We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

E3 Impressions of Move & Kinect

by Michael Cole - June 25, 2010, 12:16 am EDT
Total comments: 28

PlayStation Move
The Sony Move feels very much like a Nintendo Wii Remote, although I found its rounder, more microphone-like shape to be a tad uncomfortable since I'm used to Nintendo's offering. The device is built very sturdily, but to me it felt a tad heavier than a Wii Remote + Wii MotionPlus. This could have just been the difference in weight distribution: the Move rested more on my fingertips than a Wii Remote + Wii Motion Plus, since the Wii MotionPlus makes Nintendo's comparable controller bottom-heavy and is largely supported by my palm.

Ergonomics aside, the Move software I tried out — TV Superstars and the The Shoot — left me unimpressed. In TV Superstars the pointer-equivalent controls were not sensitive enough, so I had to make very broad movements with my arm to move the on-screen cursor from one side of the screen to the other. I didn't have this problem with The Shoot, but for both games the pointer felt laggy. At first I thought this might be a television calibration issue, but when I tried a gyroscope-based game in TV Superstars, the on-screen action was far more responsive. The difference between The Shoot and the shoot-the-targets mini-game in Wii Party, which I tried promptly after my time with Sony's Move, was drastic. I don't know if this pointer lag is inherent to the hardware or simply poor coding in these early Move titles, but it left a negative impression. Oh, and did I mention these two games were a Wii knock-off waggle-fest and uninspired shooting gallery game, respectively? Yeah.

Kinect

Kinect, on the other hand, was a far more pleasant and unique experience. Others attending E3 seemed to agree: I waited 5 minutes to play the Move on the second day, and about an hour to play Kinect on the third. Kinect Adventures was surprisingly enjoyable, if a bit simple. In the first mini-game my competitor and I drove cars by holding up our fists as though we were holding a steering wheel. Starting this game required me to pull my hands back and then thrust them forward — a gesture that newcomers without a tutorial may not be able to figure out — but otherwise steering was responsive and intuitive (there were no gas or brake pedal motions for this game.) The other mini-game I tried required me and my partner to lean to either side and jump in tandem to steer a raft down a river while collecting coins. Like the driving game, the rafting game was simple but fun with responsive controls.

Supposedly Kinect can track something like a dozen people at the same time, but given the space necessary for the body gesture controls, I cannot see more than two people playing Kinect at a time, nor do I see the interface as viable in small or cluttered rooms (not unlike Wii Sports, Wii Fit, etc.). The on-screen cursor is controlled with a fist, and a button click is simulated by hovering your fist-cursor over the button. This felt odd to me, but it is perfectly functional and should be familiar to tablet PC owners.

Those gripes aside, the tech seemed solid: walking behind two people playing didn't phase Kinect at all, and although the Internet is teeming with reports of how it cannot (yet) be used while sitting down, the camera input device seems most uniquely suited for gameplay where players are standing, and a standard controller is a better choice for Xbox 360 menu navigation anyway.

Talkback

brian577June 25, 2010

Quote:

if a bit simple. In the first mini-game my competitor and I drove cars by holding up our fists as though we were holding a steering wheel.

And people think playing games on the Wii makes you look silly? 

BlackNMild2k1June 25, 2010

For comparisons sake, how long did you wait to play the 3DS?

that Baby guyJune 25, 2010

The problems with Kinect were on the supply side.  At Microsoft's booth, they had about one Kinect/game, and the only other ones I saw were at Ubisoft's booth and MTV Game's Booth, which was entirely Harmonix based.  The 3DS lines were consistently much longer.  Hundreds of people could often be found waiting to play the 3DS, where dozens would be waiting to try Kinect, but because Nintendo had many more 3DS units available to see, wait times were about as long, if not much shorter for the 3DS.

Also, I've seen a tech demo of Move recently, and while it looked great, the three Move titles I played did not play as well as Wii Remote-based counterparts would play.  It was sad.  I've got write-ups over somewhere on PixlBit for 2/3, but the point is, if someone tells you Move is good, there's a good chance they're lying or biased. So far, every set of real impressions I've heard has been disappointing, my hands-on time with actual games has been discouraging, and there doesn't seem to be any seriously compelling game actually built for Move on the way.

