|System: PS3 (MOVE)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sony Computer Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sony Computer Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 17, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: N/A||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Andrew Groen
Back in 2006 when the Nintendo Wii launched, it was only a matter of weeks before gamers the world over began to wonder when Sony and Microsoft would launch their response to that extraordinarily successful technology. Microsoft's Kinect isn't due on store shelves for another month, but Sony's Move has officially launched. Aside from a few minor quibbles, so far we're extremely impressed with the technology. The dedicated PS Move games, however, could use a lot of work.
But let's begin with the technology. That is the element that it's really going to need to separate the Move from the other two motion controlled gaming systems, Wii and Kinect. We have little idea how Kinect will work once it releases, but right now its going to be tough to top what Sony has created with the Move. It's a highly precise system which has further beauty because of its incredible simplicity. In fact, most PS3 owners probably already have most of the components to make it work. If you already have a PlayStation Eye camera, then all you really need is a small software update and the new Move controller.
Though it may be a simple solution to the motion control quandary, the Move is accurate and its motions are extremely well represented on the screen. Most games feature a nearly 1:1 movement ratio. This gets even better when you've got two controllers to work with. This allows great immersion in games like Sports Champions' Archery game which functions just like a real bow with two controllers, or Sports Champions' Gladiator battles which allows you perfect control over a sword and shield at the same time. These are both fun games that open up a whole new realm of possibility for motion control.
The use of the PlayStation Eye camera allows the games to map not only the controller motion, but sometimes your body's motion as well. Other times the controller is able to infer what your body is doing. For instance, in Sports Champions Ping Pong moving closer or further from the camera automatically corresponds to the character moving closer or further from the table.
It's an elegant and intelligent system that seemingly allows for a lot of developer wriggle room to improvise. The bizarre thing that happened with the Nintendo Wii is that its few innovations actually limited developers rather than opening up new avenues like many had hoped. Its unique properties forced them down pre-prescribed paths. The PlayStation Move may have fixed that issue by making the controls more open and implementing the camera.
Rather than the controller itself attempting to measure force, Move uses several methods that all measure your movements. When added together they are a far more precise interpretation of the player's movement. Wii controllers often just logged that a movement was made, and then sent that information to the computer which displayed a canned pre-rendered motion. In practice it was no different than pressing a button. Move can map the angle and force of your motion and create an authentic, unique swing to match it.
But it's all for nothing unless the new peripheral has the games that will make the technology a compelling purchase. Unfortunately, this is one category where Sony still has some work to do. There is really only one dedicated game on the system that can truly be said is a must-own game if you bought a Move bundle. That game, Sports Champions, brings together the best things about the technology and gets players up off the couch for a riveting set of sports games. The included games are Bocce, Archery, Disc Golf, Gladiator Duel, Beach Volleyball, and Table Tennis. Sure, it's a total rip-off of Wii Sports, but at least all of the sports are different from those already included in other compilations. Plus Sports Champions is far better than Wii Sports.