Motion Recognition: The Future of Gaming
The gaming industry has been changing drastically ever since the development of motion-sensor games in the beginning of the 21st century. The first mainstream motion-sensor game to reach the market was the Ninetendo Wii, which was released in the fourth quarter of 2006. Though the accuracy of the device was not perfect, it was clear that the device would become successful. Many attachments were made for the device and different genres of games could be developed for the Wii, whether they are exercise games with a platform to stand on, or a shooter game with a plastic gun. Towards the end of the decade other companies like Sony and Microsoft had developed successful motion recognition gaming devices known as the Playstation Move and the Xbox Kinect, respectively. It is inevitable that the gaming industry is heading in a direction that is more motion-sensor based.
The Xbox Kinect has been available for approximately four months, and in the first 60ays on the market, Microsoft has already sold over eight million units (Clemens, 2011). In the four months that the system has been on the market Microsoft has already produced over twenty games for the Kinect (Alexis, 2010). Part of the appeal of the Kinect is that a majority of the games being produced are family-friendly. Also, like Nintendo, Microsoft has developed fitness games for the Kinect. With the awareness of health concerns today, and the increasing number of people who are obese, these fitness games, which are an easy and accessible way for people to workout, are doing very well.
The Wii has been the most successful out of the three consoles, but it has also been around the longest. Though it has worse graphics than both the Xbox and the Playstation, and arguably slower technology within the console to recognize the motion of the user, it has had the most success. Since 2006, Nintendo has produced approximately one thousand games. Like the Kinect, when the Wii first came out Nintendo had produced about twenty games. In a little over four years, the number of Wii games being produced has grown exponentially.
The Playstation Move was the last of the three to launch, but has been received as the most technologically advanced. In the first month, Sony had shipped approximately two and a half million units between Europe and North America, and after two months a little over four million units had been sold worldwide. The Move has been on the market for about six months, and in that time Sony has produced over fifty games for the system. Most of the Sony games are used with the highly touted motion-plus controller, rather than just the player standing in front a receiving camera, like with the Xbox Kinect. The Move has the better technology, and it is only going to get better, which will lead consumers to purchase more as the games get better.
As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons that the motion recognition games are so successful is because of their exercise games. Both the “Wii Fit” and the Kinect’s version of an exercise game titled “Your Shape: Fitness Evolved” calculate fitness levels, body mass index, and create workout plans for individuals. Also, all three consoles have dancing games, which require the user to either stand on a platform or in front of a camera while performing dance moves that require the gamer to pump out high levels of physical activity. Parents like to purchase the consoles for their children because they have access to the exercise games themselves. People used to think that videogames were damaging to peoples’ health, but with the development of motion sensor exercise games, video games are actually being considered healthy.
In just five years since the release of the first mainstream motion recognition console, there have been approximately 1,100 games developed between the three main consoles. There have been advancements in attachments for the consoles, as well as in the technology within the controllers and the systems. Right now there are about the same number of Nintendo games being produced for the Wii as there are for all of Nintendo’s other systems combined. The Kinect and The Move are too young for the same to be said for them, but I predict that within the next five to ten years there will be more motion sensor games being produced on the market for the Wii, Kinect, and Move than games being produced for handheld devices like the Sony PSP and Nintendo Gameboy. As technology increases, and the demand for more realistic games does as well, motion sensor games will be the future of the gaming industry.
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Alexis, Lee. (2010, November). Natal is out! kinect is in. Hub Pages, Retrieved from http://hubpages.com/hub/Kinect-Games-List
Wii: the total story. (2011, January). IGN, Retrieved from http://wii.ign.com/launchguide/hardware1.html
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