May 8, 2006 – Just minutes ago, Sony made the announcement that its controllers would support tilt sensitivity and showed off the feature with a live demo of Warhawk. While this is a bit of a surprise, it also is to be expected in the grand scheme of gaming. Nintendo has been an innovator from the very beginning, and the best compliment is imitation. Of course, it’s a little different when that imitation could put you out of business, right? Although PlayStation 3’s and Wii’s controllers may share some of the same technology, don’t go counting Nintendo out just yet. There are some key differences between the controllers, and between what PS3 and Wii can do with the technology. Let’s break it down.
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Is this technology the same?
No. In fact, the best way to imagine it is to relate the Sony PS3 controller to the left-hand Wii controller; dubbed nunchuck. In short, you would not be able to play a game like Metroid Prime in the same way using the PS3 controller.
What is the difference for developers?
Simply put, it’s tilt vs. motion sensing. Monkey Ball for Wii and PS3 would essentially be the same, since it’s only using the tilt ability of the controller. On the other hand, a 3D tennis game or sword fighting game with swing control elements is impossible for the PS3 hardware, as it requires full motion sensing technology.
Why doesn’t it need a sensor bar?
Since the technology is based solely off the tilt ability, it is self-contained. Keep in mind that the sensor bar is used for the point and click ability of the Wii functions. It doesn’t need the bar, since it doesn’t use that technology. The same applies to the Wii nunchuck. It can function without a sensor bar.
What type of gameplay styles will work on the PS3 controller?
Here are a few examples: Kirby’s Tilt ‘n Tumble (which featured tilt control on the Game Boy Color), Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, racing games (using the tilt to rotate), flight sims, Monkey Ball, fishing (flick the tilt controller).
What type of things won’t work on the PS3 controller?
The following actions can’t be done on the PS3 controller with the same precision: Throwing/Catching a ball at a specific spot shown on screen, swinging a sword in 3D space and performing stabbing motions, aiming a weapon light-gun-style, swinging a racket, punching, general 3D item interaction, 3D drum simulator, swatting an “on-screen” fly, performing two separate tilt/motion functions at the same time.
In short, Nintendo fans still have a ton to look forward to. Will Wii have what it takes to give the world a true gamingrevolution? We’ll see you tomorrow morning at Nintendo’s E3 conference.