What is the best console for motion-controlled rhythm gaming?
July 4, 2021 12:04 AM   Subscribe

My 78-year-old, non-gamer mother wants to play games like DDR or Beat Saber at home, but doesn't own a gaming console. What should she get?

My mom has been hooked on the idea of wanting to play motion-controlled rhythm games* ever since she saw my co-workers playing on a DDR arcade machine. She also played Beat Saber on my Oculus Rift and loved it. She wants to play games like this at home, but she doesn't own any gaming hardware -- what should she get?

*By "motion controlled rhythm game" I mean "a game that is controlled primarily by making gross motor movements rather than the fine motor movements of button pushing, and where gameplay consists of making a physical movement with precise timing".

In previous years, the obvious answer to this question would be "Xbox 360 with Kinect" so she could play Dance Central, Rock Band, DDR, etc. but now that the Kinect is discontinued, I'm not sure what the best platform is. We could of course get an Xbox 360 with a Kinect off of eBay, and that's currently what I'm thinking of doing, but is buying a decade-old console really the best move? Maybe we should go with a Switch so she can play games like Ring Fit Adventure and Taiko no Tatsujin? Or a PS4, for Just Dance? I'm not really a console gamer myself, so this is all out of my area of expertise.

Criteria for the console and for games she'd be interested in playing:
- No VR headsets
- Nothing that requires access to a PC
- Gameplay must be absolutely dead simple. The game must require zero gameplay mechanics other than "do the move".
- Mom is unlikely to ever play anything other than motion-controlled games, so access to other types of games is not a factor
posted by phoenixy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The switch also has just dance, so I feel like it is exactly what you want? gross motor movement, rewards precision. pretty big song library these days. plus you cited an interested in some other switch games...so to me, it's the best choice by far.
posted by wooh at 12:59 AM on July 4, 2021 [6 favorites]

I have a Switch and Just Dance 2019. It's pretty great. And if she gets tired of the songs, there's a subscription service that allows access to hundreds more.
posted by neushoorn at 2:39 AM on July 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

A Switch is going to likely be friendliest to a non-gamer regardless. I believe it’s got the most recent Just Dance and a couple of boxing games that would fit the bill. Plus there’s a silly party game called 1-2 Switch that is kind of a tech demo for the joycons where you and your mom could play together. Ring Fit Adventure is evidently a pretty legit workout, too. The joycons aren’t exactly the same as old wiimotes from the days of wii bowling tournaments at the senior center, but there is a lot of overlap and many of the game concepts originally developed for the wii have been brought to the switch. A lot of times games released on other consoles get later switch releases - most of the time the only difference is slightly lower quality graphics, which I suspect isn’t an issue for your mom - so if it’s not an Xbox or PlayStation exclusive it will probably eventually be on Switch.
posted by Mizu at 2:52 AM on July 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

Just Dance 2020 and 2021 are available for the Switch. You need a wrist-band to tie the joycon to your wrist, but it'll work fine without a dancepad controller.
posted by kschang at 6:57 AM on July 4, 2021

Can I add on to this question? Years ago I played a movement game that was a run through a jungle. You had to reach into the trees to collect fruits and duck under low branches. No idea what platform it was. Are there games like that for the switch where you use gross movements to play, but the theme is not dancing?
posted by CathyG at 8:05 AM on July 4, 2021

You can also play Just Dance Now using a mobile phone as the controller and your smart TV/Chromecast/PC for the music + video. It may not be as accurate as other platforms, but your mom might already have everything she needs , so can try without an additional purchase (list of devices for the controller / screen).

I think you can do 1 or 2 songs free each day, which she could use to try before committing to a subscription.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 9:27 AM on July 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

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