Almost two years ago, I wrote a news story here for Blast about Sony filing a patent for a new “waggle controller” similar to that of Nintendo’s Wii. Though some time has passed, and the design has changed (the original patent allowed users to hook the two controllers together to form a staff of sorts), we’re now holding what has become known as The PlayStation Move in our hands. It’s different and it’s unique, but is it worth the hefty price tag?
It’d be easy to compare the Move to the Wii. Both feature two controllers and track movement, but once you hold the Move in your hands, it’s quick to see that the Move takes things a step further. While the Wii only uses infrared and built-in accelerometers to detect motion, The Move comes with a heftier loadout. Angular rate sensors, magnetometers, and LED marker tracking make it possible for Sony’s Move to pull of true 1:1 motion tracking. Using a combination of sensors built into the Move remote, and information gathered by the PlayStation Eye camera, the peripheral is very impressive at determining your position without forcing the PS3 to buckle under the pressure of the peripheral.
So yes — the PlayStation Move is a powerful little toy, but e big question is; is it fun to use? That answer, isn’t as clear. Since Sony is treating the Move’s launch as a new console launch, so will we –and it’s a bit disappointing. There’s no new Ratchet and Clank title, no God of War, heck not even a Metal Gear Solid. Now, I know that the Move is meant to reel in the casual audience that has made the Wii such a hit, but there’s also a clear need to prove the peripheral to your core audience. There are a number of previously releases titles that will receive patches to include Move support like Little Big Planet, Heavy Rain and NBA 2K10, but one can’t help but clamor for a new core experience to enjoy.
Move’s launch library as it is, is a bit of a mixed bag. You have your standard motion based games you’ve come to expect from the Wii’s existence, there’s an exercise game, a cuddly pet game and of course — a Sports collection. Of the list, Sports Champions and EyePet seemed to best handle player movement, but it’s the latter that really showed off the system’s power. If you haven’t seen EyePet, the game uses the Eye camera to allow a virtual pet to interact with not only you, but the space and the objects around you. Though there were a few instances that made us question the intelligence of whatever the heck kind of species our pirate hat wearing rat looking thing was; more often than not it was crazy to watch as it seemed to act like it was really in our world.
It’s the Move’s oddest title that also is it’s most striking. Kung-Fu Rider puts players in the seats of an office chair and has them race around crowded cities and towns. Yep, you read that right; chair racing. Yet, that’s not even the strangest part, technically you don’t even need the Move Controller to enjoy it, in fact, you don’t need a controller at all. Sound familiar? Kung Fu Rider seems more like a Xbox Kinect game than a Move game. all that aside, it’s definitely one of the most fun experiences you’re going to have with Sony’s magic wand.
Whether or not the Move is worth your money depends on a few different factors; how much stock you put into motion gaming and if you already own the Eye Camera (without the camera, you can get the Move setup for around $70 but with it’s well over $100). As it is, the Move won’t revolutionize the video game industry, but much like we’ve seen of Microsoft’s Kinect, it has the potential to be something incredible. It’s fate will depend on how the developers create experiences for it. Go ahead and try the Move, just don’t dismiss it for what it is now.