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SGD '07: Wii Sports-like bowling game for PSN

Sony revolutionizes the games industry yet again by introducing a sports game that detects your motion through the controller! Instead of pressing buttons, one can hold the controller and move it as if it were a real bowling ball. We love the idea!

But in all honesty, we think that the SIXAXIS may not be as well-suited for this type of gameplay as other consoles. Joystiq's Kevin Kelly tried the game, and as we suspected, didn't have the easiest time with the game: "You literally flip the controller on its side, hold it with your thumb between the analog sticks, and then sweep your arm gracefully along an arc while holding and releasing one of the buttons to send your ball down the alley. Sound simple? Well, it is and it isn't. Holding the SIXAXIS like that feels really, really weird. It's like we're wired or programmed to hold that controller with both hands, and doing something like that makes our gamer genes cry out in pain. Although, in all honesty, once we got the hang of it, it wasn't all that bad."

So while not truly revolutionary, High Velocity Bowling should offer some motion-sensing fun for the Wii-less. Because it's coming through the PLAYSTATION Network, this experiment in copycat design should, at the very least, be affordable.

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. Ive played wii bowling.. i dont know what all the hoopla is about. I thought it was extremely lame.. although, i hate real bowling to begin with.

Posted at 10:44AM on May 17th 2007 by humpty

2. Oh please. Joystiq will pick on the dumbest things when the PS3 is the topic.

How does a wii-mote make any sense for bowling? Holding a stick in no way is similar to holding a bowling ball. Holding the SIXAXIS controller upside down actually matches up with how your hand is positioned when holding a bowling ball. It makes a lot more sense.

And you gotta love Joystiq trashing the game for having better graphics than the Wii.

With that said, I'm not sure I'll be buying this game when it comes out. Since I already have a Wii, I don't think I need yet another bowling game with motion controls. However, I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up being a much more enjoyable and realistic recreation of bowling.

Posted at 10:54AM on May 17th 2007 by Travis

3. woah typo..sony*

Posted at 11:39AM on May 17th 2007 by jman

4. @yep/jman... more like Sony trying to appease the more infantile amongst us.

If enough PSN games come out like this I'm sure there is an aftermarket controller manufacturer that can take care of the 'hardcore' player.

Posted at 11:58AM on May 17th 2007 by Kspraydad

5. how many TVs will be broken becauses of this?

Posted at 12:15PM on May 17th 2007 by kingofwale

6. Oh No! How many HDTV's will be destroyed by Flying Six Axis's (or is it Six Axes). Sony should get the ball rolling and start sending out wrist straps.

Posted at 1:50PM on May 17th 2007 by Lucas

7. Hm. Ok, I know this might provoke an onslaught of responses from ignorant fanboys, but:

I'm kind of wondering how well this could possibly work. While the sixaxis most certainly can detect tilt information, the Wii controller can do that AND detect its position in space thanks to the sensor bar. That being said, it's really easy for the Wii controller to accurately detect movement. The sixaxis, however, can pretty much only use tilt information to extrapolate movement information. I'm pretty doubtful that the sixaxis can do the job anywhere near as well as the Wii.

Oh, and before people start calling me a nintendo fanboy: I really don't care for the Wii, and love my PS3.

Posted at 1:53PM on May 17th 2007 by Stef Geiger

8. @Stef Geiger

If the Wii can detect the relative position of the Wii-mote in space, it certainly isn't doing that in Wii-Sports.

Wii-Sports bowling can be done with a flick of the wrist, it has nothing at all to do with spatial positioning, it has everything to do with the velocity and rotational positioning of the controller. For most Wii-Sports, it makes no difference if the sensor bar can detect the Wii-mote, all the Wii-Sports titles can work without the Wii-mote being visible to the sensor bar.

The problem here is that there are many that have bought the marketing and hype and have now become convinced that the Wii and it's Wii-mote do things that they just don't do. The only time that the Wii sensor bar comes into play is with games that you actually point the Wii-mote at the screen.

Posted at 2:47PM on May 17th 2007 by theDude

9. @2

Agree........... exactly what I wanted to say.

I would like a demo, just to try it out.

Posted at 3:01PM on May 17th 2007 by thatpspkid

10. The Eye will add spatial information to PS3 and from what I've read it will be much more accurate than the Nintendo controller...but if I wanted a Wii I'd buy one.

Posted at 3:06PM on May 17th 2007 by Kspraydad

11. I imagine this game will probably turn out to be fairly awful.
I also agree that the PS3 controller is certainly no substitute for the Wii's in games such as these.
But I do hope that more games on the network...maybe even free demos start trying to figure out applications for the motion control.
I am surprised Sony has not tried to woo a version of Super Monkey Ball for the PSN. The two seem like a perfect match. I imagine it would sell more as a download than it would achieve at retail.

Posted at 3:07PM on May 17th 2007 by Sammy

12. @Stef Geiger

I have to ask...

