Forum > Gaming Discussion > The VGPress Motion and Pointing Controls Debate
The VGPress Motion and Pointing Controls Debate
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Tue, 05 May 2009 00:37:02
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With the success of the Wii, many predict Nintendo's competitors will also introduce Motion and/or Pointing controls. According to rumour Microsoft and Sony are already working on some kind of motion control for their current gen consoles. And many analyst's believe that next-gen all consoles and PC will have a form of motion and pointing controls.

Before asking the questions I will explain the difference between Motion and Pointing control. Pointing control uses a Infrared camera and the sensor bar that emits infrared light to calculate the position of the Wiimote with respect to the sensor bar. This technology allows you to point at the screen: to shoot or move a cursor. 

Motion control uses an accelerometer to measure the acceleration of the Wiimote in x, y and z direction. This technology allows "waggle", tilting, and all sort of motion control that does not need you to point at the sensor bar. 

These technologies are separate, but they can be used in tandem, like pointer to decide where the wiimote is pointing and acceloremeter to measure the tilt. 

What is your guys think?

I want to hear your opinion about:

  1. The current state of Motion Control (Do you like it? What could be done better? Wiimotionplus?)
  2. The current state of the IR Pointer (Do you like it? What could be done better?)
  3. Is motion and/or pointer better than traditional control?
  4. Will there still be place for the good old controller?
  5. Next-gen, will all consoles have motion and/or pointing control?
  6. Do you want motion and pointer control?

Okay, let's have a good clean discussion!

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Tue, 05 May 2009 01:32:46
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First let me just disregard everything you've written and veer off to another point.

Sony and MS have not surprisingly missed the point of why the Wii was successful.  Motion controls were only a small part of it.  It was a combination of the novelty of motion controls, the mass appeal of Wii Sports, brilliant marketing, and a significantly lower price than the compeititors.  Combine all of this with one competitor who dropped the ball by releasing an overpriced console, and another one that was selling hardware with a 30% failure rate and guess what?????  That left Nintendo in a once in a lifetime position that it took full advantage of.  

So as far as I'm concerned Sony and MS are engaging in an absolutely fruitless venture in trying to incorporate motion features into their consoles.

And so onto your questions:

Essentially the controls haven't really proven themselves.  The pointer has been a pretty cool edition but the waggle so far just isn't cutting it.  It works in real simple games like Wii Sports and the like where simple gestures are all that's needed, but I don't think it's really proven itself in traditional gaming yet.  This could change with the introduction of Motion Plus, but it's not here yet.  

Personally I'm glad the pointer feature has been introduces as it has pointed some clever developers in new directions and is bringing the best of PC gaming controls to the Wii.  MOtion Control though. . . well again I'm just not sold yet.

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Tue, 05 May 2009 03:34:08
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1. Tilt for driving games is awesome. Waggle was fun at first, but it kinda sucks now. Motion plus may fix that, though.

2. IR is the best way to play FPS on consoles, but dual analogue is just fine, IMO.

3. Waggle is not better than traditional controls, but Motion Plus may change that. TIlt for driving games is awesome. IR for FPS is awesome too.

4. Yes.

5. Don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.

6. Yes, but tradional controls and controllers should be optional; some people simply don't like or can't use motion controls.

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Tue, 05 May 2009 03:59:37
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Zack and Wiki showed that even without motion plus reasonably accurate controls can work.

But everythting else showed that they didn't.

However the waggle in TP made it more fun for me, so did using it as a steering wheel in Excite Truck and carbon. Yes it doesn't add anything, but it is more fun.

Motion plus I'm hoping will add something to the experience, while still creating that extra feeling of fun.

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Tue, 05 May 2009 10:11:06
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Dont have time at the moment. Just wanted to say that the IR also allows the remote to accurately gauge depth and positioning giving you a greater level, almost 1:1 control already (sans gyroscope). See Elebits and Jenga parts of Boom Blox for reference. 

