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.
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