‘Wii-killer’ Motion Sensing Control for 360 and PS3

In2Games unveils wireless 3D motion sensor tracking technology

Posted by Staff
You may remember In2Games for Real World Golf, the golf game where you have to swing a pretend golf club in a realistic simulation of the actual game. SPOnG liked the technology when we first played it earlier last year because it gave a good indication of the possible directions in which proper 3D motion-sensing controlled gaming was likely to go.

Since that time of course, Nintendo has moved into the innovative/quirky motion-controlled gaming market with the soon-to-be-released Wii. So, it was with some interest that SPOnG heard murmurings that the In2Games guys were developing very similar cross-platform controller technology for PS3 and 360.

Is this a potential Wii killer?

According to the blurb on the press release SPOnG just received, this “unique wireless motion sensor system” – codenamed Fusion – is going to allow publishers to develop true cross-platform titles incorporating full motion sensing control.

Unlike the Wii-mote, the Fusion does not involve pointing a controller at a bar on the screen, instead it is based on a combination of patent-pending ultrasonic and RF technologies with three-axis accelerometers that track the precise absolute position and orientation in 3D space of almost any wireless accessory (think golf clubs, baseball bats, tennis racquets, bowling balls) - any small plastic controller item you can imagine really.

Can you see where this is going now? Yes, that’s right. In2Games goes on to claim that games designed specifically for the Wii can now be ported to PS3 and 360 – which is clearly an attractive proposition for publishers, making it far easier for them to recoup their original investment.

“It’s great that the world is waking up to motion sensor gaming,” says Elliott Myers, Managing Director, In2Games (pictured here). “Since we launched the world’s first 3D motion-sensing games back in 2004, we’ve been developing this system for the next generation. Our goal is to allow everyone to enjoy this wholly immersive way of playing games, regardless of which gaming platform they own. We’ve got the best technology, with incredible functionality allowing developers to produce exciting new games specifically for the system – taking advantage of its unique features - or to allow titles which use motion sensing to be published on any platform. It’s an exceptional proposition – for the industry and for consumers. We can’t wait to begin showing it off.”

SPOnG will be getting a hands-on with Fusion in the very near future and we will be catching up with In2Games Elliot Myers for a full, candid interview about his take on the future of motion-controlled gaming.

We spoke to sources at Nintendo in the UK yesterday about In2Games’ Fusion proposition, but they dismissed the technology, saying merely that, “they just won’t have the software support that Nintendo has, end of story.”

Is it really the end of the story? Let us know your thoughts in the forum.
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Comments

Rustman 20 Oct 2006 11:28
1/15
How can it possibly be a Wii-killer if it isn't standard? Nintendo are right. Not enough premium software will support it and it is doubtful that anything beyond novelty software (like Eye-toy) would take advantage of it.

The most this could achieve is provide non-Wii owning gamers a "me-too" factor to their arsenal.

But at a premium.
hollywooda 20 Oct 2006 11:50
2/15
I think Nitendo are the only company that have enough innovation & quirky ideas to give motion senser based games the milage they need, they've proved that with the DS touch screen.
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dr_faulk 20 Oct 2006 11:54
3/15
I agree. It'll be a novelty for other machines, as very few developers will put a pure focus on it. Of course, if Sony or Microsoft were to buy these guys out and make the kit a standard for their machine, then, yeah, Nintendo has come competition. And maybe, maybe, somebody like Rockstar would make a table tennis game that used this hardware specifically, that's be great fun.

But no.
RiseFromYourGrave 20 Oct 2006 11:56
4/15
but it could take off; for example should sony jump on this, bring the company into the inner circle and really make a go of producing a whole catalogue of compatible games, nintendo could have a problem

sony obviously like the direction that nintendo are going in, nintendo are being lauded for being innovative and fresh and fun and as sony's 'homage' controller shows they want a finger in that pie. sony get to use more basic hardware in their controller so theyve got a fingertip in the pie but their minor feature is really quite a non-commital one whilst they see how the wii's full motion sensing offering goes down with the public

if motion sensing is going to take the world by storm, or even if sony just thinks it could, they might do something with this
king skins 20 Oct 2006 12:01
5/15
I suppose they are thinking that a lot of companies might support it as they will have games that already take advantage of the technology on the Wii and it shouldn't be to hard to then port that over to a 360 or PS3 with the use of the fusion.
DoctorDee 20 Oct 2006 12:11
6/15
hollywooda wrote:
I think Nitendo are the only company that have enough innovation & quirky ideas to give motion senser based games the milage they need, they've proved that with the DS touch screen.

I don't see how the DS touch screen proves that Nintendo is the only company with the innovation to exploit 3D spatial technology. The DS touch screen still strikes me as a gimmick. A successful gimmick, I agree, but most of what it is used for could be done with a touch pad - adn some games barely use it at all.

Motion sensing not being standard is certainly a setback - but the Guitar Controller not being standard didn't hurt Guitar Hero too much. If there's a pay-off, people will buy a new controller - if they wouldn't, how would JoyTech, Venom, Gamester etc stay in business.

If this gear is good, and the games are good - and Golf was - there's no reason why it won't be a success, not matter what Nintendo fans want to think.

bunny goes squish 20 Oct 2006 12:12
7/15
I think the picture posted explains the huge flaw in this idea. Sure, I reckon they'll give it a go but I doubt any software other than their own will support the devices.

Look at them. So, to play a bowling game, I need a bowling ball controller? Seeing how expensive the Wii Remotes are, I doubt these will come packaged with a game at normal price. This instantly puts it at a bit of a novelty due to the extra cost for consumers.

Then, what about multiplayer? Anything other than "taking turns" and I need to buy another of these controllers FOR EACH GAME?

