The Animal Farm

June 11th, 2009

F Natal

Here’s my unwarranted prediction for Natal:

It’s going to be wonderful technology. It’ll expose new avenues for the developers. It will open up possibilities gamers never dreamed of.

Of course, that’s what the pamphlet in the box is going to say. What’s really going to happen is that we’re going to be assaulted with a bunch of mini-game collections and shovelware; if the device has any actual potential, only 0.1% of games is going to expose it at best.

Zach uses the Wii as an example of new ideas being big, but his only support of the - yes, gimmicky - hardware is that it sells a lot. Not that it’s actually better. I would challenged him to think of three games where the Wiimote positively influences a game. I’ll even give him one: Trauma Center. Hell, I can count the number of really good Wii games on one hand: Smash, Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart. There are a few other solid experiences in there (Wario Land, Mad World, de Blob, Excite Truck, Chocobo’s Dungeon, Mario Party, Dokapon). And not one of them uses the Wiimote in any way that improves over a classic controller. If you want to believe a waggle motion is superior to pressing a button, you’re a fool.

I welcome innovation, but innovation does not immediately equate to quality. I don’t see a lot of opportunity for Natal, but perhaps some creative genius will show me a better way.

June 11th, 2009

I had to laugh.

From Kotaku on Project Natal:

“As for who Microsoft hopes to catch with the Natal net, Kim said, “We’re not focused on this generation’s casual gamers or even PS2 people who haven’t upgraded. This is about the 60% of households were a video game console doesn’t exist… the problem is that the controller is a barrier for some people and now with Project Natal we completely eliminate that.“[Bold for emphasis]

First off, Project Natal seems like awesome alien technology and I can’t wait to see what they can do with it.  It is effectively a real-time motion capture device that doesn’t require one to wear a black one-sy with little white ping pong balls attached to it.

But seriously though, where have we heard that the controller was the limiting factor on getting people who don’t play video games to play them?  When was it said?  Hint:  Nintendo about the Wii, 3+ years ago.  Everyone called Nintendo crazy, including Sony and Microsoft.  Now they just look like they are eating their collective hats.

Argue all you want about the Wii and DS having gimmicky hardware, they sold a ton and made a lot of people happy.


Seriously, Microsoft, that quote is 3 years too late.