Technology Going the Wrong Way

Now that Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have released their new hardware, it’s hard to look away from the issues that are beginning to plague the gaming industry.  Like red flags, the 3DS, Kinect and Move are signs that the games industry is beginning to put technology before creativity.

Let’s begin with from the newly launched 3DS, the handheld with the capability to play games in 3D without the use of 3D glasses. When this system was first publically announced at E3, it was the most talked about hand ware from the show. In effect, it blew both Sony’s PlayStation Move and Microsoft’s Kinect motion controllers out of the water. The Gaming Media was particular impressed, thinking ahead regarding what potential this handheld could have on games to come. However, from that moment to its launch, many people have done an about-face towards the system, seeing how the 3D of the handheld is more of a gimmick than an innovative gameplay direction.

When the Wii was first released, there really was something interesting about the use of motion control on a home console. It had never been done before, and it was done by a rather trustworthy company in the industry. It brought something new to the table, urging developers to think outside the box and think of new ways to create fun games using a motion controller.

That didn’t happen, instead the console with polluted with a billion exercise and dance titles as well as family friendly titles. We lost those Nintendo titles that we treasured for being unique and interesting experiences, and were instead given games that focused on waggling the controller as if that’s fun enough.

Look at all the fun Reggie's Having!

Look at all the fun Reggie's Having!

It’s not.

Nursing their wounds, gamers moved onto the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 for more mature gaming experience. However, these companies saw the absurd amount of money Nintendo was making and brought out their own renditions of motion control.  Lamely trying to cover-up their obvious heist, the companies clung to the idea that their controllers were somehow different.

“Look,” Sony claimed, wagging a black controller with a stupid looking light on top. “It’s much more precise and has fun colored lights on top!”

“No, look at us,” Microsoft begged, flailing in front of a television as all its possessions are thrown onto the front lawn. “No controller needed! Just make sure you have some free space so it can read you.”

The technology in itself is impressive, there’s no arguing that, but I think the technology for these consoles are being made separate than the games they’re supposed to play.  Which would explain why obvious titles such as dance and fitness games keep being pumped out for these systems, and that isn’t the way to go.

I’m starting to think that the creativity in this industry isn’t made for these superficial advancements in tech.  The games released for the 3DS are not using the 3D in innovative ways, which is the case such titles as The Sims 3 and Madden 2011, which are just popular EA games you can play in 3D. Street Fighter as well is just more Street Fighter with nice graphics and 3D capabilities. The same goes for the Kinect and Move which, besides from Dance Central, don’t have any titles that use motion control creatively.  This tech wasn’t asked for, as no players claimed that Mario jumping over a Goomba needed waggle control or 3D.

This hasn’t happened in any other forms of media, as the way you listen to music hasn’t changed as it’s still through a speaker or an instrument, or how someone reads a book, whether on a tablet or paper, you’re still reading words. I don’t understand why games need to be changed how they’re played.