With this weeks “Retro Monday” that’s now out for the internet to read, I feel like doing a follow up.
To those who haven’t read it, and you should because I like watching the view counter, today’s “Retro Monday” was about the EyeToy, the Kinect for the PlayStation 2 from the early 2000’s. I have an easy dig at visual interfacing with games but even I feel like I missed a trick. Or actually, a console.
The Wii came out based on player interfacing. The main controller was/is a stick you make wanking motions with to move stuff or use the same stick and point at the your TV and attempt at furiously change channels. Or you could be a true idiot and just fling it at the screen, breaking the controller and your TV. Anyway, the Wii was a breath of fresh air. Microsoft and Sony had streamlined the box-with-string style of consoles and controllers so having something else was nice. The consumer market must have liked it because the Wii, over time, was a smash hit. It became so popular that Sony made the PlayStation Move, a Sony Wii-mote, when they launched the PlayStation Eye (The EyeToy 2) for the PlayStation 3. Because the Move was such a commercial failure, Sony has moved back to copying the Kinect with their PlayStation Camera, a Sony Kinect, which itself is based on their original idea of the EyeToy.
Both Sony and Microsoft are now looking confusingly at their camera devices. At least Microsoft is. Sony always seen it as an extra but Microsoft doesn’t. With effectively a flat out refusal to un-bundle the Kinect from the Xbox One even though it still is only used to shout at your TV/console rather then play games designed for it, its looking less and less relevant.
Nintendo also now looks like it’s trying to combine its DS (the leader of the hand-held games market) with a seemingly more retro styled console rather then advance their motion controllers. The WiiU is failing so badly that they are planning a new console already codenamed Nintendo Fusion.
So, is this the end for motion controls and camera games? I hope not. I like my EyeToy. The wavy-stick games on the Wii like “No More Heroes” where really fun. I even dusted off my old CRT TV and Namco Gun-Controller2 and played some arcade “Time Crisis 3” recently and that was fun. Most of the games I would play at the arcades would be shooters like “House of the Dead” and the ilk.
I take shots at the Kinect, PS Move and the other motion controls not because I don’t like them. I think their brilliant. They just shouldn’t be mandatory. My sister got a DDR mat for the same reason I got my G-Con2, it was a fun extra.
The console companies, mainly Microsoft, need to see that the motion and camera controls are fun but they are extras. Not mandatory add-ons to show off new, and expensive, technology because it breaks one of the main tenants of consoles:
Thou Shalt be Affordable.