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Journey dev: Touch control the 'most universal' interface

10:00 AM on 02.12.2013 // Jim Sterling

thatgamecompany looking for controls that appeal to the widest audience

thatgamecompany boss Jenova Chen believes touchscreens are becoming an increasing part of our gaming lives, and its presence in phones, tablets, consoles and PCs makes it a truly universal interface. As some gamers still rail against "swipe" controls, the Journey dev hints strongly that his next game may be all about them.

"Right now I’m looking at the touch interface. Pretty much all the new PCs, phones, tablets, and consoles have touch in some way," he told IGNThe Wii U, for example. Who knows what the PS4 might have? The PS Vita has touch. And what about the 360?

"I’ve been seeing all these new kids. They like playing with their tablets. I ask them ‘why don’t you play on consoles?’ ‘Well, it’s right here. I don’t want to go turn on the TV and go through all these things.’ So I can see the younger generation is more accustomed to touch. My mom came to my laptop and tried to touch my web page, because she’s been using an iPad. I think it’s more natural as an interface."

According to Chen, the lack of tactile feedback with touch control is a consideration, but since he wants his next game to have a wider appeal, it's the way to go. 

"It definitely doesn’t have the feel of a joystick. All this tactile feedback is gone. But since we’re considering multiplatform, touch seems to be the most universal method at this point."

While the developer couldn't reveal his plans for his next game's platform, he did confirm that PCs, tablets, and Web browsers are factoring heavily into his research. These are the platforms he's looking at as he tries to find a broader appeal for his games. Personally, I hear microtransactions and cover systems are the way to go! Why not try that?

Jenova Chen on the Future of thatgamecompany [IGN]

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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