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Warhawk and The Dualshake Controller 72

Posted by Zonk
from the pew-pew-vrooooooom dept.
You may recall Warhawk from the Sony conference demo, their flagship 'dualshake' controller product. A few of the news sites have gotten their hands on the game, and have impressions of what it's like to use the PS3 controller with the game. From the Gamespy article: "I was initially very skeptical of how this feature (which looked hastily tacked on to a regular joypad without a rumble) would work, but after a lengthy playtest of WarHawk's 30 percent complete single demo stage, I can safely attest to the excellent maneuverable quality possible from the very first moment you pick up and play. The slight delay at the Sony press conference between Phil Harrison's pivoting, and the on-screen tilting of his rendered joypad meant I was expecting the same problems during my WarHawk piloting. Not so. This works flawlessly, and immediately, and allayed any fears I had that this was a last-minute gimmick designed to tear interest away from the Wii."
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Warhawk and The Dualshake Controller

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  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @04:10PM (#15303674) Homepage Journal
    ...designed to draw your attention away from the Wii. That doesn't mean it isn't well-executed. For all their many flaws, and they certainly are numerous, Sony does actually know its shit.
    • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @04:43PM (#15303918) Homepage
      It was VERY last minute. Check out this Euro Gamer Article [eurogamer.net] where they talk to a guy from the team behind Warhawk. Here is the most important part:

      EG: When did you first learn about [the tilt functionality] controller?

      Dylan Jobe: We've really known officially for about a week and a half, and we did the final tuning just a couple of days ago.

      • Dylan Jobe: We've really known officially for about a week and a half, and we did the final tuning just a couple of days ago.

        Okay wait a second. Let's take a step back and re-read the quote before jumping to conclusions. First, note the word "officially" in the beginning of the sentence. That means that Sony might have come up with this more than a week and a half ago, which is pretty likely. Second, note the use of the word "final" in the last half of the sentence. There is quite a bit you can read

        • If it really works as well as TFA says, then anyone with any sense of how product development works knows it had to be at least 6 months ago that they dreamed this up.

          I'd say that depends on whether or not the version that's been demo'd is the final version. There's no reason it couldn't have been hacked onto an existing dual shock controller. Furthermore, since it isn't necessary to make more space to add an accelerometer or two and a small microcontroller to support it in the final design (I've seen

          • the fact that the vibration is removed could have just indicated that it's a hack job

            I think the patent trouble is the more likely explaination, after all they have to license it either from Immersion (who are still pissed off because of what Sony did) or Nintendo (fat chance).
    • It can't be that last minute for it to be reviewed so well by everyone with hands-on sessions.

      My theory is that they originally tried to put rumble, motion-sensing, and extra batteries into the thing, prompting the "Batarang" design because it all took so much room. So they were fighting a three-front war-- The lawsuit they are losing with rumble, widespread criticism of the Batarang, and extra weight to support it all. So they decided to win all three wars at once by ditching rumble. Now all that is l

      • As for drawing attention away from Wii. Sony wants Nintendo to kick Microsoft's ass. Sony hopes that every single person who decides that the PS3 is too expensive will buy a Wii... I promise. And then later buy a PS3 when they're cheaper to buy and cheaper to produce.

        While I'm sure that is what Sony wants, but is that what Sony is going to get? I know people who already have an Xbox360, and people who plan on getting a Wii to compliment it, and not even considering the expensive PS3. If anything, those w
      • I don't think so. Gyroscopic sensors don't take up much room--hell there was even one (granted I know you need more than just one for full 6-degrees of freedom) in a gameboy cartridge.
  • by _xeno_ (155264) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @04:18PM (#15303737) Homepage Journal
    and allayed any fears I had that this was a last-minute gimmick designed to tear interest away from the Wii.

    So, in other words, the Sony gimic worked to tear your interest away from the Wii. Sony must be ecstatic.

    Anyone remember the pressure-sensitive buttons on the PS2 controller? Anyone remember any game that used them? The only one I recall was Metal Gear Solid 2, and with that game, I only succeeded in screwing up the amount of pressure required, accidently shooting guards I only wanted to hold up. Supposedly some driving games used it, but I don't play driving games, so I can't verify that. Bottom line is that I really didn't notice any games using the pressure sensitive buttons - and even if they did, I wasn't actively using them, instead just pressing the button like I always did.

