Microsoft's Kinect gaming system for the Xbox 360 has single-handedly put the video-game world on its head. But while the Kinect might be the best and the most successful of the motion-capture systems to debut, it's far from the first. Here are four others that failed miserably.
4. Le Stick. Besides evoking an image of being a French-made technology (never a good idea) DataSoft's Le Stick, released in 1981, was still revolutionary in that it was controlled using only hand motions when connected to its Atari or Commodore 64 console--sort of an early Wii nunchuck. Somehow though, no one seemed to give a shit about the Le Stick--perhaps because no one, not even DataSoft, created any games tailored to the unique controller.
3. Sega Activator. In 1993 Sega released the Sega Activator for the Genesis console, and while the concept seemed like a good idea, the product itself suffered from being incredibly shitty. The cost was $150 (which, in the '90s, was worth at least horrible sweatshirts as seen below); it came with a octagon-shaped ring that a player would stand in the middle of and, in the case of Evander Holyfield's "Real Deal" Boxing, throw punches at each other until the thing crapped out or the players developed suicidal thoughts.
2. Pantomation. Reaching back even further to 1977 we find perhaps the closest thing to an early Kinect in the Pantomation. Using early tracking chromakey technology, it was originally meant as a way to score music. But it ended up mainly being used as a visual aid for LSD trips. Behold:
1. Power Glove. Of course, no list of failed motion-capture gaming technology can exist without mention of the Nintendo Power Glove. Who can forget in 1989 when Lucas Barton--arch-nemesis of Jimmy Wood, aka The Wizard--pulled out the mysterious glove from its silver case, blasted through a level of Rad Racer, and proclaimed, "I love the Power Glove. It's so bad." Unfortunately, it was so bad. And not in the old-school version of the word, which meant "so good," but actually quite terrible, with a weird button design and little to no real-time control over the games.