Why Don't Microsoft/Sony Just Develop Wii-Style Controllers For Their Systems?

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by bigsilly, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. bigsilly

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    Well, in the USA, I think the Wii is selling better than either the Xbox360 or PS3, and, from what I've read, it seems like the big draw is more involving controls through the use of the Wii-mote.

    So I wonder why the competition doesn't just try to outdo them on the same technology? Do you think they might in the future?

    Not trying to argue, just curious! Okay, bye!
     
  2. Davros

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    ms has done it before the sidewinder freestyle i beleive it was called

    Edit: nicked from wiki

    Freestyle Pro

    SideWinder Freestyle Pro gamepad

    The Freestyle Pro, released in 1998, was a rather novel gamepad, as the up-down-left-right directions in analogue mode were controlled by the movement of the controller, more precisely by the absolute pitch and roll position of the pad. This reaction on movement is quite similar to some of the features of the new Sony PlayStation 3 SIXAXIS. Games that did not punish washy control inputs such as Motocross Madness (which was bundled with the controller) profited from this physical interaction. But other games that heavily relied on precision (such as flight simulators) couldn't be controlled precisely with it - as movement was free and not limited by physical bounds as in a traditional analogue joystick/gamepad design, the user could not intuitively say if he moved the controller 100, 50, etc. percent in one direction. Even the "zero position" could not be precisely found, as retracting mechanisms could obviously not be built in.

    The control pad had a total of ten digital fire buttons: six buttons controlled with the right thumb (named ABC XYZ), two shoulder buttons (one left, one right), and two buttons controlled with the left thumb, one named start, the other marked with a shift key symbol (as the SideWinder software allowed to use this button to shift controls for the ABC XYZ buttons - on the driver side, it was just an action button like the others).

    The left thumb also controlled a D-pad which was rather useless when it came to fast and precise digital movement controls: the D-pad had to be pushed a far way until the action requested was finally registered, and the directions pressed were interpreted too washy (pressing left often resulted in the controller registering a diagonal left-down, for example - a problem that is crucial in versus fighting games). The endless steps throttle in the middle was also not perfectly thought-out: it behaved like an endless scroll wheel on the mechanical side, while the hardware driver assumed it to be a absolute value throttle - scrolling on and on in one direction only caused the hardware driver to rest in either zero percent or 100 percent throttle position.

    A sensor button switched the control pad between analogue mode (green LED) and digital mode (red LED). In analogue mode, the x- and y-axis were controlled by the analogue controller movements, and the D-pad was used as a hat switch. In digital mode, the D-pad controlled the x- and y-axis like a traditional digital control pad (therefore, there was no hat switch function in digital mode).

    Due to the release in 1998, at which time USB was just taking off, the Freestyle Pro supported both game port and USB connection. Without the adapter, the controller's cable ended in a game port plug. The sale box contained the Gameport-to-USB adapter for free.
     
  3. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    I can assure you I would not own a console if they all depended on waggle. Don't like it, don't want it, never will.
     
  4. Zassk

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    I can't think of any PS360 game (now/soon) that I would want to play with the Wii kind of control scheme.
     
  5. Darkon

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    Same here
     
  6. 22psi

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    no thanks
     
  7. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    I like the Wii's control ideas, but so many games are better without it, and those games that shouldn't use it are not well suited to the Wiimote + Nunchaku. It's like Davros said about control inputs with physical bounds: it makes precision alot easier many times, however I do think that for FPSs the Wiimote works quite well when the programmers/testers do a good job like in Metroid Prime 3 and is of course 2nd in precision only to a mouse. But for games like Gran Turismo or better yet Ace Combat, I'd much prefer a bounded control method, of which the Wiimote + Nunchaku isn't too keen on when it comes to button placement for some games (especially without an analogue stick on the Wiimote itself). The Wii is made for a certain audience for certain games in mind, doesn't mean the Wii is incapable of doing everything it just means that some extra work or certain ideas are just not easily implementable on the Wii without serious issues in controls or processing capabilities.
     
  8. hoho

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    It isn't that much about the controls but for the games themselves. E.g I enjoy Geometry Wars: Galaxies on Wii much more than the one on XB.
     
