I remember a year before the Wii was released, and I saw a screenshot of the controller. I was mad. It looked like Nintendo was going to change things for the worse. When the reports came in about the motion features, I was blown away and super excited. I loved the Wii for about 2 years and defended its innovations and looked at its weaknesses as the cost of better and more exciting features. I soon realized that the motion controls were gimmicks and, despite myself, my initial impression was right. The level of interactivity that was preached was lackluster, and the glory of my experiences never reached half of what I expected. Soon, my adoration of Nintendo turned to bitterness.
A year ago, everyone was anxiously awaiting the new, groundbreaking motion controls “done right.” The Wii Motion Sensor Plus, Xbox 360 Kinect, and the Playstation Move. I looked at them with the wisdom I had gained from my Wii experience. I refuse to spend any money on peripherals Nintendo adds to their consoles as afterthoughts (remember the N64 expansion pack?). The Kinect held zero interest for me. Not just because I don’t have an Xbox but because you can’t sit down to use it. The Move looked cool but was merely a better version of what the Wii could do, and you had to pay for it.
What’s the verdict now? Am I still in love with those new motion controls? Were they worth the money? Was it everything I hoped and dreamed? No. They’re still gimmicks that are used to sell “innovative” games and more accessories. When the peripherals are added to a game as an option instead of a requirement, I prefer the regular controls 99.95% percent of the time.
I don’t want to lecture the industry and claim it was all a mistake, but the best I can say for motion controls is that at least it seems the trend is to make them optional. I can’t pick up the Wii for fear of rage-throwing my Wii-motes through the screen. I don’t use the Move, because I hate the camera, and I prefer the Six-Axis. The Kinect was fun for the 5 minutes I tried it, but I know the novelty will wear off fast.
The problem is, I feel hesitant to say I think motion controls should go away forever, yet I don’t know where I’d want them to go. Maybe they will get better. 3D seems to be catching on, from what I read, but I’ve yet to try it gaming. Maybe combining 3D with motion controls and the new amazing surround sound headsets will finally give me the experiences I’ve imagined… but I doubt it.