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EA CEO On Motion Control Technology |

John Riccitiello, CEO of EA, said that they’ve known about and have been experimenting with Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo’s various motion control technologies for about fifteen months already. (link)

“…what we’re seeing is something that Nintendo tapped into first: the traditional controller can be an awfully intimidating device for a large number of consumers. So they tapped into a new audience and new kinds of gameplay and it resonated and got a lot of success. Interestingly enough, we’ve seen three partner plays – Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo – with a different approach. Natal looks like a breakthrough idea – like any breakthrough idea, you never know how large an audience it’s going to realize.”

“Probably something a little closer to the consumer experience as of today is the [motion] controller that Sony put out – that seems oddly somewhere between what Nintendo has out and what Microsoft announced. […] But probably more importantly is that it looks like a great bridge technology, meaning you’ll be able do a lot of things that you could never do before with game platforms. And it doesn’t require quite the leap of faith that Natal does.”

I really look forward to seeing some of this tech used in real enthusiast or hardcore games and not just casual novelty stuff.

  • Mike

    It all comes down to whether or not the AAA developers on each platform decide to use it. As far as I’m aware, Bungie has shot down using any kind of motion controls in their games, and I’m not sure who in the Sony umbrella would this for their big franchise (God of War, Gran Turismo, etc). No doubt they’ll have smaller teams working on stuff specifically designed for it, but I’m not interested in lower tier titles unless they are lower priced PSN or XBLA releases anyway. The vast majority of $49.99 Wii games are simply not good. I’d rather see something along the lines of Wii fit, not in execution, but in terms having a peripheral designed specially for the game it is shipped with. This has been happening since the days of Virtua Cop on Saturn. But the idea that motion control is better for most games simply has not panned out. The games where a standard controller is insufficient alright have their own devices (light guns, wheels, arcade sticks, dance pads, etc).

  • Natal apparently isn’t as good as the glossy MS video would have us believe, with live trials at E3 disappointing show-goers.

    I know it’s another PS3-related site, but The Sixth Axis had this in a recent article…

    “…the waters around the Project Natal are being muddied by disappointed ‘hands on’ reports saying that there is a whole world of difference between the pre-rendered video that Microsoft showed and the reality of what’s currently possible with the tech which is not dissimilar to the PS2 EyeToy style games.”

    Source – 4th paragraph in this article:

  • Sporty

    While I was more impressed with the accuracy of Sony’s implementation compared to MS’s. I doubt either will be too successful.

    Unless either can get a Wii Fit type killer app that pushes the hardware out and bundles it with all new system, developers will always target the lowest common denominator which is the controllers everyone uses today.

    However next gen we might see some great things come from them. I still hate motion control personally. I don’t want to always play with the light on for the camera’s to see and standing or sitting in a stationary position. Sometimes I would prefer to play laying down with the lights out. Don’t see how that would work with these new controllers.

  • I agree it’s the games. But there are plenty of Games that come to mind that would be AAA.
    Fight Night is a natural. Dark Cloud 3 by Level 5 would be pretty great.
    Swordplay enhanced greatly, Spells could be symbols drawn in the air to cast.
    Mark of Kri would translate very well. the archery and the staff.
    A Mario Galaxy type Game with either Clank, Mickey from Disney, Spyro, or Sackboy. Sackboy being the most exciting possibility since you might be able to import your own Sackboy. Sackboy is the closest thing that Sony has to a mascot. Your avatar in Home should be a Sackboy.
    On the Fitness Side there’s a ton of yoga and exercise direct Wii ports that could make it.
    The most important thing is that these controllers are accurate. If they are imprecise as the Wii’s then it’s game over. The analog controls on the wiimote are great but as soon as you have to point it’s over. They’re very jittery.

  • “Spells could be symbols drawn in the air to cast.”

    That was actually a tech demo on the EyeToy! It was on a PlayStation Underground disc, I still have it.

    You draw the PlayStation symbols for different spells, it was pretty cool actually. You just need a bright colored ball, you hold it up for the EyeToy to scan that color and then your set.