Search: Web or BDTU
Custom Search
 Search: Web or BDTU
Custom Search


Hi!    Register • Log in • Forums
The State of Motion Capture - A Chick Gamer’s Perspective

July 28 2010


The State of Motion Capture - A Chick Gamer’s Perspective
by TartDarling

When you hear the phrase Motion Capture, what is the first thing that comes to mind? If you are anything like me, it’s some guy wearing the Ping-Pong ball suit, making all kinds of crazy movements in front of a green screen. While that is what Motion Capture meant for quite a while, that’s no longer the only option. With advances in technology, Motion Capture has become so much more. From Nintendo’s Wiimotes and the upcoming Playstation Move and Microsoft Kinect, gaming becomes that much more personalized and interactive when our movement matters. We are finally getting a chance to feel more a part of our games… more so than ever before! While this is exciting for any gamer, the impact on the female gaming community in particular is huge.

Let’s start with the Nintendo Wii. While it has a reputation for being the kiddie console of the group, it’s a popular choice among females (and no not just for Wii Fit, though that is one of the more popular titles for women).  The concept for the Wiimote controls force developers to think beyond First Person Shooters and try to push the boundaries of how we play games. Most female gamers feel the Wii is a friendlier system because not every game requires twitch mechanics and most games have an element of light hearted fun. A lot of female gamers are reluctant to call themselves gamers because they feel that means they have to love complex, tactical games.  However Nintendo does a good job of letting the Wii’s technology disguise the fact that though most of these games are just as complex as any other, they seem so much more user friendly.

Nintendo is really taking advantage of having the most experience with this technology with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. This edition of Zelda requires the Wii MotionPlus controller, but gives you the ability to fully control Link. Whatever motion you make, he makes, down to how he swings his sword or throws his boomerang; as opposed to The Twilight Princess where any motion made produced the same in-game attack. Personally I can’t wait.  Maybe this will mean that I will have to remember to block attacks too!  Now if only we could actually get to play as Zelda in one of these games…

The PlayStation Move is very similar to the Nintendo Wiimotes, and is tracked by the PlayStation Eye. The LED light on the end of the controller when combined with the PlayStation Eye provide a high level of accuracy in tracking movement across multiple controllers, by lighting up a different color on each remote.

Sony just previewed the Move at this year’s E3, and announced a September 19th US release date.The Move is set to launch with over 20 titles to support the technology. There will be bundles available on release for $99.99 that will include a Move controller, the PlayStation Eye camera, a Move demo disc and either Sports Champions or EyePet; as well as a bundle available for $399.99 that will include the console itself in addition to the rest of the package. Also available is a “shooting attachment” for $19.99 that allows the Move controller to be held horizontally for First Person Shooter games and a charging station for up to two controllers for $29.99.

PlayStation has had some challenges with the previously released Eye of Judgment game with the Eye not tracking very well, so they might have some trouble proving that the technology has been refined enough to work as the sole controlling method for games that require twitch mechanics; especially to existing Eye owners. One of the other challenges for the Move will be it’s price point, especially for multiplayer games and the additional peripherals. It will be interesting to see what developers plan on doing with the technology after the initial launch since PlayStation already has an established user base without Motion Capture beyond the Sixaxis abilities in their existing dual shock 3 controllers and there haven’t been very many games that take advantage of its tilt controls. Sony does seem to be trying to appeal to a wide variety of gamers with the Move with some of the titles available at release and throughout the holiday season.

Heavy Rain was already a popular title among female gamers and should grab a few more with the Move and its shooting attachment. Echochrome II is looking like a likely candidate to be the fun, innovative title that really pushes conceptual boundaries for the Move technology while providing that ‘everyone can play this’ feel that is so popular among female gamers; much like Little Big Planet did for the PlayStation 3 itself. If Sony continues to push the creativity with titles and plays their cards right, they should be able to turn the Move into a success and hopefully bring some gamers to genres they may not have played before and possibly allow some female gamers to feel comfortable playing on a more hardcore gaming platform.

