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    Braben on Kinect: Core gamers are immensely consservative



    Kinect has struggled to win the support of core gamers because they are “immensely conservative”, according to games industry legend David Braben.“They don’t think they are, but a lot of us are,” he added, careful to position himself within the same category.
    And this isn’t new to Kinect, he said. In fact, says the Frontier boss, the situation is reminiscent of GoldenEye’s shaking up of console FPS controls back in the days of the N64.

    “I remember the people ranting about GoldenEye and how the controls were impossible, and I actually thought it was great. I mean, at first I found it quite hard to get used to the controls,” he explained in a huge interview on Gamasutra.

    “[B]ut I mean, I see my dad, when he’s trying to play something like Halo or Call of Duty, and he spends the whole time looking at his feet or the ceiling. Because it isn’t intuitive – and everyone in the room laughs, and he feels a bit uncomfortable, and then he won’t play it again. “And that’s the problem – it’s counter-intuitive, and we’ve really got used to that over time.”

    Braben thinks the new audience afforded by Kinect is a good thing, and won’t cause any problems for core gamers. Two types of gamer can exist at once, he said.
    But core gamers still need to get used to a new method of play, and accept t“And in the same way, with time, Kinect is a very interesting thing that’s not trivial to engage with, but when you do, it’s great. And I think like with the multiplayer, Kinect is still early on, and I think people are just starting to personally believe in it, and also starting to realise that there are some great additive things that you can do with it.”hat it won’t instantly click, explained the 48-year-old game designer who shot to fame when he created Elite in 1984.

    And this will happen over time, just as it does with other innovations within gaming. “I remember being a developer in the early days of Xbox 1, where multiplayer was seen as a little bit of a tickbox, and usually it was a bit rubbish,” said Braben. “I think that was partially because developers didn’t really engage with it, because really only a few players had it, and it was seen as a bit of a faff. And also evidence showed that very few people used it.

    “And so the attempts were, dare I say it, a little bit half-hearted. But they got better quite quickly. Nowadays, would Call of Duty happen without multiplayer? It’s almost as if the single player is now the tick box. “And in the same way, with time, Kinect is a very interesting thing that’s not trivial to engage with, but when you do, it’s great. And I think like with the multiplayer, Kinect is still early on, and I think people are just starting to personally believe in it, and also starting to realise that there are some great additive things that you can do with it.”
    http://beefjack.com/news/braben-on-k...-conservative/

    I really couldn't agree with this developer more.
    Last edited by Soldier 95B; 03-22-2012 at 21:55.

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    I disagree. And if by some chance Kinect does replace the control pad or put it in the back seat then I'll be done with MS. And same would go for Sony if they did this. I'll just go back to PC gaming. No doubt that MS is really pushing for this to happen.
    Last edited by mistercrow; 03-22-2012 at 21:55.

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    It's an interesting angle on the future of Kinect. I can appreciate where he's coming from. The accessory tech that all game companies are bringing out is a big interest of mine. Everything that is attached to or communicates with the console in any way, be it motion controls, 3D personal viewers, handhelds etc.

    Kinect is still very much in it's infancy, it is a gaming tech that is ahead of its time, the answer to a question the gaming world wasn't ready to ask yet . Since the very beginning games have been centered around interfacing with a computer system with exact controls, be it a keyboard, mouse, joystick, gamepad etc. There have always been buttons with programmed commands that let us play games. With very little movement from us physically we are able to runs, jump, swim, shoot, drive in games by giving physical inputs into the control interface. I went from the keyboard of the C64 playing Lazy Jones with the keyboard and Dan Dare with the joystick to the gamepad of the Sega Master System & Megadrive to PS1, 2, and 3.

    Living hundreds of different lives from the comfort of the couch after a hard days school/work by sitting their with controller in hand is something most of us have been doing for a very long time. Now Microsoft want to completely wipe away a legacy of physical input interfacing with physical body movements with Kinect and given the slow uptake into core games it is clear that most devs cannot figure out how to remove physical inputs and still create the kind of games we know and love and WANT. This is why Move is getting applications in games like Bioshock Infinite. They knew that there had to be marriage of motion and physical input if the device was to be compatible with today's games.

