The Great Motion Debate
By the end of the year there will be a new debate brewing in the world of home video game consoles. Of course I’m referring to the great motion control debate with the launches of both the Kinect for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Move for Sony’s Playstation 3, not to mention the motion control king, the Wii from Nintendo. Now I’m not going to go on a fanboy rant about this console or that console, I will simply state that I own and prefer my Playstation 3. For me personally, the PS3 was the right choice, simply for the exclusive titles it provides over the titles offered on Xbox 360, not online capabilities or hardware specs, simply because the PS3 offered Heavy Rain and God of War. Now that that’s out of the way, lets get on to the debate.
First, I will start off with the Nintendo Wii. The Wii is the old dog in this motion control scene, being around since late 2006. I personally do not like the Wii and I’m going to be honest about that. In my opinion, the Wii is last generation technology with one next generation idea, that being the motion control. I have played games on the Wii, and I will admit, some of the sports mini games and a few other titles I’ve played were fun, my overall reaction to the system was not too enjoyable. The complete reliability on motion control really put me off. There are non motion controllers available, but they too rely on the Wiimote to be usable. Also, the need to have constant fresh or recharged batteries was a real downside to me. Overall I think the Wii is a fantastic starter system for young children and families who may not be looking for the most powerful system, but one that offers the type of entertainment they are looking for.
Now on to Sony and the Playstation Move. It has been referred to as “The Wii HD”, referring to the fact that they are very similar. Now I’m not going to bore anybody with specs and analysis of how the two controller systems are different, because frankly, they aren’t that different. The move seems to posses more accuracy and can also provide a deeper range of motion, but to the average player, these differences would not be that noticeable. Where the difference will be really noticeable is in the graphics, and potentially the games put out for the move. To have the option of playing games such as Killzone 3, Littlebigplanet 2, Socom 4, and Heavy Rain. To finish off with the Move, I’m simply going to ask one question, If the Move is simply just a “Wii HD” isn’t it a smart move to copy the guys that are leading the race?
And finally, the Kinect for Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Of the two new motion controllers coming out, this is the one I am most unsure about, simply because it hasn’t been done to this scale before. Sony has tried camera-based control systems before, with very limited success. Now I’m not going to bash the Kinect, partly because some of the features I’ve seen demoed were actually pretty cool, but mostly because I see the thought process behind the device. If they were to simply emulate the Wii method, there would be three extremely similar products clogging the market. So instead of doing that, they decided to go a very different, albeit unproven route, to try and take a share of the motion control demographic. With a very different method of motion control, that method being controller free, they have set themselves up for either triumph or tragedy. Most of the games demoed I didn’t really appreciate, but that’s not to say other people won‘t. Certain features, such as the video chat and the ESPN app really interested me, not to mention the video playback controls. But features such as these shouldn’t be the reason you are buying the Kinect. Will the decision to go in this direction pay off for Microsoft? Honestly, only time will tell.
In closing, I would just like to add that if you already have a preferred console, I’m pretty sure that adding motion control will not make you “jump ship” to a competitor. But if you don’t already own a system, and you are deciding to jump in now, look around, do some research, and pick the console that best fits you. For me personally, I will be looking into the Move when it releases.
Let me know in the comments your thoughts on the great motion debate, and if your planning on picking up either of the new motion controllers when they release.