written by Blain Newport on Saturday, 18 December, 2010
Over a year ago I wrote a post on motion control going nowhere. I left myself a reminder to review those predictions.
Kinect (previously Natal)
"I'm guessing the best uses of Natal will be gimmicks, small things that make playing standard games just a little more physical."
I was wrong. There are no best uses of Natal for standard games. It's not in any standard games. Natal is a purely casual business.
That seems to be working out okay for Microsoft. After Black Friday they'd sold 2.5 million units. They spent half a billion in marketing, but if the sales keep up I suspect they'll break even. It just has nothing to do with me. But the same could be said of Facebook games, iPhone games and many other areas as gaming expands.
Move (a.k.a. the wand)
"The wand is good for aiming and manipulating objects in arm's reach. It'll be used for some shooter games and some puzzles in adventure games. It'll also be used in some strategy games, possibly to good effect, but I won't care because I don't like strategy games."
There are a couple shooters using the wand for shooting. But to my knowledge that's it. I liked the shooting in Metroid Prime 3, so I may someday enjoy PS3 Move shooting. But I think the overarching theme is that motion control is not being aimed (har har) at my demographic, by and large.
Originally traditional gamers were the means to get Sony and Microsoft's proprietary internet content boxes into living rooms. But since Nintendo showed them another way, they're happy to try it.
In Microsoft's case, they launched it as what feels like a separate business which doesn't affect me one way or the other.
Sony, on the other hand, didn't have any exclusives worth a darn this holiday season. They may have actually hurt their core business by shifting resources to motion control.
Regardless, I think this post marks the end of my hopes that motion control would contribute significantly to experiences I care about.