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Sony’s PlayStation motion controls fail to Move me

Man using PlayStation Move motion controllers

Sony’s just launched its PS3 motion controller, the PlayStation Move, which it hopes will take a chunk out of Nintendo’s casual Wii crowd. But I can’t help but think we’ve seen it all before.

Nintendo has a lot to answer for. In the current games console war, where Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have been facing off in the battle over interactive living room entertainment, Nintendo hasn’t played fair.

Instead of getting caught up in the graphics and processor arms race, it reinvented how people interact with video games. The result: Nintendo’s motion-controlled Wii console converted us into a nation of arm-waving gamers.

Sony’s take on motion controls

Which meant Sony – previously the king of games consoles – definitely wanted in on this casual, motion-detecting gaming thing, and so has created its own Wii-inspired controller. Dubbed PlayStation Move, Sony hopes to cash-in on the casual gaming generation. On paper it looks amazing.

As well as a motion-detecting wand for waggling at the TV set, Sony mixes in a digital video camera that tracks the movement of a glowing ball (yes, really) perched on top of the controller for added accuracy. And, despite the fact that waving this around looks like you’re trying to taxi-in a just-landed aeroplane, it really is more accurate.

Wii’ve seen it all before

The trouble is, after a weekend of using the Move to whack a tennis ball, play interactive golf and bodypop, Sony’s PlayStation Move failed to move me. It’s like we’ve seen it all before. Oh, wait – we have.

The Move seems to be nothing more than a more accurate version of the Wii, and the range of launch titles – the sporty one, the party one, the goofy one, the kung-fu one just echoes a been-there, done-that feeling.

Yes, the graphics are better, and the camera does add the ability to see yourself on screen (and let me tell you, watching yourself wave around a glowing ball on TV really is an inspired way to spend an afternoon), but it doesn’t feel like I’ll be ditching the regular DualShock controller anytime soon.

It’s time to Move on

The proof, though, is in the audience. I excitedly got my 13-year-old and five-year-old lined up to test it out. And, while they remained engaged, it was for a depressingly short period. Around four minutes. Then, comments such as ‘So, this is just like the Wii’ and ‘This party game is a bit boring’ surfaced.

For me, and the kids, it’s time to Move on. Let’s see if Microsoft’s Kinect – a similar system with just the camera and no waggle wand in sight – can reinvent video gaming. My bet: I reckon even Microsoft won’t be able to Kinect with the Wii’s already won war.

Read the other side in Patrick Steen’s ‘Why PlayStation Move Wii’s on Nintendo’s parade’.

Do you plan to buy PlayStation Move?

Yes - it looks like the best motion controller (70%, 338 Votes)

No - I'm content with my Nintendo Wii (16%, 77 Votes)

I'm not interested in motion control gaming (14%, 65 Votes)

Total Voters: 480

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Comments
Guest

You clearly haven’t done any research into the Move. If you had, you’d know it’s been in development since before Wii was even a twinkle in Nintendo’s eye.

And if you seriously think it’s no better than the Wii, you haven’t done anything more than superficial testing. It’s far more accurate, far more responsive, and gives far more control in games.

Raquet Sports is a simple Wii port, and makes no use of the advanced features of the Move. Try the Table Tennis part of the Sports Champions demo, and you’ll see just how much precision and control the Move gives – you can determine power, spin, direction… everything you can do with a real table tennis bat.

Try Tumble or Flight Control HD, and you’ll see just how much more precision Move offers.

Kinect will be no better. Worse, in fact. It’s not as accurate for a start, as it measures movement in 4cm ‘boxes’ and can’t offer the precision of Move. And without buttons, the game styles available are far more limited – more like the old PS2 EyeToy games. Don’t be fooled by Microsoft’s glitzy videos – most are staged and not a true representation, even at this late stage, and many promised features will not be available at launch. It’s a classic case of an average product, massively over-hyped.

Guest

And you also need another poll option: “I’ve already bought one” – because a **** of a lot of people have.

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Guest

Hi AdamW – you’re right, we don’t have that option. But I’m hoping you’ll simply vote on the ‘Yes’ option and let us know if you’ve bought Move in the comments.

Guest

I got move day one, and personally, i’m loving it.

I bypassed all the ****** shovel ware rubbish (even though it’s first party) and have been playing the newly patched eyepet.

The controller breathed new life into the game for me, the card that was originally used was awkard and annoying, the move makes it far easier.

And with MAG and Heavy Rain recieving patches, and Socom 4 i the works, the future looks bright for move.

