Motion Controller: $49.99
Nav Controller: $29.99
Starter Bundle: $99.99
Platform: Playstation 3
Motion gaming has skyrocketed in popularity since the launch of the Nintendo Wii. Naturally, Microsoft and Sony stayed competitive and created their own motion devices. Imitation is the best form of flattery, Nintendo says. However, it’s been nearly four years since the Wii was introduced and the Playstation Move is finally out this week. The official slogan states that “This Changes Everything.” But does it and is it too late?
The Move package is essentially a motion controller with a glowing orb and a wireless navigation controller with an analog stick and directional pad. The controllers work with the Playstation Eye peripheral, a camera, to deliver a one to one experience. In contrast, the Wii is only able to track movement based on the controllers positioning, gestures as it is termed. Move is designed to function within a field of depth, positioning the controller in three dimensional space, much akin to Wii Motion Plus. Though the difference is minimal at best, the technology Move employs is interesting but the functioning of the controller and the experience negates the awe.
Move handles a bit more realistically and that may be its important selling point. With the Wii, the gesture controls made it easy to get away with small, swift motions. Using the Move is a different configuration altogether. It becomes apparent that a slower, follow through motion works best as the controller accurately gauges your position. So as you would in real life, natural movements transition quite well into the Move peripherals.
It’s a real bummer when you have to acknowledge the technological difficulties in order to get the Move to work. Calibration is going to be an often repeated exercise, perhaps in frustration. Another quality control is dependent on the environment. Is the camera positioned correctly? Are you too close to the camera? Am I going to have to move furniture? The third question scares me. Because of the Playstation Eye’s range of vision, there is the likelihood of placing your motions out of range easily and often there isn’t an on screen prompt that tells you immediately.
If you’re acquiring a Move at launch, be aware of the launch offerings before you get too hasty with the purchase. The confirmed launch titles at the moment include Sports Champions, Start the Party!, and Kung Fu Rider. Sports Champions is easily the most impressive out the pack. It’s a melancholy, realistic take on Wii Sports but it won’t supplement the lasting value of the original. The package showcases a variety of sports activities like Volleyball, Archery, Table Tennis, and even Bocce. It will grow on you after a while, if you gain an addiction for Archery like me. Start the Party! is a minigame collection that exhausts its playability and grows tiresome before the first ten minutes. Stay away from that one. Also to note, Tumble, a downloadable PSN puzzle game (not offered at launch) works really well with the Move accessory. Playing within the depth of motion and 3D space to stack and build towers, play and interact with objects, and solve increasingly challenging puzzles is easily the most enjoyable Move game given its limited focus.
The Final Word
For gamers, Move certainly won’t revolutionize motion gaming and it’s a device that ultimately comes with launch issues and a meager offering of titles. The peripheral is designed for inherent pick up and play sessions in short bursts rather than extended gameplay. Considering its flaws, its still an impressive piece of hardware that does one to one motions accurately more so than the Wii Remote. Move is ultimately stuck within a middle ground between the family friendly casuals and skeptical hardcore. If Sony finds a way to entreat both audiences, it is very likely that it could be a success. At the moment, however, we’d have to wait and see.