Deus Ex's Warren Spector Warns Against Going Overboard with Motion Controls

by Chris Faylor, Mar 11, 2010 1:00pm PST

As hardware makers rush to embrace motion-controlled gaming--Sony with the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Move, Microsoft with the Xbox 360's Project Natal, Razer and Sixense with the "Ultra-Precise Motion [PC] Controller"--industry old-timer Warren Spector has warned "we have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater."

"I think it's kind of weird...that we've sort of said, 'We've got 20, 30 years of people learning how to do this--sitting on their couch and having a good time, and knowing where the buttons are--and we're saying 'You've got to stand up and wave around and gesture,'" the Deus Ex veteran warned during a GDC 2010 luncheon attended by Gamasutra.

The PlayStation 3's PlayStation Move and the Xbox 360's Project Natal

It's not that he's against motion-based controls--"I'm working on a Wii title and I'm loving it," Spector said of Juncture Point's upcoming Epic Mickey--but rather that he's cautious of what will happen if more traditional games and control schemes are abandoned.

"We're in the process of throwing away people--kids, adults--who know this stuff," said Spector. "I don't know if we want to throw away our entire history because we want to use gestural controls...I hope we keep our perspective a little more rational."


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  • I'm kinda half and half on motion controls. I thought Wii Sport and several other games did a great jump of making them more immerstive. I loved the arrow shooting and sword slashing in Twilight Princess, but there are many other games where the motion controls seemed tacked on. It's great when it's done right, when it's thought out, but otherwise it can be a gimmick.

    I'm curious now how many fanboys will call Natal and Move as revolutionary as compared to calling the Wii as waggle only. Still, I think it's a great move for certain games, but it isn't the best thing for all games. I want it to co-exist with regular control schemes because some games do benefit from it.