I’ll be updating the site with impressions of what I’ve seen today, but one thing is crystal clear: motion controls are in: WAY in. Both Microsoft and Sony showed off new motion controllers, with MS by far taking the lead in a “next gen” motion control system. Sony’s by comparison is more of a “wiimote evolved” scenario, which is all well and good. I’m a fan of the wiimote, after all, so Sony’s approach feels like a natural extension of that, at least from what we’ve seen.
Beyond that, we also have the new Tony Hawk skateboard controller, which from what I saw is very impressive. Not to be forgotten, of course, is Nintendo’s own Wii motion plus, which finally brings true 1:1 control to that platform.
For me, this sudden flood of motion controllers is in many ways Nintendo’s vindication; yes, they shipped a system with less horsepower than Sony or MS, but they took a gamble with motion control that paid off so well that they have now redirected the efforts of Microsoft, Sony and the entire games industry. Love or hate the Wii, there’s no longer any way to deny it: Nintendo was right.
So we got here and got checked in, but what have we learned? That the press room is hotter than hell (games journalists don’t need air conditioning!), the show floor is eerily closed until noon and the wifi sucks so bad that I’m actually better off posting from my iPhone.
In addition to Sony’s previously reported theft of Nintendo’s Wii controller idea (specifically the gyroscopic sensor system), we’ve learned some interesting additional information concerning Sony’s Dual SKU sales model (attentive gamers will recall Sony’s criticism of Microsoft’s dual-SKU model, on which Sony President Phil Harrison said “it just confuses the audience…They don’t know which one to buy, developers don’t know
which one to create for, and retailers don’t know which one to stock” and will scoff at said hypocrisy accordingly). If all you heard was Harrison, Kutaragi and Hirai talking up the two PS3 versions in the press conference, you’d think that the only difference between the PS3 Core and PS3 premium was the size of the
hard drive. Turns out, nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s take a look at the facts, and we’ll use Sony’s press release to do it.
In an act that should piss off gamers everywhere, Sony has OFFICIALLY stolen Nintendo’s controller idea. You read right, folks: PS3’s controller will duplicate the functionality of Nintendo’s Wii controller, sensing direction and position in 3D space. Howard Stringer even went so far as call it “Sony’s Innovation”.
This news is beyond pathetic.