PlayStation 3 Games Getting Motion Control Patch, Xbox 360 Games Probably Won't

By Chris Faylor, Sep 25, 2009 4:15pm PDT With the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 both set to receive new motion-tracking controllers next year, it has been revealed that some existing PlayStation 3 software will be updated with enhanced control schemes via patches while Xbox 360 games probably won't.

Though Microsoft has demonstrated the Xbox 360's motion-sensitive Project Natal camera with retrofitted versions of existing titles, such as Burnout Paradise and Beautiful Katamari, project head Kudo Tsunoda told Destructoid that such efforts required a significant amount of code to be changed--presumably more than a patch could.


The Xbox 360's Project Natal and the PlayStation Motion Controller

Meanwhile, rival Sony used Tokyo Game Show to reveal that some existing PlayStation 3 games will be patched to support the upcoming PlayStation Motion Controller, including LittleBigPlanet, PAIN, Flower, EyePet, Hustle Kings and High Velocity Bowling.

In addition, Sony unveiled several upcoming titles that will make use of the wand-shaped ball-tipped device, including an "Alternate Edition" of Resident Evil 5, Ape Escape, Echochrome 2, Motion Party, Sing and Draw, The Shoot and Tower.

Microsoft refrained from announcing any specific titles for Project Natal, instead issuing a list of developers "actively working on Project Natal games" and holding a session in which some of those developers discussed theoretical uses of Project Natal.

Both the PlayStation Motion Controller and Project Natal are slated to arrive in 2010, with the PlayStation Motion Controller slated for spring. Neither add-on has been priced.

A look at use of the PlayStation Motion Controller in Resident Evil 5: Alternate Edition can be found below, beginning around the 2:54 mark, with the demonstrator using a standard PlayStation 3 controller for movement and the Motion Controller for aiming.

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  • There's upsides and downsides to this Natal situation.

    Upside: Not a lot of games with gimmick patches that will probably be worse off or more awkward when using Natal. Games will be sculpted specifically to use Natal using it's features to the fullest.

    Downside: Those same games will probably be gimmicks for a long while. Developers are going to have to spend a long time testing and getting used to it. Then figuring out how to use it for a AAA title that will feel like "this couldn't be played on anything BUT Natal." Many Wii games suffered from the feeling that I'd get more enjoyment out of using it on a controller. The "waggle instead of hit X" type gimmick takes me out of the game. You end up spending time fighting the controls and what it detects.

    I have a feeling it will work like this: Natal is released. A few games that were in development before Natal will add Natal functionality. Gamepad or Natal can be played. It will probably suck or mean nothing in this scenario. (Fable 3, I'm looking at YOU!) The same Wii situation where you're better off with a controller. Kind of like the keyboard/mouse Vs. gamepad argument. Only now it's trading controls for fake interactivity. The games that are Natal only will probably be shitty party mini-games. They will be more tech-demos to show off every facet of the Natal. This will go on for a while I think. Then AAA titles may trickle out if MS pays them enough money, or if it's watered down enough to work on PS3's and Xbox360's motion setup.

    But them showing families with no controller swiping through menus just isn't going to happen. No one's controller will be collecting dust for a long time, i think. You may do it to impress your friends who don't have a Natal. But when they go home, the Natal will be shut off. It's bad enough dealing with the wiis misinterpretation of a waggle. It'll be worse when your whole body is interpreted. Short of a miracle, of course.