Kinect is the official release name for Microsoft’s former Project Natal, which was debuted at E3 2009, and is set to release November 4th with around 15 supported titles. Based on what was shown at E3 2010, Microsoft is looking to take the Xbox 360 beyond simply a gaming console, but it’s really hard to say that Kinect was the way to go with it. The Kinect works as not only a controller capable of tracking up to six people at once, two of whom can be active participants in games, but also as a voice activated remote. It can distinguish between a person and surroundings, such as a chair or a lamp and can be used in place of a controller and will allow you to use Xbox Live as a way of video conferencing. Kinect can replace a controller for many functions of the 360, such as scrolling through the menus by way of hand gestures or voice commands.

The actual tracking and controlling for the games however, has drawn some harsh criticism, mostly for a lack of accuracy and for a feeling that the product is too gimmicky. Kinect looks great for a group or party environment, but doesn’t seem to have much longevity for solo use as anything other than a way of getting some exercise while playing, and will probably not be suited for longer gaming sessions or for gamers with limited physical capabilities. While initially people were excited at the skeletal mapping possibilities of the 2009 demo for Project Natal, there has been a sense of letdown over the finished product which is seen as more of a high resolution EyeToy. Microsoft really seems to be trying to open up the 360 and make it more family and casual gamer friendly and it could definitely be fun with the right titles, but it runs the risk of gathering dust after the initial fun factor wears off. Kinect seems to be playing on the Wii Fit’s huge female fan base by adding some titles that don’t really FEEL like an exercise routine, however it’s hard to say if female gamers will be willing to slam down $150 for that… that is unless they don’t own a Wii or want to save space by having only one console. Microsoft needs to find a way of using the Kinect’s facial and skeletal recognition to allow you to import yourself into the game rather than just controlling your Xbox Live avatar.  They also need a solid, innovative title that will help Kinect be seen as something more than a controller you can’t lose and give it more credibility with gamers; male or female.

As with anything there are pros and cons to each system. Nintendo has some great titles lined up and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword seems to have the polish that is expected from their experience with Motion Capture technology, but it seems like they are sticking to their tried and true format rather than trying to push the limits of the console. Sony really seems to be thinking outside the box, and stands to gain the most with female gamers by hopefully bringing them out of the traditionally female targeted exercise, singing or dancing games with the Move. Microsoft runs the risk of being the biggest flop out of the big three, because it feels like Kinect’s real draw is the convenience of navigating the menus without a controller. One thing is for sure though, there is a lot of new techology coming out and it will be interesting to see what the players demand as well as how the developers choose to spend their resources developing these systems.



Filed under: FeaturesPS3Xbox 360Wii

Share |
Del.icio.us Digg Reddit Stumbled Upon

Comments


Buddha's avatar
Buddha 10:15am, 08/21/2010

Want to hear something funny though?  I had no plans of picking up the Kinect.  I mean, not just initially, but probably not at all unless some fairly substantial titles came out for it.

Sure, it’s possible that my opinions of it may be way off, but I wasn’t willing to lay down $150 to figure that out.  I can get my wife to tell me I’m wrong about stuff for free all the time.  I mean seriously… every fucking minute of the day.

Anyway, it’s the wife who saw the dance videos from E3 and decided that she would absolutely love the Kinect… so we’re picking it up.

She’s completely ambivalent about the Move, and never uses the Wii.  But she must have that Harmonix dance game.

rolleyes

Buddha's avatar
Buddha 12:43pm, 08/23/2010

Further to this, she just saw the Gamescom footage and can’t wait to try this thing.

TartDarling's avatar
TartDarling 11:16am, 09/01/2010

I’m not all that excited about the Kinect to be honest (my not actually owning a 360 aside) but it’s mostly because it feels TOO gimmicky. I mean, if I want to dance around in a video game, I already own DDR.

Though interestingly enough after all their hype about how amazing their tracking abilities were, the reports are coming back that it has issues when it’s more than two people, so if you are playing two player and someone pops into the frame it freaks out a little bit.

Buddha's avatar
Buddha 11:19am, 09/01/2010

Yeah, if the wife ticks me off, I’ll send the dogs into the room to dance beside her and through the Kinect into a frenzy.

rofl

TartDarling's avatar
TartDarling 03:02pm, 09/01/2010

Just make sure you have one of your kids video tape her kicking your ass after.

