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Motion Control Wishlist: Head Tracking 3D Visor Display |

After looking at all the motion-controller technologies at E3, most of the demonstrated gesture controls looks like they would work great in a Wii Sports style mini-game, but not in a full blown “serious” game. Most of the tech demos that were shown made the gesture controls look like they would get in the way rather than enhance a serious game. People underestimate how simple and effective boring old controllers can be.

However, motion control technology really does have the potential to be a game changer. Here is what I’m hoping for that unfortunately, none of the big three console makers are hinting at:

  • Head Tracking Visor Display that gives the player fully natural control over the player’s view.
  • 3D display technology (stereoscopic stuff like this)
  • Motion-Controlled light-gun or wand style peripheral for aiming/shooting
  • All of the above combined with new AAA 3D games.

Completely natural head-tracking 3D camera controls is a big deal. People move their heads to look around them and orient themselves in real life. Using that natural camera control rather than an artificial analog stick is a major increase in intuitive control and immersion and it’s applicable to almost every 3D game.

I remember the horrible “Virtual Reality” stuff from the 1990’s including Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, but even the skeptics have to admit that all of the underlying technologies have come a long, long way since those times.

What do you think? Would this work? Will the console makers do this? Will this require another wave of hardware systems?

  • I agree about the light gun peripheral. But I’m sure that there would be a ton of third party devices like there are for the wii.

    The AAA titles will come. Once Sony has a developer set in developers hands. Expect Christmas 2010 or later to see any results. And expect ports of Nintendo games to be first. Boom Blox, Zack and Wiki being two games that could make the leap.

    The next Ratchet after ClockBlockers will incorporate it. Maybe an entirely new Clank game. What I’d love to see is a LBP game done in the Mario Galaxy mode. Cool, great music and fun.
    A way they could speed release is to build the main engine and a few levels and pack it in with the controller. Mainly for the cost of the controller. Then every few months DLC and new level or levels for $4.99.

  • Darrin

    Why are you so sure that AAA titles will use motion controls?

    Do people want to play God of War or Infamous or GTA with motion controls? No, that would mess up the game.

    This motion tech has everyone’s attention, but is it fundamentally suited for a AAA game or something beyond a mini-game novelty?

    I say, no, the kinds of tech demos we saw are suited for kid novelties and not enthusiast games.

  • matt

    Darrin I would love to play an Elder Scrolls game with motion controls. Shooting bows and swinging swords around would be awesome. FPS games could be very good with motion control (gun needed of course)

    The new Zelda built from the ground up for motion control will be interesting. That may be the only AAA title this generation w/ motion.

    Sony and Microsoft may be a little late to the party this console cycle. IMO you need to include the necessary equipment so there are no extra costs. Sure some people will buy the necessary gear, but the overall percentage of PS3/360 owners will be very small. How many AAA games will be developed for so few people? My guess is not many.

    Personally I don’t care if it makes this console cycle or not. I want them to get it right first and release once that is accomplished. Releasing something like the Wii is a waste. Go further with it!

  • Darrin

    I doubt Zelda will work with Wii-style motion controls.

    For action-adventure games, look/move controls are the key. All the motion tech we’ve seen involves standing still and looking forward and that works great for tennis, baseball, and boxing. But for action/adventure games that stress 3D navigation and exploration, motion controls don’t help and are a step backwards from the analog-sticks that we are used to.

    I’ll be happy to buy new hardware, I just want my head-tracking 3D goggles and immersive 3D action-adventure games.