    What I find a bit alarming from that article is:

    But core gamers still need to get used to a new method of play, and accept that it won’t instantly click, explained the 48-year-old game designer who shot to fame when he created Elite in 1984.
    If MS are planning to revolutionist gaming industry by removing the controller (over time) from the equation, then I would say the kind of games played today will not be the games of tomorrow. How do you play a FPS with body motion? How do you play a fighting game, or a sports game? In Fable: The Journey, IIRC, leaning left turns left, leaning right turns you right and leaning forward moves you...forward! You gonna do that in CoD? How will you shoot? If MS are embracing Kinect then we will see games that don't require as many complex commands/input interfacing.

    It could be the case that as he's talking about two audiences existing together, it is more the case that core gamers will retain their control pad and will get ME3/Forza/gunsmith type Kinect applications from predominantly 3rd party games. But if MS focus on 2 audiences, it's less resources put into the kind of games core gamers want to play, and the output now isn't exactly stellar. I mean it already looks as though MS have decided to let 3rd party comprise the core aspect of their console experience, with them bringing out the staple 4 additionally and focusing on Kinect (as they have been recently). The last 2 studios they set up were for R&D into Kinect tech and the other was for Kinect games IIRC. MS reported themselves that Kinect was never meant for core gamers, and it is has become a part of their DNA and identity.

    I will be watching keenly to see when they cross this barrier from buttons to gestures. Until then, well, I got mah thang going on already.

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    The day when I can't pick up a controller and enjoy traditional gaming I'll be concerned. From the looks of things that wont be happening for a long time. Kinect has its place with gamers and you can bet ms won't be the only one pushing this technology next gen.


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    Lol "conservative"

    Look clyde, we have Android/iOS devices for 'casual on the go' gaming, to speak nothing of Facebook quickies like Farmville/Mafia Wars.

    We have consoles and gaming rigs because we want some serious (read: intense, highly engaging, high quality, often violent, cerebral) gaming. I can't think of a single !@#$# Kinect game that offers anything close to that.

    Most 'serious' games that incorporate Kinect only do it as kind of a tack on or accessory- Why? Well I suspect it has something to do with the kind of performance hit 360 titles take to extensively use the device. Using Kinect is not 'free' for a developer, it sucks up substantial resources out of the damn box.

    So why would Bioware, Epic Games, 343 (etc) throw those extremely valuable resources (in an EMBEDDED SYSTEM THAT IS 5 YEARS OLD) to the wind on some kind of whim?

    I should add that it would be different if this thing had extremely accurate tracking and almost no lag in gestures or commands- but it doesn't really have that last I heard. Kinect is ill suited for competitive/trigger quick gaming, its just a bad device to substitute over a controller.

    I think that once the resource, accuracy, and responsiveness issues are resolved, probably with the Next Xbox, core gamers like me will take a more keen interest in this sort of thing in serious titles.

    But not as a total replacement. Kinect can't do that, and I can't really think of ways where it can be a 1:1 replacement. Now or in the future.


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    i'm fairly sure its because kinect hasn't proven itself with core games

    goldeneye is a silly comparison, because it was there, and it was good. you can't say people don't like kinect core games because they aren't used to them........ they don't exist.

    i don't believe anyone thinks that kinect doesn't have potential, but its not about bending a consumer to a UI, its about tailoring the UI to the consumer. i have high hopes for kinect 2.

    @vulgotha - there are good signs though - look at the kinect skyrim mod on the pc. its pretty impressive imo - obviously i haven't played it, but it looks like it spices up a very stale combat system
    Last edited by J3ff3; 03-23-2012 at 03:37.
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    This is ironic because I was just thinking about when Apple launched the ipod and so many people said that no one would go for digital music, pay that much for a music player or need something with that much capacity. What happened, they revolutionized the industry.

    Then they launched the iPhone and people said that no one wanted a phone that big or a touch screen phone or would buy apps. What happened, they revolutionized the industry.

    I'm not saying that MS is Apple but I am saying that we need to think outside of the box. Nintendo started it with the Wiimote and MS took it to the next level.

    If these companies listened to the nay sayers we would still be playing pong on a 19" black and white tube TV.

    I don't care for it either but it seems as though the game industry is evolving right in front of our eyes.



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    I think this guy is spewing rubbish. Generalizing "core gamers" aside... I think core gamers want freaking core games that work well. With kinect, you can't have that. You give me a core game on kinect that works as well as it does with a controller, then you'll see "core gamers" being less "conservative".




