Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wii like to Move your Kinect

I know the title does not make sense, but for anyone familiar with videogaming, they would instantly recognize that I am speaking of the new motion control gaming fad that has exploded in the last few years. It was in 2006, when Nintendo launced the Wii to great critical acclaim and the sales proved it was possibly the company's biggest hit console since the Nintendo 64 launched in 1996. Wii brought back the classic gaming of yesteryear where it was all about family entertainment. It was the 1980s and early 1990s, where the family would always get together to play video games. Anyone remeber Duck Hunt? the classic shooter, in which one would aim a light gun to shoot virtual ducks. The Wii brought all that back with their new take on motion controlled gaming, where with just an infra red device that corresponds with your motion controlled remotes: Wii-mote, you can become a golf player, bowler, Pete Sampras and even a Jedi Knight. The remote could basically be used for any thing like a golf club, tennis racket or a light saber. The idea behind the name was simply "We" because it brought back party gaming for all ages. It did not require big HDTV sets like the Playstation 3 and XBOX 360 to utilize its full potential.

The Wii became a phenomenal success upon its launch, eclipsing Microsoft and Sony's next gen game console powerhouses in sales and popularity. The rival consoles were more powerful and could show the best graphics if you had a HDTV at home. Realizing the popularity of motion gaming, Sony and Microsoft decided to bring out their own rival consoles to compete with the Wii. However, these would simply be add on devices to their current consoles. It was news that Sony had apparently been working on similar technology before the Wii launched and it was even highlighted in the new PS3 dual shock 3 controller, which was known as Sixaxis initially because for certain games, one can tilt the controller using it as a steering wheel or a fighter jet throttle. Eventually in 2010, Sony launched the Move add-on to their PS3 console, which basically used similar Wii-mote styled motion controllers with a glowing ball that corresponded to a webcam set on top of your television set. It was said to be more accurate than the Wii backed by the awesome power and graphics of the PS3. Move was followed by Microsoft's X360 add-on device codenamed Project Natal launced as simply Kinect. This took motion gaming one step further. It made the gamer, the controller. A rod style attachment on top of your TV would accurately via a digital camera and possibly infra red would capture all your movements, similar to motion capturing in movie and video games. Basically there would be no controller, but your own body and hands would be used to play Kinect games. It allowed the use of voice commands, as well as the ability of using one's hands to change menus in the XBOX 360's main menu/ GUI interface.

At this point, Wii has also improved their own console with the addition of Wii Motion Plus controller. The Wii still leads the motion gaming market because of an established library  of games since 2006, while their rivals have launched their add - ons only less than a year ago. At this time, we will need to wait for newer titles from Nintendo's rivals and see an eventual winner of the new console wars. It is also important to note that Nintendo has announced the new WiiU to be launched next year which would improve on motion controlled gaming and include the capabilities to show high definition graphics that would rival the PS3 and X360. It is an exciting time for gaming, especially for me since I have literally grown up with a  joystick. Clearly, a gaming revolution is about to happen, and its definitely going to be for the best. 


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