June 01, 2009
– Comments (6)
Naw, no good ideas there at all...
You might call me a Microsoft hater (though I wouldn't use that term myself). I think that 95% of what Microsoft does is copy-cat poorly executed strategy that reacts to competitors rather than actually doing something new. They only compete in most areas because they push crappy technology through with money and illegal strategies.
That said, I own an Xbox, and the Xbox is the exception to the rule. The people behind the Xbox "get it." They treat their developers right (which Sony failed to do) and actually innovate. Achievements were the most brilliant thing ever devised. Even now that just about everyone has copied the idea, I still have to give them much credit for that.
So will Project Natal work? I can't get over my hesitance to say yes. It is Microsoft. They are known for canceling or neutering a lot of things that would be awesome before they deliver (for example everything cool that they promised for Vista didn't make it into the released version). But this IS the Xbox team -- maybe it will happen.
Natal is risky. Nothing pisses of gamers more than losing because of a technical glitch. It must work perfectly. And even then there are many games that it won't work for at all. But those types of games that it will work for -- and assuming it works perfectly -- it would be awesome.
I'm hopeful. As an Xbox owner I want it to be awesome. But I'd advise that you hold off on your celebration until you're playing a game with Natal. It's still vaporware at this point.
i have, for more than a decade now, agreed with the perspective offered in the first paragraph of negativereviews post. They haven't ever been innovative, they just take others ideas and leverage their windows monopoly into their copy being "better" and run the other guy out. Lotus 123 begot Excel, Word Perfect begot Word, Netscape to IE, on and on and on.
MSFT doesn't innovate, it stifles innovation.
A 5 second look at the link provided in the original post shows maybe a glorified rip off of the Wii concept...
I just can't respect MSFT, just can't do it.
For the record, I'm a strong Microsoft supporter, but...
Didn't Sony already try this with the Playstation Eye?
All the articles mention the eyetoy, but they all say it was bad. I never used one. But the discussion brings me to wider thoughts on "innovation."
The word "innovation" is the least understood word thrown around in tech articles and coverage. No one knows what they mean when they say it, and it's always viewed as an abstract, good thing, so that companies who buy other companies (or refine existing technologies) can be conveniently written off as bad for "not innovating" or "stealing" the innovations of others.
Reality check: Everything is built on something else, the innovation is always in how it's used and refined. (Apple to take an example of the primary beneficiary of the innovation myth, didn't invent mp3 music players, nor touchscreens, nor multitouch, nor the graphical OS, nor the mouse.)
Google, to take another, is lauded as a major innovator despite the fact that it's major breakthrough is simply a refinement of search, and the monetization of that refinement. Sure, it's also created a popular refinement of email, but it's other "innovations" are bought and paid for, like the like keyhole, renamed Google Earth and then praised as a major example of Google's invention prowess.
To the point at hand:
Alternate controllers are nothing new, but were awaiting the requisite tweaking and processing systems to make them popular in a home system. Wii adapted this low tech brilliantly. Too bad there are only a couple of games worth playing on the system, and the OS and graphics are straight out of 1995.
Personally, I think Wii is boring, and the controllers lousy. They're slow and innacurate, and very uncomfortable. But that's not the major issue.
That's the whole idea that people want to wave their arms around or mimic driving when playing a game. (With no wheel to hold up your hands? Like sitting with no chair. Try it out for a while and see how comfy it is.) For these reasons, I doubt I'd be interested in Natal controls. I don't play video games so I can jump around the room. (If I want exercise, I go outside.) I play games to unwind, when I want my butt firmly planted into the couch.
I doubt Natal is that popular, but I'd be happy to be wrong. The Xbox is a very good system, offers a whole home-entertainment ecosystem that no one can match, and anything that can get it into more homes will be good for MSFT and NFLX shareholders.
Yeah, I thought the tag line of "want to kick a ball? Kick it." was a bit weird. Why the hell would people want to kick virtual balls around their TV screen when they can just go outside and actually kick a ball?
Call my old school I guess.
Want to virtually bake a cake? Get into our kitchen and start pulling the ingredients out of the cupboards. Just as much work as making a cake, but you don't get any cake!
Of course, the Wii bowling is about the maximum complexity video game I can tolerate. Any more rules and I totally feel like I'm wasting my time.
My take on innovation:
Innovation is making a leap from a place of safety to something unforseen or making something that seems unworkable work. Incremental improvements or doing something that was proven to work is not innovation, though it is how most progress is made and is also necessary.
In the case that the concept has already been done by someone else and proven to be financially profitable, it's not nearly as much of an innovation. Innovating on small parts is just incremental improvement.