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Tue, 05 May 2009 14:37:48
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1. I think MotionPlus should have been included in the original Wii remote
2. FPS games on Wii are way too hard. Then again I've never fully played through a game using joystick controls to aim either, so it's somewhere between that and PC. A mouse is the superior way to aim, bar none.
3. Depends on the situation and how well it is implimented. I've yet to see many examples where the Wii remote isn't just an added little gimmick, or outright annoying to use. Personally I prefer sitting there and not having to move.
4. Definately
5. Xbox would never go to pointing controls. If they become too much like Nintendo, all the Microsoft fanboy swill revolt. I think that all controllers should have motion sensing, just not pointing. And if there is only enough room in the controller for rumble or motion, I want rumble.
6. My next-gen purchase will be based on other factors besides motion/pointer control

Edited: Tue, 05 May 2009 14:38:35

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Tue, 05 May 2009 14:43:27
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i'd like to see the delay between movement of the remote and movement of the "reticule" become infinitesimally small.  it's too noticeable at present and it bothers me in games like HOTD (first move your gun ... then your aim follows)

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Tue, 05 May 2009 15:44:00
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bugsonglass said:
i'd like to see the delay between movement of the remote and movement of the "reticule" become infinitesimally small.  it's too noticeable at present and it bothers me in games like HOTD (first move your gun ... then your aim follows)

Are you sure it's not your TV bugsy? Some tv's have a small delay, does it do the same with non pointer control? 

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Tue, 05 May 2009 16:32:42
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Iga_Bobovic said:

bugsonglass said:
i'd like to see the delay between movement of the remote and movement of the "reticule" become infinitesimally small.  it's too noticeable at present and it bothers me in games like HOTD (first move your gun ... then your aim follows)

Are you sure it's not your TV bugsy? Some tv's have a small delay, does it do the same with non pointer control?

yeah, i don't think it's ghosting.  i am pretty sure it was there when i used pointer controls in a wii game on other tvs (much better than mine).  do you not notice any delay at all?  it is always there for me even as i move the pointer on the menu screen

no delay for non pointer control

Edited: Tue, 05 May 2009 16:33:37

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Tue, 05 May 2009 17:03:16

bugsonglass said:

Iga_Bobovic said:

bugsonglass said:
i'd like to see the delay between movement of the remote and movement of the "reticule" become infinitesimally small.  it's too noticeable at present and it bothers me in games like HOTD (first move your gun ... then your aim follows)

Are you sure it's not your TV bugsy? Some tv's have a small delay, does it do the same with non pointer control?

yeah, i don't think it's ghosting.  i am pretty sure it was there when i used pointer controls in a wii game on other tvs (much better than mine).  do you not notice any delay at all?  it is always there for me even as i move the pointer on the menu screen

no delay for non pointer control

The menu has a delay, try to use the photo channel or however it is called. I heard this one has a smaller sampling rate. They increase the sampling rate to save on battery live, or so I have heard.

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Tue, 05 May 2009 17:10:46
My biggest issue with motion and pointing controls is that, at least with the Wii, I have yet to play a game that also has good camera controls.  I like having control of the camera.  Most Wii games do a decent enough job of moving the camera for you, but I like to have control.  I also don't care much for the FPS movement controls in the Wii FPS games I've played.  Outside of that, I think it is a good setup.

I still think there are certain types of games that don't lend themselves well to motion control.  I can't imagine playing a game like Demon's Souls with waggle instead of button presses, and that goes doubly for technical fighting games.
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Tue, 05 May 2009 17:36:09

Okay let me answer you guys 

@Robio

Funny you said something about why the Wii is such a success. We had a discussion a while ago and I said pretty much the same thing. You did forget the lower development costs though.

Agreed with you about the pointer, the thing is awesome. Motion can be nice, but most of the time it's a nice distraction at best. 

@Hamster

Pretty much agreed. Wow must be a sign of the apocalyps

@GG

Correct

@Yarco

Your first point does not make sense. The technology was not there yet. The size, price and power consumption where too high.

P.S. you are a weird one Nyaa

@Ragnaar

Camera control?! Good point, Zelda had limited control, while the GC version had full camera control. Perhaps games could use the pointer to drag and change the camera position? Not sure why no one has not done that yet. 

Agreed about certain genres though. Games designed to be played on a normal controller like fighting games and 2d platformes will feel wrong with motion control. The reason is that the games were designed with different controller in mind. The same way analog does not work for all genres. 

There was a Iwata ask's interview about Brawl. Iwata mentioned that they wanted to design a fighting game that takes full advantage of analog control. That game became Super Smash Bros. So fighting games will have to be designed for the ground up to take advantage of Motion Control. So Street Fighter would not work, but something like a sword fighting game with Wii motionplus might. In other words, Square where is Bushido Blade Wii?

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Tue, 05 May 2009 19:58:25

If there is a delay you guys should try messing with the calibration in the system menu and if the option is there, in the game menu. 

rragnaar said:
My biggest issue with motion and pointing controls is that, at least with the Wii, I have yet to play a game that also has good camera controls.  I like having control of the camera.  Most Wii games do a decent enough job of moving the camera for you, but I like to have control.  I also don't care much for the FPS movement controls in the Wii FPS games I've played.  Outside of that, I think it is a good setup.

