Posted By Robert G. about 9 months, 4 weeks ago
Many a hardcore gamer has scoffed at the idea of motion controls ever truly usurping the physical controller. Since the motion control craze kicked off on the Nintendo Wii, there has been increased attempts to penetrate the flooded market of casual gamer’s to try out the next dance or fitness craze. However, more “hardcore” titles with such capabilities are few and far between, and often it is an optional scheme that many never fully utilize.
Well, one of Ubisoft’s managing directors, Jade Raymond, is rather flabbergasted as to why. Raymond, the producer behind Assassins Creed and the upcoming Splinter Cell: Blacklist, believes that the full potential of motion controllers has not been tapped yet, and that the standard controller is a “huge barrier” that the gaming culture needs to overcome.
Raymond does have a strong pedigree when it comes to serving up more “hardcore” titles since she began working with Ubisoft Toronto back in 2007. And while the idea of a controller may seem daunting to some casual fans out there, learning the controls, be it a simple, 2-button brick for a NES or a thumb-sticked sixaxis controller for the PS3 is still a fairly easy task for most.
In fact, Eric Kain of Forbes magazine is quick to call out his apparent displeasure with Raymond’s comments, in his article that (briefly) toys with the notion of game controllers being obsolete.
The truth of the matter is, there is no real right or wrong answer as to what what the future of game controllers will be. While Kain is far from achieving the coveted luddite status as he glibly questions, I also think he is quick to say no to new ideals as well. He may recognize that motion controls may work best with a certain style of game, but it doesn’t mean experimentation is not needed to further perfect motion and sensory controls.
Raymond is optimistic about the future of controllers, but likewise is quick to dismiss the power of a standard controller. Even on the Nintendo Wii, the only console where motion controls were touted as more than a gimmick, most games come with the option of the “classic” controller built-in. And in some cases, like Monster Hunter Tri, it’s almost necessary to use.
So for me, a stance of neutrality is pretty easy to make in this case. I feel that Raymond is quick to see the controller as a problem of archaic tech, while Kain is unfairly judging motion controls based on their current usage. Simply put, who knows what the future will bring. If we do move beyond the Kinect, the Wii, the Wii U and other forms of non-standard control schemes, then perhaps Kain is wrong in his assessment of what type of controls make a game better. But I wouldn’t be hesitant to say Raymond is incorrect about standard controllers, as they are always going to be refined and utilized in the future.