Sony Playstation Move: The Hardware
More than any other console developer, Sony have a penchant for constantly trying to augment their current hardware with innovative, yet mostly misguided peripherals.
Playstation Eye and it’s PS3 counterpart were potentially lucrative releases for Sony, the latter receiving some interesting dedicated IP in the form of Eye Of Judgement and Eye Pet. Unfortunately, both cameras didn’t do the business Sony expected and, while successful, their karaoke IP Singstar still remains a niche product.
Now, along comes Move, which is a major departure for Sony in that it is almost entirely based on another developer’s hardware. The motion controller or ‘wand’ and the sub controller is a Wii remote and Nunchuck in all but name. So why isn’t Move being dismissed as a shameful knock off? A thinly veiled attempt to beat Nintendo at their own game? Once again these questions can be answered by observing Sony’s expert release strategy.
Move: The facts
A deft combination of a wallet friendly price tag (£49.99/$59.99 RRP) and a healthy catalogue of release titles, has peaked considerable interest in Sony’s new peripheral and at this point, it’s beginning to look like not just another flash in the pan.
The technology of Move works similar to the Wii controllers (and the subsequent Motion Plus add on) in that the fetching glowing orb on the top of the motion controller is detected by your Playstation Eye cam. Sensors within the peripherals allow for fully 3D movement, while the familiar Playstation inputs are distributed evenly throughout the controllers.
Many Sony gamers will inevitably feel like they are controlling a PS3 with Wii controllers, yet Sony seem to be willful in this aestethic sacrifice, after all, it’s the application of motion control to their console that really matters, not the nagging sensation that they are riding someone else’s coat tails. Sony also has to contend with Microsoft in the encroaching Move Vs. Kinect war.
Move Vs. Kinect
Microsoft are bringing their own version of camera based motion control to consoles via their Kinect hardware and if this years E3 is anything to go by, the next few months is going to be about one thing; Playstation Move Vs. Microsoft Kinect.
As yet, Microsoft have a slim and vague release schedule for their peripheral, choosing to focus instead on the release of the Xbox 360 Slim. This (and a a healthy difference in retail price) is where Sony have the edge. The following games should be instrumental in turning the tide of the Move Vs. Kinect war.
Tiger Woods 2011
Tiger Woods 2011
The power of the EA Sports juggernaut must not be underestimated when a new hardware IP is released. Sports games lend themselves perfectly to the different degrees of interaction something like Playstation Move can bring.
Tiger 2010 was a great pull for sceptical consumer’s unsure of the price tag and purpose of Nintedo’s Wii Motion Plus, perhaps that same intrigue will translate to PS3 gamers unwilling to purchase Move.
Heavy Rain: Move Edition
The interesting thing about Heavy Rain is that it always seemed like it was made for motion controls. The stiff movement of the Dual Shock 3 always seemed cumbersome when handling the delicate inputs of Quanitc Dreams interactive drama.
Aside from the newly implemented control scheme, the game itself will not change, perhaps the added immersion of the motion controls can, like Resident Evil 5, keep the mature audience vote.
Resident Evil 5: Move Edition
Resident Evil 4, one of capcoms greatest achievements, was released on 3 consoles and the PC before it saw a new lease of life on Wii. In the form of ‘the Wii edition’, Resi 4 lost some of it’s characteristic difficulty thanks to the smooth IR targeting and flick controls, but retained it’s original genius and the freshness Nintendo’s console gave it was instrumental in it’s success.
Now comes Resident Evil 5, a game that fans and critics alike have accused of being a shameless attempt to capitalise on the popularity of Resi 4 by copying it wholesale. While that may be an unfair summation, there is no denying the potential for Resi 5 to peak interest in Move. A game for mature audience, the application of Move controls in Resi 5 could convince gamers that the peripheral isn’t targeting the recreational family market.
Sony’s new hope
There are several other games that could garner a lot of attention for Move. Time Crisis Razing Storm offers old school arcade thrills from Namco Bandai, while titles like Sorcery and Kung Fu Rider will pull the recreational crowd. The Move release looks set to be memorable and on the evidence of these titles alone, it should be a successful one.