David Riley, NPD Group’s senior public relations manager for entertainment, software, and toys, says that for a controller like the Motus Darwin to be successful, it must be properly marketed to a group willing to pay for a premium realistic experience, such as golf-game enthusiasts. “There’s a complaint with ‘Tiger Woods’ on the Wii, for example, in that some bloggers feel that it has actually harmed their ability to play golf,” he says. “They’ve adjusted over the winter period to the Wii to play this game, and then when they actually pick up a club, they’re not swinging the way they did the previous season.” If the Motus can be marketed as such a realistic controller so that it helps, rather than harms, real-life game play, Riley says, it could find its niche. However, he adds, the price of the controller is “borderline.”
Though Riley notes that peripherals such as controllers sold very well last year, he worries that current and coming economic troubles could leave consumers unwilling to pay for a high-end controller. He says that much will depend on the library of games that are compatible with the Darwin, and how well the controller is integrated with those games.
Mahajan says that the list of games supporting the Darwin is not yet finalized. But, he says, Motus is talking to a variety of console makers and game publishers; is working on building in integration with popular games already on the market; and closely integrating with games that have not yet been released. Mahajan says the company expects to have the Darwin on store shelves in time for 2008’s holiday shopping season.