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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Dyack View Post
    This is ironic because I was just thinking about when Apple launched the ipod and so many people said that no one would go for digital music, pay that much for a music player or need something with that much capacity. What happened, they revolutionized the industry.

    Then they launched the iPhone and people said that no one wanted a phone that big or a touch screen phone or would buy apps. What happened, they revolutionized the industry.

    I'm not saying that MS is Apple but I am saying that we need to think outside of the box. Nintendo started it with the Wiimote and MS took it to the next level.

    If these companies listened to the nay sayers we would still be playing pong on a 19" black and white tube TV.

    I don't care for it either but it seems as though the game industry is evolving right in front of our eyes.



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    I couldn't agree more. I remember back in the day when I said I would NEVER EVER game on a console with a controller. There is no way a controller could replace the keyboard. Just not enough buttons, not as accurate and not as fast. Sure enough, I was proven wrong, and now I can't go back to keyboard gaming full-time ever. Just can't stand it compared to controller. I am surely leaving myself open to new ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F34R View Post
    I think this guy is spewing rubbish. Generalizing "core gamers" aside... I think core gamers want freaking core games that work well. With kinect, you can't have that. You give me a core game on kinect that works as well as it does with a controller, then you'll see "core gamers" being less "conservative".
    This.^^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier 95B View Post
    I couldn't agree more. I remember back in the day when I said I would NEVER EVER game on a console with a controller. There is no way a controller could replace the keyboard. Just not enough buttons, not as accurate and not as fast. Sure enough, I was proven wrong, and now I can't go back to keyboard gaming full-time ever. Just can't stand it compared to controller. I am surely leaving myself open to new ideas.
    How about when they said that no one would ever need or have a computer in their home? Lol!

    Sometimes you need to drag people kicking and screaming along but they'll eventually follow in lock step, even if they deny it now. Everything evolves eventually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Dyack View Post
    How about when they said that no one would ever need or have a computer in their home? Lol!

    Sometimes you need to drag people kicking and screaming along but they'll eventually follow in lock step, even if they deny it now. Everything evolves eventually.
    Yes, and it's fun to watch

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Dyack View Post
    This is ironic because I was just thinking about when Apple launched the ipod and so many people said that no one would go for digital music, pay that much for a music player or need something with that much capacity. What happened, they revolutionized the industry.

    Then they launched the iPhone and people said that no one wanted a phone that big or a touch screen phone or would buy apps. What happened, they revolutionized the industry.

    I'm not saying that MS is Apple but I am saying that we need to think outside of the box. Nintendo started it with the Wiimote and MS took it to the next level.

    If these companies listened to the nay sayers we would still be playing pong on a 19" black and white tube TV.

    I don't care for it either but it seems as though the game industry is evolving right in front of our eyes.



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    I think those are really good examples of what the guy in the article was saying. For now, kinect is basically a another way for people to enjoy games. I don't think MS set out to replace traditional controls but they did want to attract a new audience other than core gamers. Personally, I'm still amazed every time I power up the 360 and use the voice or gestures to maneuver around the dashboard.


    Now, I have seen and used this technology before but I never thought that we would get it this soon on a game console. It seems ms was planning for this for a long time if you look at all the changes they made to the dashboard. Now it all makes sense as to why they got rid of the blades. I'm curious to see where they take it next gen. Gaming and consoles are slowly evolving just like many other things, and as long as its for the better, I don't mind.
    Last edited by Sub-stance1; 03-23-2012 at 22:46.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Dyack View Post
    This is ironic because I was just thinking about when Apple launched the ipod and so many people said that no one would go for digital music, pay that much for a music player or need something with that much capacity. What happened, they revolutionized the industry. Then they launched the iPhone and people said that no one wanted a phone that big or a touch screen phone or would buy apps. What happened, they revolutionized the industry. I'm not saying that MS is Apple but I am saying that we need to think outside of the box. Nintendo started it with the Wiimote and MS took it to the next level. If these companies listened to the nay sayers we would still be playing pong on a 19" black and white tube TV. I don't care for it either but it seems as though the game industry is evolving right in front of our eyes. Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
    Oh please. Its not "evolving." Its just MS cashing in on the success of the Wii by going after the same casual market that Nintendo did. Its nothing more than that.
    Last edited by mistercrow; 03-24-2012 at 00:02.

