Wednesday, November 10, 2010

PS3 Controllers or Xbox 360 Controllers: Which is Better?

PS3 Controllers have improved a lot since they were first shown up by those that are included with the Nintendo Wii. Based on human kinetics, the Wii's "nun chucks" were revolutionary and instant attention-getters, such that it was only after three years from its release that a Wii console became widely available for purchase. PS3 controllers now also offer game play based on user movements, with on-board accelerometers to process a rush of spatial data. These improved controllers are now almost standard with the Playstation 3, and many software titles now take advantage of the new capabilities to feature much improved game play and a more immersive experience all around.

PS3 controllers, however, may face their greatest threat from Microsoft's new line of Xbox 360 Controllers. Microsoft is working on an even more revolutionary kind of user interface that will greatly help to further blur the increasingly fine line between man and machine. Long the stuff of science fiction and comic books, this new controller will obliterate the need for controllers - physical controllers, anyway; hardware that is held in one's hand. These new soon-to-come Xbox 360 controllers will actually be electronic eyes which sense player movements in space, and not hand-held objects with accelerometers that do the sensing. Microsoft's most ominous challenge to the Playstation 3 is due out within the next year or two, mounted separately from the console but, sensing user movements, provides data to the console. Try to imagine playing videogames with nothing more than your own body and body movements!

This veritable magic eye that Microsoft has been developing - and promising will be available for sale soon enough - will even track eye movements to change point-of-view in a first-person shooter, say. Imagine Halo or Call of Duty or Medal of Honor without pesky controllers but with instead a light gun and your own body and your own eyes! As you turn right the screenshot reveals scenery to your right side, and as you turn left the panorama shifts with you!

So while PS3 controllers are quite advanced, the Xbox 360 controllers of the not-too-distant future may well have the last word on futuristic fun in the home. And as the two systems are chasing the same target demographic of overwhelmingly young and male action-gamers, it will be very interesting to see what happens next. Fortunately, the consumer is likely to benefit from technological advances that will allow even more immersive gaming. 

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