Move Kills Kinect, Already!

I know what you’re thinking, another headline with little substance. Another Sony fanboy dissing the fruits of Microsoft’s labours before it’s even hit the shops. But I can justify this standpoint, having splashed out on the full Move set up including three Move controllers and its three top titles on the day of release. My early purchase might suggest I was desperate to get my hands on Sony’s new take on motion control, but in reality, I just wanted to confirm my apathy for the Wii wasn’t solely about its lack of accuracy and PS2 era graphics.

The good news for Sony is that the Move controllers, while requiring an elongated set up, are far more accurate than I imagined. In the table tennis game within ‘Sports Champions’ for example, when the Move controller is turned into a bat on screen, it moves with every nuance of your wrist. The response time is pretty incredible, giving a faithful one to one representation of your movements on the screen. However, it’s only after you’ve played a few games, or one game in my case, that you realise it’s too realistic. I wasn’t about to go down the leisure centre and play table tennis, so why on earth do I want to stand (you can’t sit down and play accurately) in front of the TV and pretend to play. The other events in the game rarely creep above average; the much heralded Gladiator battle event is for me the worst of all of them. To make matters worse, ‘Sports Champions’ is the king of the initial Move compatible crop.

However, the changing coloured lights in the rubbery ball on the top of the Move controller are very groovy. Play with your friends and the console assigns a different colour to each player, so you’ll never forget which character you are, but imagine my disgust when I realised that ‘Start the Party’ doesn’t actually allow simultaneous play. There’s potential in this title that just wasn’t fully realised; it’s glitchy in places, and its laboured turn based play was a nasty surprise, particularly when I purchased four Move controllers specifically for this title. The third Move game was one for my kids, and to be honest, they loved the new version of Eyepet for at least two hours. Sadly for that little fuzzy bundle of fun, he’ll now live in his plastic case on the dusty shelf of doom until my next games clear out.

There is no killer-ap for Move, and unlike the initial Wii games, there is no brand coherence in the titles released so far. A disparate bunch of poor sports simulations and cash-in kids games are certainly not going to propel motion controlled gaming into the core player’s domain. Despite the existence of quite a few great titles, and being a die-hard Nintendo fan for years, I avoid the Wii because of its controllers. In conclusion, i’ll do the same with future Move games.

But I need to come back to my initial headline. There has been a lot said about the cost of Kinect, however, because it can handle multiplayer straight out of the box, it’s actually much cheaper than a four player Move set up. Microsoft are saying you CAN now play sitting down, and you WILL be able to talk to it in Europe next year. Molyneux says Milo isn’t just a tech demo, and that it doesn’t matter that Microsoft cut the spec on the production models when compared with the demo versions. Fair enough, but what does matter is that Microsoft were to slow to release it. Any serious gamers who have got caught up in the new wave of motion controlled hype have probably already bought Move and, because Move is so disappointing, they will now avoid Kinect like its stinking motion-plus.

Wii sales have fallen to record lows across the globe, and you can pick up Wii games for less than a fiver, but hats off to Nintendo. They created a buzz about something new and original, then they saturated the market with it. They took the industry by surprise, rode the curiosity wave and churned out the top selling home console on the planet. Next hardware cycle though, don’t be surprised if Nintendo abandon motion control all together. The wily kitsune is now honed in on the buzz for 3D with the 3DS; they’ve decided it’s best to appeal to the hardcore again, and I can’t wait for their next machines. What’s the betting that when Sony and Microsoft finally create their 3D consoles, 3D is seen as old hat. Some companies innovate, some companies imitate, what a great shame that motion control wasn’t really worth imitating at all.

Last five articles by Jace



  1. Jocky says:

    I’m not so sure. If Kinect fails, it was the Wii that killed it, along with Move and even Wii Motion Plus.

