Approval Ratings: No Motivation For Motion Control

This past weekend's Approval Ratings sought to measure your attitude toward the PSPgo, which launched this week, and also motion control systems, which have been much in the news lately. You're not going for either in strong numbers.

1. Sony's PSPgo has been the subject of much criticism prior to its release. Which criticism do you feel is most valid?

Its price is too expensive: 35 percent (2,748 total responses) The inability to play UMD games already purchased is disappointing: 35 percent (2,729) The device is largely redundant to the existing PSP: 23 percent (1,761) None of these; the device is fine, it's not a replacement for the existing PSP: 7 percent (580) 7,818 total responses

Equal numbers complain of the price and the lack of UMD. Both are heavy barriers to the Go's adoption, but we didn't ask "Why are you not buying the device," just what the most valid criticism was. This means, theoretically, that for some the lack of UMD does not matter as much as the price, and vice versa. But taken together, if the Kotaku readership is any indication of the core gaming crowd, the PSPgo has two hard strikes against it.

2. Based on what you've seen and read, which motion control system do you feel will be best integrated with its console's offerings?

None of these/Don't care: 27 percent (2,134 total responses) Microsoft's Project Natal: 26 percent (2,085) Sony's Motion Control: 24 percent (1,866) Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus: 23 percent (1,799) 7,884 total responses

3. Which motion control system are you most interested in playing?

Microsoft's Project Natal: 39 percent (3,072 total responses) Sony's Motion Control: 26 percent (2,068) None of these/Don't care: 26 percent (2,067) Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus: 9 percent (701) 7,908 total responses

4. Based on your personal gaming tendencies and preferences, do you feel that motion control systems:

Would not be relevant to the games I play: 42 percent (3,307 total responses) Would detract from my enjoyment of the games I play: 22 percent (1,725) Would enhance my enjoyment of the games I play 21 percent (1,682) None of these/Don't know: 15 percent (1,167) 7,881 total responses

5. How do you feel about motion-control games?

I enjoy them, but I enjoy standard-control games more: 46 percent (3,621 total responses I do not seek to play these games, but I enjoy them when invited to by a friend: 26 percent (2,076) I do not enjoy motion control games, and do not want to play them: 14 percent (1,109) I enjoy them and seek to play games that utilise them: 7 percent (580) Not sure/Don't care: 6 percent (449) 7,835 total responses

This paints a strongly indifferent picture toward motion control games, as paradoxical as it sounds to say that. Your opinions of, basically, the best motion control system are all in a statistical dead heat - including "Don't care," the overall leader. Given an opportunity to play any motion control system, readers chose Project Natal, reflecting the base's strong preference for the Xbox 360. The Wii's stark underperformance in that question indicates either a disaffection for the console or the lack of perceived novelty in its control scheme after more than two years, and probably both. But the final nail in the coffin is that 42 percent of the readership simply doesn't care for motion controls; a supermajority finds them either irrelevant to the games they play, or that they detract from them.

6. Which platform do you enjoy the most?

Xbox 360: 36 percent (2,835 total responses) PlayStation 3: 30 percent (2,359) PC: 23 percent (1,841) DS/DSi: 5 percent (359) Wii: 3 percent (226) PS2: 3 percent (223) PSP: 1 percent (66) Mac: 0 percent (30) iPhone/iPod Touch : 0 percent (18) 7,957 total responses

We asked this as a control, just to establish console preferences and to see if they were consistent with previous answers. In large part they were.

7. Which statement best reflects your opinion of the Scribblenauts "Sambo" controversy?

It was blown out of proportion by the games press: 37 percent (2,850 total responses) It was not offensive content, and merited no discussion: 30 percent (2,289) Other opinion/Not sure/Don't care: 20 percent (1,570) It was a controversy manufactured to harm a good game: 5 percent (424) It was an insensitive error that deserved an apology: 5 percent (410) It is a consequence of the lack of diversity in game development: 3 percent (204) 7,747 total responses

No surprise here. The controversy over Scribblenauts - writing "Sambo," a racial slur in the U.S., produced an item that looked like a watermelon - was almost immediately rejected by the commentariat on sites and forums that reported it, with many expressing the strong feeling that it was a gotcha-game invented by a gaming press with not much else to do. Only 5 percent, however, thought it was actively brought up to knock Scribblenauts down a peg.

