You like to move it (Move it)?

I have been a very bad blogger and geek lately, A) Not knowing how to post something, bad boy, and B) Not following the GDC as closely as I should be.

So where does that leave me? We’ll behind the curve a little shall we say and trying to keep up, which segues perfectly into my topic for today: the Playstation Move.

Speaking of being behind the curve, Sony officially (we all saw this coming and some of us saw patent application leaks nearly 2 or 3 years ago at this point)  debuted the name of their entry into the sex to- I mean motion controller and game market with the Playstation Move. This is pretty old news yeah, I mean, its already been what 12+ hours, that’s practically a life time in internet time! All kidding aside, the talk and anticipation surrounding the new controller has been, shall we say mixed. I personally have liked what I’ve seen in the past E3, keeping in mind that was a tech demo. But I have heard a lot of people comparing it, probably rightly so, to the Wiimote as simply a copy cat move. The “subcontroller” really doesn’t help alleviate this too. Still, I really don’t think it matters what the thing looks like, but how well it works and what it does, and from what we’ve seen, it does a fair amount. So if you saw the tech demo at E3 and have gotten a look at the GDC footage, check G4TV,  then you’ll know what I mean. The touted 1:1 movement tracking offered really seems to be coming into its own in the few games they show compared to the old tech demo. So the set up, instead of a Wiimote we have the Playstations Move and instead of the Wii bar thingy, you know what I mean, instead you have the Playstation Eye. This offers some interesting opportunities Sony has been sure to advertise and show off: Lots of precision. Now I don’t own a Wii, yes I’m one of those half dozen, but I have used one many times, mostly for Smash Bros. Brawl, I use the Wiimote on its side, no nunchuku. My biggest problem is the fact I feel I’m getting carpel tunnel using the thing because of constantly trying to keep it targeted to that sensor bar, and trying to keep my movements synced is a big pain. Now I haven’t toyed with the Wiimotion Plus yet so that might alleviate part of my problem, but the pointer tracking is still limited by getting the IR lined up between the bar and the mote. With the Move, you have the Eye tracking the movement, which opens up a lot more area of motion first off but I personally think is a higher quality device, since it’s designed to take in color information and process it into a picture. That coupled with how the Move is designed, that giant glowing “puff ball” as a friend of mine calls it, allows a much tighter tracking that seems to let people move much more naturally and less restricted. This is perhaps one of Sony’s biggest selling points.  The games look more like games, maybe its the veneer of better graphics, but they just seem more fun, even if they are just juiced up graphics over Wii Sports stuff. There was the mention of the natural progression from the Wii to the PS3, I don’t know how true a statement that is but the PS3 is starting to live up to its slogan “It Only Does Everything.” If this motion move is done well, good software, good price point, I think Sony might have something here, its a really solid seeming piece of hardware. But Sony has been playing catch up since the PS3 launched and with the PS2 turning 10 officially, they’re going to have to getting pushing and the Move might be part of the engine behind that. But, saying that, I’m not sold on the whole motion thing, yes Wii has been doing it really well, but honestly I like the feel of a controller. There’s really nothing more enjoyable to me than that. While motion gaming might catch on better and be more wide spread than 3D, I’m not even going to talk about Sony’s stuff on that, but I don’t think it’s going to be anything more than a niche. While Sony’s Motion does seem to be trying latch onto that tactile edge with their Move, even seeing Socom 4 being played with the Move and subcontroller combo still gave me flash backs of trying to use the Wiimote and nunchuku to play Twilight Princess for class, mild confusion, frustration, and a desperate need for a “real” controller. Part of that was probably caused by not getting a good angle on sensor bar (There was no real good place to put it rather than at a severe angle up from where I was) but hopefully Sony’s combination will work much better.

I won’t be lining up to pick up the new Move kit when it launches but I do want to play around with it, it looks more robust in use than the WiiMotion Plus, and coupled with the shear horsepower the PS3 is pushing I think Sony might have the edge if they can get people to buy and try the new thing.

-Halbard100

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