    I can't help but feel that this new "motion sensitive" feature will go the way of the "pressure sensitive" buttons - very few games will bother using them, since they're not really a core feature of the controller. Try as I might, I cannot imagine twisting a PS2 controller around for any length of time. It's just too heavy and too unweildy to continuely wave around. Imagine having to hold your PS2 controller steady, because accidently tipping it might do something unintended. (To be fair, I can't imagine twisting the Wii remote around for any length of time either, but not having held that, I'm willing to give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt.)

    Just like the pressure sensetive buttons, this whole motion sensitive thing on the PS3 controller feels like a pointless gimic. Apparently they're also trying to use that to distract from the fact that they've removed force feedback from their controllers in response to a patent lawsuit. I dunno about anyone else, but I like having force feedback.

    The whole PS3 "DualShake" thing still sounds like a gimic to me, just like the PS2 "DualShock" was essentially a gimic. I'd much rather have force feedback than be required to wave a DualShock controller around in the air. (And, yes, it's been confirmed that the final PS3 controller looks exactly like the PS2 controller - except it's wireless. It's not that boomerang thing.)

    • by timster (32400) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @04:27PM (#15303800)
      Really, this is almost a retread of the analog button story. The analog buttons on the Dual Shock have a completely digital feel, and you get the feeling that the feature was only added because it was planned for other consoles. If you ever try making use of the analog button feature in Gran Turismo on the PS2, all you get in return is very sore hands from the reinforcement of the natural tendency to push the button REALLY HARD.

      Whether the motion detection in the Dual Shake is implemented well or not is irrelevant -- it's still a two-handed controller. When I imagine playing a game with one, I think of simple tilting motions to steer or control an airplane, and that's about it.

      On the other hand, when I imagine playing a game with the Wiimote, I can see myself cutting people open in Trauma Center, or swinging a sword around, or learning the proper gestures to cast spells in some spiffy new Harry Potter game. The gesturing power of my right hand alone simply dwarfs that of both hands tied together.
    • Anyone remember the pressure-sensitive buttons on the PS2 controller? Anyone remember any game that used them?
      Actually, Ace Combat 4, 5 and Zero all utilize those with targeting and radar functions. Altough, it's as a big a feature as those pressure sensitive buttons were in the first DOAX....
    • ...the buttons on the PS2 controller were pressure sensitive? Wow, the things you learn reading /.
      • I didn't know until I found and bought a copy of "The Bouncer" for like 3 bucks a few months ago, and my guy was always making clumsy swings at empty air. Then I found that there's a button responsiveness tweak in the options and a little graph that goes up and down with the firmness of button presses so you can test it. "Wow... the buttons could do that?!"
    • I can't help but feel that this new "motion sensitive" feature will go the way of the "pressure sensitive" buttons - very few games will bother using them, since they're not really a core feature of the controller. Try as I might, I cannot imagine twisting a PS2 controller around for any length of time. It's just too heavy and too unweildy to continuely wave around. Imagine having to hold your PS2 controller steady, because accidently tipping it might do something unintended. (To be fair, I can't imagine tw
    • You say that you never played any games that used the pressure sensitivity? What about every racing game ever? in many ways they're essential for playing courses that require finesse. GT4, anyone?
      • And for that reason alone I found racing games on the PS2 to be needlessly harder then they should have been. I've played GT4 and Forza both quite a bit, and controlling the car's gas and brake pedals with triggers (Forza's default setup - tho you can use the face buttons if you really want to) that have a sensitivity over a range of atleast 1/2 inch is much easier then controlling the same with a pressure sensitive button (GT4 in all setups, the PS2 controllers don't have the right kind of triggers) where
    • Never played Unreal Tournament? Or Grand Theft Auto? How about every sports game ever made for the PS2? None of them? Just because the pressure sensitive buttons weren't used in every game doesn't mean they were a useless addition. Lots of games did use them, and in interesting ways. The problem is people (like you) who can't tell the difference between a hit and a press to know when you get a different effect.
    • Onimusha 2 had support for pressure-sensitive buttons.

      If you press R1, you target an enemy.

      If you press R1 hard, you also charge up your weapon.

      It was kind of awkward.
    • I know Zone of the Enders 2 used the pressure sensitivity. The harder you pressed the buttons, the more missiles you shot out with the missile special weapon.
    • The problem with the Wiimote is ergonomics. You have to wave it with the wrist because of the way it was designed (like a TV remote). And you can not support your arm in any way, which will make the experience tiresome. In a way I compare it to the Eye Toy. Just useful for parties, not for extended play or playing alone. You will feel stupid waving your arms alone in front of the tv

      With the PS3 controller, from the pictures and videos i saw, I can see myself with both arms in my lap and gently twisting the
    • The only game I played that used them is Star Ocean 3 and all it used them for was annoying the user. There was one dungeon where you had to press one button in four different ways to make different sounds with a flute. If you mess up it spawns enemies. It's just frustrating.
    • I enjoyed the pressure sensitive buttons on the PS2 controller. But I actually tried to use them on a regular basis. Did you know you could cruise along at whatever speed you wanted in Grand Theft Auto using them? (I know, it's a driving game, but I'm just saying that there were useful functions for the analog buttons in some games almost everyone has played.) And there were a few games (Mad Maestro being the most obvious) that actually needed them.

