What can I say about Sony’s answer to the Wiimote, the tentatively named Playstation Move? It releases late Fall of this year and it works. Those are not the answers to the most important questions. Since the launch of the Wii in 2006, countless titles employing the Wiimote have been released. The number of games that expertly incorporate the controller, making it feel crucial to the play experience and not an additional gimmick, you can count on two hands. As we welcome a new competitor to motion gaming, we might want to temper our expectations until we see software Sony depends on to succeed.
That being said, a little excitement might be warranted. I played a short session of Move Party, an aptly named working title for the PS Move’s first party game. Expected to launch sometime in the hardware’s release window, Move Party is a four player mini-game collection. The movement is absolutely one-to-one and I fell naturally into the rhythm of controlling an on screen fly swatter, paint brush, or fan. Naturally, the game is meant to highlight the hardware capabilities. Which, to be fair, are quite impressive. The Move has a 3 axis gyroscope and 3 axis accelerometer to catch subtle movements. Since it uses the Playstation Eye Camera to detect the colored orbs atop the controller, you do not have to point directly at the screen to register movement. Which actually contributes to my favorite aspect of the controller thus far. The Move is incredibly ergonomic, far more so than the Wiimote. It felt comfortably nestled in my hand, with easy acess to the trigger, large action button, and the four additional face buttons.
But again, all of this means little unless we see it properly implemented on the software side. Little is known about what games will be compatible with the Move. So far, Sony has announced that Little Big Planet and the upcoming Socom 4will be compatible. They assure us, however, that nearly every studio is getting behind their journey into motion control. Of course we have heard that before as well.