Happy tuesday internet, I'm Drew and I have a blog.
Motion controls originally hit the larger scene with Nintendoís (at the time) next big console, the Nintendo Wii. Everyone with an attention span has certainly acknowledged at this point the huge push in the industry. While the Wii used to be the only thing tearing us apart between theseí coreí and Ďcasualí demographics, Sony and Microsoft hopped on the bandwagon quickly and absolved the game industry further to appeal to a mass market.
(The original motion control device)
To Sonyís merit, they have created a precise motion control system while aiming at both the Ďcoreí and Ďcasual,í that much is undeniable with the large amount of core games with Move support and the smaller push of motion control shovel ware, if barely any (I havenít seen nor heard of a single minigame motion control fest for the PS3, but let me know if one exists). Sony quietly integrated the PS Move while respecting those who didnít like the motion controls, save for the odd press conference where theyíd feature it heavily. Nintendo continued their support of magic wand-waving, to the annoyance of some, while most of us had long since gotten over it. Their douche ad campaigns and copious amounts of nonsensical crap games allowed on the console is a problem, but itís managed to die down (with the exception of those 3DS ads) over the years into what I interpret is Nintendoís acknowledgement that motion controlling isnít to everyoneís liking, and isnít some sort of pretentious future of video games, in the same way as Sony.
Neither company could resist the casual/motion control market but theyíve gained a nice principal about it that approaches the core gaming audience with under hand opened palms, allowing us to give a chance to the power and potential fun of the technology before we shut it out from the annoying, corny ad campaigns or stream of insipid games.
Gamers and their community are built like an Ďall American hamburgerí from that nice little diner down the street. Itís not five star by any long shot but damn if it tastes good and presents this wholesome feel to the entire experience of eating out. But then all of a sudden that family diner is taken out by some mediocre restaurant chain that you never really understood the popularity of. Iím not trying to compare motion controls to corporate evil and greed like a rebellious teenager who thinks heís really damn hardcore despite never touching a console before 2006. (Thatís kinda how I used to be as a dumb tween.)But imagine the idea of it. The diner that felt retro and had a little something for everyone was stolen away by this big shot lunch hotspot that not everyone likes, with this assuming little attitude that they were irresistibly the best around the neighborhood while the most attraction they got was from the occasional family looking for a quick fix to satisfy hungry tykes in the car, with a few Ďcoreí eaters getting attracted to a unique dish.
(Try and tell me with a straight face that you haven't seen a family like this in almost every casual game ad)
Perhaps Iím overthinking it and becoming a bit pretentious myself, or maybe even wrongly stating the feeling Iím trying to articulate. If itís not apparent at this point, Iím basically saying that the motion control concept revolutionized the industry and exploded on to the mainstream in this super family friendly approach that could only make a self-respecting nerd cringe just a little bit.
As said, Sony and Nintendo have died down with this feeling, at least from my perspective as a middle class teenager with a surrounding family devoid my own encyclopedic videogame mind. Microsoft, however, has yet to stop blasting off their product into the unsuspecting mainstream masses, and theyíre doing it more furiously than any company before it. Before I start whining, the Kinect is actually an amazing machine. But again, the ideology, approach and principal of this motion control genre are the most important things. Like the difference between sexual assault and consensual intercourse, pardon my crudeness. Itís a revolution without a cause besides this idea of progressing forward into a more Ďimmersiveí style of sitting on your butt and playing games(or rather standing up and dancing like an idiot with Kinect)that not everyone is going to like. If youíre coming on to the gaming industry with a big new toy, like the Kinect, you canít come at it like something that everyone will love, especially if youíre directly targeting the mass market and the generic middle class American family looking for an entertainment device.
This cheeky FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY perspective is what earns items like the Kinect or the Wii or the Play Station Move a bad rep among the Ďhardcoreí crowd, as well as those rebellious teenagers I spoke of, who sadly exist and sadly hate Nintendo for little reason outside of what the Wii did to the industry back during its release, rather than itís decline back into core appeal (while always sustaining this casual appeal) and remembering the companyís legendary games. Not only that, but itís simply god damn annoying, taking away soul left in the industry(obviously)and replacing it with corny advertising campaigns that feel as if they were specifically made to alienate this hardcore gaming crowd. If I havenít made it easy enough to see at this point, I find the Hardcore Ė Casual distinction kind of silly but also an inconvenient truth.
Itís Microsoft, still trudging behind and beating the dead horse in this attempt at churning out whatís left of the core gamer and making Kinect the next big medium, a godly gift from the dirty bowels of heaven. Honestly, it makes me sick to watch these awkward press conferences where the big M rocks the motion control genre like a washed up hooker rocks worn out sex appeal. Iím not saying Kinect is done or over. Again, itís a wonderful machine. But Microsoft needs to grow out of this hump where all they can think about is the mainstream sales as they froth at the mouth and crock up more wacky tech demos and uses of the machine that would put any core gamer to sleep, from boredom and exertion. Thereís a few novel ideas hidden among the aforementioned problem-children but it always is going to leave a naughty taste in anyoneís mouth who isnít that middle aged mom or child that the Kinect is clearly marketed towards.
It certainly leaves a dreadful taste in my mouth. Summing up my little rant with E3 commentary brings me to really just laugh at Microsoft. At this point, that dead horse they are beating has dried up to itís bones. Of course Iím being cruel, but itís nothingís going to change if we donít play ball Jim Sterling style. Microsoft needs to get their shart together, pardon my French. In fact playing ball anyway will probably be useless, that normal nongaming family will always be attracted to the casual advertising specifically made for them. What the company needs to do is approach it like the two other big publishers, Nintendo and Sony.
Respect the core gamer, approach motion controls subtlely, and donít you dare forget core games for the core audience. Microsoft was devoid this year at E3, discluding Kinect stuff, a few third party multiplatform games/exclusives, and of course, Halo 4. This is a problem. I donít know how much more of a wakeup call they need, after the thrashing given by core gamers for the last few E3s proved ineffective. And also, get on the bandwagon and have a big first party Kinect shooter. That would no doubt draw in the core community.
As always, I suck at endings. See you next week, internet.