Well, here we are. After unwrapping the first details on the PlayStation 3’s answer to the Wii-mote back at E3 2009, Sony will finally be unleashing its wand-waggling foray in to the motion-sensing market this week with the launch of PlayStation Move. As regular readers will no doubt already be aware of, PSU Towers has already got its grubby mitts on our own Move device plus an assortment of games, coverage of which can be found here.
However, with a myriad of options for grabs at retail, hardware launches at the best of times can prove a decidedly daunting mass of prices, bundles and software for punters, which is why we’ve decided to attempt to alleviate your investment woes by providing a handy buyers guide for your viewing pleasure.
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PlayStation Move comes in a variety of bundles of varying prices, whether it’s packaged with software or just the controller/navigation controller alone. Here’s what both North American and European gamers can pick up come launch day, as well as the cheapest prices we could find via online retailers.
The Bare Bones deals
PlayStation Move controller ($49.99 from Gamestop/£27.79 from Choices UK) –
As you may have guessed, this is the stand-alone Move peripheral (colloquially referred to as the Wand), minus the accompanying navigation pad. This’ll be enough for rudimentary Move gaming, as you’ll be able to utilize your DualShock 3/SixAxis pad in place of the sub-controller if you wish. However, you will need the PlayStation Eye to use the device, sold separately. Check out our review of PlayStation Move here.
PlayStation Move Navigation Controller ($29.96 from Amazon.com /£17.99 from Amazon UK) –
A stand-alone Navigation Controller, also known around the web as the sub-controller and nunchuck, is also available. You’ll need one of these to compliment your Move pad if you don’t fancy making use of your standard PS3 pad, though to be quite honest we advise you sticking with the latter as the cost of forking out for numerous Navigation controllers may prove more hassle than it’s worth. Better save those pennies instead.
Chances are some of you may already own this, with the Eye having been available for purchase since 2007, though for everyone else you’ll need to pick it up if you’re to utilize Sony’s new motion-sensing peripheral. Once you’re all hooked up, Move will utilize the Eye to track the device’s movement in three dimensions via the bulb-like form on the tip of the Move controller.
The Bundle deals
Sports Championship pack (PlayStation Move, PlayStation Eye, Sports Championship, demo disc) ($99.99 from Amazon.com) –
This bundle incorporates all the gear you’ll need to get your Move gaming experience off the ground (minus the Navigation Pad), including a copy of Sports Championship, which PSU recently labeled as the ideal introduction in to the world of PlayStation Move. If you’re looking for a cost-effective starter pack with a quality title to boot, this suites all your preferences.
PS3 Sports Championship Move Bundle (PS3 console, Sports Championship, PlayStation Move controller, PlayStation Eye, demo disc) ($399.99 from Amazon.com) –
This is one for the new adopters. Exactly the same as the above deal, only you get a PS3 console, too. If you’re tempted by the wand-waggling delights of Move gaming but haven’t yet invested in Sony’s black box (and you’ve got the cash to boot), then this is the bundle for you.
PlayStation Move Starter Pack (PlayStation Move controller, PlayStation Eye, PlayStation Move starter disc) (Cheapest option currently at Tesco's Direct - £39.70) -
As the name implies, this is pretty much SCEE’s method of introducing punters in to the Move experience, and throws in everything you’ll need to get started. Once again, the Navigation Pad is conspicuous by its absence, though as mentioned you won’t necessarily need one to get your wand-waggling shenanigans off the ground. Unless you are seriously strapped for cash and can only afford a Move peripheral on its own, this is obviously your best (and in terms of Euro bundles, only) bet for getting the party started.
What games should I buy at launch?
The meat and potatoes of any decent hardware launch are, naturally, the software that supports it. And with PlayStation Move, Sony is flogging a heap of games all battling it out for your hard-earned cash, in addition to a number of third-party compatible offerings thrown in for good measure. As it stands, though, there’s only a couple of games we recommend you plump for at launch, so we’ve thinned the flock so to speak and selected those that we feel are worth the investment. See below for PSU’s top picks of the Move games worth picking up this week.
