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Topic: Microsoft's Natal

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Philip_J_Reed

21. Posted:

Golgo wrote:

It looks damn good to me and, let's be fair, more innovative than holding a wiimote (motionplus+ or no). Not that I'll be getting it, though. I'm all waggled out for this generation.

Innovative in what sense, though? Playing a video game by sticking your head into a bucket of gravy and singing the national anthem would be innovative, but would anyone want to play it?

ROB the robot was innovative. The Power Glove was innovative. Virtual Boy was innovative. As you can see, "innovative" isn't necessarily good company. You need the games to back it up. Until then, this is technology that hasn't even decided on its audience.

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Golgo

22. Posted:

@Chicken Brutus

Innovative in the plainly obvious sense that it appears able to pick up whole bodily movements, for example, without the need to have a wiimote strapped to each limb. Of course, the question of "games to back it up" remains moot as Microsoft were primarily demonstrating the technology; but facile mini-game collections will probably be the start...

And the technology has most definitely "decided on its audience". The only question is whether they can seduce that audience away from Nintendo. Perhaps unlikely given the rumoured high price point for the device plus Xbox 360.

Edited on by Golgo

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Philip_J_Reed

23. Posted:

Golgo wrote:

@Chicken Brutus

Innovative in the plainly obvious sense that it appears able to pick up whole bodily movements, for example, without the need to have a wiimote strapped to each limb. Of course, the question of "games to back it up" remains moot as Microsoft were primarily demonstrating the technology; but facile mini-game collections will probably be the start...

And the technology has most definitely "decided on its audience". The only question is whether they can seduce that audience away from Nintendo. Perhaps unlikely given the rumoured high price point for the device plus Xbox 360.

I'm not denying that it's innovative. It is. Many bad ideas are also innovative. "Innovative" is only a positive quality if the innovation itself leads to positive things.

Until they start showing us what they actually intend to DO with the thing, it's pointless. Yes, they were primarily demonstrating technology. Good for them. Gamers don't buy technology; they buy games. You sell a gamer on a great game, and then you get him to pay for the system/peripheral/whatever other crap he needs to play it...you don't sell a gamer on a peripheral and leave him to hope that something might be worth playing down the line. They're doing it backward. I guess, in that sense too, they're being innovative...

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Golgo

24. Posted:

What extraordinary software was the wiimote revealed with, I can't seem to remember?

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Adam

25. Posted:

@Golgo
Wii Sports. Not the best memory?

Chatham wrote:

Let me be the first to say "It's lame"... If Adam comes by, he has an idea of the cred that entails.

What's "cred"?

I sort of agree that it's lame though. There was a whole lot wrong with that presentation. The guy had trouble just trying to show his avatar's foot. If lifting your leg is that hard to register (or maybe he just has physical problems lifting his leg...? That guy was really creepy, especially with his sunglasses on in that dark, inside room), the machine has problems. The next demo featured a woman flailing her arms completely randomly. Man I can't wait to do that. And the final live demo has some girl putting her face on some other guy's butt while holding a pillow -- which oddly summarized my feelings for the entire presentation -- after making very basic motions to splash paint poorly and in patterns that the average five-year-old could outperform on paper.

But fine. Let's pretend this thing does work great despite all evidence to the contrary. Is there much of a point to it? The other games shown in videos show nothing that can't already be done. A driving game where you steer. Didn't Excite Truck do this three years ago? A trivia game where you press a single button. Man, that's innovation. You couldn't do that with, say, a controller already. Obviously all of this is still quite different, but I don't think those who don't already own a console will be impressed enough to put up all that money, and those who already have a Wii will be saying they can already do this stuff.

I already made my thoughts and doubts about the ultra-disturbing Milo clear elsewhere.

Now, we'd all be lying if we said we weren't impressed by Natal simply as a concept. I wouldn't mock 360-owners for being excited. From the standpoint of a human being interested in science, this is very, very interested. But as a gamer, I can't see why anyone would be sold yet, if anyone is.

Personally, the most promising part about Natal is voice recognition. If that works (and I have my doubts even about this), that would have more potential than the motion capture. It could be used on its own or in conjunction with a controller, unlike motion capture which would make playing a controller simultaneously a bit awkward. Still, there are lots of hurdles like recognizing a voice that has a cold, recognizing what is said to the Xbox and what is said to someone else in the room, distinguishing the similar voices of siblings, isolating the voice from background noise and game noise, etc. Anyone who has tried talking to customer service computers that companies use when you call knows that this kind of technology is far from perfect. I'm sure Microsoft's will be a bit better, but if it is anywhere near as perfect as their video with Milo suggested, I give the moderators permission to change Chicken Brutus's name to Rooster Julius.

