News Article

Sony And Microsoft Suffering From Wii-nis Envy?

Posted by Damien McFerran

Copycat motion control systems don't impress industry analyst

Where would we be with expert analysts telling us what to think, eh? Take Wedbush Morgan chappie Michael Pachter, for example. Following Microsoft and Sony's recently unveiling of motion control systems at this year's E3, Pachter has waded in with his own viewpoint on all this technological advancement:

This year’s E3 again focused on software, with motion control a popular theme (meant to capitalise on the success of the motion control Wii), and all console manufacturers focused on broadening the appeal of their respective consoles.

Sony and Microsoft each fired cannon shots across Nintendo’s bow, with Microsoft’s Project Natal and Sony’s Motion Controller (based on the Eye Toy).

We view Microsoft’s proposed offering as intended to provide a user-friendly interface for Xbox Live dashboard access, and view Sony’s offering as Wii-nis envy. We do not expect either to displace Nintendo’s Wii from its leadership position.

Wii-nis envy? That has to be the quote of E3, for sure...

[via edge-online.com]

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User Comments (36)

Terra

#2

Terra said:

While I do think that both companies are trying to capitalise on the success of Wii, I can see Natal as something unique and innovative and could easily be worth the money given the right devs deliver with their games. There's promise in my opinion. I can't see Sony's Motion Controller being little more than a Wii Remote copy though. Innovative doesn't spring to mind when I hear the name Sony and what they're doing just shows it.

Either way though, i don't see these motion controllers for either console as being big console sellers, particularly Sony's one. Natal may be able to if Microsoft advertises it's appeal in the right way but I'm not confident. People will still buy the Wii instead of paying for the additional, maybe even for Sony unneccesary extra hardware, which is fair enough.

Tails

#3

Tails said:

Bunch of Copy Cats BOW DOWN TO THE MIGHTY WII! it will always Own you :P

CorbsAdmin

#4

Corbs said:

I agree, no way you'll outdo Nintendo at the motion controls, but this Natal idea has potential. I'm just curious to see how reliable it is and how well developers will implement it into gaming. Only time will tell on that one.

Link79

#5

Link79 said:

Typical. Just like in the N64 Vs PS1 days. Nintendo made a rumble pack so Sony says....Hmm how can we compete with this? I know, lets make our controllers vibrate too! It's brilliant! Bunch of sore losers I say.

City_Of_Delusion

#6

City_Of_Delusion said:

Considering Sony's recent statements, it's pretty clear they've returned to their roles as the industry's photocopiers.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#7

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

The natal console is far more interesting than Sony's copycat as its trying to take things to the next level. However, it'll probably cost the Earth and more knowing them

y2josh

#8

y2josh said:

He said that stuff on Gametrailers Bonus Round as well. I love Pachter!

Sean_Aaron

#9

Sean_Aaron said:

I believe Iwata said previouly Nintendo had looked at cameras and ruled them out. I think the lack of a tactile interface will be a problem for Natal, myself.

Kirk

#10

Kirk said:

They say it's not the size that counts but what you can do with it...

Well in this case I say Sony's solution can do more than Nintendo's and do it better too.

Machu

#11

Machu said:

It might be great for presentations or a virtual walk (on the spot), but gameplay wise I'm stumped. You still need some buttons, which means you'd probably end up stood in front of Natal holdin a 360 controller.

Machu

#12

Machu said:

@ Kirk.
Yup, they've had 5yrs to copy that technology and they've done a great job, pff.

Bensei

#14

Bensei said:

I don't expect them to do great today, because they don't have the same casual-friendly image Nintendo already has, they would have had a chance in 2006...

JimLad

#15

JimLad said:

Yeah they definately got Wii-nis envy.
Massive companies, injecting huge amounts of cash/silicone into their consoles/penis'
All the while making cost losses and sale losses, with Nintendo scooping up all the hip new casual guys and female gamers while Microsoft and Sony are stuck hanging around with the same jock teenagers going "S**T DUDE! GEARS 2 LOOKS SO F**KING AWESOME ON MY HD TV!! WATCH ME BLOW THIS GUYS HEAD UP!!"

...and now that deluded fanboi generalization is out the way... here's another one...