  9. Jaeyden

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    Exactly.

    The real question should be, where is Microsoft's motion controller if that's what everyone wants? Sony has their "Wii-like" controller, and while it has enjoyed a few great moments, it has equally enjoyed a few dud's too.

    I think that 360 and PS3 owners...for the most part, don't really care about it. Most of us would rather sit back in our comfy chairs and move as few body parts as possible. :lol:
     
  10. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    Lots of games do work well for that on Wii, FPSs on Wii don't involve to much running around as long as your sensor bar is properly placed for ultimate laziness.
     
  11. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
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    I think a pointer device could be really helpful, I would probably go for a pointer version of the PS3 version of the GunCon from Namco.

    However, the PS3 also should just try to make more of the sixaxis. It has been doing so, but there's a lot more to be done (even in terms of marketing).

    The most recent example: http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=47153

    A lot of games are using motion controls with the sixaxis successfully, but less people notice. Frankly, I attribute that for a large extent to the Wii having the motion controls as its sole, single identifying factor. That's a very important aspect of it - the attention on motion controls is there 100%, and there is nothing to distract from it. Even then, there were a lot of skeptical people (and even now) as to how effective motion controls are, but there is no denying that for non-gamers, it's a great thing.

    Much less well recognised is that it is also a great thing for non-gamers on PSN (this Sunday, my 53 year old aunt played the first 26! levels of Super Rub-a-Dub, finishing most of them on her first try with all ducks saved), and games like Motorstorm gell with non-gamers when used with motion control. Quite often it's the reverse for hardcore gamers, who are too comfortable with the analog sticks to like motion controls.
     
  12. inefficient

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    I've been playing Metroid for the Wii.

    I really think I would have enjoyed this game a hell of a lot more on the PS3 or 360. For one, the graphics are quite bad. Not for the platform, just compared to HD games. And it really takes some getting used to after just coming off playing a string of amazing HD games.

    Being able to aim with the Wiimote doesn't actually feel better than using the analog sticks for me. It's still just an rough abstraction. And I actually have a hard time playing a shooting game where the targeting reticle is not locked to the center of the screen. It's disorenting after playing FPS games for so many years. I feel more in control with the sticks.

    The only thing that kept me playing is that there actually are some interesting gameplay mechanics they have in here. Some of the gameplay actually even makes uses of the motion controls. But honesly I would give them up in a heart beat to play this game in HD.


    Another game I bought and am playing is Umbrella Chronicles. The game that is trying to be a light gun game. It's kind of fun 2 players just as a novelty game. But I was suprised just how poorly using the Wiimote was able to represeting pointing and shooting a gun. For one, I could not shake the feeling that I was not properly pointing at the target screen. You are pointing at the sensor bar!

    Also, in any case, for any serious gaming sessions there is just no way you are actually holding your hands up arm even partially outstretched to play this kind of game. Anyone who intends to play this for more than a few mins is going to play with their arms at their sides maybe even resting their wrist on their lap or the couch doing as little motion as possible.

    Basically the technology still has a long way to go. The good news is there are still a lot of places to improve on what Nintendo has done. Hopefully the technology is not too locked up in patents for MS or Sony to give it a shot as well.
     
  13. tongue_of_colicab

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    I'm not gonna bite, I wont... must hold back....

    Shit, I did...

    Maybe that is because its not designed to point at the screen!? The wii remote isnt designed to move where you point it at, its designed like a mouse, you hold it and move it but not in relation to where you want it to go.

    Thats another I-say-I-played-Wii-but-actually-didnt comment. Because if you did you'd know you dont have to stretch your arm out one bit. I played mp3, re4 and godfather without ever moving my arm of the couch for even a second when aiming. All small wrist movements.

    Well duh. You dont honestly believe its designed to have your arm like a real gun?