      That said, you're point is undeniable that they were

  • doesn't mean it wasn't still just a last minute gimmick and attempt to steal thunder from the Wii. Just means the poor bastards who had to implement it in crunch-time actually got the job done.
  • by bi_boy (630968) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @04:21PM (#15303756)
    Cue Nintendo-fanboy flames in three, two... aw fuck too late.
  • by Dolly_Llama (267016) * on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @04:22PM (#15303758) Homepage
    Don't think for a second that Sony didn't do this because of the continuing litigation regarding the Dual Shock vibration. They're losing their case [totalvideogames.com], but to include vibration feedback would incur more litigation, but to ship without some controller gimmick would make for a marketing loss.
  • Last Minute Gimmick? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @04:26PM (#15303785)
  • Boomerang? (Score:1, Redundant)

    But do they still look like giant half-moon boomerangs? That's the question. The controllers in the early pictures looked amazingly uncomfortable. Flying is nice, but are the controllers actually comfortable?
    • Re:Boomerang? (Score:2, Informative)

      by GreenHell (209242)
      They look exactly like the original Dual Shock controller (but in black or silver). In other words: a 10-year old design that looks completely out-of-place when compared to the aesthetics of the console itself.
      • by Osty (16825) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @04:58PM (#15304051)

        In other words: a 10-year old design that looks completely out-of-place when compared to the aesthetics of the console itself.

        I agree. This [awesometools.com] goes much better with the aesthetics of the console [sonyplaystation3news.com].

      • The weird thing is that the boomerang might actually be more comfortable to use when doing the tilt movements. It's sort of shaped like the handles of a divining rod or handlebars on a bike. I'm inclined to believe that this is a Sony gimmick since Sony would have mentioned this feature last year along whatever laundry list they rolled out. Still, it does make you wonder.
  • by RoffleTheWaffle (916980) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @04:49PM (#15303968) Journal
    The real question here isn't whether or not the Dual-Shake was 'stolen' from Nintendo or whether or not it's just a hastily added feature designed to make up for the potential loss of the Dual-Shock feature in future controllers. The real question is whether or not game developers are actually going to actually take full advantage of this feature when they're not under pressure to help Sony one-up Nintendo. The difference here is that Sony once mocked the 'Wii-mote' and its motion sensing features, only to embrace them once they realized that it actually worked - a purely reactionary move, for better or for worse. Nintendo has been making the Wii's controller the thesis of the entire console, and as we've seen, there are quite a few games already in production that incorporate the motion-sensing features of the controller into the gameplay quite well. (While it might work out for Sony in the end, Nintendo has a massive head-start on them.)

    Another interesting thing to note is that if games come out for the Playstation 3 that revolve around the motion-sensing control feature, it's likely that they will also be ported to the Wii - or from it, which ever way it works out. This means increased availability of games, which works out for us gamers, though it's hard to tell which company would come out on top of that one. (Something tells me Nintendo would get the long end of the stick on that one, considering the console is already predicted to be much cheaper, and therefore more available to consumers in terms of cost.) This also means that developers wishing to take advantage of motion-sensing controllers won't be isolated to just one console, should they choose to develop for the Wii and the Playstation 3 at the same time. (And eventually the 360, since there's no way in hell Microsoft would ignore a feature like this considering all of the attention it's getting.) After seeing what the 'Wii-mote' can do, it's easy to see that Nintendo's driving a motion-sensing bandwagon right through the industry. Their console may yet be a revolution - in control schemes, if nothing else.
    • It's worth mentioning again that the Wii controller's capabilities are at least one big step beyond what Sony has shown with the PS3 controller. The Wii controller does not only detect motion, it also knows where it is in 3D space relative to the screen. That lets you do things that the PS3 won't be able to. One of the most basic things that comes to mind is pointing. The Wii can tell exactly where you're pointing it at. The PS3 doesn't have that capability, not to mention that the controller isn't really a
  • Ergo... (Score:2, Insightful)

    If this is indeed true, that the tilt and roll and gyroscopic capabilities of the PS3 controler are indeed well implemented and fun to use and yatta yatta yatta, does this not also mean that, because the Nintendo Wii focuses specifically upon these aspects of play, that their controller and console will not only be fun to use, but will perhaps be BETTER?

