Sony: Motion control is in an 8-bit era

Sony: Motion control is in an 8-bit era

By Rob Crossley

August 22nd 2011 at 2:15PM

Gesture devices will eventually grow from their 'many limitations', says Shuhei Yoshida

Motion control peripherals may be emblems of the modern games industry, but a key executive at Sony believes the technology is only in its infancy.

Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has likened the current standard of motion controllers to a generation of games consoles that were built in the eighties.

“As far as I’m concerned, the motion control of today is like the 8-bit phase of video games,” he said.

Speaking last week during a Gamescom panel discussion on the future of video games, Yoshida said modern motion control is currently held beck by “many limitations”.

Mick Hocking, a senior director at Sony Worldwide Studios, echoed Yoshida’s statement.

“I think we’ve just only started exploring the possibilities of motion control,” he said.

“Move has given us the first accurate device use for motion control,” he added.

“I’m also interested in the possibilities of virtual reality and tracking every part of my body. There are loads of things we can do with motion control. Maybe we’ll create objects holographicly and interact with them via motion controllers,” he added.

The three key platform holders each support motion control on home consoles. Nintendo placed the technology at the very centre of its Wii console, while Microsoft reinvented its Xbox 360 with the Kinect 3d camera. Sony, which has a more diversified console feature strategy, adds motion control as a side-offering.

While gesture devices have triggered the release of many fitness and dance games, the technology is very slowly adapting to other genres.

Gareth Edmondson, studio manger at Ubisoft Reflections, believes the primitive nature of the technology is the reason for this.

“Well Ubisoft Reflections is a core gamer racing game studio, so applying motion control to that is actually quite hard,” he said.

“We’ve seen, like with the new Tom Clancy game, a really interesting motion-controlled gun customization shop,” he added.

“There’s a place for it, but it’s hard to make it for driving games. Maybe there is a way, but we haven’t found one yet.”

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