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    If it's saying that motion controllers are ever going to replace traditional controllers then I disagree. If it's saying that motion controls are moving towards a direction that will be beneficial to gaming in some ways then I agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by radgamer420 View Post
    Oh please. Its not "evolving." Its just MS cashing in on the success of the Wii by going after the same casual market that Nintendo did. Its nothing more than that.
    Lol!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Dyack View Post
    Lol! Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
    The truth hurts dont it? lol
    Last edited by mistercrow; 03-24-2012 at 01:09.

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    is he saying that the tech isn't suitable yet or is he saying that the issue is with the consumer?

    it is definately the latter - which is definitely a cop out.

    the point is, in its current state, kinect is NOT suitable for most core games. it has nothing to do with the outlook of gamers.

    hence why comparisons to goldeneye, apple etc etc, are not relevant - those were products that WERE suitable for the target market - he's putting the blame solely on the user, when really its the tech that is not mature enough for the core audience.

    it certainly isn't that people can't see the potential - thats just an excuse for inappropriate tech. if MS were that confident of their direction, they would've released the standalone hardware version of kinect, and limited usb connectivity to ensure we had the bandwidth for great core games.

    that isn't the case though. i'm looking forward to the beta ending.... because as a UI, it really does have promise - just not in its current 'casual' form.
    Last edited by J3ff3; 03-24-2012 at 01:15.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J3ff3 View Post
    is he saying that the tech isn't suitable yet or is he saying that the issue is with the consumer?

    it is definately the latter - which is definitely a cop out.

    the point is, in its current state, kinect is NOT suitable for most core games. it has nothing to do with the outlook of gamers.

    hence why comparisons to goldeneye, apple etc etc, are not relevant - those were products that WERE suitable for the target market - he's putting the blame solely on the user, when really its the tech that is not mature enough for the core audience.

    it certainly isn't that people can't see the potential - thats just an excuse for inappropriate tech. if MS were that confident of their direction, they would've released the standalone hardware version of kinect, and limited usb connectivity to ensure we had the bandwidth for great core games.

    that isn't the case though. i'm looking forward to the beta ending.... because as a UI, it really does have promise - just not in its current 'casual' form.
    I think you missed his point. It was more about core gamer's reluctance to try something new and different and how both core and casual can exist together.

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    I think Jeffe raises a good point. The article talks about how it's about the core giving it a "try". It's not really about "trying" it at all. It's about actually getting it to work properly.

    What can you really play for more than an hour right now with any sort of motion control games? I'm saying, really progress (of course games can be played more than an hour but there's nothing out there that would completely keep you interested hours on end).

    The technology is great, as was the idea of multiplayer back in the day, but no one used it because it wasn't good enough. Now that it is, people do use it. It's the same with motion controllers. If you're not going to fully utilize it and not just utilize it but advance it further, you're not going to progress the technology.

    Motion controls really can't move forward without some sort of help from other devices...it's just not going to happen.

    While I feel that it's something we need in gaming, I don't think it's fully ready yet. If developers started to fully focus on it (with help of other devices to fully control your character), then we might see something good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by radgamer420 View Post
    The truth hurts dont it? lol
    Actually I think you're 100% incorrect, but there is no discussion with you. No matter what one says you refuse to listen to another side. So we can either go on bickering like a couple of immature children or I can simply end the discussion; which I intended on doing until your last comment.

    MS is in the process of changing the game as did IBM, Apple and many others that thought outside the box. I recall people complaining about dual analog sticks in shooters. So many had difficulty adjusting to the action of moving with one stick and aiming with the other.

    Many saw the moves of companies like I mentioned felt that what they were just trying to make a quick buck with unconventional products. But in the end they revolutionized their respective markets.

    You may not like it but things move on. I'm sure that MS isn't going to miss the business of a few to capture a broader market with mass appeal. Hell, I still know a few people with flip phones, tube TV's and black and white printers. They're happy because they don't really know what their missing.

