Product Review: Playstation Move

Sony’s answer to the motion controller craze has been out few months now so we gave it a bit of time for software to be released before giving it a good look.

I would love to report that at the time of this post there are hundreds of games released that support it either natively or with a patch. However the reality is that there are still just a handful of games and only a few noteworthy ones at that.

The Move system consists of three components and only two are necessary for it to work. The first essential piece is a PlayStation Eye camera, whether you bought one with Eye of Judgement, individually or in a move bundle. It has to be a PlayStation Eye, you cannot use a standard USB camera.

The second essential piece of hardware would be a Move controller, which I lovingly refer to as the ice cream cone. Think of it as the right half of a Six Axis controller minus the analog stick. You have the standard PlayStation buttons: Four Face, Start, Select, PS, Trigger ,Shoulder, and a new Move button. Sitting atop the controller is a soft, colored orb. This new controller is light and feels really nice in your hand due to the ergonomic design. Also on the bottom is a mini USB port for charging. The orb is what the camera tracks and because the PS3 knows what the shape and size is can determine the distance. A three-axis accelerometer and a three-axis angular rate sensor that help determine rotation and pitch.

The third piece that is not essential would be the navigational controller. Which would be the left half of a Six axis if you will. It has an analog controller, d-pad, x button, o button, ps button, trigger and shoulder buttons.This is a non essential piece as not all games use it and you can actually use a Six Axis controller in it’s place you want although I admit that it feels weird using a Six Axis controller one handed while standing up. The Navigation controller is light, ergonomic and feels really good in your hand. It also features a mini USB port for charging on the bottom.

Now that we have the basics covered you probably want to know how well it works right? Hands down (or up if you prefer) it is the most precise of the motion controllers offered by the big three console manufacturers. Depth, responsiveness, and immersion factor is excellent. Lighting is essential for some games (Eye Pet) but overall it  tends to do well in either a well lit or darker rooms.

The only real issue that I have with the move itself is that in certain situations depending on how you have the move setup and the amount of room that you have, playing with someone significantly shorter than you (say me and 5 yr old) it can cause some complications with camera placement.

I truly believe that the problem with the Move is not the hardware but the lack of software titles that currently support it. There are some good titles such as Sports Champions and of course some bad ones like Kung Fu rider. Some games have the move banner on the package but the only Move support in the game is a set of mini games outside the main game itself (Toy Story & Sly Cooper series).

The Move is still seemingly in it’s infancy stage but in order for it to grow up, consumers need to buy it while developers need to buy into it by developing good games. There are good points on the software side of things to consider:

Prices of Move titles are less expensive and in line with Wii game prices.

The basic layout of the Motion and Navigation controller make an easy transition for Wii owners to migrate over to the PS3.

Developers who are making or have made games for the Wii can theoretically make a PS3 version without worrying about completely reworking the controls.

Sorcery looks fantastic and Sony is showing both hardcore and casual games….

So your probably wondering what the verdict is… Well it is an excellent technology and as previously mentioned the most accurate and responsive in my opinion. The software library will grow and I like the system. So my recommendation would be to check the software that is available now and coming in the next few months and base your decision on that. I highly recommend checking out Sports Champions. You can find a decent list of Move supported games here.