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Can Motion Control Go Beyond the Mini-Game? |

I hear people asking, “Can Sony and Microsoft get their motion tech to work as well as their flashy product demos?” I think that’s the wrong question. Motion tech works. I have no question that Sony can complete a working archery mini-game and Microsoft can deliver a dodge ball mini-game just like the ones that they demoed. I also think it’s a safe bet that Nintendo can keep pumping out more of the same motion-controlled mini-game compilations (like Wii Sports Resort) that made the Wii a hit in the first place.

The better question is how can the industry use motion tech to deliver an improved game experience beyond novelty mini-games?


Sony showed their motion wand used as a fancy light gun. Yet, we’ve had working light guns around for years, and they are universally ignored even though most of today’s games are centered around gun play. The problem with light guns is that the player has to look straight ahead at their TV as as soon as the player wants to move or look around, the controller falls apart and they have to use a traditional game-pad type device.

The tech demos all worked the same way: The player is standing still and looking forward and either shooting a bow and arrow, throwing a shuriken, swinging a whip, or whatever. But the player can’t look or move. This limitation works well for baseball, tennis, and mini-games, but for any action/adventure game, the player needs to look and move around a 3D space.

The big motion control killer-app may lie with head-tracking 3D goggles. If the player could explore a cave in Uncharted or an underwater world in Bioshock or spin around to face enemies in a stealth action game and experience the 3D world with his/her very own head and eyes, that would be a complete game changer.

  • I hope it can go beyond the mini game, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Maybe 2 – 3 years. But maybe Sony will surprise us. Then again, the PlayStation Eye has motion and we all know how much that is used so far on the PS3.

  • Super Mario Galaxy and Zack and Wiki are proof that the Motion controller can be a AAA title.
    Just give the developers time, they’ve had 20 years of working with controllers. And most developers are iterative. They just make their version of things that worked for others before.

    Adding an analogue controller on the Wand would do the trick. The Sony demo did have the guy looking and moving but i think they focused more on the “more showy, look my controller is a big sword” aspect.

    For motion control to really catch on. The Sony motion Wand needs to be the pack in controller.

    Contest idea Darrin. Name the New Sony Motion Controller.

  • Darrin

    Saying that we need to “give it time”, cross our fingers, and wait for dev teams to conjure up some magical new breed of killer-app games before this technology is even remotely useful is an act of blind faith.

    NONE of this technology is remotely applicable to the action/adventure games that everyone loves to play. And there is NO evidence that this new era of amazing motion-based gameplay is really coming.

    Super Mario Galaxy uses the analog stick to move and the “A” button to jump. All the gesture/motion stuff is for the extra bonus moves and some mini-game sections. That’s an example of a great game that does NOT need motion tech.

  • it can definitely go beyond the mini game, i think the first person exprience is the best place for it. there are some great FPS games on wii believe it or not and i hope that Sony can up the ante.

    Also Tiger woods is FANTASTIC, best golf experience ever. Although the wii is known for minigames, there are a lot of AA and AAA games available that use motion

  • Kyle

    Oh Yeah? U think there are great 1st-person shooters on the wii huh? It seems to me that every game i have played is awkward and unbalanced with frustrating camera angles that just beg me to turn off the game and play playstation. I still think the only game that i have actually gotten value from on my Wii is the free wii sports game.