Wii me, Move me, Kinect me?

Wilson La is a serious gamer. He plays games day and night, he plays at home, on transit, during uni, during work. Tetris is a killer. In this final boss level, he will be giving a brief hands on impression about the PlayStation Move, before going on to muse about the current state of motion control technology in Video games!

The Playstation Move, same trick pony?

$100 over the counter, I received my PlayStation Move starter pack. Sony’s entry into the world of motion control gaming which has thus been far dominated by the Nintendo Wii. At first glance the controller seems like a Wii-mote with a glowing globe. Though, appearances are deceptive, or are they?

After spending some time ‘exercising’ with the controller, I was impressed. It feels more accurate, like my movement is directly translated on the screen. Thus far, I agree with the general consensus on the web that the Move is basically a natural evolution of the Wii-mote.

Haven't I played this before...?

However, The biggest problem I had wasn’t with the product itself, but with the lack of depth in the content. I ultimately came away disappointed having felt like I’ve played these exact games on the Wii several years ago. Motion control games still feel very much like a gimmick. In my last entry I wrote about Videogame and Art, so far these motion control games seems to be heading the opposite direction, the games are becoming even more trivial. Instead of extending the experience, motion control has been about emulating the mundane.

Microsoft's Kinect, using interactivity on a very different level.

Not all hope is lost. So… the Kinect, Microsoft’s own entry into motion control gaming. There are no controllers, and as the marketing shows, “Your body is the controller”. Kinect is moving in the right direction by developing content that actually justifies the new technology. Peter Molyneux demonstrated a Kinect game called Milo at TED earlier this year. In the game you are not playing as some grand wizard or some war veteran, but as a imagery friend to a boy named Milo. Through Kinect’s voice recognition technology, you are able to have basic conversations with him and guide him with your own movements and even influence his own mood by your body posture. In an interview with Gameinformer Magazine about the Kinect, Microsoft has repeatedly stated their motto, as “We are about innovation and we are leading the way with Kinect” (Stead, C 2010, p.20).  This I believe is a step toward, a greater interactivity in games not for the sake of being interactive, rather it takes advantage of the technology by providing a truly unique experience.

References

Chen, J, 2010, Sony Move Review: Don’t Be Wii 2.0, accessed 9th October 2010,
< http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/09/sony-move-review-dont-be-wii-2-0/ >

Molyneux, P, 2010, Peter Molyneux demos Milo, the virtual boy, online video, TED, accessed 8thOctober 2010,
< http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/peter_molyneux_demos_milo_the_virtual_boy.html >

Neigher, E, 2010, PlayStation Move, accessed 9th October 2010,
< http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/216604/playstation-move/ >

Nelson, R, 2010, PlayStation Move review: The hardware and experience, accessed 9th October 2010,
< http://www.joystiq.com/2010/09/01/playstation-move-review/ >

Stead, C, 2010, Kinect with the Future, Gameinformer, Media Factory, New York USA, p. 20-21

Sony, 2010, PlayStation Move starter pack, accessed 8th October 2010,
< http://au.playstation.com/ps3/peripherals/detail/item303194/PlayStation%C2%AEMove-Starter-Pack/ >

Image References (Listed in the order it was used)

Playstation Move, 2010, Gizmodo, accessed 9th October 2010,
< http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/09/sony-move-review-dont-be-wii-2-0/ >

Gladiator Duels, 2010, PS3 Attitude, accessed 9th October 2010,
< http://www.ps3attitude.com/new/2010/10/sept2010-move-f1-2010-dead-rising-2-biggest-upcoming-games/ >

Object Scanning, 2010, Platform Nation, accessed 9th October 2010,
< http://www.platformnation.com/2010/09/18/object-scanning-using-kinect/ >

Well, that’s it folks! That was my very last entry, Time to say goodbye, I hope those of you who have been reading my posts had much fun learning about gaming as I’ve had writing about it. My essay will be focusing on the idea can ‘Video games be an art form?’ exploring it’s similarity with film. After that I intend to start my own blog, focusing on on the same topic, giving reviews of games in the artistic sense. So stay tune on the news on that. Signing off for the last time, the wannabe gamer, Wilson La.

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