Motion control and simulation gaming has certainly come a long way in the past few years, both in terms of showcase projects like the Birdly flight simulator, and even the Nintendo Wii.
Developments show no sign of slowing down, especially as consumer technologies become cheaper to produce. In the gaming space especially, developments continue to progress.
Let’s have a look back at recent video game motion control, and how the tech could change in the future.
Arguably the first mainstream success of simulation gaming, the Wii saw massive sales and integration in modern video game culture after its release in 2006. The tiny console attempted something different than its larger brethren, pushing social simulation games as the main selling point.
Virtual tennis, baseball, skiing and archery all mimicked the real sports using motion controllers, helping to create a larger sense of immersion for players. Many of these games even came bundled with controller addons that transformed the Wii remote into bows and tennis racquets.
Following the Wii into the motion controlled space was the Xbox Kinect, released in 2010 largely in response to the success of Nintendo’s console.
The Kinect sensor brought a number of improvements to the simulation space, using an advanced set of cameras to track the user within the environment. By monitoring objects like couches and tables, and the limbs of users, Kinect was able to represent player movements within virtual worlds.
Released in 2010, the offering from PlayStation was rather lacklustre. In place of attempting to create a new type of motion control, the Move simply emulated the success of the Wii by using physical remotes to track players.
Where PlayStation differed was content – the company attempted to use the motion control medium to create more mature stories, such as murder investigation Heavy Rail.
While simulation and motion control technologies will certainly advance over the next few years, it’s unlikely they’ll eclipse the coming growth of virtual reality. While PlayStation has already made its intentions clear with the Morpheus headset, Xbox is still hiding developing plans.