I still think there are certain types of games that don't lend themselves well to motion control.  I can't imagine playing a game like Demon's Souls with waggle instead of button presses, and that goes doubly for technical fighting games.

 What FPS have you tried on the system Rag and how long did you get to spend with them?

Okay here are my feelings. Firstly if you want to talk about motion or IR then you have to play the BEST examples of the controls. There is no point playing some game with arbitury waggle and thinking that that is all its good for. 

A game has to have intelligently created controls. Firstly, logically, motions must match what you are doing. If I want to jab my chainsaw down into someone in Madworld I motion downwards. If I want to uppercut an enemy, I motion upwards. These are simpe examples. But the in the best cases of motion it usually marries the design with physics. 

Like Rag said with one on one fighters, motion control is pretty useless. For driving games, tilting controls, some people love it, personally I cannot stand it. If feels waffling and insubstantial. There is only one case where it feels perfect and that is the section in Disaster Day of Crisis when you are coasting a jeep down a lava filled mountainside in the first person. The jeep is out of control and the controls suit the game. 

In FPS, it works, it blatantly works and works far better than dual analogue. The key? Firsty try the best example of FPS controls Medal of Honor Heroes 2 or the soon to be released Conduit. Play the best (in control terms) secondly give it a couple of hours to sink in and tweak the hell out of in the option menu. 

The only real argument against IR in FPS is if people lack the natural co-ordination to play them. It's faster, more immersive, natural and more accurate. BUT, what is the good of having great controls if all the great FPS developers couldn't give a shit and would rather push the graphics and online on more powerful systems? In control terms though, its an advancement. 

Also, IR when used for things other than shooting, it really works. Whether it be welding in Prime 3, or rotating locks, pressing buttons, checking visors. You retain all this functionality whilst simpliying the controls. 

In a game like Elebits, you have IR mixed with motion to give you 1:1 control, add in a physics engine and you see exactly what more developers should be doing. Real object manipulation, what Michael Ancel dreamed off when the "Revolution" was announced. You get revolutionary three dimensional control of objects, naturally rotating objects, pushing things into and out of the screen. Just something not possible with other devices. It's heartbreaking to think that no other games have used this mechanic so well. 

Boom Blox comes closest, another game which uses physics, gives you pinpoint IR control and uses motion to effect the game. You can play a multiplayer match of the same level and each time it will be different, simply because of physics + your motion. 

Unfortunately unless you keep the end of the remote pointed at the screen, the wii cannot tell your position in the room so its been limited in many ways. Motionplus should finally allow all the concepts we imagined all those years ago to be realised. You've seen the hands on of motionplus games so far and they are all gushing. It's definetely the way forward and the mass adoption of motion controls this and next gen will prove it. 

What fails is when individual games fail to use the controls and design the game with those in mind. Of course its not always suitable and should be used appropiately like frugal use in No More Heroes and Madworld for instance. 

There are other examples of the benefits of motion control or IR. One handed gaming, yes laying down on the couch like a lazy git with one remote in your hand and being able to play a game like Endless ocean or Animal Crossing just by pointing. Or even the feeling you get when you swing your punches in Madworld and break someone's teeth out. Or that little kick you get unsheathing your sword in Zelda with a little flick. 

IMO the problem with motion controls isn't the controls, its the way developers poorly choose to use them. 

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Thu, 07 May 2009 09:15:52

Okay it's my turn to answer the questions

1) Motion controls are a nice extra, but only if used well. Someone compared it to rumble, it's nice to have, but not really needed. The waggle in Zelda is nice, but it is no better and worse than a button. Sometimes they are more intuitive than a button, Galaxy is an example for that. The spin attack is used to save you ass if you mis a jump (or attacking, but a real man jumps on his enemies). The shaking motion is a natural motion, many times when we accidentally mis a jump most of us shake the controller in a reflex. This initializes the spin and can save one's life. This instinctive movement is comparable to a break in some electric car, you break by squeezing the wheel. For instance if you suddenly see a kid cross the street, you instinctively squeeze the wheel. Galaxy's spin is kinda the same. 

There are also some games that us tilt like some racing games, Kororinpa and Rollgoal-minigame in Zelda. Again in the latter two cases motion control really works well. And some people like tilt and other do not like it. 