    Im sure its not, but as far as modern controller design goes I'd rather not have MS or Sony do to much. MS will just make it like a brick and sony will just leave out half the options saying its not next gen anyway just to charge you a extra 50 euro's a year later when they suddenly did become next gen again :lol:

    All jokes aside i'd leave it to nintendo. Not to say sony or MS cant do anything with the concept, im sure they will, they are not stupid. But given how both of them never really tried to change anything to the controller concept as long as they've been making consoles I dont see how they would really try and make it go to the next level.

    Anyway the reason that MS and sony didnt build one (well, sony actually tried to do as always to nick something from others even before they got it out but sixaxis kinda failed) is because pheripals usually fail. Why is the wii remote a succes? because its standard so ''full'' games get designed around it (well, atleast thats the idea) and therefor make good use of it. If its a addon devs wont know if you've got it so they wont be investing 20+million in making a game they dont even know you can controll. So you end up with eyetoy like stuff.

    Also MS and sony still have plenty of time to release one. releasing one now wouldnt make to much sense anyway. #1 prioraty for both is getting as much of the HD market as possible because thats where their marketshare is. Trying to compete with nintendo now wont work because they are to expensive and more important dont have the image the Wii has.
     
  14. inefficient

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    That is exactly my problem with it. I thought the whole point of this tech was to bring real world motions and translate them to something on screen. Instead it's just another crude abstraction. Just like using analog sticks. Or a mouse etc. Not that it doesn't have potential. Just the Wii's implementation of it is quite crude.

    I'm actually quite disapointed by the accuracy of the Wiimote. It actually makes me think that the reason Nintendo didn't go HD this generation was not because it would have made their device too much more expensive, but because accuracy (or inaccuracy) issues would have become even more blown up when used at a higher resolution.


    What? I've got my Wii code listed right there in my profile.
     
  15. Johnny Awesome

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    The Wiimote isn't worth copying IMO. It's very limited.
     
  16. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    I would like to see a controller that mixes the two styles of controls, and shift modes according to gameplay situation. For example a controller that plays an action game normally, but once you find a sword and switch to that weapon give you the ability to shape it into or control it like a "stick" and use its motion sensing capabilities
     
    #16 Nesh, Mar 11, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2008
  17. valioso

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    no thanks, is cool that the wii has the alternative if you want it.. but.. no
     
  18. Xalion

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    I don't think the Wii's success is based on its controllers at all. If I had to name the top 5 reasons I think the Wii is successful they would be listed like this:

    1) It is inexpensive
    2) It is inexpensive (yes, this is enough to count as 2)
    3) Its software is inexpensive
    4) Games are group oriented instead of "gamer" oriented
    5) Games are family friendly - striving more for fun than for realism

    The controller did play a part. Without the initial hype generated by the controller I doubt the system would have done nearly as well as it did. Other than that initial hype though, I really don't think it is the controller driving sales. Instead, people hear from their friends that it is fun, inexpensive, and something the whole family can play and they go grab one.

    As an example, consider taking a family of 4 to the movies. The tickets at my local theater alone will cost you $35 (2*$10 for the adults, 2*$7.50 for the kids). Parking is another $5. If you buy each person a drink that is another $10. 2 popcorns is another $10. So just going to the theater for a 2 hour movie will run you $60. Add in dinner afterwards at ~$15 a plate and you are already in the $120 range. The Wii if you can find one is around $250. So around 2 movie nights out with the kids. If I think I can get more than 6 hours out of it, I'm already ahead in entertainment costs. Add into that the fact that the whole family can play it (I spent $170+$80 on Rock Band so I could play a game with friends and family) and it is a really good deal for that type of entertainment.

    The controllers themselves while novel at first quickly become a draw back to many people I've talked to - including myself. They are not terribly accurate (like others in this thread have mentioned) and don't lend themselves to many types of games. My largest complaint with them is the lack of any force feedback. I cannot stand the tennis or bowling games because I like to do both in real life. If I swing the Wii remote like I do a tennis racket, I end up hurting my shoulder. There is no ball to transfer force too, so you end up jerking your arm around really fast. To swing correctly on the Wii you have to either break your swing yourself which will cause you shoulder stress or swing it "lightly" in a motion entirely unlike a real tennis swing. Bowling is similar. In the boxing game, it does not pay to be accurate or use strategy. If you want to win just "punch" really really fast over and over again. That can all be fun - and is if you are willing to accept the limitations of the controller. However once you start "adapting" your motion for a control scheme it doesn't matter what that control scheme is - you are still adapting.

