Sunday, 18 May 2014

Sam's Opinion Of... Motion Control.

It ain't all millions and billions in Motion Control Town.

When the Wii was introduced to the world, we all went crazy. Everyone, gamers and non gamers alike, knew that we were one step into the future. Sure, back then we were just playing tennis and baseball, but everybody thought that in the future, WE would be the controller. Sure, successful games like The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Xenoblade Chronicles wouldn't have been as groundbreaking if not for the Wii Remote, but games like Super Smash Bros: Brawl and New Super Mario Bros Wii proved that controllers weren't going away quietly, and soon enough, after a couple of years of success, the Wii was surpassed by the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, and soon enough motion control wasn't so popular any more.

Flash forward to today, and after the underwhelming receptions of the Kinect, the Wii U and the Kinect's successor, it's become quite clear that controllers are here to stay, and with games like Fighter Within and Kinect Sports Rivals coming out for the Xbox One as early as last month and still being full of glitches, it's been proven that motion control needs A LOT of time before it can become the technological marvel that it should have been. But why has it been so unsuccessful?

Well partly because of the price. The original Kinect costed £100, and a Kinect-less Xbox One is £100 cheaper than usual. No one is prepared to pay the price for an add on to their console if it means that you'll also have to buy another game with it. Sure, the new Playstation Camera comes with The Playroom, a tech demo, it really doesn't break any ground, and is just a little gimmick.

The second reason is the variety of games. It is true that the casual audience is a big one in gaming, and that there are many successful casual games out there, but constantly releasing dancing and sports games is getting motion control nowhere. Of course there are failed games like Blackwater and Rise of Nightmares that tried to break into the shooter genre, but all they were were light-on-substance versions of games that millions of people play.

The third and last BIG reason is the outbreak of VR. Virtual Reality has become somewhat of a hot topic right now, with Facebook buying Oculus so it can give the Rift to bigger audiences and Sony announcing their Project Morpheus, and it's pushing motion control out of the picture. With motion control, you control the game with your body, but with Virtual Reality, you are actually IN the game. Add the presence of big marketing campaigns and big money into the mixture, and Motion Control doesn't seem as appealing any more.

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