Don’t dismiss it immediately, the tech is there, the launch titles, not so much.

Guest

Got it as well. While I like all the casual game which came in the bundle, I love RUSE. First console RTS which really makes sense. It’s like a different game with that controller.

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Guest

The tech trounces the wii in every respect – accuracy and all axis movement being the main two – made me put my Nintendo straight on ebay now as it pointless after Move release – 4yr old spent 2 hrs playing the eye pet demo and loved it – previous poster’s comment on table tennis very true as well.

Of course we have seen this before but the wii has been all about sports and resort – the sales of games other than Nintendo’s own ip have dropped off in a serious way over the last year. Sony certainly should have done a better job with the launch lineup, however, the scope for Move being a success is much greater and I would imagine significant support both from boxed product and the playstation store in the near future.

They have the tech nailed – where Nintendo failed – plus decent graphics – now more product and its a winner.

Guest
Fabien says:
21 September 2010

I can understand some of the points of the article, such as kids being bored with it. But I don’t think it’s mainly up to the kids, or the non-gamers to truly realize the Move’s potential. Even serious gamers seem to be impressed by its precision and 1:1 tracking in games such as Tumble (really impressive with how precise it is) and Sports Champions. Even with the kids, it’s still about finding the right game for them. What about EyePet? That seems to be a huge hit with them… party games aren’t always quality, even for a kid, as they tend to be a quick cash in and definitely won’t do much to try and look different from a Wii game.

It seems judgment was passed far too past on the Move. I remain hopefully and I’m already impressed with some of its software, even if just by trying out the demos. The Sorcery demo shown at E3 for one was truly impressive and I cannot wait to see what other games we’ll get from it. Unlike the Wii’s attempt at improving motion controls with the Wii Motion+, the PlayStation Move seems to have caught on a bit more with developers.

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Guest

Hi!

So, yes, the kids were bored with it. And frustrated. And while it may be precise and far more accurate, is that really how we measure gaming and fun? Accuracy? Really? I think that it all comes down to fun, and to immersing people into the game without them feeling put off by the very thing that is meant to be drawing them in.

Take EyePet Move Edition. Yes, the kids tried it. And after a fruitless ten minutes of being told to repeatedly ‘rub hands together over EyePet to make bubbles’ (you really had to be there) without success, it got a bit tired, a bit too quickly. Less fun, more digital chore.

So, for me, personally, I’m waiting for Killzone 3 and GT5 to see how Move really ups the gaming-for-grown-up games. But its launch line-up – sports, bat and ball, fighting, and party games, well it does seem all a little bit like the Wii.

Guest
Fabien says:
21 September 2010

I think a lot of people got frustrated with the Wii because simple animations were tied to motion controls which most of the time, had nothing to do with the actual motion in the game. Twilight Princess for example, required you to flick your wrist in ANY direction to attack, not affecting how you actually swung your sword in the game. I know a lot of people were disappointed with that fact, myself included. So yes, I think that gaming and fun is tied to how accurate a control system is and how your actions are represented in game. Standard Wii motion controls are just not precise and can sometimes lead to frustrating experiences, perhaps even turning players away from the system altogether.

I haven’t personally played EyePet so I won’t comment on that too much. I was simply going by other people’s experience with their kids who loved the game.

Killzone 3 is also a game I am looking forward to and I think SOCOM 4 is also one that people should look out for. Dead Space Extractions is another… and I’d be surprised if Dead Space 2 didn’t include it at some point. Then there’s echochrome II, Heroes on the Move, LittleBigPlanet 2, Sorcery… among many other announcements to come I’m sure. I think it’s great that the Move is a mix of what we know works and also provide experiences that the Wii just doesn’t seem to be able to give for serious gamers. It may be off to a slow start for some (what launch isn’t really?) but the future is looking promising.

Guest
Jeremy says:
21 September 2010

I voted “Yes” on the poll because I’m gently listing toward a purchase at an undetermined point in the future. HOWEVER, I think I agree with Matt more than not. I’m just not convinced I need it now.

The technology of Move may not be as “exciting” as Kinect, but I feel like the software support already has more diversity and application. I’m very interested in the retrofit patch for Heavy Rain, and I’m curious about the one for Resident Evil 5, and I might actually buy the collector’s edition of Dead Space 2 to play Extraction.

Wii brought the tech to market first, and I just don’t see Sony capturing that marketshare. But it’s been a long time since anyone was excited about Wii’s motion controls, and Motion Plus failed to impress. They’ve done almost nothing with it. Sony are revving the hype machine to make the most of Nintendo’s lack of action.

