Thursday, June 04, 2009

Pre-Natal Exam

By now, I'm sure you're all aware of Microsoft's announced "revolutionary" sensor technology.

Yes, yes. I, too, am very excited to hear about it.


I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. I'm sure it's going to be the greatest thing ever, ever, EVAH with no drawbacks whatsoever.

If you're an Xbox fanboy, feel free to stop reading right now.


Okay, they're gone.

I've got a lot of shit to cover.

First off, I don't know who Microsoft thinks they're bullshitting. This isn't 1980, people. We're kind of all connected on this World Wide Web thingy.

We all know this is a total rip off of the Wii.

You can dress it up and call it an improvement all you like, but we are all entirely aware that this is a complete and utter attempt to steal Nintendo's thunder.

It's not even subtle. It's not like we can kind of, sort of draw parallels between the two ideas.

It's a freaking sensor bar that registers your movement and translates it into on-screen actions.

Yes, yes. It's got a camera, Radar, Sonar, a flux capacitor, and a coffee machine.

It's a sensor bar.

The only thing it doesn't have is a Wiimote.

That, no doubt, will be the big announcement at next year's E3.

Here at Microsoft, we constantly strive to create new and original technologies that push the envelope and bring our games to a new level.

Thus, we present the Xbox360 X-mote. This, in combination with our Natal sensor bar will revolutionize the gaming experience.

Ummm... Isn't that just a Wiimote painted black?

Security... Shoot that man in the face.

Don't shoot me, bro.

It's a Wii sensor bar. On the Xbox 360.

That should just be their slogan. I'd at least respect the honesty and them not treating us like we're all retarded.

Second... Didn't they say all this motion stuff was a stupid gimmick?

I know they had to lob a few grenades in the whole console war, but Microsoft basically called the whole motion control thing useless and said that it would never last. They laid down a solid argument against the technology and explained why their console was better.

Then, every single person in the world bought a Wii.

Some people bought two.

And not because the first one "broke".

Suddenly, Microsoft is on the motion control bandwagon. Woo hoo, everyone start flailing madly.

I don't mind a company trying to make more money. That's their entire purpose for being. Motherf&%@ers are just tryin' to get paid.

I respect that.

But at least come out and say you were wrong. Just say "You know what? You guys were right. This motion control stuff is really cool. Our bad."

Don't suddenly change midstream and pretend that shit didn't happen. You're just insulting both of us.

Third... People, please calm the F&%@ down.

It's motion control. We've seen this before.

I know this is supposed to be the next level of motion control. You'll be able to use entire body movements to control your character.

Have you considered what a bad idea this is going to be?

Who the hell has enough living room space to actually act out anything remotely resembling game actions without breaking something?

Like a lamp.

Or an arm.

And what about other people in the room? The thing is supposed to map out the entire room to detect your motion. Theoretically, you may have other people in the room.

How will that affect gameplay?

You're just about to skill someone in Mortal Kombat. You've torn him to shreds and you're about to deliver the killing blow.

Then Scorpion's mom walks in behind you and asks if you mowed the lawn.


I'm just saying there's shit to work out here. While we were all impressed with the demo videos, there is a lot of things that could go wrong.

Man... There's just too much to talk about with this thing.

What are we on now? Four?


Fourth... Oh, this is probably going to be bad.

I don't want to sound like a negative person (HAHAHA!), but this industry's history is littered with the corpses of terrible motion control technology.

The Eye Toy.

Who doesn't enjoy washing virtual windows with really crappy controls?

Oh yeah... Everybody.

Hey, remember the Power Glove?

That's right. You had.

All of these motion controls were supposed to be the future of gaming.

Hell, they made an entire movie just so they could put the Power Glove in it.

And it was still crap.

I'm not saying this thing is guaranteed to fail. No, no, this thing has a definite chance to succeed.

But I think cautious optimism would be the way to go right now.

Yes, I know the Xbox community has had to take a lot of shit from the Nintendo crowd. Nintendo has basically owned the gaming industry sales charts for the past few years.

They have every reason to be excited.

I just think it might be a good idea to hold off on calling it the "Wii killer" just yet.

Just saying.

Fifth... And this is possibly the most important thing I have ever said EVER...



The Xbox crowd doesn't have the best track record when it comes to using new technology responsibly.

The idea that they can use any part of their body to control their character... Frightens me.

Please no sword fighting games.


All in all, I think this could be a great new technology that might change the Xbox360 experience.

Change it into a Wii.

This will either be a major success or an epic, epic fail.

If it's a major success, our entire gaming community will be elevated to a new level.

If it's an epic fail?

Well, I'll have something to make fun of.

Isn't that the most important thing of all?


At 7:23 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Please no sword fighting games.


At 7:37 PM, Blogger ching said...

Just wanna share something about motion-sensor-game thingy:

At 7:51 PM, Blogger golden_knyte said... like how u talked about the lol360. But sony is also coming out with their pair of "wiimotes" too.

was funny though, at the E3 press conference they kind of jabbed at microsofts natal saying "u need a trigger for some games, its just too awkward without it". which is true, how the hell u gonna shoot a gun with natal? yell "FIRE" everytime?

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Michael said...

The answer is pretty much as GM_Dave said. They'll likely be coming out with a control scheme to go along with Natal.

A remote if you will. A remote that you can waggle possibly?

I'm not really pissed at Sony or MS for ripping off the Wii technology. Did anyone really not see this coming? Anyone other than Nintendo, that is?

Really, they didn't seem like they had anything at all lined up to counter the inevitable bandwagon. Wii motion plus? That isn't news-- that's something that should have been released to begin with.

