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Friday, October 1, 2010

Review: PlayStation Move

 Motion control has been in our homes since late 2006 courtesy of Nintendo and was groundbreaking, yet highly risky at the time Wii console. Thankfully for Nintendo it worked and we bought into motion control, and the Wii (by the millions).

Sony and Microsoft’s gaming divisions likely couldn’t believe what they were seeing, and the fact it’s nearly four years since the Wii launched shows us they were not prepared, or even thinking about motion control for games back then.

But four years have passed, and finally we are seeing Sony and Microsoft respond. Microsoft has the controller-less Kinect launching later this year, and Sony launch PlayStation Move (PS Move) this month. The two questions everyone wants answered are the following:

Is the PS Move control mechanism better than the Wii?
Why do we want motion control on our PS3?
I’ll try to give you an answer to each based on using a PlayStation Move setup for the past few days.

Investing in PS Move is not as simple as buying a new controller. Doing so is possible as long as you already own the PlayStation Eye camera peripheral. If you don’t, then the Starter Bundle is what you need. It contains both the PS Move motion controller (wand) and the Eye.

In the UK this Starter Bundle includes both peripherals and a number of demos. If you are in the U.S. you get the full game called Sports Champions and a demo disc. A full game and demo disc certainly seems like the better option to me and it’s unclear why Sony hasn’t done the same bundle everywhere.

The wand is a reassuringly heavy controller which I can only assume is due to the rechargeable battery and vibration unit it contains. It’s also really nice to hold, and a much better design than the Wii Remote. The wand slopes in as it nears the center so you can get a really good grip. Even so, it ships with a wrist strap to stop any accidents.

Controls on the wand mirror the right side of a Dualshock controller. The front of the device where your thumb sits has access to small versions of the main face keys from the standard controller, as well as the PS button and new Move button.

On the sides on the wand are small inset Start and Select buttons that are a bit fiddly to use, while on the back you have the T-trigger.

On the top of the device is a large white ball that can light up a number of different colors during play. The color options are mainly there to allow differentiation between two or more people playing a game at once on one PS3. The light-up feature allows the PlayStation Eye to see the controller movement.

On the base of the wand are connections for a charging base or cable. Frustratingly, the Starter Bundle ships with no charging cable meaning either investing in a base, or sharing a cable with your existing controller, is necessary. There’s also a second port, but there is no purpose for it yet. Maybe Sony has a further enhancement planned for the future?

Something else to note here is the fact there is another part to the PS Move setup called the PlayStation Move Navigation Controller. This does not come in the Starter Bundle which seems a little strange to me as it may form a core part of some Move games. It sports a D-Pad and thumbstick, and is best seen as the equivalent to the Wii’s Nunchuk.

Setting up PS Move does not seem to be mandatory when you first hook everything up to the PS3. An option appears to calibrate it on the settings menu of your console, but it’s not advertised as being there. Rather each game requires you to setup the controller on first load. This is simply a case of moving the wand to set points around the screen and letting the game log the boundaries of your play area.

So it’s more laggy than Wii and has an annoying reflection issue, but my biggest take away from playing all of the games was that none of them were Move sellers. When the Wii was released it had the advantage of being a very different system due to motion controls, and something gamers hadn’t experienced before. This was further backed up by the inclusion of a very solid set of mini games in the form of Wii Sports. Sony is trying to emulate the same package with Sports Champion, but gamers are all used to motion control now, and therefore this collection comes across as a little flat. It feels like it’s 2006 all over again.

I’m not saying that PS Move is a poor product. On the contrary, the actual hardware is of a better quality than the Wii Remote and Nunchuck setup. PS Move also has an advantage in its ability to track movement in a 3D space giving it the potential to extend motion gaming beyond what the Wii can offer. I also appreciate having HD visuals, something that Nintendo really need to do something about soon. However, PS Move does not seem suited to fast action games due to the lag I experienced. Games will have to be tuned to account for this, and if I wanted to play a shooting game I would choose Wii over PS Move.

What PlayStation Move really lacks at the moment is a killer game. I am hopeful that one (or several) will appear in the coming months, but for the moment it’s not a peripheral you must invest in as there is nothing compelling yet to warrant the price of entry.

32 comments:

Allen said...

Kind of the market competition for the Kinect i guess!

lulz for me said...

you know I thought the same exact thing a week ago

Quinn Electronics said...

that looks really fun

BLUERAD said...

Looks interesting, very nice review. Seems like a good idea, maybe ill get one for myself sometime =D

thecatzpajamas said...

i want a dancing game for that !

Ningen said...

huh well looks better than I expected

Ratch said...

about time it caught up with the wii

JWilliams said...

i never use my wii now.

EdwardPrinceofWales said...

looks like a piece of garbage

Paul said...

I was never a big fan of that type of gameplay. I'm happy with my normal controller :)

Apartment-9 said...

ive been curious about this the past couple days, thanks for the info

Mez said...

Seems cool,too bad i've got a 360

Barry White said...

NICE!

Crunky said...

wait, is that a game controller or a sex toy?

Totalitarian said...

nice review. Thanks

imalright said...

cool review hope it gets some good games soon

Author said...

I might give it a shot but I'm fine with standard controllers.

J said...

indeed it is missing a good game to prove it's worth

kasek said...

haha i remember the eye-toy! that was ok...

NotBlank said...

i just call it the PS3 dildo thingy:D
anyways it seems to be way better then kinect or w/e

Ultimate Banana said...

I hate the WII so i don't know if i'll like this

DesoWave said...

I honestly can't wait until more games come out for the Move. I feel like this has potential.

troykan said...

is it better then wii?

Nikola Begedin said...

What i assume here is that it the console wont develop around move. It will be a gimmick to fill a niche and that's about it.

El Furo said...

Actually sounds good, I thought it'd b shit

Acou said...

such a wii ripoff, but it probably will be successful -- it's a good concept

Bob Smith said...

looks pretty cool!

Asprin Mandula said...

I thought the point in video games was to be able to sit on my ass and have fun.
Not be active and move around!

Randy Weezner said...

OP totally forgot eye toy

Lets Review Some Media said...

Can't wait for LBP2 + the move :3

Politically Challenged. said...

Would like to test this against the Nato when possible :)

Alex DeLarge said...

bought it and its basically the wii motion plus, Nintendo was way ahead of its time

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