That said, I can’t tell you what will actually push me over the edge to buy a Move kit. I’m not even sure it will happen before the end of the year. There has been quite a lot of internet buzz about Move in recent weeks, but I think the actual adoption of Move is going to be quite slow… and that includes me. I’m interested, but I’m not spending my money YET.

Guest
Dustin says:
21 September 2010

Im 21 and I got move and am very happy with it playing for hours on end.

Guest
Shadow says:
21 September 2010

“Wii’ve seen it all before” …. WRONG….

The Wii tried it and got it wrong. The Wii is a gimmick, the Move is virtual reality 1:1 control. There will never be a Tumble on the Wii, or for that matter a Table Tennis simulator. Yeah, that is what I call the Table Tennis game in Sports Champion, a simulator. It is as close as you can get to playing real table tennis on a console at the moment. You certainly did not try the Move for too long. Your kids got bored? Well, that is the whole problem with kids nowadays, they don’t want to put the effort into developing the skills necessary for games such as those that the Move is offering. They prefer to click 5 buttons on a fake guitar rather than learning to play the real thing. Maybe they just don’t want to use their brain power to move objects around in a 3D world and prefer to flicker their wrists in any direction with no precision or skills to hit a ball. Then they should definitely stick to the Wii. If they want to sweat and learn table tennis without having to plump the real thing on your living room, then Sports Champion is as close as they are going to get.

You, on the other hand, should be smart enough to realize that this is not a “Wii’ve seen it before” gimmick. The Move is far beyond anything the Wii attempted to do. The Move basically renders the Wii OBSOLETE.

By the way, I am a professional and married 32 year-old and, after purchasing the Move, the Wii got traded into another Move controller, a few other games and other accessories.

Guest
oldschoolgamer says:
22 September 2010

To claim that someone just wants to waggle the wiimote is your laziness. People playing Wii party titles put their body and motion into it fully and enjoy it. It works fine. Who plays any motion control to just flick a wrist. You use the whole motion. And the author of this is right. Accuracy is a way to rate a game? You are an idiot. A game is what you rate a game on. The Wii may not have been perfection but it brought fun to gaming at a reasonable price. Something Sony keeps missing all the way around. Affordability. Thank God Sony has an idiot like you who buys into their expensive overpriced **** because that $300 more is accurate. Why not get in touch with Sony’s advertising team. They need you for that new commercial. It Only Does Accurate.

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Guest

Hi all, glad this topic is sparking lots of good debate, but can I just remind you all to respect each other’s opinions too. We’re quite clear in our commenting guidelines that, while healthy debate is encouraged, offensive behaviour towards others is not, and that includes calling each other names. Without this it would be a much more interesting thread! Thanks all.
Here’s the link to our guidelines in case you missed them: https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines/

Guest

Table Tennis is a good example. I played it for about an hour yesterday – and had to take a shower after. It was real workout (not saying Wii is not. It certainly is).

However, with the Move’s Table Tennis I can see it will be hard for people to get into if you have never played any tennis before. Even in the Bronze career mode, the AI is pretty strong (especially in the later levels). You have to know how to beat those guys if you want to succeed.

In that respect I agree with the simulation argument, but also can understand that some people will have a hard time getting into that game. I personally was looking forward to a skilled tennis game, and hope that VirtuaTennis Move can also be convincing – which I have no doubt it will.

BTW: Move makes you move in Table Tennis. That is, you can move forward (closer to the net), backward (for long distance shots) and you have to reach out left and right to hit the ball. This is not necessary in Wii Sports’ Table Tennis game. Neither can you control the spin there (in all 4 directions).

Guest
isaiah says:
21 September 2010

you said MOVE has that been there done that feeling WELL speak for your self because i never played a wii. because i already had a PS3 an wasn’t going to dish out about 300 dollars for the wii. an im SOO glad i didn’t because now the PS3 is everything the wii is an MORE!!…………I LOVE YOU SONY!!!!!!!!!

Guest
D.Vader says:
21 September 2010

“So, yes, the kids were bored with it. And frustrated. And while it may be precise and far more accurate, is that really how we measure gaming and fun? Accuracy? Really? I think that it all comes down to fun, and to immersing people into the game without them feeling put off by the very thing that is meant to be drawing them in.”

It doesn’t sound like you properly calibrated your Move controllers. Also these are first generation Move games so it’s safe to say the best is yet to come.

