Move to the Beat of a Different Drum

Playstation Move

Playstation Move is Sony’s attempt at getting into the motion control market.  Today our own Move controller, navigation controller, and copy of Sports Champions arrived and we got a chance to put some time in with the game as well as the packed in demos.  I’m not going to go into the details of the controller in and out because the fact is, you’ve probably already read about it somewhere else.  One thing I would like to point out that I was unaware of is that the color changing ball at the top of the controller is made up of a much more rubbery material then expected.  I was thinking the texture would be closer to that of a ping pong ball but instead feels like a rubber chew toy for a dog (this may not be a good thing if you own a dog).

Playstation Move Controller

Controller Not Intended For Use As A Dog Toy

My first foray was with Sports Champions, Sony’s obvious attempt at Nintendo’s successful game pack-in Wii Sports.  The game opens up to a choice of 6 different sports; Disc Golf, Gladiator Duel, Archery, Beach Volleyball, Bocce, and Table Tennis.  At the start of each game you are prompted to calibrate the controller by standing in the designated position and pressing the Move button.  It’s a quick process but is strange the game asks me to re-calibrate at the start of every game when I most likely have not changed my position.  This may just be precaution so that the game experience always feels precise.

Sports Champions

Speaking of precise,  there is much more control then you will see in the Wii, even with a Wii Motion Plus.  Movement feels almost 1:1 with very little lag and this gives the feeling that you are actually controlling the game and not just gesturing.  My first sport choice was Disc Golf and a great example of the precision.  Even though I would seem to put a curve on almost every disc I threw, I could feel why and how to correct it.  Just the slightest turn of the wrist and my Frisbee would take a curve instead of a straight path.  This kind of precision could get frustrating for people that have trouble through a Frisbee in real life but that’s what makes this so amazing.  You can actually correct your swing or throw and feel as though it is improving your real life actions (this has not yet been proven to be true).

I continued to move down the list of games.  Gladiator Duel felt too awkward swinging through air but again it felt accurate and my swings always ended up where they intended.  Archery was a blast and I enjoyed feeling like I was pulling a real arrow out of a quiver on my back.  Beach Volleyball again felt strange without actually hitting a ball but I managed to pull off a win.  The interesting part of Beach Volleyball was the different ways you could change up your serves.  This also applied to Table Tennis where switching up your paddle style mid-game was possible and actually reflected in-game.  Finally Bocce, which if you are unfamiliar with check here.  The strength and angle of my throws felt dead on.  But I think that is one game I will leave to enjoying only at family barbecues.

So where does this put Sony and the Move.  If you somehow avoided the Wii craze and only own a PS3 then it’s worth a look if only for it’s novelty and family enjoyment.  But if you are like the ~70 million people that own a Wii, there is nothing enticing enough to make the plunge.  I still eagerly await what game developers will do with this in the future because it does feel like enough of an upgrade from Wii.  Let’s hope this will turn into more hardcore games and less of a rush to shovel more casual games, or worse ports, like the many games on the Wii.

Written by Bryan

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  1. […] have chosen the Playstation Move as their choice for motion controlled gaming.  After my own experience with the Move I am not surprised by this.  The Move creates a very precise experience that feels less like the […]

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