Sony’s PlayStation Move released on September 15th and since then the product has shot up the sales charts on websites like Amazon.com. Despite the criticisms that Sony may have been entering this market a tad too late or that its controller resembled the Wiimote a little too closely, it’s looking as though the peripheral is going to do just fine in the casual and hardcore market. When I first got my hands on this device last week, I was, admittedly, a little excited to finally check it out and to see if the positive reception behind the Move was justified or not.
I’m not going to flood your brain with technical jargon or an overflow of information, I’m just going to tell you how it works, the basics and if it’s worth your time or not. So, let’s check out the next few paragraphs to find out.
Sony’s PlayStation Move has often been ridiculed for its design and this was mostly due to its resemblance to the Wiimote, however, that begs the question: What else did people expect it to look like? The Move is ergonomically pleasing and fits perfectly into each hand depending how many of the devices you’re playing with.
To be honest, there isn’t many other design choices in terms of shape that Sony could have went with other than what they did or the device simply wouldn’t be as comfortable to play with as it is. Due to its curved body, your palm and fingers wrap around it perfectly and comfortably. While some may feel the ball at the end looks stupid (and it does), it’s made of a simple rubber that is durable and serves its purpose as intended.
Does it work?
The PlayStation Move utilizes Sony’s PlayStation Eye in order to track the colored ball on the end to provide gamers with one-to-one motion tracking that can be read not only horizontally and vertically but with depth as well. Unfortunately, very bright rooms are troublesome to play in, but if you’re playing in just a standard lit room where a window is letting in light or a lamp is lighting up the room, you’re fine as is. Since that is the setting most people will be playing in, you really shouldn’t be concerned with whether or not your lighting is alright. Unless you plan on having 4-5 lights on in the living room or in your bedroom, the PS Eye picks up the orb perfectly and tracks your motion accurately.
The other determining factor on how well the product operates is the distance between you and the PlayStation Eye. This is once again a battle that is different from user-to-user. If you have a larger bedroom or a larger living room, you should have ample space to operate the device perfectly. My current set up allows for six to seven feet of space between the PlayStation Eye and my playing zone. While Sony recommends an eight foot distance, I noticed that six feet gets the job done on 90% of the software I played. However, that does mean that some of the titles, like Table Tennis for example, struggled at less than eight feet due to the depth needed to swing your paddle accurately.
I will admit that despite the slight in accuracy in Table Tennis, the game is still playable and it really doesn’t hinder the title too much to be less than eight feet away. In fact, the game is still fun, it’s just it would shine a lot more in comparison to other titles in the Sports Champion lineup at the proper distance.
Buy or Pass?
This is a tricky question. Personally, I’ve always felt that motion controls are a gimmick and I’d rather be sitting on the couch than exercising while gaming. However, I’ve noticed that even though you’re making a lot of motion with your arms, most games are playable from the comfort of your couch. Right now, the PlayStation Move software lineup offers two-to-three strong launch titles that make the device worth owning (Resident Evil 5, Eye Pet, Sports Champion), but at an adoption rate of $150 (if you want to play two players), it’s hard to justify a purchase at this time unless you really want to get into the motion game early (from Sony’s side).
However, as more titles are patched with Move support like M.A.G. and Heavy Rain; and more titles are released that support the technology like Time Crisis, Killzone 3 and LittleBigPlanet 2, the PlayStation Move is going to be a device you’re going to want to own to play games in a different light. Will the Move replace my DualShock 3 as my main source for controlled gaming? Probably not, but I’ll definitely be tempted and interested to check how it works with titles that support both formats. After all, I’d much rather have the option to see which works best than not have the option at all, right?