In 2006, Nintendo got gamers out of their seats and into playing tennis, sword fighting and frying Asian food using the motion-sensitive Wiimote. Four years later, Sony is crashing the lucrative motion gaming party with its supercharged PlayStation Move. With a mix of Wii-style fun and more adult-themed, graphically superior games, is it a true Wii killer or just a stop-gap between the Wii and Microsoft's Project Natal?
36 third-party developers and publishers are creating titles for it, with Sony launching more than 20 of its own games before next April. There's also the potential for backwards compatibility and 3D TV support. A Sony spokesperson says, “It is technically possible to patch Move control on to old games and combine 3D gaming.”
The motion controller's movements are picked up by a PlayStation Eye camera sitting on top of your TV. “Sub-millimetre” accurate tracking means it will detect exactly where you're pointing and shooting – great for first-person shooters. With a three-axis gyroscope, accelerometer and terrestrial magnetic field sensor, Sony's controller works in three dimensions – not just left and right/up and down but forward and back too. Sony's table tennis sim shows off how sensitive it is, with advanced tilt detection, meaning you can twist the bat to add spin to your shots. There's also vibration feedback, and the ball on top can be made to glow or flash any colour, a feature that could be integrated into games, flashing quickly to indicate that a nearby grenade's about to explode for instance.
Boasting an analogue stick, directional buttons and two face buttons, this sub-controller is primarily for moving your character around. Some games won't require it, but it's essential for third-person shooters such as the high-octane special-forces shooter SOCOM 4.
It may just look like the Wiimote and nunchuk reskinned to look more ‘adult', but Move really can take motion-sensing gaming to the next level with hi-def graphics and greater sophistication. Where you could win with a flick of the wrist in Wii Tennis, the Move requires real skill. It'll never replace the Sixaxis, but it's a more than worthy counterpart to it.
Keywords: Sony PlayStation Move