8. What is the first word that comes to your mind for this game: Halo 3: ODST?

7,120 total responses

Unfortunately, I thought our polling software would aggregate responses using the exact same word, showing at least the top two or three words. Instead, the percentages are all 1/7120th. Scanning the list, "meh" appeared to be a popular choice. "A horse being flogged because it worked once," was another more specific expression of things like "redundant," "overrated" and "cash cow." "Expansion" and "expansion pack" also reflected a disappointment with ODST's singleplayer campaign. Positives included "awesome," "amazing," and "fun." Unfortunately, I simply can't tally up the percentage of positive words versus negative or indifferent. Thanks for participating in this question, but we can't use its kind in the future.

Look for more questions Oct. 10, as we continue to flesh out the habits, preferences and trends among the Kotaku Gamer.


    Regarding the "Sambo" question, I'm willing to bet that the majority of readers are white males in their 20s and 30s, so the issue of racism is something that doesn't occur much, if at all in their lives. Hence any mention of the word "racism" causes rolling of eyes and "get over it", boy-cried-wolf style.

      Or, you know, maybe the majority is right.

      I'll let you in on a secret. Saying that all white people are indifferent to racism is the same as calling all African people watermelon eating sambos...

      The eye rolling was because it's an obscure as hell word that is used pretty much only by old, racist, american people. That's a fairly small portion of the world's population. Were you also aware that the word "slope" can be used as a racial term? All people must hereby use only the word "incline", in case someone gets offended by the use of a perfectly normal word.

      Did you know the word for toasting with glasses in Portuguese is the same word as "cock" in Japanese? From now on all Brazilians must chenge their speech because some idiot was offended by something completely unrelated.

      TLDR: There are so many race problems in our collective societies, that we really don't need to go turning over every stone to find ones that might kinda be racist if you think about it from a certain perspective.

    yew i was a meh on the last one but im still gonna get ODST just not now bungie are good devs but im not paying full price for a glorifyed DLC they say 8 hours of gameplay but realistavly you can cut that number in half to get the actual play time

    What these statistics should be telling you, Kotaku staff, is that your readership is likely a -very- small, and specific subset of the new Gaming population.

    I can assure you that lots of people will care, a lot, about all these new motion sensors. I'm not one of them, but I can see it. Anyone who just felt like buying a Wii for their kids one Christmas, anyone who's never gamed before the Wii, these are the people motion sensors are being targetted to. These people are NOT your readership.

    The Internet allows for a hugely skewed representation of demographics - it's the same on any specific-purpose website. It's the same at The Escapist, too. The people who read these websites are NOT the majority.

    Not any more.

      Addendum: I don't personally consider it a good thing that Kotaku, etc, are no longer in touch with the gaming majority. But I absolutely do not mean my above comment as a criticism, or attack, or comment about the relevance of Kotaku.

      <3 Kotaku.

      Exactly, look at Wii Sports / Wii Fit / Mario Kart Wii. They have been in the weekly top 10 sellers for about 8 years straight now.

      I'd like to see a poll of Kotaku readers that have bought/played any of those games recently.

        The reason that those same Wii games are perennial best sellers is that they're the only Wii games really worth buying - the result is that there is a large market that has been courted, and have purchased the cheap console and a game or two, but are NOT really engaging with gaming as an entertainment medium. Play time and attach rates for the Wii are way down on the two real consoles, and until those stats are comparable it's not fair to keep suggesting that motion control is taking the gaming world by storm. Hardware sales don't tell the whole story.

        Yes, these results are skewed towards the hardcore, but that is the end of the market best suited to assessing the potential (and potential pitfalls) of this technology.

    For the last question, why dont you use the software that reads through a list of comments, and creates an image of the the most common words or phrases used.

      Or just use a pivot table with a count of the words in Excel (or similar app)? It's far from difficult, especially if you use the wizards - 30 seconds should do it.

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