It’s time to stick up for the standard-issue video game controller. Yes, new, whiz-bang motion control, like the kind Sony and Microsoft demonstrated at E3 this week, may well be technologically impressive, and I appreciate the amount of work put into their development, but I can’t help but think, “Man, I have zero interest in any of that.” And I’m sure I’m not alone in preferring the standard-issue controller, like the DualShock 3 (or mouse and keyboard, for when I fire up the odd round or two of Team Fortress 2) or Xbox 360 control pad. Heck, I’d sooner try to play Fallout 3 with an 8-bit NES controller than punch the air, like a jerk, with Wii Motion Control Plus Boxing.
You now understand why, aside from The Last Guardian, this year’s E3 bored me. (It might also be because nearly everything of note was leaked before the first day of the show.) All I saw was rubbish tech demo after rubbish tech demo. “Check this out, I’m painting an elephant in the air! Isn’t that amazing?” No! It’s “interesting,” maybe, dare I say, even “neat,” for a minute or so, but that’s about it. I’m not going to play Gran Turismo 6 (assuming Gran Turismo 5 ever comes out) by putting my hands in the air and “turning” an invisible wheel. How is that any more “real” than using one of those expensive Logitech steering wheels? How is turning my hands in the middle of the air any more authentic than manipulating the DualShock 3′s left thumbstick? All I can say is that I sincerely hope that the industry isn’t moving full speed ahead with this motion control nonsense;it’s off-putting, if not disconcerting. It may be a cute gimmick every once in a while, but I’m not prepared to spend my money, hard-earned or not, on cute gimmicks. I may have been born at night, but not last night.
To put it another way: if motion control is the future, then I may well have to consider finding a new hobby. Perhaps crochet, or throwing bowling balls at mallards, or writing a piece-of-garbage sitcom for NBC about a team of like-minded aristocrats who spend their free time time-traveling and solving mysteries. I’d call it “I’m a Celebrity, Now Which Way To The Betty Ford Center?”
Or, maybe, have I just grown out of gaming? That’s a topic for another day. Say, tomorrow.