To merely dismiss Move as a “Mii Too” controller is short sighted at best.

Guest

PS did not copy the Wii. The MOVE has been in production for years before the Wii was even a thought. This is why the Move is the ultimate motion controller. Sony has ironed out the flaws in motion control gaming and created to as close to perfection as this generation of gaming can get. The proof is in the pudding… check out the Move in 2003. 3 years before Wii’s 2006 launch….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zin-gK6NEIY

Guest
sheepforlife says:
21 September 2010

If the PS3 was two hundred dollars, it would fly off of the shelves. In fact, it has been since last September at 300 Dollars. Americans buy gimmicky and cheap things, and I think Microsoft and Nintendo has picked up on this. Where else can you sell a product that has a 33% or more failure rate and people rave that it is the best thing since sliced bread. Also, what company raises their top- tier online service a few weeks before their most popular game is released, and the product is still buggy upon release. Also, they haven’t cut the price on their Top Tier system in almost 2 years, but they haven’t added anything new but the wireless. No Blu – Ray and no internet browser, just Netflix. They control the content you can access, and we are willing to pay 60$ a month for a chance to possibly become a professional gamer? It is no surprise that Alan Wake didn’t sell enough on a system that supports FPS.

Nintendo released something super cheap, and they keep re-hashing the same titles over again. Every time I try to play Mario, Zelda, or Metroid, I could have sworn that I played this on the Gameboy ( all iterations), DS (all iterations), N64, NES, SNES, and the Gamecube. The problem is that folks are re-buying games that they played 10 or 20 years ago with better graphics.

Sony played themselves out of the ball game with a 600 dollar system. Bar none. However, at 300 dollars, through the numbers, it seems that they have found the magic number. If they would lower the price another 50 or 100 dollars, they would bury the others. Variety is the name of the game.

The bottom line is that no one in this day in age appreciates quality and giving the public the tools they need to enjoy the gaming experiences without spending a dime. In my opinion, PC gives you this plus free in game chat and mods. In fact, it has for years. In the past, Nintendo released systems with 2 controllers and a game. When Sega released the Genesis with one controller and no game, it sold well, and Nintendo saw this as a way to skimp down on their quality as well. Sega nickeled and dimed the industry with the 32x and the Sega CD add -ons. It is no surprise that they are no longer a hardware company. Bottom line, stop being sheep for these greedy companies, and support the systems with good online play, and it is free. I know….I know, Sony does not host professional gaming events.

Guest

This article is atrocious! I picked up a Wii and Motion Plus earlier this year, and have given Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Metroid Prime: Corruption a good run. Move is _far_ superior to the motion controls on the Wii, and the gap between Move and Motion Plus is bigger than the gap between the Wii and Motion Plus.

However, if you read this article, you’d be completely clueless as to that fact (there’s mention of more accurate than the Wii, but none about Motion Plus – in an article discussing motion-controlled games on consoles, that’s more than a slight omission).

However, the thing is it’s _far_ more accurate. I’ve been crook the last week, so I’ve only given Sports Champions a 15-minute run, but in that time it was clearly obvious how more accurate the Move was, and how much more depth the gameplay had. As it says on the back of the box, “compete in a series of ultra-realistic events that demand accuracy, ability and skill – just like real sport” – sure, this means it’s not as easy to get into (just like most ‘core’ games), but that doesn’t make it bad – from my angle, it makes it great. I loved Wii Sports Resort for a weekend, then it got boring very fast. The far greater depth of gameplay means that for people that like motion games, the game is likely to have far more longevity.

However, the game I’ve been playing Move most with is RUSE, and after the initial learning curve, it’s clear that Move is the best way to control RTS games on console (I’d rate it above the mouse/kb support in Age of Empires 2 on PS2, or the PS Mouse support for Civ II on PSOne). By controlling the camera ‘window’ with the left stick/nav controller, and selecting with the Move, it’s actually quicker to flick around the map selecting things than with a mouse.

But any mention of what potentially could be the best thing for strategy gaming in consoles in years? No, that’d be far too much to ask.

I could go on – there’s nothing like Tumble (and no, Boom Blox _doesn’t_ count – it’s a very different experience), Flight Control HD or even Eyepet (granted, Eyepet isn’t for everyone) on the Wii. Nothing like RUSE or Heavy Rain either. So the “we’ve seen it all before” is just wrong. We’ve seen lower-quality versions of some of it before, yes – but that holds for _every_ FPS released since Doom, and pretty much every other genre too. The Move is a clear step forward in both motion gaming more broadly, and strategy gaming on console, and the fact that the ‘kids didn’t get into it’ is hardly the world’s most scientific test of the thing ;).

