PlayStation Move Review
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Move is the most precise motion controller on the market and offers a brand new gaming experience on the PS3. With the launch of Move, Sony appears poised to change its game and introduce a new generation to the PlayStation brand. With triple-A titles launching around the holidays, even core gamers will have plenty of reason to see what all the buzz is about.
- The precise tracking capabilities
- Move provides a unique gaming experience to the PS3
- The built-in vibration is even more responsive than the DualShock 3's
- The PS Eye's sensitivity can create problems in brightly lit rooms
- Pricing may keep some away
- Move's performance is largely based on the software
For as long as there’s been a PlayStation 3, Sony has consistently touted that all of its consoles are built and marketed with a 10-year life span. So when the PS3 was released, complete with its beefy horsepower and a price tag to match, Sony wanted to provide features later into its lifespan to increase the console’s appeal. One of those new features is nearly within consumers’ grasp—the PlayStation Move.
Move is the PS3’s answer to motion controls, and while strikingly similar to Nintendo’s Wii, it utilizes different technology that offers one-to-one tracking. Both systems use a wand-style motion controller, but while the Wii utilizes infrared technology, Move uses the PlayStation Eye webcam to track the glowing ball on top of the controller. On a simple level, the LED marker tracking system allows the PS Eye to determine the controller’s position and distance in the gaming environment. This technology allows three dimensional, highly accurate tracking of the Move controller.
Even with the addition of the Wii Motion Plus, Nintendo’s controller is not nearly as precise as Move. Furthermore, Move uses a three-axis linear accelerometer and an angular rate sensor to track rotation and movement. Even if the controller is hidden from the camera, say behind the user’s body, the internal magnetometer helps track Move and calibrate it against natural magnetic fields.
This is all technical jargon, and there is plenty more we could include, that is absolutely not necessary to understand in order to play. All you need to know is that the technology in the little black wand, coupled with the PS Eye, brings you into the game, sometimes literally with games like EyePet and Start The Party.
There are a few caveats that come along with all of this technology. Our review kit included two Move controllers, the PS Eye, and five games that will all be available at launch. As this writer was responsible for PSU’s Move review coverage, I can tell you that it’s extremely important to create a space big enough to move around, and sometimes that can be tough. My game room is pretty small. In fact, I had to rearrange furniture to find adequate space and a background that was not backlit by a window. This isn’t exactly a complaint so much as a general warning: Move requires adequate lighting, plenty of open space, and a proper position for the Eye. I was able to make it work in my small room, but these requirements may not be attainable for everyone. The sensitivity of the PS Eye is partially the reason why set up is important.
As an example of how the PS Eye will impact your gaming experience, I recently attempted to make a video demoing Move and Sports Champions. The video was shot at night so several lights were used to illuminate the room. When trying to calibrate the controller to the PS Eye, an error message popped up, indicating there was too much light in the camera’s view plane. Sure, this is not a problem many people will encounter, but it is worth noting that lighting is extremely important.
Once you figure out your optimal playing environment, you’ll probably notice that Move’s sensitivity is dependent on the software. For the sake of our review, we were given five games to try out. When it came to performance and lag, all five games had drastically different results (look for more details in our game-specific reviews). For instance, Sports Champions offers arguably the best performance, no lag, and provides a great representation of Move’s capabilities. On the other hand, Kung Fu Rider really lacks originality with the use of Move and Racquet Sports (a game from Ubisoft, and the only title not from SCE) had noticeable lag. While this review is for the hardware, software developers will ultimately shape Move’s future. It will be interesting to see how well the motion controller works when it’s tacked onto games like Heavy Rain and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.
The Move controller is easy to hold, and feels like it’s built quite well. The white ball on top is rubber, not a ping-pong ball, and the bottom of the controller has a port to plug-in a USB cord. Like other PS3 controllers, ... (continued on next page)