Hewlett Packard seems to have joined the motion-sensor gaming bandwagon with Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony but does the Swing have enough to force the biggies set their selves in “motion”? Is it really a good alternative than buying a Wii, Kinect or a PSMove? Read on to find out…
One look at the game controller makes it look like a Japanese TV remote control with buttons all around it! But nevertheless, it’s designed well enough to give you a good grip and the wrist-strap attached with it ensures you don’t break furniture or living beings while playing with it. There’s a small joystick to help navigate in the in-game menus, an ‘A’ button which acts like a simple mouse-click, an ‘M’ button which brings up the menu in the application and a Bluetooth button to pair with the PC through the provided Bluetooth dongle. There is another ‘B’ button to help you out with, well, any other in-game functions apart from moving the controller around. There are 4 LED lights that blink when you pair up with the computer and also a compartment for 2 AA batteries. Overall it’s designed very well and attractive enough for people to ask you, “What is this?”
Good looks are not what function-specific devices are really made for now, are they? You need them to do what they are meant to do. Not keeping you in the dark for too long lets head to whether it can really perform and keep you entertained.
Setting up the device is not rocket-science as all you have to do is plug in the dongle, pair it with the controller, install the software provided in the CD that comes along with and you are good to go. Entering the menu you have choices of pre-installed games such as Tennis, Ping-Pong, Fishing, Balance, Snowball Fight and Mini games such as Fencing, Weightlifting and Trampoline jumping. Other games include Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Need For Speed Undercover and Left 4 Dead. The menus look neat and futuristic and are fun to use but can be a hassle if you want to browse between pages.
Now here’s when you actually start using the device and let me tell you, you would get enough exercise if you use it before running the application, i.e. on your desktop or anywhere else, mostly because it’s kinda sluggish and not too responsive to your movement. When you actually play a game, especially Tennis, it doesn't really stand close to the experience that you get from the Wii, if you really want to compare. Regardless of wherever or however you move the device, it captures the fact you’ve “moved” it, so the gameplay isn't something to really brag about because it is just a Bluetooth based device, so you can't expect much.
The graphics are average and the AI is kinda tough to play with. However, there's this one game that was a bit of fun and would probably get your sight, the Mini games! All in all, the games seem to be beta versions and are waiting for a major re-vamp!
Well, let's just say that it's a good attempt by HP, and now that they have entered the motion-sensing gaming sector, we can expect something better in the near future! There's isn't much comparison between the Swing and Nintendo’s Wii. Also, since this device is not sold separately, and that it comes bundled with an HP Pavillion PC, (at Rs 29,000) you can't really call it a “cheap” alternative to a full-fledged Wii or for that matter any of the up-coming motion sensing game devices! Let’s hope that we see something that matches up with the other motion-sensing gaming devices.
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