    That brings us back to the original question. The reason that Sony and Microsoft don't copy the Wii's control system is that there is no point in doing so. In my opinion it wouldn't lead to increased sales because the control system is not driving sales. Considering both Sony and Microsoft are pushing for both cheaper (PSN and XB Live downloadable games) and more group oriented games (like Rock Band), I would say they have market research that supports that theory. The control scheme itself does not lend itself well enough to games to warrant the change. No real point in copying it.

    I actually think Nesh is on a better track, although I'd alter his scheme some. I would try to put the controls themselves in something like a set of gloves and allow the user to hold whatever object they want. With more modern materials, I think you could even do forms of tactile feedback. That way you could play with either a PS controller, a sword, or even a tennis racket just by picking up a mock up. To get full tactile feedback you'd something that covers the full torso though, and I think that might be a bit of a tough sell. But even partial would be better than nothing. That will be a ways off if it ever happens though.
     
  19. Scott_Arm

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    You've gotta walk before you can run. The wii remote is a good start. It will be emulated by both Microsoft and Sony. Sony might not have to do much of anything between the six-axis and the eye-toy. Microsoft will probably build a hybrid of their controller and the wii remote, or they'll build something like the eye-toy. The wii remote is better for some things and worse for others. Next gen we'll see something that can do both. I don't think you'll see Microsoft copying anything this generation, unless they come up with their own "Wii Sports" type game and sell it bundled with a controller like Wii Play.

    The problems in early Wii games I think are mostly on the software end. Controls are improving as the developers get the hang of things. A good example is fps games. Red Steel and those other first games sucked. The control was garbagae. Metroid Prime 3 was better than playing with a gamepad, in my opinion, but not nearly as good as keyboard and mouse for the aiming aspect. Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 raised the bar even higher. Though still not as accurate as the keyboard and mouse, it's far better than gamepad. Hopefully other genres will see the same improvements.

    Motion recognition and interactivity is the way of the future and the standard dual analog controller will probably be gone next gen.
     
  20. tongue_of_colicab

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    I disagree. The motion sensors do translate your montion into the game (even though not every games shows it, it is possible). But the shooters all use the pointer, which is just that. A pointer. Its not made to be 1:1. You watch at your crosshair on the screen and move the wiimote accordenly. I personally dont have a problem with it, I think its great. I dont really see why i'd want to have the pointer 1:1 as it would be very uncomfortable that way.

    I dont see how that would be the case. Its not like having a higher resoltion means everything will get smaller. It wont. HD fps games in size still look the same as always. But I do agree with you that its not as accurate as it could be, you do notice that very small movements just dont work. But every control scheme has its downsides, its just a matter of adjusting your gamedesign to it and if you do that I dont think its so much of a problem.

    How do you mean that? It does just about everything a normal controller does and than some. Its just not the perfect solution for some genres (like fighters) but other genres could benefit from the controller. But saying its limited? I dont see how anyone could say that, certainly not if you ever played with it.

    1) The GC was too, didnt help a thing.
    2) See above
    3) No it isnt. 3rd party games are still 60 euro's, just like x360 games. Though first party indeed is cheaper.
    4) Yes and no. Some are, some arnt. If you look at quality, there still are alot more SP games than ''group'' games.
    5) Also not true. Some are, but plenty arnt. Sony also has plenty family friendly games, its just that nintendo gets more related with those games but its not like they have that many.

    So what do you think is the reason its fun and the whole family can play? ;)

    Thats like saying you dont like the x360 and ps3 either because playing a racing game doesnt come close to when you drive on a track in real life. Or how fake those war games are because its not even close to what a shoot out feels like in real life. Obviously its a moot point, all do a decent job at mimicking what happens in real life, ofcourse you cant mimick the real thing, thats why its called a game.

    Also dont forget that alot of the inaccuracy and things like that are down to the software side and not so much because the hardware cant do better.
     
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