    Wii has managed to sell in awesome numbers thanks to getting people that wouldn’t normally game to buy a gaming console. When I’ve discussed Wii Motion Plus with friends that fall into that category (and have bought WMP), their reponse has been that, as you mentioned about Move, it’s too accurate. Wii Sports is awesome because it allowed people to play an approximation of the real sport without any real skill, and means that most people can compete on a level playing field. I think most of these people are Wii-fatigued now, and Move is too close to the Wii to warrant an expensive purchase.

    The people that liked Wii Motion Plus are the ‘hardcore’ gamers. I don’t believe there are enough of them to really make Move a commercial success – certainly nothing on the Wii scale – and Sony has done no favours with the lacklustre software support to get the hardcore gamer enthused. I think that Move has the potential for some very interesting games, and I hope it lives long enough for them to see the light of day.

    Kinect may succeed where WMP and Move fails because it doesn’t involve a controller. IF the Microsoft marketing can distinguish itself enough from Wii, and IF they have a Wii Sports level killer app (I haven’t seen one yet) they might just fool the Wii-fatigued social gamers that it’s not Wii 2.0 and worth buying.

    The one thing I do agree on though – the 3DS will be a money printing machine for Nintendo. The wow factor of non-glasses 3D is too great to resist.

  2. Michael Author says:

    I can say, as a 360 fanboy, that I seriously don’t give a damn if Kinect fails! I won’t be buying it. I don’t have a Wii, and my housemates PS3 won’t be getting Move for it anytime in the near future.
    When I play games, I like to be relaxed, sitting down, maybe even wrapped up in my duvet… Not standing up, jumping around, and swinging my arms like a madman.
    Another reason is, I am of the larger man variety… We do not do well with this sort of thing!

  3. Edward Edward says:

    I’m not too sure what to think about this, I think it’s very slightly reactionary and without too great a level of debate within it. I think a very good debate on the subject of Kinect and Move and their place in the market after Nintendo’s success with the Wii is this, if you have 8 minutes to spare to watch the video:
    However, I think its also something where you can’t really say no one will buy Kinect because Move came first. Most people who were going to buy Move had more hardcore leanings and most people who will probably buy Kinect have more casual leanings, as that’s the way they’re being marketed. Neither game really has a killer app worth advertising, and that’s both where they’re falling down. It’s not a case of “If we build it, they will come”, especially when there’s relatively little at the start to entice players and when the Wii gave you software at the beginning anyway, it works more for the consumer that a Wii with a game or two and controllers and motionplus works out way cheaper than a Ps3+relevant Move controllers or an Xbox360 + Kinect. Also, I wouldn’t argue just because something came first means its going to do better than its competitors. That’s not always been the case.
    Also, I think the fact the Wii is having record low sales at the moment as a sign of fatigue with motion control is a really short sighted view. Considering it’s soon coming up to its fourth birthday, I’m more shocked the Wii’s sold so well for this long. I’d say its not so much that there’s a motion control fatigue by this point, but more “anyone who wants a Wii probably has one by now”. There’s no way to tell how the market will go until it happens.
    Sorry, this sounds all rather moany, but I just feel the debate is left rather one sided by the end of the article.

  4. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    Yeah Ed, but if we had to write every article based on logistics, facts, figures and no artistic license… there’d be fuck all to read, wouldn’t there?

    As a jaded gamer who loathes the thought of motion control anyway, I can see Jace’s point entirely. I wasn’t convinced by the whole “waving your arms around” concept in the first place… and the first console to support such ridiculous gestures was the Wii. Sure, it sold by the truckload, but it has done exactly what Jace suggests as far as I’m concerned (on a personal basis I mean) in that I will not go near Move or Kinect because it was shit, pointless and annoying with the Wii therefore it’s not going to be any different with Move or Kinect. Doesn’t have anything to do with the Wii being out first or Move coming out before Kinect, but purely that “tried it, didn’t like it so I don’t care WHO brings it out, I’m no longer interested” feeling. You could have Stoya turn up at my door with Christopher Walken and Tim Burton, all telling me how fucking awesome Move or Kinect are and I still wouldn’t bite… because the Wii has already done it and I didn’t like it with the Wii, so I won’t like it with anything else.

