Published on July 9th, 2009 | by Aykut D.4
Is Xbox 360 trying to be more like the Wii?
Project Natal made big waves at E3, arguably more than the PS3 motion controller, soon after both press conferences announced their respective projects many debates were sparked as to which tech was the superior one. Both “controllers” are fairly different and it seems that the two are going to be targeting different markets but is this true?
Microsoft’s Project Natal is completely camera based, with no controller in hand, gamers (and non gamers) will be able to interact with games just by moving their bodies or speaking. The goal of this new technology is to try to bring everyone in the house around the console to play a variety of games, sound familiar? The montage video shown at the press conference showed off a family playing a racing game, a young kid playing as a monster, a teen playing a skateboarding game and fighting game, and a family playing a game show.
The similarity between all of these mentioned games is that their all in the casual game market, safe for the fighting game. The video didn’t show anything close to an RPG, Shooter, Platformer, or a general action game, these are all staple genres that frankly will be difficult to implement with Natal, with no controller in hand it seems that your actually limiting the ways you can interact with a game. Granted this technology is all brand new and developers have barely started toying with Natal, so we haven’t really seen what Natal can do with “core” games. However it still seems that playing many games on Natal will be a difficult task to pull off especially with games like Splinter Cell or Gears of War. All of this leads one to believe that Project Natal (for the time being) is going to be targeted to the Wii’s audience: Moms, elderly people, tween girls and everyone in between.
Sony’s motion controller seems to combine a motion controller with a camera giving players the best of both pieces of technology. Sony showed no video montage like Microsoft but instead simply showed off a bunch of tech demos on stage. The demos covered a fairly wide range of genres and features and controller had, one of the features shown was how the controller can turn into a variety of things like a gun, baseball bat, and sword, each item showed up on screen in the players hand making it seem like they were actually holding the item. Each of these items were able to interact with the environment like the baseball bat being able to hit a ball. The went on to show a variety of tech demos in several game genres, such as First Person Shooter, Strategy, and an action adventure mode where the demo showed sword, ninja star, and bow and arrow gameplay. Other than this demo not much else was explained about the controller and there were no full games to be shown. However the important thing was that the controller was shown and in an environment that was directly related to “core” titles.
Overall both consoles still have awhile to go before they can show off anything more concrete about their respective controllers. However for now it seems that the PS3 controller might have the edge on Natal when it comes to catering to the “core” gamer. It seems there are just some things that have to be done using a controller and unless if Microsoft can think of really innovative and creative ways of making Natal work with “core” games it seems that it’s going to be going down the route of the Wii.