Leave a comment

In order to comment, you must be a registered member. Registration only takes a couple minutes.
This is to avoid metric fucktons of spam.
Register • Log in

Random Game Reviews

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Review

Alan Wake Review

Starcraft II Release

Halo Reach Review

Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker Review

more reviews...


Two storefronts for your convenience, each with different items for sale to help support Bow Down To Us.

Our Spreadshirt Store
Our Cafepress Store

Displayed product illustration courtesy of Ginny.

Newest Game Features

VGAs Recap VGAs Recap

The VGAs, as expected, were painful to watch… however the choices in nearly each category will spur a lot of discussions… mostly because so many were wrong.

December 13 2010
1 comments

Diablo III: Character Customization Diablo III: Character Customization

Joe discusses the Diablo III character customizations which were announced at BlizzCon.  He also gives a hands-on review of the new PvP arena system.

November 03 2010
0 comments

Diablo III: Demon Hunter Hands-On Diablo III: Demon Hunter Hands-On

It’s all well and good to read about the Demon Hunter… watch some videos… perhaps drool a little on your screen.  But what’s it like to actually play one.  Joe gives us his thoughts.

October 28 2010
0 comments

more features...

Game Guides

Starcraft II: Know Your Units - Terran Air Support

Starcraft II: Know Your Units - Terran Air Support

Check out Joe’s guide to the Terran Medvac Dropship, a key component of the MMM strategy for delivering the units and keeping them alive.

August 28 2010
0 comments

Starcraft II: Know Your Units - Terran Infantry

Starcraft II: Know Your Units - Terran Infantry

In this guide, Joe gives you the rundown on the Terran Infantry, including the Marauder and Reaper.

August 28 2010
0 comments

Starcraft II: Know Your Units - Terran Marine

Starcraft II: Know Your Units - Terran Marine

It is very important to know your units (as well as your opponent’s) in Starcraft II.  Check out Joe’s Terran Marine guide.

August 28 2010
1 comments

more guides...


Random Comic Reviews

Amazing Spider-Man Issue 639 “One Moment in Time, Part 2”

Scarlet Issue 1

X-Men Issue 4: “Curse of the Mutants, Part 4”

More reviews...



World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Help support Bow Down To Us by buying Cataclysm from Amazon using this link.

Featured Video

Back to the Future Gameplay Footage
Back to the Future Gameplay Footage

Check out this video, where we find out that Marty has to go back in time to try and recruit a young Doc Brown.  The interactions between the two teens from different times is quite fun to watch.

December 16 2010
0 comments

More videos...

Popular Posts

What's hot in Gaming

Back to the Future Gameplay Footage

VGAs Recap

StarCraft II: Part II - End Video

Pokemon Black and White Playing Cards

Gran Turismo 5 Review

What's hot in Comics

Thor Issue 617

Chaos War Issue 3 of 5

Captain America Issue 611: “The Trial of Captain America, Part 1”

Chaos War Issue 2 of 5

Guide to Marvel Cosmic, Part 1: The Characters

Latest Game Comments

VGAs Recap
dpking2222 • December 15 2010

Gran Turismo 5 Review
Buddha • December 13 2010

Gran Turismo 5 Review
Lorangriel • December 10 2010

Latest Comics Comments

Fantastic Four Issue 584: “Three, Part 2: Congratulations, Mister Grimm. You’re handsome again!”
Buddha • November 23 2010

Fantastic Four Issue 584: “Three, Part 2: Congratulations, Mister Grimm. You’re handsome again!”
Samodean • November 23 2010

Fantastic Four Issue 584: “Three, Part 2: Congratulations, Mister Grimm. You’re handsome again!”
Buddha • November 23 2010

Archives

Games by Genre

   • Action
   • Driving
   • Fighting
   • MMO
   • Music and Party
   • Old School
   • RPG
   • Platformer
   • Puzzle
   • RTS
   • Shooter
   • Simulation
   • Sports
   • Strategy

Staff

Buddha

Editor-in-chief

Lodur

Executive Editor

Samodean

Senior Editor

Psynister

Contributing Writer

TartDarling

Contributing Writer