So, now I've spent hundreds of pounds on my games , 2 baseball bat controllers, 2 bowling ball controllers, 2 tennis racquet controllers, 2 golf clubs etc... Where the hell do I store all this gear?!

Nintendo are right, they have no reason to worry... at the moment.

They may want to worry if the company works out that they should be designing a single Wii-Remote-alike controller that we can 'pretend' is all of those other things.
realvictory 20 Oct 2006 12:40
8/15
Firstly, if it's not platform-specific, then there's no reason why it would be a Wii-killer. Secondly, all hardware is inherently crap - it requires the software, i.e. games, to make it any good. Although I can't really say a lot about that, because I haven't played on the Wii, nor on their games yet. I would probably predict that third parties who want to make this kind of software would decide to make it on the Wii instead, because the whole system was designed especially for that kind of thing.

But any innovation is better than none.
Joji 20 Oct 2006 13:53
9/15
Looks interesting, but I doubt it will catch on. Their previous golf game was cool but I don't know anyone who owns one. It's possible MS might be interested but I feel Sony will want to sell their Sixaxis pad more, not have it superseeded before PS3 is even out of the launch gate.

I don't think Nintendo have anything to worry about. While the prospect of porting games from the Wii might be tempting for publishers and developers, I don't think they'll want to step on Nintendo's toes because the Wii is a solid all in one system. It'll do its thing out of the box, you buy the machine and you are ready to go. Now extras needed for games that turn buying 360 or PS3 games into a nightmare, the games alone for them are already expensive enough on their own.

Only the games can save this tech and they'll have to be damn good if people are gonna buy into it. Atleast with Nintendo there's some guarantee of that.

Bravo on the idea though.
Svend Joscelyne 20 Oct 2006 14:35
10/15
I think if this idea is to truly take off, In2Games are going to need the support of third party developers, full stop.

Most third party peripherals (let alone motion sensing ones) are bundled with a game made by the same company. Which might be good value for money, depending on the quality of the bundled game, but you're going to want mileage out of these bulky attachments.

As fun as the motion sensing golf controller might be (I've not used it), surely if In2Games' only support for it is their own software they're severely limiting the potential of its hardware. I mean you have Tiger Woods, Pangya and Everybody's Golf that additional developers could add to the roster, but I don't see it happening.

A port of Wii Madden on PS3/360 using this technology might prove an interesting prospect, but unless EA or other developers are willing to commit to a third party peripheral, the Fusion is a sitting duck. Considering developers even ignore additional peripherals made by hardware manufacturers on occasion (EyeToy, Buzz Controllers, GBA-GC Link Cable), my hopes for them paying attention to this are slim.

But if I'm proven wrong, I hope I'm proven wrong in that it expands and develops the idea of motion-sensing games, rather than resulting in simple porting for publishers to make a fast buck.
LUPOS 20 Oct 2006 14:57
11/15
bunny goes squish wrote:
Then, what about multiplayer? Anything other than "taking turns" and I need to buy another of these controllers FOR EACH GAME?

So, now I've spent hundreds of pounds on my games , 2 baseball bat controllers, 2 bowling ball controllers, 2 tennis racquet controllers, 2 golf clubs etc... Where the hell do I store all this gear?!


While i'm inclined to think this will end up beign nothign more than a minor blip on nintendo's radar, ur logic there is a bit retarded. (pardon my french) first off... who has two batters at once? or two people bowling at the same time? or simultaneous golfing? Almost everythign you mentioned is desinged to take turns!

Secondly, i imagine they will most like produce a signle controller stick type thing, and then sell different plastic "shells" to stick it in... 5 bucks for a bowlign ball with a slot, 5 for each tennis raquet etc...

And tennis is the only thing listed that would actually need more than one. So once you have a set of four of their magic motion sticks or whatever they end up being, all you need is a couple bucks twords each item, if you even deam it necesary. could just hold the stick to play tennis after all... thats how the Wii does it.

_______
sneakyduck 20 Oct 2006 15:48
12/15
bunny goes squish wrote:
I think the picture posted explains the huge flaw in this idea. Sure, I reckon they'll give it a go but I doubt any software other than their own will support the devices.

Look at them. So, to play a bowling game, I need a bowling ball controller? Seeing how expensive the Wii Remotes are, I doubt these will come packaged with a game at normal price. This instantly puts it at a bit of a novelty due to the extra cost for consumers.


I've got to agree with you on this one buddy - the one thing I hate about buying into Nintendo consoles is the endless string of accessories and extras you're obliged to buy in order to fully appreciate your games. 1 Cube + 4 GBA's + 4 link up cables to play Zelda: Four Swords with 4 people? I cried for days when I saw my bank statement...

I don't know if I'd be as wreckless with my money on a product with less support and uncertain costs. Maybe it'll be great though? If you have a sword accessory and a Zelda game I'll give you my PIN number right now
RiseFromYourGrave 20 Oct 2006 16:48
13/15
i assume that for the most part due to cost for a software company to develop hardware, that bundled-with-game accessories (necessary to play the game or just to enhance it) would just be pieces of plastic that the wiimote would attach to, thus making the peripheral very cheap to manufacture and adding little or no cost to the package

wether theyll still try to rip people off even with pieces of plastic remains to be seen
warbaby 21 Oct 2006 21:35
14/15
If they create a general purpose controller for the 360 or PS3, I can see people EA just porting over Wii games to completely dilute everything. It would take away anything Nintendo has going for them, and EA could then release a super duper graphics extreme versions of Wii games for PS3...

So you pay for a PS3 rather than a Wii, you could better visuals... same game?

Why, haven't I been doing this with my PC the whole time.
YenRug 22 Oct 2006 09:24
15/15
What's to stop Nintendo from buying up this company? They could then use this non-IR tech in the successor to the Wii.
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