The Threat to Microsoft, Sony’s Motion Controls

The Threat to Microsoft, Sony’s Motion Controls

The first round in the motion control wars will be fired this fall, as Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s PlayStation Move angle to seize territory from current industry titan Nintendo and its Wii/Wii MotionPlus empire. But as our friends at Popular Mechanics are kind enough to point out, Brussels-based firm Softkinetic (a surprise latecomer to the party) will also be entering the fray with its original iisu gesture-tracking technology shortly. The plan: To gain market traction by utilizing this proprietary user interface and its underlying systems for a variety of applications beyond simple gaming amusements, including cutting-edge robotics, novel medical solutions and new ways to interact with consumer electronics.

While video game fans may not find these options as sexy as, say, blowing the living viscera out of a slavering, chainsaw-bayonet-wielding alien in Gears of War 3 simply by pointing your finger and jabbing, don’t kid yourself. By broadening the potential reach of its technology, Softkinetic may gain greater support from the general public and consumer electronics industry at large. And, of course, in the future find a way to see its capabilities included out of the box in a number of devices from tablet PCs to television sets as a result, not to mention carried everywhere from gyms to kitchens and scientific laboratories. Not only does this present the potential for games and game-like programs to be introduced into these seemingly incongruous settings. It may also serve as a Trojan horse to seed the technology into millions of homes and public destinations, giving game developers greater reason to create titles for it, and Sofkinetic an edge in competing against its better-known adversaries.

Does the house Bill Gates built, or everyone’s favorite pair of Japanese gaming giants really have anything to fear? TBD and doubtful, but as writer John Scott Lewinski points out, new games, game interfaces and virtual worlds powered by the technology are coming, so you can’t rule anything out. For our two cents on the discussion, as well as a general play-by-play recap of what’s being offered by this unknown quantity, see below:

Motion Control Gaming: Kinect, Sony and Softkinetic – Popular Mechanics

About Scott Steinberg
Scott Steinberg is CEO of strategic consulting and product testing firm TechSavvy Global, and a noted keynote speaker and business expert. Hailed as a top tech expert and parenting guru by critics from USA Today to NPR, he’s also an on-air analyst for ABC, CBS and CNN.

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