Motion Control Spreads To HD

Well GDC (Game Developer Conference) always throws up a few interesting announcements and tech demos – the latest of which was Sony’s “Move.”

Essentially a more precise and HD supported Wii remote, “Move” is Sony’s attempt to muscle in on the ground that Nintendo have been occupying for the last few years.

Have a look at the video below to see it in action:

Personally this will be a novelty item for me. Like the EyeToy and EyePet – not something I’ll play often but when friends are over or my daughter wants to play something I’ll stick them on.

I’m not a fan of motion control being the sole means of control in a game and I’m glad to hear that Sony said in a lot of cases the controller will still be an option instead of motion.

That being said if a studio can find a great way to implement it I’m all for it. Killzone 2’s setting charges with the SixAxis was weak but didn’t take you out of the experience too much and Heavenly Sword’s arrow/cannonball system was clever but too frustrating. More positively, Heavy Rain recently included some great motion control stuff so all is not lost.

Heavy Rain’s use of motion control was a big part of the gameplay

I think being able to use controller and motion is a good solution for gamers like me that don’t want to jump wholesale into motion.

Take Natal on XBox for example, in which there is no controller and your hand motions etc are used to select stuff. Now I don’t doubt it’ll sell well and seems to be an impressive piece of tech but I don’t want to play like that.

The idea of having to physically carry out the actions I want to do in real life so that Natal can register them in game isn’t my idea of fun. Actually scratch that, it would be fun but at a party or with friends. The majority of my gaming time is spent alone (in terms of my actual location) and I just don’t see myself playing that way.

So we have the usual array of sports games and motion stuff – I particularly liked ‘Shoot’ (see below video) which is a ‘House Of The Dead’ style romp through various themed levels and looks like it could be a real giggle.

Sadly from my perspective that was the only title that looked like I might play it.

Support from existing titles such as LittleBigPlanet and SOCOM was good to see, although the latter appeared to confirm my fears on motion in ‘hardcore’ games.

SOCOM is a tactical army based shooter – why would you need to control it with motion? Fair play to Zipper for getting it done and it’s not terrible by any means (see below video) but I just can’t take it seriously.

I guess it all just feels superfluous. Like the Wii, Natal and Move are all bringing a little something extra to the table but nothing groundbreaking.

Where is motion control’s ‘killer app’?

It’s a big question and maybe with the release of Natal and Move bringing some much needed competition to Nintendo we’ll get to see some innovative motion titles forcing their way through in the next few years.

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