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Microsoft Natal And Sony Move Showing Disappointing Sales Forecasts

The annual E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) conference is kicking off in Los Angeles, and if at least one survey is to be believed, Microsoft and Sony have a very long road of promotion ahead of them.

The Sony Playstation Move controllers have been popping up here and there for ages, and Microsoft’s Project Natal controller made its official debut at the 2009 E3 show. Since then, hard core gamers have been going back and forth over the merits of motion control, which would be superior to the other and so on, but it seems someone forgot to inform the mass buying public about either of them.

sony move project natalAccording to Gamasutra, a new report from OTX Research polled 2,000 gamers between May 23 and June 5, 2010 and found that only 15 percent of owners of each system knew about the respective motion controllers.  Of the total number surveyed, eight percent of Xbox 360 owners planned to purchase Project Natal, whatever its final name happens to be, and only six percent of Playstation 3 owners plan to purchase the Move.

Well, I guess the good news is if they can get the general knowledge numbers up, perhaps the companies will end up with more buyers?

The problem, as I see it, is two-fold.  First off, the Nintendo Wii has been out there for so long with motion control that these look very much like running to play catch-up, which they are.  I think everyone that wants motion control in their life pretty much has it by now.

The second issue is just the economy mixed in with the extremely sad history of poor peripheral support by gaming companies.  Money is already tight for people, and you look back over the years of, “Oh, this addition to the Gaming System X is a life changer, and we’re going to fully support it!” … and five years later you find it in a drawer and go, “Oh yeah … that thing.”  Peripherals have always been a mixed bag, and people can only get burned so many times before they just lose all faith.

These devices may end up being huge successes once all of the marketing kicks in, but I envision myself waiting for at least a while to make sure there are enough games to support them before I pick up anything to do with them.

What say you?  Are you excited for either of these controllers?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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