The day Sony got hit by reality

March 11, 2010

Sony´s press conference of GDC 2010 is over. What remains is hilarity, ensued both by the company itself and its fans. Today, the Playstation Wii, erm, the Wii Move, oh damn, I´m sorry. Today the Playstation Move was presented. And the Playstation Move Subcontroller-…attachment?

Ever since Sony´s Wiimote-ripoff was revealed at last year´s E³, Sony and its followers kept on pressing of how much more accurate their technology is. How games for it would completely massacre the Wii. Today, Sony got hit by reality. Prior to this conference, fans believed the name of the waggle-controller would be Playstation Arc. Not really great, but it sounded kinda cool. Now, its name is Playstation Move. That´s it, just Move. Guess that is an attempt of using Apple´s naming-style, see the iPod Touch. What´s next, Sonys Bravia Watch-series?

The technology behind Move certainly works for motion-based games. But nothing that was shown had anything that wouldn´t be possible with the Wii MotionPlus, that is out since early 2009. Not only that, but the Move doesn´t have real pointing-capabilities, which the Wii has since its release in 2006. It also doesn´t help that the Playstation Move Subcontroller (oh, I love writing that) does not have motion-control capabilities, full stop. Not even basic motion-controls. It´s just so you have an analog stick. Without rumble (which the Wii Nunchuck also doesn´t have, but shouldn´t this be superior?).

Too slow indeed

The games shown were table tennis, archery, golf, sword fighting…wait, you´re telling my I shall stop making up things? It´s no joke, this is “Sports Champions”, a sports collection. Yeah, right. Socom 4 was shown, which reminded of Wii-games like Resident Evil 4 or Battalion Wars. But the pointer-controls seemed slightly awkward. Which, again, may be a result of the Move not having a real pointing-device. The sword fighting-game, some kind of gladiator-arena fighting, showed 1:1-motion controls, like those found in Wii Sports Resort, only that while beign able to move your shield 1:1 is nice, the game being on-rails then, because of the lack of an analog stick, is not fine. Then Sony showed Move Party, a party-game, of course. To finish it off, they gave a big list of supporting third-party developers. It remains to be seen what that will result in.

The Playstation Move-bundle with camera, one controller and a game will be sold for “under 100$“, which most likely will result in being sold for 99$. And don´t forget that you have to buy a Playstation Move Subcontroller, too, which is not included in the bundle.

You may have noticed, but yes, I´m really enjoying the hilarity of this event. Sony is well-known for copying Nintendo, but never before was it that shameless and embarrassing. When you read on forums how Sony-fans defend that move (haha), the same guys that mocked the Wiimote when it was revealed, you can´t help but laugh. Oh the irony! It´s not really a hard prediction, but with the current mindset, Sony will completely fail with their attempt at the motion-control market. No soccer mom is paying a hundred dollar extra for a PS3 and a hundred dollars for the Move-bundle, when they can have the same games (but more charming looking) for a lot less money. And play with their friends that already have a Wii for that purpose. At this point, it´s like watching a car accident. You cannot stop watching. And in this case, it feels as if there´s a truck coming from behind, ready to crash into the ongoing mess.

Waiting for next MotionPlus game?

September 9, 2009

Microsoft and especially Sony finally followed Nintendo and announced their own motion control device. Anyone who is interested in “true 1:1 controls” can already experience that by going out and getting a copy of WiiSports Resort. Other popular MotionPlus-titles have been Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger Woods. Those games are on the market for several months now, and one has to wonder: When´s the next big MotionPlus-title coming?

One obviously hyped game on that record is Red Steel 2. Personally, i´m totally de-hyped about this game when i saw that it doesn´t feature real 1:1 controls, but improved Red Steel 1-sword slashes. Also, anyone watching some videos will realize that Ubisoft didn´t understand that new controls alone aren´t enough. You have to build the whole game around those. And look there, already early impressions from last E³ gave feedback on how slashing all those enemies in Red Steel 2 becomes pretty exhausting pretty fast. No wonder with the amount of enemies Ubisoft is throwing at the player. That doesn´t work.

There´s a bunch of lesser quality MotionPlus-titles announced, but something big to look forward to is missing.

Now, I could go on about Zelda Wii, but not only don´t we know if it´ll feature MotionPlus (and if that´ll be only optional, you can as well forget about it), it also would be only one game some time at the end of 2010. So where are the other MotionPlus-games from Nintendo? Noone can expect third party-developers to jump on that new wagon, when they´re only just starting to use the normal Wiimote better.

