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Disappearing Act: What Happened to Sixaxis?

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From the very beginning, Sixaxis motion controls on the PlayStation 3 have constantly been under scrutiny.  The complaints have not so much been that the hardware doesn’t work, but instead that games aren’t able to incorporate the motion controls into a fun game play experience.  In game review after game review, critics shame developers for even trying to make motion controls an important part of the game play.  It is so bad that now that if a game chooses to feature the motion controls at all, it is only as an option buried away under an obscure menu entry.

What happened?  After all, the console leading the way this generation is the Nintendo Wii, which last time I checked, was built around the concept of implementing  motion controls into gameplay.  Surely PlayStation games can utilize the motion sensor features in a similar manner to the Wii, while still appealing to the hardcore crowd.

The biggest challenge that developers face is teaching an old dog new tricks.  Hardcore gamers think motion controls are a gimmick and don’t take them very seriously.  Take Heavenly Sword for example.  The critics hailed Heavenly Sword a visually stunning button masher that was just too short.  But, what were their suggestions for the motion controls?  Disable them as soon as possible!

This recommendation is one of the saddest moments in gaming.  Now I admit that the first level in which you guide crossbow arrows into enemies is perhaps the hardest motion controlled level in the game, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to attempt to learn.  There was something extremely satisfying about using motion controls to hand guide an arrow into the skull of an enemy a quarter of a mile away.  Sure it was more difficult, but it was far more immersive then using the analog stick.  If the critics simply spent a little time learning the controls, they could have enjoyed the game a lot more.

Another great use of the motion controls appeared in Resistance: Fall of Man. Whenever baddies grabbed onto you, a simple shake of your controller would throw them off.  This was a creative way to help draw players into what could have otherwise been another generic shooter.  Warhawk and several racing games have also effectively utilized the PS3 motion controls, but on a whole they are being used less and less.

The motion controls are something that can truly set the Playstation 3 apart from the Xbox 360, if only the developers would attempt to bridge the gap between what hardcore gamers are looking for and what they could accept.  As a gamer, I challenge you, the player, to at least give motion controls a whirl before you revert back to your trusty analog stick.  You may be surprised at what you find.



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i hated sixaxis controls for warhawk, made the game impossible to pilot the aircraft. Sixaxis had potential, but i think it just died because developers don't give much care for it.



alucardremixed said:
i hated sixaxis controls for warhawk, made the game impossible to pilot the aircraft. Sixaxis had potential, but i think it just died because developers don't give much care for it.

 

... or the hardware is not working as wall as RED53DEVILS thinks...



 

Evan Wells (Uncharted 2): I think the differences that you see between any two games has much more to do with the developer than whether it’s on the Xbox or PS3.

I love when games incorporate them right, but it is so easy to do it just for the sake of doing it, or make it simply a bad implementation.

I hate to say this but there was actually something good about Army of Two. The motion controls. And R&CF:ToD probably has the best motion controls in the PS3 library with all the little games utilizing it in different but good ways.
Uncharted had good implementation in the 'tip the controller backwards to make Drake face backwards while hanging', it was way more precise than using the analog stick, where you was never sure you were pointing in the correct direction. But tipping the controller backwards always meant he would face backwards. The grenade system wasn't that good though.
Mirror's Edge felt like it only had them just to have them, they were pretty much unusable, except for the balancing one, which was very random in how it read the controller movements, making the analog stick a much more prefered method of keeping your balance.



It is still there in the Dualshock 3. I think that Sony required their first party games to make use of it. KZ 2 will use it somehow for sniping.



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DaGreatestHope said:
It is still there in the Dualshock 3. I think that Sony required their first party games to make use of it. KZ 2 will use it somehow for sniping.

The steadier you keep the controller, the steadier your zoomed in aim will be when sniping.



DaGreatestHope said:
It is still there in the Dualshock 3. I think that Sony required their first party games to make use of it. KZ 2 will use it somehow for sniping.

 

Indeed, you will be able to aim farther without exiting the scope-mode.

 



 

Evan Wells (Uncharted 2): I think the differences that you see between any two games has much more to do with the developer than whether it’s on the Xbox or PS3.

Flower will be built mainly around the motion controls .



The problem is that the six-axis motion sensing is about as accurate for movement as the nunchuck, not the Wiimote.



Never argue with idiots
They bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience

So far at least on the PS3 the motion support has been abismal - the game developers are motion impeared and appear to have no idea how to make use of it other than the most rudimentary applications or in some cases misused it. Sony have decided to provide absolutly no motion support in the OS which has ensured even if you wanted it to substitute for other coontrols theere is no support - the best use i have seen of the sixaxis is actually some mame games a fellow rigged up over a few spare weekends with glovepie on his PC - One clever person beat all of pS3's development community with his weekend experiments, which included trying a gyroscopic aiming system .
The Sixaxis is more usefull with MAME a PC and Govepie than a PS3 !

My solution to the problem is getting a Wii - Nintendo have won me over with their WiiMotes !

Will keep the PS3 as a blu-dvd player.



PS3 number 1 fan