This week I had the opportunity to try out Sony's motion-based controller system for the PS3, the PlayStation Move. Coming this fall, the PlayStation Move will bring a new level of realism to platform gaming.
The PlayStation Move consists of a control wand, a PlayStation Eye Camera and an optional "sub controller" with directional buttons and control stick. The controllers use rechargeable Li-ion batteries (a welcome change from the Wii's double A's) and are designed to work with existing PS3 systems.
The concept of the PlayStation Move is similar to the Nintendo Wii—wireless controllers with built-in position detection and accelerometers replicate the motion of your hands with movement on the screen. However, since the Move uses a PlayStation Eye camera to track movement, it is also able to recognize more dimensions of movement, including the wand moving closer/farther from the screen and wand rotation. The camera can even recognize your head position, enabling games to track full upper-body movement (check out the video we shot below to get a sense of the platform's capabilities).
The Playstation Move platform should enable developers to create some amazing games when Sony releases the Move this fall. In my testing with the Sports Champions demo games, the experience with the PlayStation Move was superior to that of the Wii. The extra motion detection provides a greater sense of realism, enabling details such as spin control in the demo ping pong game. When utilizing two controllers, the demo gladiator game allowed me to wield both my virtual shield and mighty warhammer with great precision, bringing me right into the action.
Sony says the PlayStation Move will be released sometime in the fall, possibly around September. A PlayStation Move starter bundle with one with controller, a PlayStation Eye camera and a not-yet-determined game will be less than $100.