Still, the controller should not disappear altogether, says Hiroshi Ishii, who is head of the Tangible Media Group at the M.I.T. Media Laboratory. “I’m a strong believer in having something tangible in your hand,” he says. Wiimote devices, moreover, provide haptic feedback, such as vibration or resistance, which makes the action more realistic. Even for activities like Natal’s soccerlike Ricochet game demo, Ishii points out, a player might miss the feeling of connecting with a physical object that a controller provides.
But Peter Molyneux, creative director of Microsoft Game Studios Europe, looks forward to a new breed of computer entertainment, because eliminating game controllers opens up more creative possibilities. “Natal is forcing me as a designer to think of this as a relationship between the player and a piece of technology,” he says. “We’re trying to make something that feels as if it’s alive.”
Note: This story was originally printed with the title "Naked Gaming"