GDC: Sony PlayStation Move Motion Control System


By Evan Ackerman

One of the biggest announcements at this year’s Game Developers Conference here in San Francisco is the Move, Sony’s new motion control system for the PlayStation. It’s generally similar to the Nintendo Wii, in that you hold a thingy, and something attached to the game console watches that thingy (in this case, it’s the PS Eye camera), and can tell where the thingy is being moved and translate that motion into in-game actions. Here’s the thingy in question:


More, including hands-on impressions and video, after the jump.

There’s a trigger on the reverse, at the top near the glowy ball, which changes color to differentiate one remote from another. Depending on the game, you can use one remote or two at the same time. It’s very light, lighter than a Wiimote, which makes me think it must have a rechargeable battery inside. I got a chance to test the Move out for a while last night, and it’s pretty impressive. It’s less forgiving than a Wii as far as where you can stand, but it’s much more precise and gives you a huge range of motion. You can rotate the controller vertically (twist it) or horizontally (make it do flips) and the system has no trouble tracking what it’s doing. This means that for fighting games, you can pull all kinds of moves just like you (hypothetically) would in real life: for example, you can spin around, and the tracking handles it perfectly. Or, for games like table tennis, you can actually put spin on your shots buy angling your wrist just like you would in real life. It’s a lot of work for a video game, and a lot of fun.

While the technology is great, in my opinion, the actual gaming software isn’t quite at the same level. What I was hoping for was a system that would take my motions and integrate them into the game directly. What happens currently (and it’s worth noting that all the demos were pre-alphas) is that the system reads the motions you make, and uses those motions to trigger preprogrammed actions. The Move is supposed to be very easy to program into games, though, so hopefully we’ll be seeing some innovative titles in the near future.

As far as pricing goes, a bundle with the PS Eye camera and one Move controller (and a game) should go for under $100, which usually means $99.99, but it could be less. You’ll also be able to get the Move controller by itself, and as part of a PS3 bundle. Look for launch late this year, in time for the holidays.

6 thoughts on “GDC: Sony PlayStation Move Motion Control System”

  1. I don't really see how this is all that different from the Wii. Yes, it's black instead of white. Yes, the controller has that weird glowing ball at the end of it. But it's essentially the same technology, right? And the name “Move” isn't as fun to say as “Wii.” Come on, try it. “Move.” “Wii.” You'll see what I mean.

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