As Nintendo prepares for its E3 announcement of its new HD console codenamed Project Cafe, it begs the question. What will come of motion directed gaming. If what we have seen so far in the rumor mill is true. Nintendo is looking to add a new controller style with a touch screen in the center to its newest console. Whether you believe this console will be a Wii 2 or something very different matters very little because Nintendo marches to its own beat.
In a basic sense, it is best not to get into a guessing game so close to the system’s debut at E3. Instead it seems there is that nagging question I have had since the craze of hands free of motion sensing tech took the market by storm. The latest craze is 3D which is not something I am very interested in when TV’s have not been equipped in sufficient numbers with the necessary guts to make use of these marvels.
The Wii was plagued by its terrible third party game releases. So much of what came out for the Wii has been nearly unplayable. The motion control dynamic just wasn’t backed well enough by the mother ship Nintendo. It let dozens of garbage fillers be released to fill a void created by the systems self created buzz. The supposed lack of Wii consoles on the market that kept the buzz up as stores always seemed sold out, well let’s be clear, has been proven to be nothing more than an elaborate and brilliant marketing scheme.
Nintendo had the best set up to take full advantage of mobile gaming. It failed to follow through. The kinect for the 360 sold well upon release but has a very small selection of games available. Thus Microsoft suffers from the same traumatic lack of software that Nintendo still does. The kinect had the most potential as it has the most tech driving it. Yet the advanced tech hasn’t really amounted to much.
Sony tried to make a move by releasing its PS3 Move joystick systems. Apart from archery and a few essential rip offs of Kinectimals and etc, they had nothing to offer even at release. The lesson is clear. If the big three want to sell mobile gaming to the market, create more than ten release titles and support the hardware with updates and patches to fix interface or playability problems.
The Wii had nearly no software updates and almost no support by developers for individual games support. Everyone wanted to get into the fitness market with the Wii fit and its balance board, which is slightly more than a novelty. It works, well basically.
The kinect has several titles that seem to have a core functionality that serve them well. The biggest moves have been in dancing games. Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft have entered into what can only be described as a dance off. Titles are in development and several have released for reach console. The worst of which featured Michael Jackson’s music and moves.
Is there a second lesson from this dance war posturing? If there is in fact something to be taken from it, it would likely be that the big three have all but given up on the motion gaming situation and have decided to let developers use the tech as a stage two battle from a previous war on the consoles. That war was the guitar and rock band insanity. Those tricky and addictive titles that let us live out the dream of having musical chops from the security and protective veil of our living room entrance into the digital rock realm.
Is the fad of having motion gaming capabilities ended with a dance war stalemate? The top ten sales list for all three consoles tell the story well. Xbox, PS3, and Wii have no games that are motion control specific creations in their top ten’s in sales. The titles speak for themselves. Dance Central for the Kinect was rated well but hasn’t lived up to its sales goals and the Just Dance games for Wii, two so far, are awful. The first was by far worse than the follow up but even that hasn’t made strides in erasing its flaws altogether.
The basic situation is that there is nothing on the three consoles, as far as motion controlled software, that is remotely intriguing. It has been very disappointing. Many gamers in the Carolinas seemed to have been hoping for a Kinect Mortal Kombat or at least a Fight Night boxing title. These hopes are clearly lost on the game developers.
What will come of motion sensing gaming? Will it fade away until late into the next gen consoles? I think it is clear that is to be the case. The evidence points to this being so, and that is a shame. What about a quarterback football title where you have to throw on time with good mechanics to hit targets for points or for earning them over solid precise throws covering every route run in the game?
No? Not even EA Sports? Seriously? A company that big can’t throw football fans a bone and include it in Madden 12, oh that’s right the details of the new Madden are virtually decided upon weeks after the last one comes out.
The gaming industry had better get its act together or stand to lose significant support from the hardcore elite of gamers that pay their salaries. If the big three aren’t careful we could see a revival of PC gaming. At least then, player created content would be created and used on the same system again. Seriously EA? Why can’t you get your act together and have your team builder or player creators on the software? Making us use internet browser supported tech is silly. A simple update or DLC would be sufficient to satisfy us. Stop putting the player created content on the pc. If we wanted to play our games on the pc we would.
And that concluded this week’s rant.
Stay tuned for the next articles this week. I promise they won’t hold back from criticizing EA or the big three.