    In the end, as long as people are happy with what they have, that's cool. They just shouldn't try to downplay what everyone else has moved onto.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Sub-stance1 View Post
    I think you missed his point. It was more about core gamer's reluctance to try something new and different and how both core and casual can exist together.
    i disagree - i think he is confusing reluctance with 'informed decision'.

    lets assume your reading of his point is correct - and he thinks core gamers are reluctant to try new things.

    what are they basing that on? as far as i can tell there are two main options:

    1: a recalictrant nature - the old adage that "people don't like change" - which i think he considers to be the most likely
    2: an informed decision.

    now lets consider the core market - individuals who are well informed on new developments, share their opinions, often have considerable brand loyalty, and have (or find) the money to buy the newest tech out.

    these don't strike me as people who are unwilling to at least try new user interfaces from large corporations that they have invested heavily in as customers - as I myself prove. secondly, i deal with 'change management' and information systems on a daily basis (currently within healthcare) - the main thrust at the moment is not that 'people don't like change', but that the change actually hampers workflows. in other words the technology alters the actions of a user in a negative fashion. change management seeks to alter user opinion and action with regards to new technology, but in reality most concerns from the user are VERY valid. remember, alot of the time the tech is either immature in design or created by those that are removed from the process.

    sorry for the 'fluff' above, but its worth reading. core gamers know what is required - enjoyment, responsiveness, accuracy, value for money, etc etc. it's what they do - often to the extreme. they are open to new and unproven technology, and research it both from a primary (trying the items) and tertiary (reviews) perspective.

    which really leads me to believe that core gamers aren't being 'conservative' with regards kinect (if that really is the case sales wise) because they just don't like changing and leaving behind their control pad, but because they have read about and experienced the flaws in the technology, namely that it is too slow and too inaccurate -so far- for core gaming. its a rather weak argument to say otherwise given the mods that exist with the tech on the PC. clearly the core has an interest regardless - its up to the technology and those that implement it to decide how strong that interest is.

    this isn't an issue with the core, its an issue with the tech. its currently not mature enough. yes the games maybe great fun, but then its an issue of value. if the games were playable straight out of the box then it would be a different story, but its hard enough persuading many to shell out for a peripheral like a wheel, let alone an addon that plays what are effectively large arcade games.

    you can pursuade the uninformed masses, but not the informed core. that's not to say that you can't enjoy it regardless, but let's face it, we all know exactly what the tech is, and who/what it is best suited for, and i'll be damned if i let some jumped up $#@! in a suit tell me different
    Last edited by J3ff3; 03-24-2012 at 03:45.
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    To me it's not a matter if how can you play games with your body and how will they implement it or how can you control it.it's just the matter of being setting down comfortably on a couch while playing,not having to keep waving my arms or body around and to get tired after 30 minutes or feel any kind of pain or soreness .that's the one thing controllers will always have over any motion method.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Dyack View Post
    Actually I think you're 100% incorrect, but there is no discussion with you. No matter what one says you refuse to listen to another side. So we can either go on bickering like a couple of immature children or I can simply end the discussion; which I intended on doing until your last comment. MS is in the process of changing the game as did IBM, Apple and many others that thought outside the box. I recall people complaining about dual analog sticks in shooters. So many had difficulty adjusting to the action of moving with one stick and aiming with the other. Many saw the moves of companies like I mentioned felt that what they were just trying to make a quick buck with unconventional products. But in the end they revolutionized their respective markets. You may not like it but things move on. I'm sure that MS isn't going to miss the business of a few to capture a broader market with mass appeal. Hell, I still know a few people with flip phones, tube TV's and black and white printers. They're happy because they don't really know what their missing. In the end, as long as people are happy with what they have, that's cool. They just shouldn't try to downplay what everyone else has moved onto. Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
    Wow, talk about the pot calling the kettle black in the beginning of your post. Irony at its finest. lol I'm just disagreeing with you that all but as usual youre getting all defensive about it. Whenever somebody disagrees with you you either call them a fanboy or say that they are stubborn and closeminded. As for the topic youre kidding yourself if you honestly believe that MS hasnt shifted internal focus mainly to casual gaming in order to tap into the casual audience that Nintendo was so successful with. The majority of core game experiences on the 360 are being provided by 3rd party developers and their multiplatform games not by MS. Kinect is a money grab by MS in an attempt to emulate Nintendo's success not some "evolution" of the industry like you would like us all to believe.
    Last edited by mistercrow; 03-24-2012 at 06:01.

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