Edited on by Adam

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Adam

26. Posted:

Hmm... IGN just reported their "hands-on" impressions with Natal. They were given a demo of Burnout Paradise, which supposedly worked perfectly. Of course, I couldn't care less if a driving game works because I'd rather have a Wii remote giving some physical resistance like a wheel should, but it proves the machine does what it's supposed to, which is impressive. They also demoed that dodgeball game and said it was a bit unresponsive but mostly okay.

No Milo demo, unsurprisingly, and that is the software which is going to require the most convincing. Not only that, but it's the only game shown that can't already be done on Wii, aside from the pointless voice activation for choosing paint colors.

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Golgo

27. Posted:

@Adam
"Wii Sports. Not the best memory?"

I was being 'arch', i.e. a very similar game to one of Microsoft's efforts.

Edited on by Golgo

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Adam

28. Posted:

Being arch? What does that mean?
How is Wii Sports similar to one of MS's efforts, and which effort do you mean?
I'm confused.

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Golgo

29. Posted:

A. Ironic.
A. The 'dodgeball' one.

Hope that dispels your confusion.

Edited on by Golgo

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The_Fox

30. Posted:

The Natal certainly looks interesting.

I still remember the shitstorm the Wii kicked up with gamers screaming that there was no way the Wiimote and Nunchuck were going to work, so we'll have to wait and see how it shapes up.

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Adam

31. Posted:

Golgo wrote:

A. Ironic.
A. The 'dodgeball' one.

Hope that dispels your confusion.

Dispelsion complete. Thanks.

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brandonbwii

32. Posted:

It seems that the biggest weakness is actually jiterry looking 1:1. It's the same nitpick I have with WM+ and is by know means a dealbreaker. In fact I can see a variety gaming apps where you never have to see your movements on screen anyway making my point moot. The only thing I see as a major hurtle is the lack of creativity in the industry itself. There is endless potential and there are even a number of ideas that come to mind. However, like the Wiimote and Eyetoy before it, I forsee a lot of flailfest and people only sticking to what works. It's a "casual" device and in the game industry the unfortunate truth is that "casual" is synonymis with "crap".

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Pegasus

33. Posted:

Just watched some videos now of the tech demo of Sony's take on motion control. Doesn't look bad either, although those prototype controllers with the glowing orbs do look a tad strange. It certainly will be interesting times ahead seeing who can do better motion controls. There's definitely the possibility that all big three will have success with their respective technologies. Right now I'd still say Nintendo has the edge since WiiMotion Plus is about to be released (way before the competition) and it's only a simple extension for the Wiimote's instead of having to fork out much more cash for those other options.

Edited on by Pegasus

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y2josh

34. Posted:

I think Sony's glowing orb thingy is going to be really good, or at least blow Microsoft's out of the water. I don't think people are ready for something like natal. I don't think Microsoft is ready either. Kinda reminds me of the Virtual Boy. It looks like cool technology though. I don't mean to sound like a fanboy for Sony, but that presentation of their product really blew me away.

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Adam

35. Posted:

In a way, it's a good strategy by the competition because they imply they have these great ideas to make Motion+ seem insignificant, but the fact is that Nintendo is actually delivering, not just making promises with pathetic looking tech demos. Plus, Ubisoft will have a motion camera for Wii this year, I think, so the joke will really be on the others when the wider market sees these now new techs as old news, or worse: copy cats. Of course, I'm not saying they are copying Ubisoft's Wii camera, but the average consumer will probably think so if the Wii camera gets enough lime light, and that's the consumer this is aimed at anyway. It will be interesting times indeed. I think both techs have big potential, but commercially I expect PS3's to be a flop and Microsoft's to have mild success.

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Pegasus

36. Posted:

Huh. I totally missed that about Ubi's development. Interesting.

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Pegasus

37. Posted:

weirdadam wrote:

In a way, it's a good strategy by the competition because they imply they have these great ideas to make Motion+ seem insignificant, but the fact is that Nintendo is actually delivering, not just making promises with pathetic looking tech demos.

That's a good point actually. I watched the archery gameplay for Wii Sports Resort and it looked almost very much like what was shown in Sony's tech demo, but the former seemed a whole lot more accurate - plus, on the Wii you wouldn't need two controllers, just the nunchuck and Wiimote+WMP. Yeah, if Nintendo markets WMP heavily enough the other two might have a hell of a time breaking into the mainstream market, which is already a bit of a challenge for them, as it is.

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Chatham

38. Posted:

@Adam
We've discussed where I live and what I do before. 'Nuff said. And I can't say more.

Can you site a source for the Ubisoft Wii Camera?!

Edited on by Chatham

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Pegasus

39. Posted:

Do people not use Google anymore or what? (One could argue the internet peoplez are too lazy) I found news about it instantly. =P

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Chatham

40. Posted:

I guess I could blame laziness. But usually when someone brings up new whatever on a board they should site sources. Adam himself asks for sources on the boards, just asking him for a link for other lazy internets peoples.

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