Taking on a zombie horde is tough enough with a mouse and keyboard, now imagine fighting the legions of undead by moving your arms wildly in the air as if someone put a rattlesnake in your underwear. Valve, along with a bunch of other companies, are currently developing a motion control scheme, similar to the Wii, for the PC. From the sound of this article, it appears to be far along. Here’s a little snippet:
But after decapitating two dozen zombies by katana, reloading, jumping, crouching and shoving back infected with nothing but gestures, I was more than impressed by Sixense’s implementation of the dual-wand, magnetic field motion control. Using a single transmitter with a six-foot radius range, Sixense TrueMotion can detect the position and gesture movement of controllers without a line-of-sight limitation. As long as the controllers are within the 12 foot diameter spherical magnetic field, it can detect their movement in space along six axes—a Sixense rep proved this by controlling a second tech demo with one hand behind his back.
The right hand controller controlled firing, camera control and melee weapon swings. It was a bit awkward at first, particularly for camera control and aiming, as Left 4 Dead 2 wasn’t built with something like Sixense control in mind. But Valve has clearly been impressed by the technology, vowing support for TrueMotion controllers in games using its Source engine. Regardless of the learning curve, the motion control felt spot on, quick slices with the controller resulting in accurate slices on screen.
This sounds interesting, but I’m not jumping for joy about it. I gotta say, I like Micrsoft’s approach, using a camera instead of a wand being you can still use a controller, but modify it with head, arm, or legs motions. Truthfully, after a long day slaving away behind a hot computer, the last thing I want to do is flail around my living room as if I were opening a gate to another world, but that’s just me.
Left 4 Dead 2 Vs. The Motion Control Apocalypse (kotaku.com <- new window)