I used to be interested in the Move only because I was looking forward to playing RE5 with RE4 Wii controls. But it's not to be--the launch version of RE5 is not getting a Move patch. Only the Gold edition is. So I'm boycotting Move until that policy is changed.

that Baby guyJune 25, 2010

Quote from: Halbred

I used to be interested in the Move only because I was looking forward to playing RE5 with RE4 Wii controls. But it's not to be--the launch version of RE5 is not getting a Move patch. Only the Gold edition is. So I'm boycotting Move until that policy is changed.

For the record, one of the games I played was Time Crisis.  It lost calibration very fast, in about a minute or so, and was actually a bit more shaky than using a Wii Remote.  I wouldn't expect Resident Evil 5 to control as solidly as some have suggested so far.

From playing with it at GDC, I thought the Move hardware was there, but the software wasn't yet.  I'm surprised it hasn't improved much in the past several months.

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

For comparisons sake, how long did you wait to play the 3DS?

The line varied from 30 mins to an hour, but Nintendo handled the people waiting in large 20-min groups unlike Sony or MS, so it's difficult to compare.

FYI There were also empty Kinect demos at Hudson and Warner Bros. That's where I tried it and promptly lost most interest.

BlackNMild2k1June 26, 2010

Quote from: NWR_Neal

FYI There were also empty Kinect demos at Hudson and Warner Bros. That's where I tried it and promptly lost most interest.

But did that have to do more with the software on display or the tech that it was using?

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Quote from: NWR_Neal

FYI There were also empty Kinect demos at Hudson and Warner Bros. That's where I tried it and promptly lost most interest.

But did that have to do more with the software on display or the tech that it was using?

A bit of both, I think.

jrlibrarianJeffrey Trewin, Associate EditorJuly 01, 2010

Until the price on Kinect drops below $100, there is no way I'll be able to pick it up due to my tight video game budget right now. That's really unfortunate, since I was looking forward to it.

There are rumblings about Kinect being incorporated into Windows 8.  Minority Report UI?

TJ SpykeJuly 02, 2010

You mean that rumored leaked document, which may or may not be reveal, which outlines possible goals Microsoft could have? That is interesting, with Microsoft hoping to make it so your PC could automatically log into your account when it sees you and log off when you walk away.

Mop it upJuly 03, 2010

I thought that Move could be the first real competition for the Wii, but a lot of impressions say that it isn't as responsive as the Wii Remote and most of the games aren't very impressive. If the technical issues are worked out before it launches -- or if developers figure out how to fix those issues -- it could still b a moderate success.

I really have trouble thinking of any meaningful ideas for Kinect. A lot of what was shown seems like Wii knock-offs, though there were a few unique pieces of software. Still, a few one-off games won't be enough to sustain sales for this thing, and with the rumoured prices floating about, I just can't imagine it being any sort of success.

Ian SaneJuly 05, 2010

These are the first Kinect impressions I've read that sounded even slighty positive.  But then I haven't really been looking for impressions on it either.

The thing is the game you were demoing was a racing game without gas and brake.  Well that is such a dumbed-down design for a racing game.  Maybe that's fun for a quick play at E3 but who wants a real game with such little depth?  It comes across as Microsoft's answer to Kirby Air Ride.

While the technical issues, like responsiveness, are important I think what really matters is what games are made for these.  So far I don't see anything that's going to convince someone to buy this.  The Wii wasn't an accessory, it was the whole console and it came with Wii Sports which, based on what has been shown, crushes every Move or Kinect game.  Sony and MS can't even get away with merely matching Wii Sports, they have to TOP IT.  If I want Wii Sports of Wii Sports Resort, I'm getting a Wii.  Why would I get a knock-off?

Hell one of the big complaints about the Wii is that the games that actually use the remote are all mini-game fests.  Wouldn't it make sense to avoid making games like that?  I would think that not following the stereotype and making motion control games with more meat to them would be the ideal way to attack the Wii.  You can't attack the Wii's flaws if you yourself also share them.  I think Move should be the anti-Wii.

Mop it upJuly 06, 2010

I've always been annoyed by racing games which have the player constantly hold down a button for gas (which is pretty much all of them). It's uncomfortable. I'd prefer to have an option to have gas be automatic, and just have a button for slowing/braking. Or there could be a button to accelerate, but then you could release it once you reach top speed; this would be similar to cruise control in a car.

You know what system had good racing games which should be brought to Virtual Console? Saturn.

Mop it upJuly 06, 2010

I thought the Saturn was known for fighters. What good racing games were there?

