Next-gen wars, where motion gaming has failed!
I remember Sony and Microsoft proudly presenting PlayStation Move and Kinect a few years ago. They were supposed to be the accessories that would change the gameplay experiences their consoles offered. It is true that, in the beginning, a handful of games tried to take advantage of the new technology. The third-party companies however considered it as something supplementary and extra to the core content of every game . In any case, the general idea was that the product we had received was just a first draft; the “real thing” would follow later with the next generation of consoles, a generation that would have been designed in such a way that it could, supposedly, support these accessories.
What actually happened next, though, was a completely different story. Sony and Microsoft knew that their new systems, PS4 and Xbox One respectively, could not debut with the same price tags as their predecessors. Therefore, their prices should be as low as possible and this should be achieved by any means. What did Microsoft do? Nothing. What did Sony do? Sacrificed PS Move. PS4 was launched with a camera but without Move for the price of $399. At Sony they knew that this move would mark the end of PS Move but I don’t think they cared. PS Move didn’t convince anyone for its value in PS3’s final years as Sony’s flagship system; it never managed to position itself as a promising product for the future, something that would boost the company’s ailing finances. At the same time, Project Morpheus looks something that could really turn into a money-making business for Sony for example.
PS4 debuted at a price of $399 while Microsoft’s Xbox One was available only bundled with Kinect at the price of $499, $100 higher than its rival or the equivalent of two titles . The result? PS4 has already sold about 8 million units while Xbox One has still to hit the 5 million mark. At Microsoft they knew they had to act immediately, otherwise PS4 would outdistance their Xbox One rather quickly. Knowing that Kinect could be optionally used for purposes other than gaming and thinking that the trend the Wii had created had perhaps came to an end, Microsoft decided to lower the price tag on Kinect. Consumers can now buy Xbox One for a mere $399, i.e. the exact amount they would spend for a PS4 system.
So, this is what we’ve got here: two really powerful systems, being sold for the same accessible price of $399, made by two colossal companies that have both denounced their motion tracking accessories that they had so proudly announced just a few years ago. The next generation brought us two (and, of course, not three…) novel home entertainment systems with a vast array of capabilities and services but with no intention of supporting motion gaming, a trend that a few years ago was deemed to be the future of gaming, the enlightened way for the industry to attract new customers and broaden its target audience. It’s not that motion gaming has failed. Think of it in a rather different way: when somebody decides to invest on a home entertainment system, whichever that may be, they simply aim for a different kind of entertainment. Perhaps motion gaming is better suited for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It’s not a matter of money; it’s all about needs…