Motion controlled gaming
Thursday, February 3, 2011 by cyberacoustics
Remember when the Wii came out back in 2006? Everyone from Grandma to little Tommy were going head-to-head in fierce battles of bowling. Then came the Wii balance board, which brought exercise and dance back into the living room. For a few years, the Wii dominated the motion-controlled gaming arena, but times have changed. This past holiday season, Sony sold to retailers 4.1 million Playstation Move bundles and controllers, while Microsoft sold a whopping 8 million Kinects to retailers. Both of these giants finally realized that there is a growing demand for active video gaming.
The Playstation Move is like the Wii - the system features a wand-like controller that gamers wave aboutto control their avatars onscreen. The simple, easy to use controller captures a full range of motion, giving the gamer ultimate control over how they play and interact with the system. Like the Wii, the user is confined to using a hand held device for their gaming experience.
On the other hand, Microsoft's Kinect uses cameras to read players' full-body movements and translate them into action. Hand held devices are not necessary for Kinect games. It gets even better than that. Soon, Microsoft will be releasing their Avatar Kinect service, which utilizes real-time mapping of facial movements unto the user's digital character.
When you raise your eyebrow, so does your avatar. Imagine playing poker and your virtual avatar displays your actual facial expressions. You better be able to bluff or you're going to lose your shorts.
New gyroscope-equipped tablets such as Motorola's Xoom, Acer's new Android slate, and Apple's rumored iPad 2 also promise potential new ways to bring motion controls to the masses. Unlike consoles, these hand held devices let you enjoy the gaming experience on the go, wherever you are.
Nintendo's 3DS, a handheld gaming system capable of producing three-dimensional visuals without glasses, also has a built-in gyroscope for augmented reality 3D gaming, and Razer's upcoming Hydra controlller uses a magnetic field to detect your movements.
E3 is not until June, but I can't wait to see what games will be available next Christmas utilizing all these new technologies.
- Steve Murphy - CFO, Cyber Acoustics