    If Sony's done stole a little bit off Wii for itself, that doesn't suddenly mean Sony > Wii. It just means that Sony will have to work hard to encourage
  • Just because the game developers found out about the motion sensing functionality within the last few weeks doesn't mean it was "hastily tacked on." To me, "hastily tacked on" means that the decision to add the feature came late in development and was then added at the last minute.

    How long have we known about Nintendo's controllers? It was debuted September 15, 2005 [nintendo.com]. So if Sony started working on this technology as soon as Nintendo announced the controller, they would have been working on it for over 7
    • E3 in Japan? Methinks you mean TGS.
    • by barawn (25691) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @05:45PM (#15304375) Homepage
      To me, "hastily tacked on" means that the decision to add the feature came late in development and was then added at the last minute.

      They found out in the last week or so. See here [eurogamer.net]. They did the tuning in just the last few days.

      I highly doubt that they wouldn't've given the controller to them if it had been ready earlier - or if they even knew it was going to work much earlier. This was a "have this work by E3 or else" announcement, and I'm surprised that it works at all.
      • I thought it was obvious that I was talking about the feature in the controller, not in the game. Whether or not it was "hastily tacked on" depends on whether you are talking about the game or the system, where I was speaking about the latter. I guess the article is a little ambiguous as to whether they are talking about the feature in the controller or in the game. As far as the game goes, its pretty obvious that it was hastily added on, but that isn't necessarily the case for the controller as I explai
        • However, I'd say "completed at the last minute" would be appropriate.

          Honestly, they can't have been working on it long: the WarHawk demo didn't go well (just read any of the reviews), and they must've known that it would've taken time for them to get the kinks worked out.

          Regardless of how good the technology is, the implementation takes time, and they only gave the guys a week and a half. That just screams "last minute implementation" to me. If they'd been working on it for a year, I can't believe they woul
          • Maybe I don't understand how easy this must be to implement. I thought that this would take a good amount of work to get working, but then again I don't know. Again, this comes down to how your interpretation of "hastily tacked on". To me, adding a wireless network card a week ago would fit the bill, but designing a technology, implementing it, and creating the controllers (assembly lines already?) takes a fair amount of work and time... but that's just me
            • Assembly lines? This is pre-release, in-development stuff. They may have it "fabricated" and all that, but what's on display is the equivalent of wire-wrapped demo hardware. It was put together by two guys named Phil who happen to be handy with soldering irons, not three-hundred indentured servants in Taiwan.
            • If they'd really been sure that they'd have it for a while now, they would've had prototypes (not manufactured items - just sensors shoved in a controller shell) well beforehand. They didn't. We're not talking about a mass-produced controller here. They only needed one, for the developers - so it should've been hand made.

              Hell, it sounds pretty much like the WarHawk devs didn't even know for sure if this was going to happen until last week. If they had honestly been planning this for a year, they would've kn
  • Microsoft had a positional controller loooooong before Nintendo, or Sony. They came out with a special edition of the Sidewinder that offered many of the same features as these "next gen" controllers. I believe it was about 1997 or 98 when it was available (it was discontinued after about a year).
  • LocoRoco is a game for the PSP where you navigate a blob by tilting the world with R1 and L1. The game would be supercool on the ps3!

    Screenshorts [gamespot.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Who cares, really. This console is, at minimum, 500 dollars. (100 dollars for a 40 GB upgrade? What the--) ... Five hundred dollars. Cash.
  • From the "article":

    It took 15 seconds for me to change my jaded mind from slightly mocking to kool-aid drinking. I've experienced the way PS3 games control, and it's epoch-making.

    haha. Epoch-making. You've got to be kidding me. I find it hard to take anything else this guy says seriously.
    • Which is just another reason to take this with a grain of salt. I don't know about everyone else but it seems that gaming news sites aren't exactly tops on the ethics side of things.

      Seems likely that Sony exerted some influence to have statements like the above dropped on the blogs so it doesn't look as sad and foolish as it really is....that or their pact with the devil kicked in and everybody will herald the $500 price tag and cheesy imitiations of motion sense and online market place as ground breakin
  • ... to steal Nintendo's thunder. The fact that it is a good idea doesn't take away from the fact that Sony stole the idea because they are creatively bankrupt.

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