Colin McRae: DiRT 2

Colin McRae: DiRT 2 News for Xbox 360

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Colin McRae: DiRT 2 screenshot
Colin McRae: DiRT 2 screenshot

Microsoft’s motion-sensing technology Natal and Sony’s Wand won’t replace traditional controllers for racing games, Codemasters has said.

At the E3 trade show in June both Microsoft and Sony took the lid off of their motion-sensing technology, Natal and what press are calling the Sony Wand, respectively.

During Microsoft’s E3 press conference, the company showed a family steering an imaginary wheel to control a car in a racing game.

Codemaster’s Ralph Fulton, member of the Race Driver: GRID development team and current game design manager on off-road racer Colin McRae: Dirt 2, out next month, told that motion-sensing controllers like Natal will never replace traditional controllers for "core" racing games.

“The complexity of control for a racing game, certainly for a core racing game like ours, requires a controller,” he said. “It requires feedback, and I don't think waving your hands around and pretending you're steering a car offers you the precision or the feedback that racing games require.”

Fulton, however, said that Natal could lead to additional controls.

He said: “That's not to say that I don't think you could do some really cool things, particularly with Natal, which can function as additional control over and above the controller in racing games.

“But I certainly don't ever see it replacing the wheel or the controller as the principle controller method."

Fulton couldn’t offer any specific examples of the kind of additional controls Natal might make possible in racing games, but he did say he was looking forward to getting the technology into the studio and begin tinkering with it.

“When everybody, whether they're a game developer or not, saw the Natal announcement in particular at E3 - and I think more Natal because it's sufficiently different from what had gone before, and maybe Sony's controller isn't – your mind just automatically starts coming out with things that you could do.

“And as a developer I'm really looking forward to getting the kit in so we can start thinking about amazingly cool ways to utilise it in our games.”

What do you think? Are Natal and Sony’s Wand better for racing games than joypads and steering wheels? Let us know in the comments section below.

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User Comments

El-Dev's Avatar


I'd like the games to come with the option to use a pad as I can't see myself buying Natal or the Sony wands, waste of money for what will be a year long gimmick, just like the Wii.
Posted 19:05 on 11 August 2009
Stegosaurus-Guy's Avatar


Natal won't replace controlers with waggle controls for any genre.
Posted 18:51 on 11 August 2009


Well either, without a decent piece of steering wheel hardware, will never be as good as a steering wheel, but then if someone designs a wheel that can be used in conjunction with it, who knows.
Posted 15:20 on 11 August 2009
Karlius's Avatar


Who knows we'll have to wait and see! Whats interesting is that codies obviously doesn't have the development kit yet that MS said was being shipped at E3 time? MS or Codemasters telling porkies?
Posted 10:53 on 11 August 2009

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 11/09/2009
Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Genre: Racing
No. Players: 1-8
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 744 74
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