Is the eighth time the charm?
If someone had told me a few years ago that the next generation of consoles from Nintendo and Sony would primarily feature motion controls, I probably would have laughed them back into whatever loony bin (or time machine) they escaped from. The idea, while often mused about (and only occasionally attempted, to somewhat hokey and mixed results), just seemed stranger than fiction and, at the very least, a long ways off. And yet, here we are – we haven’t just knocked on the next generation's door, but we’ve crossed the threshold, taken off our shoes, and are asking for a cup of coffee – and motion sensing controllers are just the path the Wii and PlayStation 3 have taken (albeit in different fashions) with the pointer-like Wii remote and tilt-sensitive SIXAXIS, respectively. While it remains to be seen how well they will fare in the long term, so far, things are looking promising (especially for the Wii), but taking note of that also urges us to look at the Xbox 360. Though the benefits are of arriving on the console market a year before anyone else are clear, one of the pitfalls of it (and with development starting well before that) is that Microsoft could have designed itself right out of the market. Since peripherals do not generally sell nearly as well as the console they are designed for, and with all three "next-gen" systems squaring off against one another on an even playing field, the Xbox 360 must find new ways to compete using what it's got. And, though I never thought these words would pass from my lips, Tony Hawk’s Project 8 is the perfect example of such innovation.
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