Trooperdx3117 / Member

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Trooperdx3117 Blog

What is the point of motion sensing controls?

As everyone knows the big news at E3 for Microsoft and Sony was of course the unveiling of their new motion-sensing tech. Of course everyone has been quick to heap praise on this tech with many Microsoft and Sony fanboys spouting the death of thw Wii and so on while game websites and magazines have been quick to write up articles about how this tech will "Revelutionise" hardcore games.

Now that E3 has ended and hopefully some of the fanboy bile has subsided I think we should all look at what the real impact of this motion sensing tech will be. Personally I can't see what benefits will be gained by anyone with this tech. I think this should be looked at chronologically with Microsoft and sony both hoping to benefit from the technology as well as hardcore and casual gamers.

Now obviously the motivation for both Microsoft and Sony for unveiling this tech is that they wan't to steal big old slice of the casual pie from Nintendo. Obviously the Wiii is the winner of this generation and you can hardly blame Microsoft and Sony for wanting to emulate that success however I can't help but think that its at the expense of their primary customers and also shows a lack of understanding of their intended market. The fact is that both Microsofts and Sonys market is with hardcore gamers so why they keep making games for their consoles that are clearly intended for casual gamers is beyond me. But the main problem is that both Microsoft and Sony have clearly misunderstood the reason for Nintendo's massive success. Its clear that both Microsoft and Sony looked at the massive success of the Wii saw that it has a different control scheme and decided thats Nintendo's reason for success. However I really don't think thats true, I think the reason why Nintendo is winning is because of advertising. Go to youtube right now (don't worry i'll wait) and look at any Nintendo advertisement for the Wii and you'll notice one recurring theme, it shows families sitting around their Wii's having fun and everyone is enjoying themselves. Compare that to Microsoft's advertisements which someones head being scooped out to be replaced with a 360 while their faces are etched with unmistakeable signs of unremitting horror. While the less said about Sony's adds the better. By right what Sony and Microsoft should be doing is showing ads with a bunch of twenty-something men playing Halo or Killzone 2 of course that would be an ideal world where business executives are sensible.

As for us Hardcore gamers I really am struggling to truly understand what benefits we will gain from this tech. In modern hardcore games I can't see how motion sensing tech like Natal could operate, it simply won't work with first person shooters where you have to look left or right (Which is quite standard in modern games) because you will have to look left in real life which has the adverse effect of you no longer looking at your t.v. As well as that how would you play a game like Fallout 3 or GTA IV, both of these take hours of play and quite simply it would be unfeasible to expect gamers to stand up and wave their arms about when playing those kind of games.

In reality the main benificaries of technology such as project Natal will be casual gamers. By having all actions done by hand Microsoft have effectively gotten rid of the button in may games which will truly help your grandparents and parents enjoy games. However again this goes back to a complete misunderstanding of the market. Casual gamers are called that for a reason, they aren't aware of any of these advances. Many of these people will continue to buy Wii's as long as Nintendo continue to stove Microsofts and Sony's faces in with their superior advertising. Frankly I think instead of spending all that money on motion-sensing technology Microsoft and Sony should have spent money on new advertisers and of course making even better games. Of course that would again assume we live in a perfect world and that would be just crazy, wouldn't it?

What happened to Half Life 2 Episode 3?

As you all know Valve recently announced Left 4 Dead 2 for PC and Xbox 360. And of course as we all know the internet has reacted with its normal good grace by analysing the facts, thinking quite clearly about everything before freaking out and setting up a boycott group for L4D 2. As well as this many of Valves called fans have resorted to damn and blasting Valve, as in the most generous developer out there and by far one of the best in the world. Of course im not here to question the validity of Valves decision or the reaction of the fanbase. Rather im here to talk about Half life 2 Epsiode 3. Half Life 2 is one of the best games of the last 5 years but it was never a particularly good shooter. Epsiode 2 changed all that, it was a game with amazing set-pieces and quite possibly the best cliff-hanger ending ever seen in a game. So of course naturally an old Half-Life fan like myself would have been chomping at a bit for even a sliver of information of information regarding Episode 3. Which brings me to Left 4 Dead 2, the fact is that most Valve fans expected a Portal 2 or Episode 3 announcement which may help explain the outpouring of passion that resulted in the announcement. I know for a fact that I felt a little hurt by a lack of Episode 3 announcement. And of course no one seems to be able to explain why there was no Episode 3 announcement but a L4D 2 announcement. But thinking about it now the answer is quite obvious, Valve have no idea what to do. Episode 2 ended on such an emotional and action high that the chances are Valve have no idea where to go now which furthers my suspicions that all these years they've been making it up as they go along. So now they're stuck with the ire of their fans. Of course what everyone has forgotten is that this is Valve. Everything they make is solid gold and I have no doubt that L4D 2 will be brilliant and that right now Valve have some people in some hardened bunker working on making Epsiode 3 as brilliant as possible. I think it can honestly be said therefore that come what may Valve are still brilliant developers and that despite the delay Episode 3 will be brilliant (Although the length of development time has effectively sounded the death knell for the concept of episodic content)