Rumor mill goes into overdrive: Microsoft and Sony to unveil Wii copycat?

Rumor mill goes into overdrive: Microsoft and Sony to unveil Wii copycat?

All eyes are on Microsoft and Sony to release their own killer versions of the Wii motion controller at this year’s E3 gaming expo. Meanwhile, Nintendo’s Wii just keeps getting better.

Things are certainly heating up at this year’s E3 gaming convention and it’s not just the heavy sweat of salivating fanboys. Nintendo, has announced an upgrade to their wildly popular Wii controller, calling it the ‘Wii MotionPlus’, an add-on to their existing Wii controller.

In addition to Nintendo’s announcement, fans are hanging onto the hope that Microsoft and Sony will follow suit and unveil a similar motion tracking device for their gaming consoles.

At this stage it’s still purely rumour, but there are a few clues circulating on the net to suggest that an announcement at E3 may be imminent:

- According to an MTV industry source,Microsoft are quietly developing their next-gen motion controller device. Rumoured prototype drawings suggest a simple design, but it’s still mostly cloak and daggers at this stage in the process.

- Not to be outdone, The Sony Playstation Lifestyle website has even more juicy gossip, speculating that Sony is getting much closer to releasing their own motion controller device known as the ‘PS3mote’. And while it probably won’t win any awards for naming distinctions, it does sound from blog posts like the first focus groups for the device were held back in January. Could this year’s E3 hold the key?

Other companies, not resting on the laurels of Nintendo’s good work are also investing in the motion controller business and coming up with their own innovations. The ‘Motus Darwin’ plans to make their controller compatible for a range of non-Nintendo gaming applications including PC games.

Tech enthusiasts might be interested to learn that the Darwin will use gyroscopes, instead of relying on the slightly inaccurate pickup of the infrared sensors used by the current Wii remote system. The Darwin controller can even orient itself to magnetic north, sensing direction.

As for the Wii MotionPlus, according to Nintendo’s website, the controller “allows for more comprehensive tracking of a player’s arm position and orientation, providing players with an unmatched level of precision and immersion”.

So hopefully this means that we might finally be able to play Wii Sports like the pros – with the swing of a Federer forehand or the accuracy of a Tiger Woods drive. Or maybe we’re just kidding ourselves.

Player’s movements with the MotionPlus controller will be measured in real time and shown 1:1 in a more realistic 3D space than currently available, measuring the smallest twists and turns from a players arm and wrist.

As the rumours grow, it’s probably not that long before we enter a world of gaming where Wii styled 3D movements and motion will be available across all your favourite Xbox, PS3 and PC gaming adventures.

First person shooters, for example, are ripe for the motion controller treatment as one might imagine a Wii styled semi-automatic, or even a Wii-styled hoverboard for sports fans. The possibilities for motion control gaming beyond the current Nintendo spectrum seem limitless, but only if Sony and Microsoft decide to make something special happen. If it's going to E3, we'll soon see.

<i> The Wii Motionplus will give gamers a good excuse to upgrade their controllers.</I>
The Wii Motionplus will give gamers a good excuse to upgrade their controllers.

See more about:  wii  |  ps3  |  xbox

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