By the sound of it, it also sounds like you and your kids tried to play it like the Wii – that’s another mistake, that leads to frustration. Because of the accuracy, it’s requires a whole new mindset to get into, and people that have picked up bad ‘waggle’ habits need to remember it’s a different system. No one would try and drive a Ferrari like they would a Tractor – don’t try and play the Move like it’s the Wii ;).

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Guest

Thanks for the comment Axe99, as is said at the end of the article, we’ll have another opinion on PlayStation Move today which may approach some of your points.

Guest

Let me add a comment just to underline that I agree that RUSE is a perfect opportunity for a Move killer application – which, sadly, seams to get ignored a lot.

No RTS on a console ever played (and plays) like RUSE with the Move. I think this can’t be pointed out too much.

I also agree, that my first attempt with RUSE was not an exciting one – not until I figured out that you can “paint-select” troops by pressing L2 on the Nav controller. Now, the whole game just feels natural and I am very surprised how the controls became absolutely intuitive. Using the left and right hand just feels like that is how it was meant to be controlled without wasting time thinking about the controls at all.

Guest
Puneet says:
22 September 2010

I have just tried wii for 30 mins.. I didnt buy it cuz I have been waiting for MOVE… So the “been there, done that” argument is not for me atleast 😛

And I am sure there a lot people like me out there.. Move is atleast better than getting a splitfish controller anyday..

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Guest

Hi D.Vader

It could be that the controllers weren’t calibrated… or, it could possibly be that the kids really, really were bored with the experience. As in, genuinely bored. And when ‘calibration’ becomes a by-word for a pre-gaming hoop that needs jumping through, I do think we’re missing the point.

And, yes, the Wii actually has been a fun family addition for several years – the kids still enjoy everything from Harry Potter to SMG2. And as the owner of two PS3s to sake my more hardcore gaming needs, am still lukewarm on the whole concept.

Tellingly, I’ve left both Move and Wii controllers out, as well as various game discs, and the Move has remained unused… Go figure!

Guest
tarbis says:
22 September 2010

I’m waiting for the Big 3 shooting move bundle next month. I really want that. I need the move so I can play FPS properly. I really suck using a controller to aim. I’ll be using the move mainly for core games. Wait for the core games to come out and and see if the move is really boring.

Guest
Shadow says:
22 September 2010

Take a look at these links that show the difference between Wii Sports Resort Ping Pong and Sports Champions Table Tennis with PlayStation Move:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRWmqoBZXso&feature=watch_response

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Shaqq2kjHw

[Just edited your comment to add a little explanation of what the videos are showing.]

Guest
toddnepeon says:
22 September 2010

You all here that think Sony came out with motion before Nintendo. Nintendo is the 1st to add motion in gaming since the NES Power Glove and later added it to Kirby on the GBC system. This story is a good read and Sony is just what it does best at and that is to keep copying Nintendos ideas as long as they are in business.And just to prove it, after Nintendo announced the 3DS has a 3D slider option to adjust 3D, Sony and a developer came out and stated that they to will add an a 3D slider option to their up coming 3D games as well look!

http://gizmodo.com/5593522/sony-considering-3ds+like-3d-slider-for-ps3
http://kotaku.com/5592952/playstation-3s-3d-games-could-get-3ds+style-slider

(Edited by moderators: Please refrain from posting any derogatory or offensive language, as we explain in our commenting guidelines – https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines/)

Guest
DanielCake says:
22 September 2010

I’m personally glad that Move is here, though I’m not totally impressed with it’s current lineup. Unlike some, I haven’t gotten the chance to become bored with the motion controllers as I haven’t played the wii too much – the reason I got Move was not because I’m overly excited by the concept of motion gaming, but to add even more variety to what my playstation could offer.

To be honest, what the Playstation Move is currently achieving with it’s software, and what the Wii has done isn’t TOO different, but I can really tell that it is more precise – Plus does it really matter who had the stuff on offer first? Does it change the product for what it is? I’m not going to NOT use the background music options on my PS3 because the Xbox did it first. I think the comment saying “It’s just like the wii” is pretty fair, and sums up the hardware well.

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Guest

I’ve just posted my take on PlayStation Move, which happens to be more positive. Would be great to see your comments there. Why PlayStation Move Wii’s on Nintendo’s parade https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/why-playstation-move-wiis-all-over-nintendo/