Do you know what system would be good for bringing over Saturn's fighters? 3DS.

Quote from: Mop

I've always been annoyed by racing games which have the player constantly hold down a button for gas (which is pretty much all of them). It's uncomfortable. I'd prefer to have an option to have gas be automatic, and just have a button for slowing/braking. Or there could be a button to accelerate, but then you could release it once you reach top speed; this would be similar to cruise control in a car.

Most racing games on the iPhone work that way, or at least have an option to work that way. I don't really like it; it may be a bit simpler, but it feels like you have less control over your car.

BeautifulShyJuly 06, 2010

Quote from: Mop

I've always been annoyed by racing games which have the player constantly hold down a button for gas (which is pretty much all of them). It's uncomfortable. I'd prefer to have an option to have gas be automatic, and just have a button for slowing/braking. Or there could be a button to accelerate, but then you could release it once you reach top speed; this would be similar to cruise control in a car.

Have you played Kirby's Air Ride for the GameCube? You pretty much discribed its controls. Sonic Riders is also a game where you are automatically accelerating.

Ian SaneJuly 06, 2010

An acceleration button works much better if you're playing with real pedals.  Anyone who drives knows that being able to let off or push on the gas is important for control.  But since most games just have start and stop types of gas and brake, holding a gas button seems a little odd.  Still I sometimes just let go of the gas in a turn instead of hitting the brake.  I think not having the button would give up some control.  The thing is the games that have automatic acceleration so far have not been any good which suggests to me the idea is flawed to begin with.

TJ SpykeJuly 06, 2010

Quote from: Mop

I thought the Saturn was known for fighters. What good racing games were there?

I think the Saturn port of Virtua Racing got good reviews.

vuduJuly 06, 2010

Quote from: Mop

I thought the Saturn was known for fighters. What good racing games were there?

Truly, I can't be the only one here to appreciate Zap's wit, can I?

Mop it upJuly 06, 2010

Quote from: Ian

The thing is the games that have automatic acceleration so far have not been any good which suggests to me the idea is flawed to begin with.

To me it suggests that no one has figured out the best way to have it work, probably because no one has really tried. Instead of there being a gas button, that button could instead be to "let go of the gas." I don't recall playing any racing game where I ever needed the brake, I would always release the gas instead, so the brake could be placed on some lesser-used button like Plus or Minus on the Wii Remote. It might seem a bit strange at first simply because we're used to something else, but I think it would be a much more ideal setup.

Quote from: insanolord

Most racing games on the iPhone work that way, or at least have an option to work that way. I don't really like it; it may be a bit simpler, but it feels like you have less control over your car.

The iPhone has bigger problems though, like being uncomfortable to hold.

Quote from: vudu

Truly, I can't be the only one here to appreciate Zap's wit, can I?

I know he was imitating Kytim89, I think it is fun to roll with it and see where it goes.

Spak-SpangJuly 10, 2010

Actually, developers just haven't thought outside of the box for controlling a car in a driving game.

The best controls for a driving game, that would give great control would be to have a button that accelerates the car.  Once you let go, your car is going the speed you stopped at.  Now if you need to go faster push the button again and you will go faster.  If you need to slow down then hit the break. 

This simple control mechanic would give purpose to the break and would make sense to drivers whom push on the pedal and stop a desired speed.  You could also do this with analog trigger buttons to allow you to accelerate slowly or quickly.  Or even use a secondary button to lock in your speed. 

I feel driving games in big cities would work much better in this type of control system and allow players to choose to obey the law while driving or speed up crazy. 

Those are just my 2 cents.




EDIT:  Sorry Mop It Up, I just saw you posted my same idea. 

BlackNMild2k1July 10, 2010

The best way to handle your hands off gas control would be for game makers to just make a cruise control button.

Cars in games control just like in real life, you press the gas pedal to go, and as long as you are pressing that pedal, you keep going.
You want to slow down a little, then you let go, you want to stop then hit the break. If it's not to complicated to do in a car, then why would that be complicated in a game?

Next you are gonna want Manual Shift that does it Automatically so that you can have better control without actually having control.

Mop it upJuly 10, 2010

Quote from: Spak-Spang

EDIT:  Sorry Mop it up, I just saw you posted my same idea. 

Actually your idea is a little different than mine, in fact I think it might work better. And it goes to show they could offer many ways to control racing games, to try to accommodate everyone's preferences.

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement