"You are the controller." It sounds so simple, so friendly, so patently cool. Take an Xbox 360, plug in the new $150 Kinect motion-sensing camera, devote a few minutes to waving your arms around like a traffic controller, and you're gaming without a gamepad. It's a little disorienting at first, like stepping onto a balance beam for the first time, and Kinect's imprecise, casual approach won't be for everyone, least of all Wii and PlayStation Move fans used to tactile wands and accurate controls. But as a second shot at bringing full body interactivity to the masses (the first was Sony's EyeToy, unless we're counting The Clapper) Kinect gets more right than wrong.
Stories by Matt Peckham
You can't really blame Nintendo for losing a little steam of late. After all, the company's cruised along in bulletproof plated consumer-appeal for half a decade, with Microsoft and Sony playing catch-up in their wake.
World of Warcraft, Tetris, and the PlayStation 2 make strange bedfellows, but they each topped Nielsen's <a href=" http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/nielsen-top-tens-2008-final15.pdf">2008 year-end scan</a> of popular media trends in the U.S. World of Warcraft's a no-brainer on the PC games chart. But what about <a href=" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexey_Pajitnov">Alexey Pajitnov</a>'s twenty-some-year-old Tetris for mobiles? And are people really still playing the PS2?
The family-friendly Japanese game-maker sold 2.04 million Wii units in November, up from 981,000 last year. Wedbush Morgan predicted earlier this week that the Wii would sell around 1.4 million, a hugely respectable number in its own right, but over 2 million counts as remarkable. Remarkable enough to even beat the formerly chart-dominating Nintendo DS, which itself still sold 1.57 million units.