    Perhaps that’s a cynical approach to it, as Move and Kinect may perform better than Wii Motion Plus does… but it doesn’t matter. It still involves getting physical during a pastime which is, by all intents and purposes, supposed to be about relaxation. For Jace, Move has killed Kinect because he gave Move a shot and didn’t like that… so there’s little chance that he’ll like Kinect… but for me it goes back further to when the Wii was introduced. That killed motion sensing gaming for me, and not because of the technology behind it, but because of its very existence. I despise it.

  5. Edward Edward says:

    I can see entirely where you’re coming from, and I admit my stance was way too stony faced and serious, and I apologise for that.
    I can see why people are getting fatigued by the motion control fad, because until game developers and companies actually develop the technology further and actually use it for something worthwhile, rather than shoehorning it in, it’ll still be relatively bollocks and no one will really enjoy it.
    It speaks volumes that my favourite games on the Wii are optional to use without motion controls, but the only game that actually makes use of it well is Metroid Prime 3. Everything else tends to overuse it and make it shit. Sometimes some games can make a use of it that adds a level to it, but barely.
    Also, I can completely sympathise with the whole “gaming is supposed to be fun, not a fucking workout” aspect to it, and most of the time, I will be more willing to play some stationary games because I don’t have the energy, but recently thanks to things like Rock Band I do enjoy playing something that requires a bit of exercise to have fun, but that’s a very mood dependant thing.
    I realise my original comment didn’t understand what the perspective was as well as I thought, and for that I apologise for the stony faced seriousness of it. After all, it’s our opinions, and that’s what I love about the site, that we can talk about what we want in our way without dicks like me going “Could have been more balanced…”
    Sorry about that. :(

  6. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    You want a real Rock Band workout? Next time you’re up you can try drumming along to some Dream Theater… that shit makes you want to lie down for hours! :)

  7. Rook says:

    I bought the Wii and have played very little on it. The motion controlled was a great idea but the novelty wore off quickly for me (and with others going by the number of tmes I’ve heard people say they don’t use the Wii anymore or they sold it). I haven’t tried Move or Kinect yet so can’t say I don’t like them but I’ve no current intention of buying either.

    Maybe I’ll get to try them out at some stage but I’ve not enough interest in them at present.

    @Markuz – Stoya could turn up at your house and you wouldn’t bite? Wait… did I read that out of context?

  8. Lee says:

    I’ll go motion controll when they have that killer app, I’m ok with the whole kinect thing so i wont hate on either it’s just not for me. Just like dead space 2 isn’t gonna be one for my mum.

  9. Edward Edward says:

    @Markuz if you wanna see me horribly fail to be any good at the drums, ever, then I certainly can give it a try!

  10. Jace says:

    Wow, real debate going on over this, which is great. Thanks for sticking up for me Markus, though Edward does make a valid point. This article is completely reactionary. It is a blatant lash out at the utter feeling of disappointment at wasting so much money on Move. Luckily, I collect all this crud anyway, and could afford to buy it, but what about all those gamers who saved up for it, who’ve pre-ordered it, who’ve queued for it. If they feel only 10% of the disappointment I felt when I got it, then they certainly won’t be investing in any future motion controlled devices. Hypocritically though, and because as I said, I collect this crud (there’ll be a museum with my name above the door one day), I will buy Kinect, and will enjoy returning to this debate then, (and proving my point).

  11. zack says:

    I actually like the motion controls. They are great for shooting, Joysticks just aren’t very efficient at aiming in shooting games. I always have trouble lining up my shots with joysticks, but with the motion controller, it’s alot more natural and easy to aim. I had a blast with the Time Crisis: Razing Storm demo (it only let you play the arcade mode) which really shocked me, I had installed it for a good laugh. RE 5 Gold Edition felt a little better when playing it. Gladiators on the Sports game was fun. I believe Sony will come out with support for the Move just like they have supported their consoles with quality games. Killzone 3 will have optional Move controls and I have heard support for 3D correct me if I’m wrong. 2011 is looking to be a great year for gamers of all categories. We should all rejoice.

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