As someone with the crazy idea that good gameplay design makes a game worth playing over something like a gimmicky way of controlling it I’ve never been convinced by the Wii (and it’s shockingly low average scores for its software aren’t really doing much to support the “gimmicky controller is a silver-bullet solution to F U N” either) and so it was with disdain that I saw both Microsoft and Sony wasting huge amounts of time and money in producing gimmicky controllers of their own.
Whilst Sony admit the effort they presented at E3 is a work-in-progress, Microsoft’s work-in-progress effort is already being pimped as the Second Coming of a revolution that hasn’t proved to be all that revolutionary in the first place. Within days of its announcement various high-profile shows in the US have all shown us how much fun it is to pay $400 (TV not included) to kick a virtual ball around in a virtually unsatisfying way. The notion that spending less than a tenth of the money for an infinitely more satisfying genuine experience seems to have eluded most people. Heck, you don’t even have to limit your movements to standing in a small square on the floor with a real soccer-ball either.
So, it’s with great satisfaction and not a small amount of relief that at least one USA show, The Colbert Report, can tell it like it really is:
The merriment starts at about 1:40 and I defy anyone not to laugh out loud when he pushes that red button when asking if the time is right to invest in Microsoft.
I laughed, and it’s a good point he’s making.
How many people play Guitar Hero without the guitar, afterall?