Like many times before, the October conference will show how serious Nintendo is about their new, improved motion control device. Maybe Cosmic Walker? Who knows.

E3 is over – Where are the games? – and – The day waggle became cool

June 3, 2009

Well E³ as an expo isn´t over, yet, but the big three conferences are. And to come straight to the point: I am disappointed. Let´s be clear, though: This year´s E³ is a dozen times better than what we had to go through last year. Then again, that should have been expected.

What i´m so disappointed about is how few new games had been announced. And don´t call me out on this one naming some small puzzle-download-games. I don´t care about those. I´m talking about big games that i can sink into, that grant me an experience. But what did Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo show us?

Microsoft started with a broad showing of popular IPs. In the end, Kojima´s Metal Gear Solid: Rising was the only new game, though. Sony…hm, ah, there was The Agent from Rockstar and a couple of PSP-games, though it´s yet to be proven how well a Resident Evil works on a handheld. Nintendo showed the most new games, but…it was like Mario, Mario and Mario again. Seriously, i was about to shout when Cammie Dunaway spoke as if it was great to have more Mario games…well, then she showed Mario Galaxy 2, so that´s good, but still… Oh well, Metroid: Other M should be considered a half-megaton, but not for me, as i hate Team Ninja´s hack and slay-games, and i am not interested in a Metroid Hack and Slay.

THEN there is the sad part about the past two days: Waggle became cool.

I am a Wii-owner sind end 2006, and i always love the idea of motion controllers, i even made a bad picture before Nintendo even unveiled the Wiimote. But for the past 2,5 years, as a Nintendo-fan you got ridiculed all the time by bitter Sony-fans about how crappy motion controlling is, about how it kills gaming and how they don´t want to move after they come home from work. Guess what, NOW they´re fighting on all the internet boards, fighting for THEIR motion control is better than Nintendo´s. Give me an effing break. At least Microsoft has a different approach and i hope they use their Natal-camera more for supporting traditional games than trying the “without anything in your hands”-crap. There´s a reason why the Wiimote works and Eyetoy bombed.

NERVNow, let me point out something else: If i was Microsoft, i´d badmouth Kojima so much that he has to go out of business. What kind of kindergarten was that when he said at Sony´s conference, the PSP-MGS is the “true next MGS”? As if he was making fun of MS that he announced MGS: Rising the day before. The next thing is Capcom developing a RE-game for PSP. WTF, the Wii gets only On-Rail-shooters, and the PSP gets a, probably, real RE-game? Give me a break. People say that Nintendo doesn´t help third parties enough, but they gave them 2008 and the whole 2009 without any Nintendo-competition. That is more than any of them could ever want.

At long last, let´s talk about what i liked. Yeah, there were things i liked. First of all, looking at my E³-predictions, Microsoft delivered. Not only was ME2 shown, but also Molyneux´ Project Dimitri, now called Milo, was revealed. If this thing works as it was shown, it´ll be revolutionary. Also, there was a nice trailer for Endless Ocean 2, so Nintendo delivered that. Of course, i´m anticipating Mario Galaxy 2, but it´s coming out in 2010, so it´s too far away. A game that looks at least as good as FF12 is Monado: Beginning of the World from Monolith Software…which Nintendo didn´t mention at all, sigh. Looks rock solid, and has active battle system, yay. Then i´m a bit hyped for Silent Hill Wii. Looks very immersive, maybe a bit too immersive for me. And that´s it. There are other interesting games, but i have yet to see more of them. Biggest disappointment is maybe Red Steel 2, which, from watching a developer walkthrough, doesn´t really use MotionPlus for 1:1 sword-controls. At least in the videos he never moved the sword slowly, only made fast swings. Oh well.

In the end, Miyamoto mentioning Zelda Wii and showing a, most likely, completely irrelevant painting of Link and a girl in a blue robe is enough to make me feel satisfied. But it´s not enough to make my brain stop and think: Nintendo, what are you doing in Kyoto? There are only 2 new Wii-games by Nintendo themselves. Are they developing other games secretly for future times? Are they working on fewer games with more manpower for greater quality? Or did they fire many of their inhouse developers? Really, something´s fishy, and i´d like to know what.

Now let´s wait for 2010, because as of now, Nintendo won´t be releasing a big game in 2009…at all.