I have been hearing a lot of arguments from both companies on the advantages of their motion technology, and the disadvantages of the others. A majority of it I dismissed, because for the most part they do the same thing(replace a controller with bodily motions).
One argument that stood out to me however, was the need for buttons. This is one thing that I agree with enough to take a side. The “Movement only” concept of Kinect has no digital interface. The system is completely based on analog inputs. Now, this is something that works well for replacing joysticks, but not so much for menu interaction.
There are plenty of reasons to consider Playstation Move’s approach. Though I agree that it is very similar aesthetically to the Wiimote, it’s innards are quite different.
Having motion controlled analog input is one step closer to VR gaming. But I believe, even then, we may still have digital input means. A D-Pad is an exact direction. A start button is an easy way to pause. A general input button or two aides in making menu selections, quickly changing equipment, and other precise input needs.
Kinect may have an edge with their means to analog input, but they forgot a crucial part of gaming. Sure, people are very impressed, “You don’t need a controller, you ARE the controller!”. But that is novelty, not realistic application. The way I see it, Microsoft will be laughing now, and struggling to develop a digital controller add-on to cover up this error in foresight later.
Analog is broad movement. Digital is precision. Controllers aren’t going anywhere for now.