If Nintendo's innovation becomes moot because of their inability to stop patting themselves on the back then I hardly feel sorry for them.

I really hate what Nintendo has become. I just wish their games would stop being fun so I wouldn't have to buy into it anymore.

At 12:53 AM, Blogger Gambler_Justice said...

Please no sword fighting games.
You fight like a dairy farmer!

At 5:05 AM, Blogger David said...

BTW, FFXIV official site:

Music is freaking good

At 5:53 AM, Blogger Taria Shadow said...

What worries me about project NATAL is not the motion sensor rip-off of the Wii.


No, it's the AI they are working on.


Microsoft and AI... not a good combo.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger David said...

Well, i was kind of skeptical when i saw the Milo video since it was not in live and the responsible behind the scene is Peter Molineaux, lord of hype. The fact they didnt do a live demo is enough for me to thing it was all staged.

The drawing and all that could be done easily with some sync. Anyway, i would like to see a demo where they ask Milo different things with different tones.

Imagine [GM]Dave telling Milo he's going to fed him to Jormy. Milo would return a "Parser error" and a windows BSOD.

At 6:51 AM, Blogger tyranastrasz said...

I agree, this is either going to be totally awesome or epic fail, and sadly I think this rests on whether third-party developers learn from the mistakes they made on the Wii and don't try to shoehorn the Natal controls into every single game they make, even where they obviously won't fit.

I'll just be over here holding my breath.

At 7:46 AM, Blogger skynes said...

You forgot one...

The U-Force. It's very close to what Microsoft's Natal.


I feel dirty just saying U-Force.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger FerrariF50 said...

Xbox Wii60!

At 9:25 AM, Blogger gareth said...

i dont think you have thought this one through :/

This in nothing like a wii sensor bar!. Can a wii sensor bar recognise facial expresion, erm no. recognise voice erm NO!

the wii sensor bar is 2 IR led`s. Natal is way more. Now sonys effort is essentially a Wiimote clone! So i think you aiming your criticism the wrong way

altho its more like a progression of eyetoy if you ask me and an impressive one and it can be implemented into games and for shooting a gun.. i guess you can just motion a trigger with your finger .. its not hard .. go on try it!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Tiger's Lair said...

Microsoft have been ripping other companies' ideas for decades. They pretty tried to steal Apple's OS at one point. They tried to make Vista run like a Mac. They even ran to get patent on iPod before Apple got to the patent office (luckily Apple won that case). So I would think Microsoft would try to copy (*cough* steal) what Nintendo did.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Michael said...


I agree up to the trigger part. Natal wouldn't work on FPS, not because of whether or not you COULD fire a gun using their control scheme, but rather how it would feel while doing so. It just wouldn't feel natural making a finger motion that would probably never be picked up no matter how advanced Natal winds up being.

Also, how would you aim? What if you want to turn to face someone coming up behind you?

You can't just turn around because then you'll be facing away from the TV, and thus wont be able to see anything.

You NEED a remote for most game genres. No question about it.

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know those old super nintendo guns you used for duck hunt? Yeah, they should steal those, too, and re-release them.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Michael said...


Nintendo Zapper. Don't make me jump through the Internets.

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Yeah, you're talking about how the Xbox is copying the Wii with Natal, and how they're going to make a controller of sorts to go with it, but the point of it is to have controller-free gaming.

Now, the PS3 is a copy of the Wii, with their colour-changing wand thingy.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger Michael said...

That's what they 'claim' the point of it is. They presented it as if it would one day entirely replace their regular control scheme. This is impossible unless they implement some manner of reliable remote control.

If they don't it'll just wind up a casual gimmick that'll be misused or underused in all but a few instances. I'd like to hope they're smart enough to avoid this.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Leut said...

I totally want sword fighting. I can use that as a legal excuse to bitch-slap someone.

"All I was doing was swing my sword in the game and she walked too close. It's not my fault she is too stupid not to look out for someone engrossed in a video game flailing his arms around trying to stay alive. If anything she was trying to make me die in game and I want to press charges for aggrivated assault on my character! Arrest her officer! She's a menace to society both in real life and in virtual reality! She's a terrorist! Waterboard HER ass!"

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Adam said...

on't really care if they are stealing anything or are implementing a control scheme. I don't want to have to come home after a long day at work and dance a tango in front of my TV just so i can play my newest acquisition. Seriously, this obsession with forcing us gamers to move is getting out of control. The Wii is great when drunk, hanging with friends, or both but that's it.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Sword said...

I think Penny Arcade summed up one of the reasons that sword fighting games are a bad idea.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Another motion control device. Yay.

Right now my apartment is under a sea of wii boards, wii motes, three diffeent kind of guitar controllers, two drum kits and God knows how many plastic light guns.

Still, lets stay optimistic. One step closer to the full body emersion into Vana'diel. And if we move around enough before that happens we won't all have to be Galkas.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

yes Let's all steal Nintendo's Ideas! Next Year Sony Will release the Pulse Checker and Microsoft will release the Heart Rate Monitor! Even though the Vitality sensor will utterly FAIL.

"Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal."

At 10:36 AM, Blogger randifaypayton said...

-Imagining FFXI done with motion sensors...what level was that choco?- Nuff said.

At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So let me see if I understand this.

To play Soul Calibur I stand in front of the TV flailing about like an idiot for 15 minutes until I collapse on the floor out of breath.

Yeah, no thanks. I don't play video games because I want a workout. More like the exact opposite of that.

At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apple stole the GUI Mouse concept from Xerox though.

Apple couldn't sue MS for this reason. Xerox hadn't patented the concept of a mouse + GUI so MS were free to use it and there was nothing Apple could do to stop them because the technology wasn't theirs to begin with.


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