With motion based gaming getting ready to hit the front lines this fall, one can only wonder what direction our beloved lifestyle is heading. Are we ready to give up our hiking trips to the Colorado Monument in exchange for a hiking simulation on our televisions? Is going down to your favorite gym taking a back seat to our favorite consoles urge to get us in shape? Only time will tell if this latest fad will change the face of gaming forever. Will gamers finally stop being stereotyped into the lazy, overweight, going nowhere category? I cannot answer those questions, for my name is not Sylvia Brown, but I hope to lend a little insight and knowledge to the past, present, and future of motion based gaming.
This is not a first attempt at getting gamers moving. In 1986, a peripheral was released by the name of the Power Pad. This was Nintendo’s first attempt at trimming up its loyal subjects. That was until we all realized that our fists worked a lot better than our feet at making our simulated track superstar’s launch their way into a gold medal.
The Eye Toy was originally released in 2003 by Sony as a means to create an immersive, interactive experience while ditching the traditional controller and forcing the player to be active. Although a few quirky titles for this hardware existed, it never really took off. Third party support was basically non-existent and hype surrounding Eye Toy dissipated.
This brings us to back to Nintendo and their release of the Wii. Trying to convince grandmothers everywhere to pick up their grandchildrens’ controllers for a few rounds of bowling, people of all ages were instantly transformed into gamers. With 30 million systems sold to date, it seems that the public is ready to combine exercise and gaming. At least that’s what the powers that be at Sony and Microsoft seem to be thinking, as they are gearing up to go head to head this holiday season, each with their own versions of exergaming.
According to Game Informer magazine issue 109, Microsoft Kinect plans to release the stand alone Kinect hardware and Kinect Adventures for 150 US dollars, and a bundle which will include a 4GB Xbox 360 slim unit, The Kinect sensor, and Kinect adventures for $299.99. Kinect Adventures is a collection of twenty motion based mini-games.
Finally, we have Playstation Move, which takes the existing Playstation Eye camera($49.99) for PS3, and combines it with the new Playstation Move navigation controller($49.99) and the Playstation Move motion controller($29.99). The Playstation Move bundle($99.99) consists of the Playstation Eye, one Move motion controller, Sports Champions, and a demo disc. Adding a navigation controller will set you back $29.99, and will bring the complete set up to 130 bucks.
Will all of this attention on motion based gaming this season, one can only wonder if this is a bunch of hype surrounding Nintendos success with the Wii, or if gaming is actually taking an evolutionary path. For this reporter, it’s gonna take more than a few gimmicky titles to convince me to shell out my cash. Let’s hear what you all think about this interesting trend in video games!