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Console Controllers: The Issue of Current Motion Sensing Devices

Let’s be honest for a moment; with all the hype of Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move; allow me to analyze the issue with them. While both are fairly decent devices, neither have truly amounted to the expectations of what real game interaction should accomplish. In particular, my experience with the PlayStation Move (a combination of three devices) on the Playstation 3 was awkward and glitchy with numerous calibrations needed for accuracy. When the PS Move device did work the ergonomics and required movements felt unnatural. This would be great if you simply wanted to improve your hand-eye coordination, but not if you wanted to be totally immersed in a game like Killzone 3.

Although the notion of hands-free control is appealing, both the Kinect and PS Move are relatively new technologies and still in their infancy. Also, there are very few games that actually utilize the motion technology and most are primarily geared toward younger children. So until the technology is truly and realistically perfected, the standard thumb-based console controller for hardcore gamers will reign supreme (kudos to the Wii for at least making motion-interactive video games fun for the kids and the elderly).

(From top to bottom) PS Move, Wii Mote, MS Kinect

Yet still, I believe it’s time for industry hardware developers to resurrect a variation of the classic Nintendo PowerGlove (a device long dead and gone) designed and released by Mattel, Inc in 1989. During that time the designers had the right idea but it was poorly implemented because of that eras technological limitations.

Nintendo Power Glove

Fast-forward to today, the technology is vastly improved and the games are increasingly immersive, and in my opinion, if a variation of the PowerGlove is developed soon, it could be the closest thing we can probably hope for of a ‘Minority Report‘ style interface control for game consoles. The glove experiment was and still is a good idea simply because of the natural ergonomics; a control that mimics the human hand; on television screens, as well as in a virtual space. So in my view, a combination of the PowerGlove and MS Kinect full body motion sensing would make for an ideal solution for reliable and natural interaction with game consoles. I can only hope.

I say all that to say…the future of gaming can only get better.

Minority Report (movie)



UPDATE: ¬†Before I wrote this piece, I had no idea someone was actually working on this concept. It’s a simple DIY garage project but it can be the begining of something huge. Check out the video.

Written by
ConGame (Gordon C.)
© 2012

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