body, everybody’s body is different, the Move is exactly the same in every way,” Marks explained. “It also works in the dark perfectly, and we have sensors inside the Move which gives us even more responsiveness and precision. You have the buttons that you’re holding in your hands, so not only can you do these spatial things by moving the Move around, but you can actually select things very quickly.”
Marks’ look at the pros and cons of controller-free gaming is interesting and informative, and will no doubt be of great use to anyone thinking about investing in a motion control setup. I’m also quite certain that it has absolutely nothing at all to do with the fact that Microsoft’s Kinect is mere hours away from being unleashed at midnight launch events across the country. Nope, nothing at all.