Last year at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft and Sony announced game-changing technologies (literally) and, unless you’re a gamer, you probably haven’t heard of them. Both have to do with user motion-control for the Xbox and PlayStation 3, which directly encroaches on Nintendos long-standing and popular gimmick.
Except Microsoft is taking a different route than the motion controller. They’re taking the controller completely out of the equation by using a host of sensors designed to read your body. Yep, pretend like you’re driving a car, shooting a gun or even fishing and you can play your favorite driving, shooter and fishing games. If this sounds good to you, then you’re the exact kind of gamer the monopolistic company is looking for, which is to say you’re not (a gamer, that is). You see, this sort of virtual technology has never caught on, and yes, this isn’t its first incarnation.
I remember playing VR games in Vegas nearly ten years ago, and it was lame. Why? Because if you’re pretending to grip a steering wheel, aim a gun or cast a net and there’s nothing in your hand, then you’re going to have no connection with the game you’re playing. But isn’t that the point of video games — to play them, to disconnect from reality? Oh wait, that’s what all entertainment is designed to do. Maybe that’s the thing: to reach a level of gaming where you don’t feel like you’re playing a game. Perhaps this is supposed to make the virtual world more real. It’s an interesting concept and is the entire idea behind Project Natal. It’s also a giant gamble.