Sony’s PlayStation Move brings polish, finesse and high definition to motion-controlled gaming.
I’LL be honest. I didn’t know a lot about PlayStation Move before I tried it out this week. Despite a release date for 17 September there hasn’t been much hype about Sony’s take on motion-controlled gaming.
This is probably because Nintendo and Microsoft got there first but Move is definitely distinctive and does not feel like an iteration of Wii-like gaming because the Wii – having debuted in 2006 with only a few tweaks since – is child’s play in comparison.
The PlayStation Move accoutrements could be seen as a mix between the Wii remote and the motion-sensing camera of Microsoft’s Kinect. You have a main motion controller with a secondary optional one for extra interactivity and the PlayStation Eye camera, which has a dual lens for full body and close-up shots. The camera also has a built-in ‘four microphone array’ with noise cancellation for better speech recognition.
I was quite impressed with the accuracy of the controller. I had no problem aiming at my target, something I’ve felt took some practise for me with other gaming systems.
The Move motion controller also has all of the buttons that the traditional PS3 controllers have, including a trigger, and the navigation (secondary) controller has directional buttons for controlling in-game characters. Too fussy? No, I think this gives the best of both worlds and will appeal to hardcore gamers. Gritty and serious games like SOCOM Special Forces, Killzone 3 and Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain have Move features as will the forthcoming LittleBigPlanet 2.
If you’re more of a casual gamer, fear not, Move caters for you too. I played three different games made especially for PlayStation Move: The Shoot, The Fight and Sports Champions.
The first thing that struck me was that I can have immersive motion-controlled gaming in high definition (as we know the PS3 console comes with Blu Ray). It’s far nicer to blast holes in aliens when the blood spatters are defined and realistic!
The Fight is essentially a boxing game where you’re using the two controllers like fists. This takes a bit of getting used to in order to become skilled at it but it pays off when you deliver a head-cracking blow with your elbow (yes, you can fight dirty!).
Perhaps more of a family game is the Sports Champions title. I played archery and this can be done with one controller (pretty easy) or two (requires more concentration).
Speaking of controllers you probably have a question: Why are there funny coloured balls on the end of them? The coloured spheres are part of the design to optimise the gyroscope apparently. The gyroscope is the little sensor inside the controller that can tell when it’s up or down and where it is in space in relation to you, the user. The balls change colour to indicate various in-game events.
PlayStation Move and other motion-sensing technologies including Xbox Kinect are all moving towards a new kind of gaming where you don’t just play a game – you’re part of the game.
An advantage that PlayStation Move has, in my opinion, is that it is ensuring serious gamers are coming along for the ride too.
The PlayStation Move starter pack from Sony comes out on 17 September and retails at €59.99 RRP.