Sony’s challenger to Nintendo’s Wii is out; the PlayStation maker today unveiled its new motion-control video system called PlayStation Move. The announcement came during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Designed in the form of a plastic wand, the Move has built-in motion controllers that react to signals from the PlayStation eye camera as it tracks body movements. In looks as feel, the Move is very much similar to the Nintendo Wii; there isn’t much difference in the way it works either.
“We’d like to think of this as the next generation of motion gaming,” Sony's marketing head Peter Dille said. “We are confident that when we look back in five years time, this will be seen as a seminal moment for PlayStation.” Down playing Wii’s success with motion gaming, Mr. Dille claimed that the Move has the ability to take gaming much beyond where it is today. However, audience members who got a chance to try their hand with the Move were not really impressed.
Giving his reaction to the new PS3 device, UK editor of GameSpot Guy Cocker said, “I was disappointed with the amount of real innovation we saw. In terms of ideas, it is very similar to what we have seen with the Wii and if you are Sony, you can't help but want to ape that success.”
Cocker has a point; Sony ranks third after Nintendo and Microsoft in terms of motion gaming; Wii has sold 67.5m units worldwide, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 boasts of 39m, while Sony has managed around 33m units of its PS3. According to Dan Ackerman, senior editor with CNet.com, the Move is not likely to present a serious threat to Wii anytime soon.
“Nintendo has such a lead in this market that both Sony and Microsoft are competing to be the number two choice in the living room,” he said. “PlayStation Move isn't that innovative. It doesn't do anything that differently than the Wii but everyone feels they need to get into this space.”
Microsoft already has another gaming device in the works; its Natal project aims to create a controller-free system that will allow Xbox gamers to use gestures and body motions to play games instead of pressing buttons or waving devices. Once Natal goes to the masses, the PlayStation Move might become outdated quickly.
For now, Sony has unveiled several games that work well with the Move, including Little Big Planet, Move Party and Sports Champions. It also announced that there are 20 new games in development, and that 40 other third-party publishers are supporting the Move. The device will become available to gamers in the second half of the year at a cost below $100.
Discuss in our forums