Week in review: Gaming's front in motion

Game console makers focus on motion controllers, while Bing and Wave make their arrivals. Also: DOJ probes tech hiring tactics.

Play
The battle between video game console makers is in motion--literally. The three big console makers announced separate efforts this week at the E3 conference that focus on how gamers control their games.

For those of you who have been waiting for some really big news to come out of the video game industry, Microsoft answered your call with its innovative "Project Natal," a hands-free motion-sensitive controller system. Announced during Microsoft's annual E3 press conference , Project Natal seems almost certainly to be the culmination of several years of work by an Israeli start-up called 3DV Systems, which Microsoft recently acquired .

The technology, as demonstrated, appears geared toward allowing users to control games, movies, and anything else on their Xbox system with their hands alone, and without touching any hardware.

Nintendo had a chance for a rebuttal, during which it chose to focus on Wii Motion Plus . The idea behind the new version of the controller is that it offers enhanced feedback, what they called "physical reality." The idea is that the controller allows for much more precise, feedback-oriented motion.

Meanwhile, Sony's new system is a set of wands with glowing orbs on top, that allow one-to-one motion like Nintendo's original Wii-mote , and which also give tangible physical feedback like the new Nintendo system. Configured with an analog trigger and some number of buttons, the wand has one-to-one mapping just like the Wii Motion Plus. The glowing orb, which changed color during the demo, was integral to the positioning technology,

It's abundantly clear that what's really going on here is an aggressive play by each of the three companies to make their offerings more palatable to mainstream audiences , people who have traditionally not considered themselves gamers.

More headlines

Pre vs. iPhone: Which offers the better value?

Sprint Nextel's lower-cost service plans could sway some consumers considering the Pre over the pricier plans offered by the iPhone carrier AT&T.
•  Full coverage: Palm Pre
•  Review: Putting the Pre through its paces
•  Palm Pre photos
•  Palm Pre resource guide

Windows 7 to launch October 22

Microsoft confirms the launch date of its newest version of Windows, saying it will have the code finalized by the middle or end of next month.
• Windows 7 catching developers' eyes

Bing balloons into public view

Microsoft's big bet on search begins to be publicly available, with the opinions rolling in fast and furious.
•  Microsoft gives Bing stronger search filter option
•  Microsoft kicks off huge Bing ad push
•  IE6 forcing Bing as default search engine

Debating the power of Google's Wave

CNET's Rafe Needleman and Stephen Shankland dissect and discuss the search giant's new experimental communication platform.
•  Hands-on with Wave: Weird and quite wonderful

Tech giants reportedly in DOJ recruiting probe

Apple, Google, and Yahoo are being investigated for possible antitrust violations over negotiating the recruiting and hiring of one another's employees.
•  DOJ hiring probe includes many big names

Court orders Dish to pay $103 million to TiVo

Federal court finds Dish in contempt and orders the satellite broadcaster to disable infringing features found on its subscribers' digital video recorders.
•  EchoStar says appeals court stays ruling on DVR workaround

No recession at Apple's Fifth Ave. NYC store

According to public records, Apple is pulling in $440 million a year at the 24-hour Manhattan store.
•  Apple confirms North Carolina facility
•  Apple, others sued for patent infringement

Also of note
•  Wind River buy makes Intel a software company
•  Study: Young adults haven't warmed up to Twitter
•  Steve Jobs on track for June return

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments