Microsoft mulls touchscreen controller for next-gen Xbox
Microsoft appears set to follow Nintendo and equip its next-gen games console with a touchscreen-equipped controller, along the lines of the one that will ship with the Wii U.
Microsoft's forthcoming console "will be a matte black media hub with a mission to bring games to life in your living room with augmented reality, directional sound and a four-player, finger-tracking Kinect", reports Xbox World Magazine in its latest issue.
Out with the old...
The publication claims the 'Xbox 720' - as the console is rumoured to be called - will roll up with a controller similar in size to the PlayStation Vita handheld, but "surrounded by the traditional X box buttons and sticks".
This pad will be second only to Kinect in its relationship with the console, becoming "a remote control when you're watching TV, a browser when you're on the internet, extra buttons and information when you're playing a game or a portable display when you want to take your game with you".
...in with the new?
Customers will have to fork out as much as £400 when the device launches, although the company is said to be "running wild with the functions that will change how you play", so there should be plenty of bang for the buck. Especially if proposed plans for a 720 DVR function come to fruition. ®
Maybe I'm too old and will be proved wrong, but surely a touch-screen lacks massively compared to twin thumb-sticks?
I like my console being a media hub but I dislike the current fad that everything has to use touch-screen (and now motion-sensing) for UI. The PS3 controller in particular is a wonderful piece of design, as evidenced by the fact it barely changed in almost 20 years.
Am I the only one...
Who want a console to play games on?
I don't want a stupid video screen controller, I don't want a Freeview DVR (as that'll be the best it can be without paying for sky/virgin subs as well) and I don't want more kinect features.
Kinect is bad enough when streaming videos now, it thinks everytime I move my fork from plate to mouth that my hand wants to pause the video...
Let Controllers control
The current XBox Controller is a great piece of kit - comfortable for long periods of time and not too heavy or too light. I really don't want 90% of games to be handicapped by a controller that is designed specifically to allow functionality for a minority of games.
Surely Kinect and a touch screen is overkill?
We don't need no steeenking ergonomics
The two analogue thumbsticks thing is a pretty good interface; it fits well with a hell of a lot of different games, and it is easy to feel what position the stick is in when you're moving it even if you're not actually staring at the controller at the time.
Touchscreen interfaces are great, *if you are looking at them whilst you use them*. When I'm playing on my console, I want to be looking at my nice 32" HDTV, not some tiddly little palm-sized LCD. If I wanted to do that, I'd get more games for my phone.
On the other hand, having a more flexible input method may mean that more traditionally PC games (eg strategy type things) might make it onto the console without being horrendously dumbed down. That market segment has been a little neglected in recent years as devs move to more lucrative sectors like console and mobile gaming, which sucks for those of us who like the sort of games that have only worked well on PCs...
Anyone else ever thrown a controller in frustration?
I mean, I've only thrown mine into the couch, but I know a fair few people who regard their controllers as disposable things to be thrown at the wall when the situation warrants.
That's a bit of a big ask for something that's got to contain at least mobile phone's worth of hardware...