Well back again 3GKer’s after a long hiatus from a busted PS3 (may you R.I.P) to bring you information on the newly released Playstation Move. We are at a technological age where all things “gadget” run rampant across electronics stores. And with that comes the Playstation Move.
For those who are unfamiliar, Sony hopped on the motion controller bandwagon with the inclusion of the Six Axis/Dual-Shock controller. While intuitive on its own rite, the controller gave the player something to physically interact with. But in the long run it was limited when compared to the Nintendo Wiimote controller in terms of game play functionality. Only handful of games seemed to use the Six Axis/Dualshock controller to its full potential.
Then Sony released the Playstation Eye when it was bundled with the title “The Eye of Judgment”. When I first reviewed this game I was amazed at the interactivity of this device. Sadly the only major support for the Playstation Eye seemed to stop at games which recorded video/took pictures, games that allow you to flail your arms like a mad man, or just video chat from the XMB (cross-media bar). So where did the interactive ideas from The Eye of
Here comes the Playstation Move. With Nintendo’s dominance with the causal gaming market, it’s no secret that the Wiimote controller design was the catalyst for their success. We are conditioned to play games with a “tangible” device. So what makes Playstation Move so different? For starters one of the most impressive aspects with the Move controller is the interactivity with the Playstation Eye. The Move controller has a light marker at the top that illuminates into different colors .This light is tracked by the Playstation Eye camera and has the ability to capture “true” one-to-one motion.
In addition to the Move controller, there is an option to play games with the navigation controller. This simply functions as an “analog stick” for games that require the player to move a character around. A Six-Axis/Dualshock can also be used in place of the navigation controller for you “cheapies” out there. Sound like a Wiimote so far? In all honesty yes it does but there is a major difference between them. I feel there is more freedom of body movement due to the fact that the Move controller is not “tethered”. Players can also play with dual Move controllers and have 2 points of motion tracking.
This freedom with movement is also used by the Playstation Eye. In addition to tracking the movements with the Move controllers, the Playstation Eye also tracks your body movements. Normally you would think you only can move left to right, but the camera also detects proximity.
So it can determine how close you are to the camera. This all translates into giving the player the ability to duck and cover when under heavy gun fire, bob & weave from a left hook, or dive for that spiked ball in the sand. Playstation Move offers true one-to-one ratio in regards to your movements and works quite well. However, the Move is not without its flaws.
From a technological stand point the one underlying restriction is going to be “proper lighting”. The Playstation Eye camera is dependent on it. There are 2 ways that the Move controller is calibrated before game play. The first method is by direct pointing. The camera captures the light source from the illuminated orb on top of the Move controller, then remembers the position and readjusts the camera to the current lighting conditions.
What makes this bad or causes the calibration not to work properly will be poor lighting. For games that use this type of calibration usually the objects on the screen will not be attached to the wand and it will make the game appear as if it were glitchy. The right lighting conditions would be to have some background light source that doesn’t wash out the image as you view yourself on your television.
The second and most consistent calibration would be the 3-point system. Basically you start off by allowing the camera to detect the light source from the Move controller, but afterwards you are given a camera view of yourself. You will then be instructed to hold the Move controller in 3 motion capture positions. This configures your movements so that they are at a one-to-one ratio which is very similar to what they actually use in studios to capture digital animation. Regardless of the lighting conditions, the Playstation Eye tracks your movements pretty well when this type of calibration is being used.
So where can Sony take this technology? To be honest the door is wide open. I feel that the Playstation Move came out at the right time by allowing Nintendo to set the bar for interactive gaming. By providing HD graphics, 3-D, and motion gaming, the Playstation Move has some potential to really take this new genre of gaming to the next level. I for one would like to see a game like “Soul Calibur” being played this way, or see the next Fight Night with Move support. So far a handful of games are available both from Sony’s first-party studios and from third-party companies like EA. The nice incentive and where I think strategy wise the PS3 may have an advantage, is that all the Sony first-party titles are at $39. There are a lot of development studios under Sony’s first-party that create innovative and well designed titles.
Should you or should you not buy Playstation Move? Well that’s dependent on the end user, but I really feel like this is a more mature version of the Wii. Price wise it is definitely an expensive purchase for the average user out there. But we are at a point where most of the PS3 owners have had their systems for a while. So really they only have to purchase the components that allow the Playstation Move to function.
The games currently available with Move support are fun and have great online integration. Sports Champion for example, allows for the user to take pictures of the archery match you just won while holding up your virtual Longbow in victory. Afterwards, you can upload the images to Facebook along with your updated high scores. Playstation Move definitely has the potential for becoming a totally new experience for both the die-hard and casual gamer alike.
320GB PS3 system w/ Move bundle $399
PS3 Move Bundle (game, controller, camera) $99
Move controller $49, Navigation control $29, Playstation Eye Camera $39