Sony and Microsoft, why don't you just go away. You're nothing but puppeteers to your so-called 'exclusive' game makers, working their asses to the bone to grind out sequels for your ridiculously overpowered steroid boxes.
What little creative input you do have (hardware) you copy from others. You should have just left this industry to the ones that built it and innovate it, Nintendo and Sega.
Playstation, you were simply a CD drive for the SNES that got all pissy and decided to make yourself a console on the basis that sex, violence and FMVs would sell the third party games you aquired with your buckets of money. You basically followed Segas lead on two occations, eclipsing their more innovative efforts with your cheap bundled CD/DVD player combo white goods, thus running them out of the hardware market completely.
Xbox, you are essentially an online service (beit a very good one) encased in a wannabe Playstation shell. You had no business muscling into video game hardware with your dumbed down, repackaged PC. If you ruled console wars, everyone would be doomed to play first person shooters, racing and sports games until the industry inevitably collapsed in on itself again. Much like Sony, you rely primarily on your pockets to gain ground in sales, but rarely use that money to take any innovative risks.

In conclusion of this aimless rant, my ideal world would be:
Nintendo and Sega still making consoles to compete with one another.
Nintendo gives us their own stuff but also the Final Fantasies, the Jak and Daxters the LittleBigPlanets, the Street Fighters, the Metal Gears and most importantly: Banjo, Perfect Dark and all the new Rare games.
Sega gives us the majority of the 'mature' games such as the Bio Shocks, the Assassins Creeds, the Halos, the Motor Storms, Mirrors Edge, God of War, as well as their own stuff, and their online service is provided by Microsoft.
Sony only exsists in the handheld market, focusing on the PSP.
Everybody only has to buy 2 consoles, everybody is happy... except fanboys like me who will then turn on Sega. ;)

JimLad

#16

JimLad said:

That was longer than I thought
Back on topic:
I'll wait to see what becomes of these ideas, but I can't see them becoming more popular than Wiimotes for one reason: they haven't been launched with the console as standard.
and the casuals have chosen their machine already.

NintendoNaut

#17

NintendoNaut said:

Just another example of companies who can't make their own ideas. "Hey! Let's just steal Nintendo's!"

bbb7002004

#19

bbb7002004 said:

I can see Natal has a big thing... next console cycle. Without it being packed in with the console, it will always be a niche market at best. Look at the Balance Board. We can all see tons of unique uses for it in games, controlling your character's movements in an FPS, pressure sensitive acceleration in a racing game, etc., but it hasn't been used by developers becasue it reduces the market the game can reach. I see both the new motion controllers suffering the same fate, working well with the little software that supports them but being ultimately forgotten.

It certainly seems like good tech for gaming, especially if you combine it with a control setup like Wii to accommodate all forms of gaming. In particular, RTS games would be fantastic with the motion camera, being able to group and command units on the fly using your hands and voice, a lot like that concept video Ubisoft showed off during their press conference.

Bahamut_ZERO

#20

Bahamut_ZERO said:

lol, when I heard Pachter say this on GT Bonus Round, I rofled :P

But more seriously, no way this will surpass Nintendo. Nintendo already has name recognition, and even if Natal showed up being awesome, it would'nt sell to the intended audience. Why? The intended audience already has Wiis, and are happy with it. Those who are don't have a Wii and are in that audience, as stated previously, Wii has name recognition. When Natal comes out, you bet your ass you go up to someone and say "Hey have you seen that Natal!" They'll be "Huh?" But if you go "Say, you seen that Wii!" They'll go "Yeah, that looks like fun for my whole family! And the Wii Fit thing looks like a great way to stay in shape!"

However, I do believe something in the other companies though. Natal could be big, but next gen, as bbb said, and right now it looks like a casual game gimmick. As for Sony, I think there controller is going to be better than the Wii for hardcore games, just because it seems so precise! I mean, from the tech demo, it looks as good as WM+, imagine how much better it will be by release!

But, hey that's just a magic dolls opinion :)

Machu

#21

Machu said:

@JimLad Ooh get in, what a speech!

I've wondered in the past, who at Nintendo told Sony to go elsewhere with there CD-Drive, and given how that CD-drive went on to pwn (at least in sales) Nintendo for the next 2 generations, was it a regret?

I imagine it was. At least up until the Wii's launch anyway. :)

hamispink

#22

hamispink said:

I said it before, sony's controller is indeed a rip off of the wiimote, but there will ACTUALLY BE GAMES COMING OUT FOR THE CONSOLE!!!
I love my wii to death but the game selection is absolutely horendous.
I am a sony and nintendo fanboy, but I love my Ps3 much more than my wii because I have had very little reason to play the damn thing other than the virtual console.

