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Can Motion Control Work With Today’s Games? |

In an interview with CNBC, Jack Tretton said:

“Personally, it’s very difficult for me to perceive ‘God of War 3’ being played with the Wii controller,” he says. “It’s a different experience that doesn’t lend itself to certain types of games. [But] I think our [motion] controller can be used with every game that’s on the system now — and every game we’re working on.”

I don’t see how any of the motion controllers, including the PlayStation Motion wand, can be used for an action/adventure game. How do you do 180 degree turns and run back and forth without a stick or d-pad? Every one of the motion tech demos that we’ve seen and every motion-controlled Wii game involves playing a character that mostly stays still and looks forward (baseball, tennis, boxing, bowling type stuff). The PlayStation wand demos that allowed turning the camera 1-to-1, obviously had a limited turning radius due to the fact that the player needs to keep looking forward to the TV.

Can anyone else see how you might control a action/adventure type game such as God of War 3 with the PlayStation motion wand?

  • Yes, I certainly can. Because the Playstation Motion Wand is going to have buttons, and probably also a stick, like the buttons the prototype had at the E3 show. And Sony also talked about the need for said buttons being on the motion controller for the same reasons, you have voiced, Darrin. Maybe you should watch the clips and read the interviews from this years E3 regarding Sony’s press conference again? 🙂

  • Mike

    Motion controls are inferior for many, many of the games out there right now. Even Sony should realize this with their own motion controller going forward. Where it works, implement it. But do not try to tack it on to every game. If it’s done as an option and the games are still designed around controllers I don’t care too much, but taking something that already works and forcing it into a new control method doesn’t have great results.

  • teflon6678

    As Glitch said, its going to have buttons. The Wiimote has a D-pad on it and a trigger which could be used, but also has the nunchuk with the analogue stick (which will also be attachable when the wiimote+ motion sensor is attached). Ive seen peripherals which combine the two into the shape of a gun for CoD and the like.

    Depending on how many buttons or attachments the playstation motion controller has, it might also have attachments like the wiimote does.

    Natal, on the other hand, has no buttons so relies on player motion exclusively. They demoed burnout with you holding an imaginary wheel and imaginary pedals which the camera could track, great. But when you get to more complex games youre going to struggle without buttons.

  • Darrin

    Sorry to harp on this: but why not use motion tracking goggles? Those *will* work with all existing games and would be awesome.

    One of the Microsoft Natal guys is famous for doing a hobby-level head-tracking goggle setup, so I’m sure they’ve thought through this.

  • I think motion control can work with many games, providing there are buttons on the controller.

    If I’m perfectly honest, as impressive as Natal COULD be (apparently it’s not yet anywhere near as good as the pre-recorded video shown at E3), I don’t think it will be possible to play many games with no controller at all.

    Where precise control is needed (some racers, shooters and FPS games), you NEED some form of input device.

  • Darrin, as I see it, motion controllers and motion tracking goggles are two completely different things. Motion tacking goggles track, where you are looking, while motion controllers track your arms’ (or possibly legs’) movement. So you can’t really compare the two in my opinion.

  • Darrin

    They are different, but tracking your arms seems limited to mini-games, while tracking your head seems directly applicable to all 3D games. Why are the big three all working on the former?

  • I wouldn’t see much point in tracking goggles, simply because any head movement would result in you looking away from the screen… not generally a good idea when playing games.

    The only way around that is to have the screen in the goggles – which has been tried, and failed miserably.

  • Darrin

    Putting the screen inside the goggles is the whole point. You’d also do separate left/right screens for 3D effect and curved surface screens for more accurate perspective.

    Sure it’s failed miserably in the past, but the technology has improved so much that I don’t see what would stop it from working today.

  • But that would only replace the use of the right stick. You would still need the rest of the controller for moving around, aiming and the like. I still don’t get what your comments about the goggles have to do with your (faulty) complaints in the post about motion controls.

  • Darrin

    With a goggle system you could handle aiming with a hand-held motion controller, but you’d definitely need standard stick/buttons for navigation and character actions (attack, talk, open door, etc).

    Yes, that would be a direct replacement for the right analog stick, but it also delivers an order of magnitude increase in immersion.

    My complaint about Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo motion control systems is that they are mainly suited for controlling a virtual character’s arms (Natal can also track kicks, jumps, and head movements) and can’t handle 3D navigation or looking. That’s great for mini-games, but not useful for today’s action/adventure games.

    I’m arguing that if the goal is increased player immersion, a goggle system would be much better suited for that purpose.

    I’m interested in hearing where you disagree? Do you think that the proposed Sony/Microsoft motion systems will work with action/adventure games or a wide range of games beyond mini-games? Or do you think that the head-tracking goggle setup wouldn’t deliver a big increase in immersion?

  • Well, basically I disagree with your opinion that goggles would make for more immersion than motion controllers.

    Ofcourse I have no science to back up my claim, but I do think that when you get your body to respond and react with something more or less resembling what is needed in the game, then you’ll be more immersed into the game world than say if you just control your view by moving your head.

    And yes, I do believe, that both the control system of Nintendo Wii and the forthcoming Sony motion controller is capable of much more than just mini games. Unfortunately for the Wii it seems that the game companies wont make any effort as to try to develop a full blown game that is controllable by the use of motion control. That is actually why I haven’t bought a Wii.

    I don’t know about Natal. I think it will also be able to have whole games created around it. But it might not be run-andgun games. Perhaps adventure games, rpgs, sports games and such.

  • darrin

    So you agree that Wii-style motion control has mostly been limited to mini-games thus far, but you think that the core technology has tons of unseen potential waiting for the right developers to properly harness it. And you see goggles as a simple novelty…

    I definitely disagree, but I completely respect your differing opinion. In a few years from now, I hope that I can look back and say that you were right because that’s the direction that Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo appear to be moving in.

  • Yeah, that about sums up my views. 🙂

    But please note that I believe the best solution is to have both your goggles and the motion controllers at the same time. That would be a nice stepping stone to having our very own holo decks in the living room. 🙂