Why Motion Controls Are Useless
Now that we have had some time to fully digest Microsoft and Sony’s “future of fun” motion controllers (Project Natal and Move, respectively) I thought it would be a good time to dissect them a little before we get a larger picture of them at E3. As I stated in an earlier blog post, I am not a fan of motion controls; never have been, and from what I’ve seen from these two new controllers, I wont be any time soon.
Project Natal seems to have the most issues. It doesn’t take a genius to notice that the floor in the video is marked to show where the player has to stand to be recognized, and that it is quite a distance away from the TV. This concerns me, as it appears that you will need a moderately large living space to play in, something that many gamers do not have. Assuming, however, that you do have ample distance between you and the screen, you still need to have a completely clear, obstacle free area that will allow you full range of motion.
Sony’s Move has its own issues. Using a design that completely rips off the Wiimote right down to a nunchuk add-on, the Move allegedly provides controls so precise that you could play StarCraft with it. However, just one look from this video fills me with doubt. The man playing the brawling game suffers from the same problem that Twilight Princess had; executed motions do not match up with in game actions. Punches come a second after the motion was executed, or sometimes not at all (especially noticeable on a spinning attack, where the demo-ist spun around with an elbow, but the in game character remained motionless). It's almost as if the controller would only work if it felt like it. This is simply unacceptable. In order to play a game (hell, in order to just not get frustrated) you need responsive controls.