Natal won’t need as much space – but will motion play ever replace traditional control pads?

What do you think?

I’ve been testing out the sword slashing Red Steel 2 on the Wii for the last couple of days. It is *way* better than the original for sure, but – and call me old-fashioned here – using the Wii for any serious length of gaming time is simply much easier with the classic pad compared to the wiimote – (Monster Hunter Tri is a perfect example). I have actually had arm ache playing Red Steel 2 which is probably not the immersive experience the developers had in mind. Or maybe it was? Either way I’m still to be convinced that motion play can work with the time and control demands of a “hardcore” title. Microsof’s Project Natal may be different though, but rumours earlier this week suggested you may need a massive living space – do you have 4 metres (13 feet) of space in front of your TV? – to even use it. Understandably European and Japanese Xbox owners will have been concerned. So, Microsoft have now confirmed to Kotaku that this space need is an optimum but not essential.

The comments recently about the play space for ‘Project Natal’ were misinterpreted. It is true that the ‘Project Natal’ sensor reads the configuration of your room and adjusts play space, as appropriate. We know that living rooms come in all shapes and sizes, and have conducted numerous play tests to ensure everyone will be able to jump off the couch and into the fun when ‘Project Natal’ launches globally this holiday.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the Xbox has had these kind of concerns – remember the Japanese-unfriendly bulk of the original Xbox model and controller? – and despite the Microsoft comments you will clearly need a bit more space to jump around using Natal rather than just waving the Wiimote. What this will mean in practice remains to be seen but personally I still can’t see how you can use Natal for “hardcore” games like, say, Fable 3 without it feeling like a jarring bolt-on that adds little to the experience. Yes, I’m looking forward to playing a bit of “Natal Sports” or whatever but am yet to be convinced that motion control – whether Wii, Natal or Playstation Move – will ever really work with core games. But what about you? Agree with me? Or do you expect to be playing Modern Warfare 4 and Halo 5 with some kind of motion or full body controller?



Greg Howson © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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