March 11, 2010

GDC '10: Get Your Move On

Motion gaming has expanded to the HD consoles, and Sony wants a share of Nintendo's blue ocean. What does Sony have to combat Nintendo's Wiimote? Well, they have the PlayStation Move.

Obviously taking a few notes from Nintendo, the Move is purported to have a particularly attractive package for under a hundred bucks. In the starter kit, you'll get the PS Move, the PS Eye camera and a game (probably the "Sports Collection" ala Wii Sports).

First introduced in last year's E3 conference (but without a name), the PlayStation Move, like Microsoft's Project Natal, is a camera-based motion control system that has the camera detect the LEDs (that huge effing orb) so the game you're playing can reflect the movements being made. It officially allows a game to detect more than one PlayStation Move in one player, as well as a Wii Nunchuk-like wireless attachment that, well, serves as an analog stick (while having its own face buttons). Unfortunately enough, it's only called 'the sub-controller'.

Frankly, the PlayStation Move already does what the Wii MotionPlus does for the Wiimote, but Sony was able to observe Nintendo before actually jumping in, which tends to be the nature for competitors, thus being able to actually add an augmented reality factor with the camera.

While jerky in some parts, Sony claims the controller to be in a pre-alpha state, but wait a sec, isn't this product supposed to be shipping this year? At least, games that have compatibility with this device are. An audience of women, kids and families are definitely going to love the EyePet game coming out this holiday season, while people are going to have to break their backs trying to tie down their opponents in Motion Fighters, which looks like a more brutal high-definition version of Wii boxing. I think Punch-Out!! is much more fun than any of that, but that's just me.

For now, it's only SOCOM that appears to have the most hardcore appeal, especially since it doesn't require much waggle. However, Sports Champions does have a few of the games, err, I mean elements, that made Wii Sports Resort such a great game for both casuals and core gamers. And if you don't want to buy any of that, you probably still have that copy of LittleBigPlanet laying around. By the Move's release, fans will get an update to the platformer.

In the end, I smell shovelware.

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