PS3 Motion Controller Still on Track for a 2010 Release
Today, Sony officially announced that their answer to the Wii’s motion control for the Playstation 3 has been delayed until the fall of this year. This news shouldn’t be particularly shocking as we noted in a previous article that there’s been very little news since the announcement at E3 2009, no game demonstrations, and the motion controls haven’t even been named much less priced. We do know that the motion controls will require use of the EyeToy camera, have true 1:1 motion capture, and can mimic objects in game like swords, guns, and shields.
So what does the delay of the motion controls mean for Sony and the Playstation 3?
Head to Head – Primarily, it means that Sony’s motion controller will now compete directly with the Xbox 360’s Project Natal. Sony had to be banking on not only having a several month lead over Natal in the press and on retail shelves but also riding the wave of hot releases from the 2009 holidays and this spring. Now, however, we are likely going to see Microsoft, Sony, and their fanatic fans throwing out quotes, opinions, and spin like a heated political race.
No More Delays – A spin-off of going head to head with Project Natal, this also means that Sony can not afford another delay of their motion controller and must release their motion controller this fall. Otherwise, Natal will gain all the buzz and momentum and Sony will be very late to the game with little time left in this console generation.
Games – When Sony showed off the motion controller at E3 2009, what was shown was little more than tech demos meant to show off what the controller was capable of. Though what was shown was impressive from a game play stand point they weren’t actual games. The Natal demonstration showed off what looked to be actual games even if they did look a bit silly. Trying to develop games for any console system from scratch in less than a year is nearly impossible unless you don’t mind your games coming out to bad reviews and low sales. The delay to the fall gives Sony and third-party developers more time to put out quality titles that everyone can enjoy.
Wii – The question has to be asked, can it compete with the Wii (and this applies to Microsoft’s Natal too)? Consumers already have had a motion control capable console for the past three years that is cheap, easy to develop for, and has massive mass market appeal with tons of games already. Peripherals added to a console midway through its lifespan rarely pan out because not enough people have the peripheral for publishers to consider taking the time and resources needed to develop games for them.
Ultimately, with only two years likely left in the current generation of consoles, the Sony motion controller (along with Project Natal) may end up being little more than a test run for motion controls for the next generation of consoles.
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