LittleIrves

#23

LittleIrves said:

@ Bahamut ZERO: You're right that Wii has name recognition now, and Natal sounds goofy.... but, um, think back to about 3-4 years ago when Nintendo announced their new system would be called "Wii." Who'da thunk such a bizarre name would gel with the mainstream? Of course, the industry's full of such naming phenomenons: Google, Yahoo, iPod, TiVo. What in g#d's name is an "eye pod" anyway? And yet, here were are. So I don't doubt Natal could become a household name if it takes off.
Another observation: Behold, the power of the lower-case "i"! Microsoft should name it "Project Niidle" as in <needle> in a haystack.

wanderlustwarrior

#24

wanderlustwarrior said:

Information for you guys on the Natal, and why it seems to be superior to the Wii technically

http://kotaku.com/321413/how-your-wii-can-track-multiple-waggles
http://kotaku.com/332252/excite-your-office-colleagues-with-a-wii-whiteboard-marker
http://kotaku.com/336960/another-brilliant-johnny-lee-wii-vid

This guy is one of the guys working on Natal. He posted a series of videos nearly 2 years ago about the capabilities of the Wiimote that are being unused, tested them, and took them to Nintendo. They turned him down. Now, he is working on the Natal project, bringing all of these innovative ideas there.

Caliko

#25

Caliko said:

Not to brag(OK! Maybe to brag!) but I coined the word "Wii-nis" a long time ago.
Anyway,
Ladies and Gentlemen! Please welcome the world premiere of a new word:

Project "Neyetoyl"!!!

Kid_A

#26

Kid_A said:

Natal has potential, but it'll never replace a standard controller, and they're right--Sony has Wii-nis envy.

Artron

#28

Artron said:

Not wii-envy. I think this will bring new and better games for all consoles. All I can see in the 360 and PS3 are awesome rail shooters in high defintion :D

MarkyVigoroth

#29

MarkyVigoroth said:

Two words for Nintendo fans: Uh-oh!
(Then again, Wii is still the best with this, so I doubt that we have to worry.)

XCWarrior

#30

XCWarrior said:

Cute quote, and although I still think analysts are full of s***, this time he is pretty much right.

BroLuigi

#31

BroLuigi said:

gee will they EVER learn

does nintendo steal others ideas nooooooo

jesus christ im actually discusted at the cheapness of microsoft

MrDanger88

#32

MrDanger88 said:

What was great about Sony's unveiling of the motion control was being able to figure out who were Sony Fanboys. Truly the industry photocopiers.

Sean_Aaron

#33

Sean_Aaron said:

I'm really confused how people who write off playing Wii motion-controlled games as "looking like <insert expletive> whilst playing" think these control methods have "real potential" -- hello, it's the same thing if not worse since you'll have to make hand signals to your Natal system to activate a given control.

I could see this all happening in time, but unless both the Xbox and Playstation pick up new audiences I predict failure. I simply cannot see their existing userbase making a radical interface shift like this.

themortalangel

#34

themortalangel said:

I recently got the ps3 because as much as I love my wii...and ds (and I do love them every night.) There are times where I don't wanna like put that much effort into my games and I wanna lie down and relax. My final decision of why ps3 over xbox...well I wanted a blu-ray player too. Anyways I saw there E3 vids using there motion thingy-majig, and I have to say what i saw was impressive accurate and well done. Granted I don't see it being a threat to the wii, however I think having one of the more "adult viewed" systems having this feature will be good for the industry. Eventually some motion control franchises wont be just for wii. Developers will get to chosse how they want to design their game control style, no matter what system. Then to top it all off maybe the ps3 or xbox could jump start some more adult motion based games for us wii lovers.You have to admit in general that sony and microsoft see more intense and mature games than we do. So maybe having more in common with another system could get us some similar software.

Chipmunk777

#35

Chipmunk777 said:

I could see the Natal ending up like the Powerglove. Not really working and being hard to get it to do what you want it to do. Video games, in general, need some kind of buttons! Some kind of dpad or stick!

Although, if microsoft makes a movie with a super cool kid saying "I love the Natal.... it's so bad." I could see it selling a lot more! The Wizard 2 anyone?? :P

Mr_M

#36

Mr_M said:

Maybe if there is a new nunchuk with 1:1 motion control, and it's hoked up to the Wii remote with motion plus, it will be way better that holding two Sony bingo dabbers (seriously, the Sony motion controller look like a bingo dabber). Heh heh Wii-nis Envy heh heh.

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