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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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  • My take. Motion has it's place and yet sometimes it is misused. The sword control in Wii Sports Resort is brilliant. Some of the motion control used in wii games though is just there to be there. Nintendo generally gets it right and makes it logical, especially in their sports titles.

    I can't wait to play another game with sword control as good as Wii Sports Resort. Perhaps an awesome action/adventure game like Zelda. I don't have a ps3 and won't for quite a while (has to be cheaper), but I am interested in Natal as I have a 360. If I see good use of it there, I will get Natal. I like the interaction I saw in the first natal videos (the one where you play around with some virtual person) and I like how they used it in Burnout Paradise and other things too.

    Though, in some ways I sort feel like the ps3 motion support might have an advantage over Natal (still having something to hold). But I'll have to wait and see.