The Parable of a Downed Ideal


Posted on July 21, 2015 by Drae

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A brief history of the motion-sensor based gaming platform.

In 1999, the Eyetoy camera was thought up by Sony.

In 2003, the Eyetoy was released.

In 2005, Nintendo announced the Wii.

In 2006, Nintendo released the Wii.

In 2009, Sony announced their original idea of the Playstation Move.

Somewhere in between the Wii and Playstation Move’s announcement, Project Natal had been slowly growing to its announcement in 2009.

In 2010, the Project Natal was let loose upon the market with aggressive marketing (The Playstation Move was also forceful during this time).

In 2013, Project Natal was forced upon those who bought Xbox Ones.

In 2014, Xbox Ones were available without the attached ideology.


 

What is Project Natal?

Kinect.

 

Kinect was Microsoft’s $500 million dollar rush into the motion-sense platform of gaming. The idea had been there since Playstation had released the Eyetoy, but Project Natal had always just sat in the back of the minds of those who though of it, as the main focus was creating and developing new Windows systems and the next greatest gaming console (at least the 360 won that battle). Sony was content on their release until Nintendo revealed the Wii, a system based solely off of sensing player’s movements. They too, had wanted a second version of an Eyetoy, but it wasn’t their priority either–in fact, they really weren’t intending on developing much VR tech at the time, and were building up deals with game developers to ensure strong exclusives like InFamous, God of War, Heavy Rain, and Uncharted. But both companies mouth’s dropped as the Wii sales skyrocketed, and their respective CEO’s irises turned into dollar signs. Both companies regurgitated ideas, Sony wanting to innovate upon the Wii’s design, but with a more accurate and reliable camera, but also to have all the buttons so that one wouldn’t need a controller. Microsoft made Project Natal.

 


 

The following is a parable spoken through wise a wise tongue:

Bob was a nice guy. Everyone liked him, there weren’t alot of naysayers about him. From time to time, he’d get into a tussle and his friends would help him out, but Bob was generally accepted. He was actually one of the big 3 in his highschool even though he really didn’t put that much effort into it. But Bob was getting old, he didn’t have any new stories, most of them were a few months old. And trying to impress the school like his friend Jong did, he wanted to pimp his ride. The other popular person in the school, Belle, wanted to impress her friends too, so she supervised them as they made her ride look cool. In the end, Jong’s ride was well received, but when he tried again, no one was as excited. Bob worked a really long time on his ride, and was proud of it. Personally, it didn’t live up to his expectations, and it didn’t really to the general populus at his school too. Belle’s ride ended up being chided frequently and Belle shrugged it off, pretending not to care. But still, even though Belle and Bob were late in the game, they both showcased their ride everywhere, and couldn’t stop talking about it. Everywhere you went for the next year, Belle always made sure you used her ride, and Bob always made sure you used his.  But because Belle was snobby, she ended up selling her car and getting a different one, not bothering to make it pretty. But Bob kept on showing it off, and forcing people to drive with him when they went places. Eventually, people got sick of it and kind of shrugged Bob off. So Bob decided to change his car a bit so it wasn’t just for rides, and stopped forcing it on his friends because he realized that they didn’t like it as much as he did. Maybe he was just proud?


 

Jong, in this case, is Nintendo, and he has a suped-up Nissan GTR. Very pretty, very sleek, but when he tried doing it again with an Impreza, he got very different results from his social group as compared to the first time. Congratulations Nintendo on the Wii U.

nintendo-wii-u-sales-march-analyst-640x423

Belle is Playstation. Now, I don’t want to say Playstation didn’t care or hired individuals to make the Move, but I feel as though Playstation was more snobby in their marketing for it, so I gave them a snobby personality. The whole “It changes everything,” was rather offensive, especially because it really didn’t change anything. They even partnered with Coca Cola for advertising! They wanted the world to look at their creation and bow down to it, and forget about all other platforms.  This differed greatly from Nintendo’s family gig they had going on. Like seriously, it is called the Wii, and you make a Mii. Very sellable to 80% of the population (family-oriented). But Playstation has moved on to develop Project Morpheus, something I’m not too familiar with, but still something worth keeping an eye (ha, pun) on. It is set to be released early 2016.

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Bob is Microsoft. I would say Bill, but that’d be too easy to say. Bob worked hard on this idea, spending a large sum of his cash, and it wasn’t as well received as he wanted it to be.  Because of this failure, he decided he wasn’t going to let it be a failure, so he, like Belle, forced his friends to try it. At first, Microsoft’s Kinect seemed tasty, but it got dry and bland after a bit. We played along to see if anything caught our eye, paying better attention to it over Move because it was just a camera–no motion detecting handhelds. Kinect Star Wars looked promising, so we all got hyped for that, but it ended up pulling a Star Wars prequel mistake–Not living up to what we wanted *eyes Destiny*.

But Microsoft wanted to take Kinect further–they didn’t want it to just be something for gaming, they wanted it for use in medical labs, for learning instruments, for teaching–they set their goals to revolutionize the way technology interacts with our non-social lives. Dubbed “The Kinect Effect”, the commercial Microsoft released tried to portray what Kinect could be, and what they hoped it would be. Now that Microsoft has realized that Kinect didn’t really go the way they wanted it to in the gaming world, they have started attempting to sell it out for coding for windows-based platforms. They had been doing it since launch (almost) but now have finally realized that maybe their hopeful dream could become a reality. DARPA has funded a project titled SIM SENSEI to identify PTSD in individuals utilizing visual stimuli, visualizing 3D printing software (you know Tony Stark moving his hands to go through holographic UI? Think that, except on a screen), helping brain scans, and even helping shoppers identify what they look at in a store (Source http://datanews.levif.be/ict/actualite/le-supermarche-de-demain-est-a-decouvrir-des-maintenant-a-milan/article-normal-405021.html, you will want the page translated).

Supermarket Kinect

So when people say Kinect is dead, Move is dead, or the Wii is dead, just remember–The Wii U has increased sales greatly after the release of their popular games (Monster Hunter, Mario series, Super Smash Brothers), The Move has transmuted with the PS4, and Kinect is becoming so much more than just a silly game device.

Also, don’t forget Microsoft’s purchase of Oculus. VR gaming doesn’t interest me, but it will be amazing to see what Microsoft will do with this project.

There is hope yet.

 

-Drae

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