Unlike a lot of the press surrounding the device (from a few fan sites by people who have admittedly not actually played with it, but said it “seemed like” when watching others …) there were no glitches or sluggishness.
In fact I found it if anything a bit more responsive than my Wii at home – but that could just be my imagination. What I do know is the play experience didn’t suffer from any visible lag I could tell. The interface locked on to both me and my son – and there was none of the annoying “Stand On One Foot” calibrating I found annoying with the Wii. In the time it took for the two of us to walk into the room, face it, and be given all of 20 seconds of instructions – which consisted of, “You may want to move back to give yourself more room”, the unit was ready to go.
You can see samples of our experience in the video they took of us playing. This is a short video edited down, our actual play time was a complete set on the obstacle course game… which was a combination of an obstacle course and an amusement park ride. The more you jumped the faster the platform you were on went – grabbing objects, leaning, ducking and jumping were very intuitive.
Like I said, there was no real need for an instruction manual and the system calibrated to us pretty much instantly. At the end of the game we were treated to pictures of some of our more … ahem… Classic moves, which was very reminiscent of amusement park rides that feature pictures of you screaming your head off and other wise embarrassing yourself publically.
Now, one thing I was a bit concerned about was how much room will this take to be useable in my home. The demos were in a “demo” living room in a trailer about 1/2 the size of an actual living room. I really think with a larger room the experience might be better but it was certainly usable in the cramped space we had.
How does it, over all, game+system+play experience compare to a Wii? Well obviously the graphics quality beats the Wii totally – it’s a far more sophisticated graphics engine and rendering technology so there’s a certain win for it there. Playing casual games isn’t really my thing but to be honest even though the game we played reminded me of Wii resort a bit – the feeling is much different. Perhaps it’s the lack of having to hold something or being tethered to that wireless controller, or maybe it’s just the ability for two of us to flail about like idiots next to each other without the need of floor sensors – whatever the reason, yes it’s a better experience, but it goes beyond that and I haven’t found the right words to describe it. Freedom? Seems to fit the feeling best.
I know – I know – the Wii gave us freedom. This gives us… even more freedom.
Will I buy one? My son informs me … Yes… yes we will. And when it comes to games I listen to him.