A little over a week ago, Sony released the newest addition to their gaming family: the PlayStation Move. Jumping on the motion-controlled gaming bandwagon that started with the Nintendo Wii, the Move brings another aspect to the well-respected Playstation experience. But is it the right step for Sony to take?
The company claims that the Move is motion gaming done right, and by looking at the specs of their device it’s hard to prove them wrong. The controller doesn’t feel much different than Nintendo’s Wiimote, both from it’s shape and it’s familiar motion/inertial senors. However, the real magic comes from the manner in which the controller interacts with the camera. The PS Move utilizes the PlayStation Eye, a webcam that can capture movement to up to 120 frames per second. This allows for extremely quick motions to be accurately transferred to whatever game you’re playing. Additionally, a little glowing ball on the camera spatially locates the controller(s) in 3D space, which in English means that wherever you move the controller, whether it be forwards or backwards or up or down, the Eye will locate that position and place whatever object you’re controlling in-game into that same position. The Wii has already been able to do this, but the infrared technology it uses can be clunky since it requires you to point the controller at the sensor bar. The Move’s webcam, however captures all motion in a certain area, which makes 3D spacing more accurate. As a result, when coupled with the PS3′s 3D Firmware update, the PlayStation Move becomes the motion-controlled gaming option with the most potential in today’s market.
Unfortunately, Sony has not been able to fully unleash this potential as of yet. The games currently compatible with the PS Move are in essence just high definition versions of the typical Wii party games – games we’ve been playing for four years now. Take the launch title Sport Champions for example, which allows players to use the motion controls to play games like archery and ping pong. It looks good, and the motion controls work well, but it’s all too similar to Wii Sports Plus that it leaves even casual gamers bored after a couple hours of playing. There’s simply nothing exciting enough to keep the hardcore gamers interested. To Sony’s credit, there are plans for more hardcore games to be released in the future, but currently the PlayStation Move is a device with a lot of power, but nowhere to use it.
(For more information, check out this review)