The other side of the coin is that many games have motion tacked on. This is bad, some things are better with buttons. Like fighting games and platformers. And sometimes the motion recognition is to strict, if you make a small mistake the game does not recognize the motion. This is the reason why so people call it inaccurate, the source of the inaccuracy is not the wiimote, but the repeatibily of the human. Developers need to realize that most of us are not gods or robots, so make the motion control in a way a inferior human can always repeat.

In conclusion motion can in make the game better in some examples and it can make a game more immersive or intuitive in other. It is not much, but it is a nice extra. But if the developers screw it up, than it can becomes a nightmare. 

Motionplus will improve the Motion control a lot in think. The motion controls together with the pointer will be able to accurately track the wiimote in almost 1:1 movement. But as uncle Ben said, with this great power, comes great responsibility. So developers be careful, do not overdo it.

2) The pointer is the real revolution as far as I am concerned. This is the reason the Wiimote is formed like a wand, to point at stuff. The pointer allows for a more accurate input than a analog stick, point and click adventures, rts and Trauma Center are now possible on consoles. This allows for telekinetic manipulation in Elebits and Crystal Beares, that would not even be possible with a mouse.

Heck it is even used to streamline the collecting gameplay in Galaxy. The problem with 3D platformers was too much collecting. Galaxy solves this by allowing you to collect starbits by pointing at them, so you can jump from platform to platform while you collect at the same time. No downtime, can you imagine actually physically going over there to collect the damn things? This would be horrible. This is something most people underestimate, sure you do not feel it when you are playing, but you sure as hell will feel it when someone would take it away. It would be difficult or even impossible to platform and collect the starbits at the same time with a dual analog.

Then there are games like Lost Wind that let's you draw thing while moving you character. How would you draw things with a analog? The pointer is awesome.

There is a drawback though. You can loose you cursor if you don't point the wiimote at the sensor bar. The wiimote uses a camera to detect infrared signal that the sensor bar emits. So if you are not pointing at it, the camera does not see the infrared signal. So next gen make it so that you can't loose the signal.

3) Yes and no, it is more immersive and the pointer is more accurate, but like I said before it does not always work as well for some genres. 

4) Yes, people always forget this, but the Classical Controller is proof that Motion Control is not perfect for all cases. But this is allright, the analog stick is not used for all games either and no one has problems with that. Some DS games do not use the touchscreen or dual screen either, just because you have it does not mean you have to use it all the time.

5) Pointer contol seems to be future. I think all consoles will have a standard controller and a pointing motion control. More choices for everyone.

6) Yes please.


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Thu, 07 May 2009 10:24:20

A couple of good Galaxy points there. Firstly the motion matches the movement. When mario spins the movement you make is that of almost pulling a cord wrapped around spinning object. 

Also being able to seamlessly and accurately shoot and play a platformer at the same time without brining up a seperate fire mode is important. 

I can't telly you how many times I fired a star in an enemies face, then kicked him. You can get these kind of complex yet easy to perform moves when you use a combination of controllers. 

Also, having a controller split is a lazy option, just being able to relax your hands at your sides. 

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Thu, 07 May 2009 13:54:10
Should I post this topic at the GGD?
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Thu, 07 May 2009 14:51:24

Why?

Anyhow whatever the concerns I think that gamers are going to have to lump it next generation because as we've seen in the past, when something is popular and easy to copy, it gets adopted across the board. 

All these guys who vowed to give up gaming because of motion, well they will be severely tested next time. Like it or not. 

Edited: Thu, 07 May 2009 15:05:49

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Thu, 07 May 2009 17:56:53

gamingeek said:

Why?

 To see the shitstorm it will cause. Then I look down at the ruins of the GGD and nod to myself and say "Good job".

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Thu, 07 May 2009 22:09:00

Iga_Bobovic said:

What is your guys think?

I want to hear your opinion about:

  1. The current state of Motion Control (Do you like it? What could be done better? Wiimotionplus?)
  2. The current state of the IR Pointer (Do you like it? What could be done better?)
  3. Is motion and/or pointer better than traditional control?
  4. Will there still be place for the good old controller?
  5. Next-gen, will all consoles have motion and/or pointing control?
  6. Do you want motion and pointer control?

Okay, let's have a good clean discussion!

1. It's good, but it mostly depends on how developers implement it.

2. IR is clearly the future, but the sensor bar needs to go. 4 individual IR sensors that you place on the corners of your TV is the best way.

3. In some cases, yes.

4. Yes.

5. Motion controls yes. IR for all is unlikely.

6. Yes

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Thu, 07 May 2009 22:25:07
There is no debate. You will all waggle AND DESPAIR!
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