When it comes to motion control, and we can all thank Nintendo’s Wii for this split, the typical software and the typical gamers are often considered casual. With Nintendo‘s system, at least, core gamers buying the product were automatically buying into the control method. While the Wii attracted a slew of casual gamers, the lot of core supporters picked up on it too.
With the Kinect and the PlayStation Move, however, core gamers have the option of completely ignoring the device. I’m in favor of this split, as a sidebar, and like the fact that motion control can be completely ignored in gaming.
It’s become obvious, however, that Microsoft is working towards aligning the schism between the core and casual crowds as far as it goes for the Kinect. They’ve basically insisted that the motion-based hardware be squeezed into every new title under the sun; Minecraft, Mass Effect 3 and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier head that list.
That didn’t resonate too well with gamers. As Microsoft paraded their Kinect capable goodies on stage at their E3 press conference, fans of the more core control method began groaning the world over. The reaction was negative, but it seems that Microsoft expected that bit. Speaking with Eurogamer, Xbox Senior Product Manager David Dennis explained.
“It’s similar to last year where some of the core gaming media walked out of E3 a little skeptical about Kinect and said ‘I’m never going to do that’. But a lot of them also went and bought Kinect and said ‘Oh my god, I love it, I break it out when I’m having a party, I play with my girlfriend, finally I can play with my kids.’ I think people have embraced Kinect and we think that a lot of what we showed at E3… whether people fully understand it now, as we open up more and more over time and explain and let people get hands-on, we think people are going to love it.”
Despite the swagger and confidence on Microsoft’s part, tons of gamers still remain entirely skeptical. They’ve seen the device in action and how it’s being applied to core games so far and they’ve not been convinced that their titles are “better with Kinect.”
Ken Levine of Irrational Games explained it best last week: motion control needs to be kept entirely separate from the core game and its elements.