Was the Wiimote just pre-Natal?
If there is one thing gaming companies are willing to do, it is copy a good idea.
Once upon a time there was the Wii
, with its magic wand that let you interact with your games by waving your hands or later by balancing on a board. Old-fashioned gaming companies laughed, and the controllers for Microsoft's Xbox360 and Sony's PS3 stayed the way they were: full of buttons and joysticks.
But people loved the Wiimote and a new generation of casual gamers was made. Now every gaming company wants motion capture control.
Third-party developer Performance Designed Products has the Gametrack remote
wand control coming for the Xbox
in October and the PS3 in 2010. At the E3 gaming conference, Sony demonstrated its own remote, which is also a wand that interacts with a sensor, and is expected next spring. Nintendo updated the Wiimote with Wii Motion Plus, making it better able to respond to precision movements. That's available in a few weeks.
But the big news was Microsoft's Natal, a full-body motion capture system in which your body becomes the remote control. No wand or buttons needed because the machine responds to your movements directly. The technology is impressive, but Microsoft hasn't announced when it will actually come out.