Sports Championship –
The poster boy for showcasing what Sony’s wand-waggling phenomenon is capable of and perceived by many as the PS3’s answer to Wii Sports, Sports Championship has already won the chaps at PSU Towers over with its diverse software roster and precise, user-friendly Move mechanics. Ideal for solo antics or group play, Sports Championships offers the perfect introduction to PlayStation Move with instantly accessible mini-games including Table Tennis, Archery, Disc Golf, Beach Volleyball, Gladiator Duel, and Bocce. If there’s one Move game you need to pick up on launch day, this is it. Check out our coverage of the game here.
A ponderous but ultimately rewarding real-time strategy affair, R.U.S.E offers a gripping and challenging experience with the added bonus of manipulating the action via PlayStation Move, which simulates the effects of a mouse and keyboard far more competently than your bog-standard DualShock 3 or SixAxis. Unlike other third-party outings, which could be accused of shamelessly tacking on Move functionality with little to no incentive other than flogging some extra copies, R.U.S.E actually feels like it was made for Sony’s motion controller from the ground up, offering a tight and intuitive control scheme. Look for our review of R.U.S.E. soon.
Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition -
Anyone who has played the Wii version of Resident Evil 4 can testify that motion controls take like a duck to water as far as Capcom's survival horror series goes, and with Resident Evil 5 it's no different. Gold Edition works wonders with Sony's new peripheral, and the game itself is packed full of goodies, giving you access to not only the standard edition of Resident Evil 5, but all existing downloadable content to boot. If you have yet to pick up this latest entry in the venerable horror franchise, there has never been a better time. Move compatibility is among the best available out of the titles up for grabs at launch, so if this tickles your fancy, we highly recommend gearing up for some Majini-blasting shenanigans with the added precision of PlayStation Move giving you a helping hand. Meanwhile, those of you who already own the original release of Gold Edition will be able to download a patch to activiate Move functionality.
What games should I avoid like the plague?
Just as any hardware launch is accompanied by its must-have titles, there are, conversely, a myriad of stinkers all competing for your cash at the same time. Indeed, Move is no exception to this rule, with some particularly nasty offenders dotted throughout store shelves that you should be ever vigilant of. Fortunately, we’ve managed to weed out the major culprits below, so here’s our guide to the PlayStation Move titles you’ll want to avoid like the plague.
Racquet Sports –
A PlayStation 3 update of an already fairly redundant Wii sports romp, on paper Racquet Sports sounds like it should be a match made in heaven for Sony’s wand-waggling foray in to motion controls—unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As PSU’s Adam Dolge found out during his hands-on time with the game, Ubisoft’s attempt to capture the Move market fails dismally, offering an imprecise, laggy and utterly lifeless collection of Racquet-based mini-games that inexplicably retain much of the glaring issues already present in the Wii iteration. You may get a modicum of enjoyment out of the multiplayer mode, but overall, the game is so fundamentally flawed that it’s simply not worth forking out for—get Sports Champions instead. For more details, see our review here.
Kung Fu Rider -
Among the travesties accompanying the launch of Move, nothing quite screams ‘don’t buy me’ than the atrocious Kung Fu Rider. Admittedly, we were quite intrigued at first by the game’s concept—which sees a detective duo evading the Mafia by sprinting down hills and streets on an assortment of contraptions ranging from chairs to vacuum cleaners—but its execution and use of Move is so inept it makes you wonder how on earth the developer can justify the $40 price tag. Simply put, the implementation of Move controls is not only completely unnecessary, but is so inaccurate that it renders the game almost unplayable at times. Try to execute one particular maneuver (such as a jump), and you’ll end up doing the complete opposite of what you wanted. This combined with the exceedingly bland aesthetics and dull, repetitive mission objectives makes Kung Fu Rider unequivocally the worst Move launch game we’ve had the misfortune of indulging in. Avoid this like the Black Death. For more details, pop over to our review.
Those of you who have already picked up Move, be sure to share your experiences with the new device in the comments section below.