No doubt the major talk of E3 2009 was all about the motion-sensing technologies demoed by Sony and Microsoft at their press conferences. Microsoft’s Project Natal’s major selling point is full-body recognition and the promise of a controller-less game experience, while Sony’s PlayStation Eye-powered motion tech aims to turn a single controller into any virtual item imaginable (i.e. swords, tennis racquets, whips, whiskey bottle, etc.).
Well, it certainly didn't take long for some classic politicking to emerge regarding the technologies. Sony’s director of marketing John Holler told Gamasutra that the PlayStation Eye is “more accurate and more precise” than Microsoft’s motion-sensing tech, and, even though Project Natal’s full-body scanning capabilities are “impressive,” it also, allegedly, suffers from “depth issues on the Z-axis.”
This assessment is obviously impossible to confirm until some impartial testing can be done, so I’ll just have to take Holler’s comments with a PS3-emblazoned grain of salt for now. What’s perhaps more interesting about this whole ridiculously premature debate about technologies that are still years away from landing in living rooms is that Project Natal certainly does seem designed to out-casual the casual gaming genre Nintendo ushered in with the Wii, while Sony’s approach looks to be more “gamer-oriented,” as one analyst told Gamasutra earlier this week.
Again, it’s far too early to tell what the results will be when Sony and Microsoft eventually release their respective motion-sensing technologies, so for now, it looks like we’ll have to settle for premature potshots and unconfirmed tech assessments. Lucky us.