Friday, May 6, 2011

Controller, is it you?


For about twenty-five years console games have been played with some kind of pad. Now people are given new different choices. Kinect, Move and Wiimote offer new ways to play games, new to the masses at least, but is that the right way for game controllers to evolve? Or is it just a nice gimmick to sell games to new people? Well they are selling millions so someone has to like them.

Way to go Microsoft!
As I started playing games with NES I have always played them with a pad. I mean if I'd have started earlier or with something different I would have played with joystick. Of course I have also used keyboard and mouse to play games with PC, but as I don't do it anymore (at least for now) I won't talk about it here. So twenty-five years with a gamepad is a long time. Especially as I don't like changes you might guess that for me this new way of playing isn't something that I'm excited about. Well yeah, you are mostly right. But that's just me and many people actually are excited about Kinect, Move and Wii.

So why I'm not interested? I like playing my games lying on the couch. It's easy, relaxing and, if the game isn't some ad/hd action packet, you can really enjoy the feeling of pure adventure (you read it right, I'm lazy). In my opinion all this can be done only if you can keep the pad in your lap, push the buttons with your fingers and lie down if you like. I don't like the idea of me waving my hands around or jumping around my living room. I can admit that I haven't tried any of those new controllers, but that's just because of the way I like to play my games.

I'm not totally against this new technology though. I'm sure it's great for party games. People jumping around and playing some mini games with friends laughing at them is cool. Also if you like to play FPS games online I think that Move can boost your kills, at least after some practise. Then there are sport games like golf that surely gets better with "real" controls, or if not better but at least they feel more real I'm sure. Fitness games absolutely benefit from motion control. Two older examples are dancing games and driving games. Both are at their best with the right kind of controller. My point here is that while some games benefit from a certain type of controller, it still ain't right to try to make that controller the default one for all games. I'm just happy that Kinect and Move aren't the default ones. I'm also hoping that that won't be the case in the next generation either.

More buttons ain't the right way either.

In any case I think that this new way to play games has potential. For example Kinect isn't just accurate enough, yet. While I'm still not liking the idea of me running around my living room to play some game, there surely are other possibilities for this technology outside of controlling the game itself. E.g. proper facial recognition in any lighting condition. People at Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo should also keep their options open and not force this motion thing just because it's hot today. Now that it's hyped so much I also hope that the companies don't focus too much on just the technology but remember that there should be good games too.

I would love to hear your comments on this subject. What kind of controller do you use to play games and why?

34 comments:

  1. Like you said, the Wii (or any motion sensing device) is really fun with friends, but it just can't beat controllers. Maybe we're too used to them. But the thing I like about Kinect is that it can be used with so many other things and hackled to work with a computer.

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  2. The controller really is a central part of gaming. Things like the Wii are an interesting development and certainly work really well with some games, but I'm certainly not ready to give up my controller just yet.

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  3. I prefer using a controller, it just doesn't seem right to not use one.

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  4. It has a good amount of potential. But, games were meant to be activities where you can sit back and relax, rather than jumping all over the place, waggling body parts. So... The controller's gonna stick around for a long time, or at least until they integrate it better with the motion detectors.

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  5. I just use the regular controller, I didn't buy a Wii and won't be getting a PSmove unless some good looking exclusives come out that require it. I don't own a 360 but if I did i wouldn't buy a Kinect, motion control is just a poor gimmick to disguise a game that has a lack of effort put into it. I'd rather the developers make a good game than a bad one with worse controls

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  6. Until a person can play a shooting game or RPG as well as with a controller, say MWF2 or Oblivion, then I see no reason to go to motion controlled

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  7. Same opinion as everyone up there, really. Controllers have always been the tried and tested method of controlling games, aside from a keyboard and mouse (which also works well). I think the main advantage of motion controllers - exercise, kind of faded away when everyone got bored and just sat down and flailed their arms on the sofa to play tennis.

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  8. My favorite controller will always be the N64 one, it just felt right lol

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  9. Can't beat Wii when it comes to this...

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  10. I prefer using a controller over motion. Feels more natural and that is how I was brought up.

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  11. keyboard+mouse combo is flawless

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  12. Motion controls are cool, motion control abuse is not cool. Wagging, flailing, and other random crap is not an acceptable input method. I don't think I've played a single motion control game that was made better with the addition of the motion - in fact, most would be less frustrating with regular controls.

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  13. I prefer the xbox controller! best design in my opinion ;D

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  14. keyboard and mouse ftw yeah :)

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  15. I'm keyboard and mouse guy myself. even though I think its an interesting idea to merge exercise and gaming, the technology disappoints me so far.

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  16. The xbox 360 controller is probably my favorite. It's a bit bulky but I have large hands so it works out better.

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  17. Keyboard and mouse, all the waaaay.

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  18. I see how the controler evolved from when I bought my first xbox, well my dad bought it for me. The controler was so big for my small hands back then.

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  19. Personally, I will always choose to stick to a controller which I can hold in my hand... WII is on the edge, since it still has somewhat of a controller feeling... but PS wand and kinect are NO

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  20. haha that playstation controller with the buttons is hilarious

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  21. Lol what happened to the old controlers.

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  22. I think that motion games are really awesome, but sometimes, I miss playing with the tradition controller, just after I get tired of moving around xD

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  23. mouse and keyboard :P yeah. all you need.

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  24. The N64 joypad was the pinnacle of console controllers

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  25. Because of all the fat kids nowadays they tried to make gaming more energy consuming, so they come up with all kind of stuff like the ones you mentioned. Can't say I am against it either though, I think it can be fun from time to time but there is nothing wrong with being lazy and lie on that couch playing a game with a proper controller!

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  26. How I see it is all the major gaming companies got tired of hearing "video games make you fat!" So they make up this new tech that actually gets the fat kids off the couch. Also soon I'm sure they'll try their hand at VR once again. But yeah, nothing beats a good FPS with a controller after a long day.

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  27. Love your blogging work! Keep up the good work you make really good posts!

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  28. more buttons = more confusing!

    cool blog

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  29. I'd love one of these! I still love my controller though!

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  30. I dont like the Playstation controllers, they seem like the light things airport workers use to help manouver planes.

    the wii seems too much like a tv remote control

    and the xbox is kinda nothing which at least means you are less likely to smash your screen...

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  31. I think it'll pass. The mouse and keyboard for PC has lived on for generations despite fancy new controllers trying to enter the market. Maybe sometime in the future, when you can mindcontrol your games i'd change, but until then im sticking with some reliable clicking on various buttons!

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  32. At this moment it feels like all the motion sensors and camera's are unfinished budget products, everyone is rushing this way too hard in my opinion.

    And I would NEVER play street fighter with a kinect or something, haha.

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  33. That PS3 thing looks like a bizzarre sex toy.
    Cool blog!

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  34. The motion functions are probably here to stay but need a lot of work.

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