What do you think "tilt" is? It's motion, at times, very slight motion. It's all being detected by the springs, very tiny springs. That's all that they need to track motion, works the same way in the Wii-mote. There's no need to "know" where the controller is in space. You've made a very simple concept and implementation into something far more complicated than what it is.

Posted at 3:10PM on May 17th 2007 by theDude

13. @bkvalheim

What?!?! Both the Wii-mote and the SIXAXIS use the same technology to detect motion. The Wii-mote also uses infrared which the SIXAXIS doesn't use, this does not detect spatial positioning in any way other than to determine which way you are pointing the Wii-mote at the TV, so games which require pointing use the sensor bar. The fact that the SIXAXIS doesn't use the same tech merely means that it can't be used as a pointing device like the Wii-mote can.

I can't get over how much misunderstanding there is as to how these devices actually work. The motion sensing on both controllers work in essentially the same way and from my experience with both, the SIXAXIS is more sensitive than the Wii-mote. This hardly makes one better than the other though.

Posted at 3:53PM on May 17th 2007 by theDude

14. @14: ...No. Tilt information is not motion, it's ORIENTATION. The two have nothing to do with each other. I've explained this once before. All the PS3 controller can do is determine its orientation (read: NOT POSITION IN SPACE). Yes, theoretically things like centrifugal force from moving the controller in an arc can trick the controller into thinking it's oriented in a certain way, and this information can be extrapolated into motion detection, but that's nowhere near as effective/accurate as the Wii's controller. That's basically what this game would be doing. When you "swing" the controller, you trick it into thinking gravity is pulling on it from a different angle (the tilt sensors rely on gravity). Think about it - Games like Call of Duty 3 have you steer with the controller, but you have to orient it perpendicular to gravity for it to work.

As briefly as I can put it: The PS3 controller relies on what direction gravity is pulling it. If you move the controller in such a way that the orientation of gravity does not change relative to the controller (EG: lying it flat on a table and turning in around in circles), it can't tell. The only way it COULD detect that motion is if you were to spin the controller around fast enough to have the centrifugal forces trigger the tilt sensors (which are plates of silicon a few molecules apart, not springs)

Posted at 4:15PM on May 17th 2007 by Stef Geiger

15. they should just make the bowling game in HOME work this way ... reggie would probably explode.

Posted at 4:17PM on May 17th 2007 by whackmushrooms

16. Ok wait you cows are hillarous. first off tilit in ps3 controller is not the same as wiiremote.

look it up second saying this a better. its a dang arcade verison and looks so gay.

btw who would by ps3 for just for home for an acrade blowing game. 6000 compare 250? were you can play right away. wow.

cows cows cows...

Posted at 4:21PM on May 17th 2007 by critter

17. English, please!

Posted at 4:28PM on May 17th 2007 by Stef Geiger

18. @Stef Geiger

You are completely wrong. Tilt is translated velocity, otherwise known as motion. It has nothing to do with relative position in space which is what orientation is. Go back over the definition of your terms: "o·ri·en·ta·tion: position or alignment relative to points of the compass or other specific directions".

You suggest that the SIXAXIS can detect "orientation", which it cannot do. The "orientation" of the SIXAXIS is irrelevant to how it is used. You can be hanging upside down using the SIXAXIS and it does not know that it is upside down and it will still function the exact same way it does if you are right-side up. The Wii-mote on the other hand can detect positional orientation if the Wii-mote is pointed in the general vicinity of the "sensor bar". If you aim the Wii-mote away from the "sensor bar" then the Wii-mote's relative position/orientation is unknown to the Wii. Other than pointing style games, the Wii-mote and the SIXAXIS do the exact same thing.

Think about what you just said about steering in COD. If the controller is set perpendicular to gravitation then gravitation has zero to do with rotation on the horizontal axis as gravitation is a vertical component, but the SIXAXIS picks up the "motion" along the horizontal axis.

The SIXAXIS knows which way it is moving, on all six axes. That's it. Wii-sports bowling works perfectly fine if you hide the sensor bar or remove it completely. It has nothing at all to do with spatial positioning. The SIXAXIS works by detecting motion, not gravity. You need a brush up on your basic physics.

Posted at 5:01PM on May 17th 2007 by theDude

19. My knowledge of physics is just fine, and I completely disagree with you about how the sixaxis determines tilt. It doesn't rely on motion to determine tilt, it relies on which way gravity is pulling it. Otherwise you'd have to calibrate the sixaxis every single time you start it up. Go ahead, start up the console with your controller perpendicular to the ground and start up Flow. According to you, the game will thing the controller is straight and if you tilt the controller even more from that position, Flow will interpret it as tilting. What will actually happen is that flow will know that the controller is perpendicular, and interpret THAT as tilting.

I don't know HOW you can achieve tilt detection without 1. Gravity as a constant point of reference or 2. Calibrating the controller every time you use it.

Posted at 5:28PM on May 17th 2007 by Stef Geiger

20. Damn Stef, give that other guy a bag of ice for that burn.

Posted at 11:28PM on May 17th 2007 by Popfrogs

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