Competition between Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's Move motion control systems has remained relatively quiet where direct smack-talk is concerned, with one notable exception. Sony's ad campaigns have been geared mainly towards quietly insulting Kinect's "You Are the Controller" mentality, and flat out insulting the Nintendo Wii's "childish" set-up.
It seems now Microsoft has had enough and Product Director Aaron Greenberg has decided to fire back. Not by insulting PlayStation's product, but by simply stating that the Move isn't even on the same level as Kinect.
When speaking with CVG, Greenberg explained why the Kinect's games are better than Move's:
"I think that most of the experiences designed for Kinect were designed from the ground up,... The difference is, it seems, a lot of the games made for Move are really controller-based games that [developers have] added the Move functionality to."
Hard to argue, since Sony has already announced that it will be patching Move controls into Heavy Rain and the other launch titles seem to be focused more on bite-sized mini-games than full game experiences.
One of the greatest sins of Move has been the shoe-horning of motion controls into Sony's own flagship PS3 shooter, SOCOM 4. The footage at E3 of players holding the move controls, while gleefully smiling from ear to ear playing the military shooter got large groups of hardcore gamers mocking the idea, and largely dismissing the system as a whole. Greenberg made it clear that Microsoft has no plans to do the same, and his words will likely be a great relief to Xbox 360 gamers:
"Our approach has been different, because we feel that a controller is the best way to play games like Halo or Call of Duty. So we'd rather not have you have to choose between using a controller or motion controller; we'd rather design experiences that are uniquely made for Kinect.
"Now, there is the ability to have hybrid games that combine both - but we think those will be designed uniquely for that experience too."
It's nice to see Kinect deliver some promising results, since the long list of pre-launch woes was getting larger by the day. And hearing them say that shooters are best played with controllers is sure to make a lot of gamers happy. This is basically all of the things I was hoping Microsoft would realize, so for now at least, my greatest fears have been eased. Now I can look forward to the games announced at TGS.
Microsoft has every right to feel confident, after initial doubts about Kinect-supported games being little more than mini-games, this past week at the Tokyo Game Show has greatly quieted critics. With large announcements of Suda 51's Project D, Capcom's Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, and SEGA's Rise of Nightmares, all designed specifically for Kinect's motion-tracking technology, the future is looking good for hardcore Xbox 360 gamers.
So what do you think of Kinect's launch titles? Is Microsoft being a little too confident with their game design, or are they flat out dreaming? Have you picked up your Move controller, or plan on picking one up soon?