Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I "Move" That We Wait For Natal

The big news from the Games Developer Conference today was the final product of Sony's "Move" motion controller. Sony's attempt to capture some of the Wii market has been on the radar since last year's E3, but there's been very little concrete design plans or even a name.

Now that Sony has show their cards, here's my take on it.

The Good

The Price Tag: Initial reports show that the Move will be available in three formats. The starter kit (which includes the controller, the required PlayStation Eye camera, and a game) are set to retail for around $100. It will also be available as a standalone controller, and the whole kit will be available as part as a system bundle.

The Tech: Because of the way the controller works (the camera captures the movement of a colored ball from the end of the move), the system is much more responsive. This also addresses the issue that the Wii has with the IR sometimes being out of the range of the sensor bar.

Real Ultimate Power: The controller and its subcontroller (read Wiimote and Nunchuck) are both rechargeable through the USB connectors on the console. Also, both are wireless, which for anyone who doesn't have the arm-span of an infant T-Rex will appreciate (I consistently clotheslined myself with the Wii).

The Bad

Games (?): I'm going to put this in the bad category and hope that I'm proven wrong. So far, the games that have been demoed are direct targets to popular Wii Party fare (Golf, boxing, and virtual pet games) albeit with significantly better graphics. The one up-tick is SOCOM 4 is to be released with compatibility. In addition 36 third-party vendors, including Activision, EA & Ubisoft are dedicated to releasing titles. Here's hoping they follow through since this is one area where Sony could do major market damage to Nintendo. Until I hear more though, I'm not impressed with how well my dinner party guests can throw virtual darts.

The Ugly

The controller. It looks like a bottle of lube.

Try getting that out of your head. You can't, I've tried.

In summary, some analysts are saying that this could give Sony the fuel to pull ahead of any direct competition. While I don't think it will convert any current Wii lovers, I do think that it's a smart move to keep the customers they currently have who might be considering getting the Great White Menace for social gaming. As far as being what destroys the 360, I think we need to see what Natal brings to the table. At least Microsoft gave us a name.


Dave said...

I'm just not a fan of all these motion controllers, be it the Wii, PS3, or 360's version. If this is the direction gaming is headed in, then count me out. I don't think Natal or Move will be a great success since the developers have controllers to fall back on on the 360 and PS3. Good post man.

Jason said...

The only thing that I'm really intrigued about for Natal, is the Minority Report-esqu menu option. Apart from that, these motion controllers tend to make passers-by think you're trapped in a room full of bees.