This is part 3 of a 3-part discussion of the past, present, and future of Motion Controls in the game industry. We’d suggest you begin reading with part 1. Then again, we know different folks have different strokes.
*In this article, Ethos writes the first half and Riddles writes the second half. Try not to get too confused. We have faith in you.*
Luckily, I don’t have really embarrassing quotes to support this article, because now it’s time to take a look into waggle’s future. Or, hopefully a future when we don’t have to use the term “waggle”.
Like Riddles pointed out, because of all our hardcore gamer hatred toward what motion controls have come to represent – casual gamers, shitty software, broken promises – we’ve forgotten that they’re not necessarily the enemy.
Tossing away all of the stigma, integrated motion controls are actually intriguing to me. If I’m playing Forza 4 and look to the right, I think it would be intuitive and immersive for the camera to subtly shift to the right as well, allowing me to take a better look at my rear view mirror or the track ahead.
In Sony’s Sports Champions, the Playstation Move acts as a sword in of the mini games. While it gets old as a stand-alone, the accuracy is satisfying, especially in contrast to the Wii. It makes me remember the days when people would get excited for lightsaber and Zelda games for the realistic swordplay.
Of course, this brings up the other topic of turning gaming into a standing exercise activity, which I absolutely do not want as a whole. But as I was touching on earlier, I think a healthy integration would be ideal. And – hopefully – possible.
Look at our constant example of Nintendo. While games like Super Mario Galaxy have tacked on waggle for a spin move, Riddles brought up the example of Kirby. And he’s right, there are tasteful motion additions that work and couldn’t really be done in another way. This was also the case in parts of New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
So does this mean that the gaming community has finally reeled in enough casual gamers to start turning them hardcore? Is Nintendo’s release schedule an indication of this already? Or is Kinectimals a giant enough step in the wrong direction to dash any hopes of a happy compromise? Does Sony already have the perfect compromise? I’ll brush off the responsibility here and let Riddles answer these questions.
Of course I’m left with all the difficult shit. Regardless, I’m more than happy to answer the above questions – to the best of my abilities.
Nintendo may be doing a bit of an about-face right now, who knows. Frankly, I doubt it, because if Nintendo’s made anything clear in the past, it’s that they’re going to do whatever the fuck they want. So if they are, in fact, making a shift back towards a more core experience on the Wii it’s because… they want to. Not because we bitched. And I honestly don’t really see why they’d want to. They have an endless, endless supply of suckers to sell their crap to. The suckers, as it were, have been far kinder to them than we ever were. (If kindness is measured by dollars, that is.)
And yes, Kinectimals is enough of a step in the wrong direction to dash any hopes we may have at the moment. Hell, the Kinect in and of itself is essentially all the shitty aspects of the Wii on crack. The Wii took motion control technology and placed it on a pedestal that it never should have sat on. Now, Microsoft has taken that pedestal, attached a phallic device to it, and are currently in the process of deepthroating their brains out.
Here’s the thing: as long as motion controls are considered a selling point, we aren’t going to see many examples of tasteful integration. As long as we’re all still stupid enough to eat up the flashy ad campaigns that show happy families flailing their bodies about, then we’re going to continue to see companies churning out the Kinectimals and the Wii Fits and what have you.
Taking motion control technology, packaging it up with cute names like Kinect, and selling it as a separate experience from traditional gaming is *not* the way forward. If the industry can ever get over the fact that OMG YOU CAN MOVE AND STUFF ONSCREEN MOVES OMG then we can start talking.
Then, and only then, we can begin to figure out how we can fit motion controls into the gaming experience; instead of how we can fit the videogame experience into motion controls.
You wanna know what I think? Sony had it right with the Sixaxis.